Author: Compton, Cliff

Stream of Consciousness. Four oíclock in the morning

I was watching a YouTube video of Rick Cornish singing ďainít nobody gonna miss me when Iím goneĒ at four oíclock in the morning. Iím watching, at four in the morning because I canít sleep. And I canít sleep because Iím old and falling apart, or because I have a vaguely guilty conscience about something I may have done or not done and I canít put my finger on it, or maybe I canít sleep because I ate four pieces of a vegetarian pizza about eight oíclock tonight and itís having a debate with my stomach, or it might be that I canít sleep because of the two trips to star bucks and the extra shot of espresso or maybe Itís because I havenít slept good since Bakersfield even though Iím tired enough to sleep driving down the freeway and I guess I ought to go back to bed and try again, but Iím thinking about this one particular jam where Lucy, my guitar hero, was playing ďbury me beneath the willowĒ that was kind of slow and cool funky and I was thinking about how when I took the lead I ripped into it like a man just let out of jail, which I wasnít, but I was excited and it was the first day of the 48 hour jam, and the first day really wasnít until tomorrow so I was getting a head start and I was playing with Lucy and Mikkey and all kinds of wonderful people, and I just couldnít contain myself, and how are you gonna sleep when youíre thinking about that!

WellÖI went back to sleep just in time to get up and go to work and IĎm running late because I was listening to Rick Cornish at four oíclock in the morning and I had a customer of mine tell me that ďainít nobody gonna miss me when Iím goneĒ was an old Rolling Stone song, but I donít believe it because Iíve never heard Keith Richards play the banjo and somehow that just seems wrong, though I must admit that I probably wonít miss them when theyíre gone as much as Iíll miss Rick when heís gone because he plays better music, and I hop into my car and put a C.D in the player and this wonderful Bluegrass harmonica player from the Bakersfield 48 hour jam tears into blackberry blossom and I almost forget that Iím tired until I realize I put the air conditioner on instead of the heater and my eyelids are freezing to my forehead.

WellÖMy wife Trudy went with me to Bakersfield this year and she brought the video camera and thatís another reason why I was watching Rick playing his fiddle at four in the morning, and Iím at work now remembering how she was filming Jeanie Ramos playing ďCalifornia bluesĒ and Terry Ramos was slid down in the chair looking like he was catching a quick 40 winks and Iím thinking how can he sleep with all this music when I canít sleep in a stone quiet house in a soft bed with the lights out, but thatís the way it must be when youíve got a quiet conscience and were wise enough to retire and not have to work until you stumble into the grave.

And Iíve wondered if anyone was gonna miss me when I was gone, but mostly I think about things like that at four in the morning when I ought to dreaming about the perfect jam, where all the angels are singing ďoh come angel band.Ē

Posted:  1/14/2011

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