st. barths chronicles, part iii

rest assured, we drank quite a few cookie-monsters over the two days.

excellent sensual sexuality mitigates this winter’s mostly dark heart.”

     let’s begin with a long (and unask’d for) digression:     
     i have been reading my journal out here on the island. daytimes, there is not much one really needs to do. routinely, we return to the store, purchase some re-up of coffee, or milk, or booze. apart from that, *nothing* is necessary. on a real solid day, one could lie in bed from a couple minutes after the gig one night to a couple minutes before the gig the next. 18, 19 hours, we’re talking about.
      since i am determined, this time, to spend most of my off-time writing, i have been reading a lot in the off-off time. i have one nice reference book, one fat fantasy novel, and one hard-boiled modern fantasy audiobook. to boot, i’ve got a couple of letters that need to be answered and no shortage of just general things i want to write. but, also, i have my personal journal. the same one i’ve have been using since the Winter Solstice of 2006. and i rarely get to enter things into it these days — let alone read back the old entries. 
    so with the current downtime: lots of reading. and the reading bears strange fruit. it is almost (very, very nearly just-so) exciting to be privy to the candid thoughts of my 22 and 23 year old self. what a guy!
    there are so many reasons to be in wonderment. i am a fairly reserve person in real life. not a lot of emoting. even when i’ve been in relationships, pretty even-keeled. perhaps (nay, definitely) to a fault. but there is a great deal of emotion and rancor (?) bubbling beneath the placid surface. i think, in recent years, i had begun to believe my own hype. to imagine myself as really so much more calm and collected than I really am. reading back to the young Mr. Bermiss’ trials and tribulations. his wanderlust. his insecurity and fear. his lashing out at the injustices of his predicament. and, even, the omissions of things which he surely thought the reader would assume (ie, race) — it is all so delicious over-blown and mistaken and hopeful. later today, i shall likely come to the big fulcrum years: when i was 25, my mother died. when i was 26, my grandfather (and middle name sake) died. these experiences rocked me up out of my twenties and sent me, prematurely, into my thirties. by the time i’m 28, i’m already well into the manly decline that would lead to this 30-something passivity.
    still, reading this, too, is like a spell i left for myself. a shaping. like i knew that the world and life would crush me down and i knew i would need to leave a little echo behind of oldAkie so that, when the time was right, i would be able to reinvigorate myself. 
   (actually, according to harry potter this is *dark* magic. i’ve made a horcrux of my journal!)
  and, at least for right now, it feels like that is precisely what this journal is doing. my mind is lit up with all my shambling, melodic musings of old. i had not even thought them very coherent at the time. now, looking back, i say, “man, you had the right of it — even as you missed the point of it completely, poor fool.”
  so, a new entry is curious to do (as i did this morning on the balcony — sweating profusely in the blazing st barths mid-morning) because the tone has become so different. i wonder, now, if i could try to recapture that lilting naivete of sense and structure that once so riddled all my entries? how did i write that way? was it me? the times? the age? if i tried to write about my life that way now — what would come out. 
an experiment for later in this trip, perhaps.
for now, i should actually resume recounting the tales of this adventure. i believe we are on days three and four.



bartender, Loic, and I now have a short-hand for the four or five drinks i will order at any given time. the most commonly used: the coffee signal.

   the band continues apace here in paradise. no particularly special outings. nothing utterly momentous. i have a nice little stash of cuban cigars piling up in various places around the bandHouse and i ain’t mad at it.

   things are settling into a routine. Attis has his fancy camera, he can be depended upon to wander off in search of epic photos. sometimes, i don’t see him after lunch until night-fall.

   Brian is down in the room below me. i don’t know what he does down there. some sort of crunchy meditation technique that i cannot fathom. definitely reading books about transubstantiation or something.
   Ari goes to the beach before breakfast/lunch each morning. and he is usually the last one in after the gig each night. what he does, too, i cannot fathom

    i wake up early, it seems. no matter when i go to sleep. usually, just before sleep, i cut the AC and throw open all the windows. but, i am fond of watching some MST3K in my room after the gig. and usually take a night-cap or two (or three) on the balcony with a cigar and book before turning in. usually its somewhere between 2a and 4a. and yet i am usually up around 730 or 8 (about when the sun hits my above-bed window)

   so, in the mornings, i shower. and i glance at my journal. then i get out in the sun and start writing (as now) until we get fed. after that, my day is usually fairly unstructured til about an hour before the gig. then, i need to clean up and dress up and get right with the muses

  still, there are traditions. when i get down to the bar, i usually get an espresso  [see: picture above] to start out the night. still water with dinner. and sometimes another espresso before the first set. operations this year are 3 hour-long sets with fifteen minutes between them. 

   that is the gig. and that is what it is each night. often different. depending on the band and the songs and the crowd.

  always, in the third set, the band plays a song about midway through, and i get my last espresso of the night while that goes down.

   and then, we’re in the after-gig place again and all is up for grabs.


got the hook up on some PR-grown, SBH-roasted coffee. perfect for Sunday.



speaking of new drinks: this was my reaction after the first sip of something called a “Port Whiskey Sour.”

   as we approach the weekend, crowds get a little more animated. they aren’t there just for dinner. they are coming to drink, party, have a good time. so we need to step up our energy to match it. all while still keeping an eye on the decibels. there is an ordinance about sound levels there. we’re supposed to keep the average dB level to 87. 
   87 is not very loud. if i sneezed with particular guttural vigor, i might hit 83 dB pretty easily. a whistle can pop up to like 90 (i have observed this several times at the bar, actually). so you can imagine: we are rocking out at half-volume. it is a kind of mastery of flow and musicality and dynamics. and the more you do it, the easier it is.
  when crowds get in there, you have to be real slick. and real slick is where we are going to live Friday and Saturday night.
finally, we start making preparation now for the weekend and the day off. it can mean several things to several people. having sunday off can mean that saturday night basically just never stops. it can mean you spend all of sunday in bed watching movies. it can mean you try to visit every beach on the island before it gets too dark to swim.
and it definitely means, you need to have whatever food on hand you need to sustain you til Monday when breakfast/lunch arrives.
 at the writing of this, i am not prepared. it might be wise for me go down to the Libre Service and score some foodstuffs. similarly, more cigars for the day off. plenty of scotch is left in the bottle — i should be fine on that score.
  as island-living settles on to my brain though, motivation and planning ahead become harder and hazier subjects upon which to act.
  still, as was once said, i need only lift my fingers way from the keys and stand up — and i’ll be half-way there.
  here’s to half-way, dear reader.



About akiebermiss

pianist, composer, singer, writer. hater.
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