I’m going to build you a heart you can see right through…
I walked with my mother through the grounds of the Utah Art’s Festival. I know she had different expectations of me. I was gifted. I was intelligent. I was in all the accelerated programs… made all the honor rolls… the Dean’s Lists… I was expected to be a lawyer or a politician or something. She wasn’t expecting to find me barefoot with a guitar in Salt Lake City Utah.
I’m going to wait until the coast is clear.
And I strip off my every care.
You can’t tell me life’s not fair anymore.
I tried it. I tried to live the life that was left for me. It was there waiting for me on the shelf. I tried it on. Crammed myself into the corporate job. It was awkward. It was so fucking stiff. Like my shoes, it was too fucking tight. You had to break it in with lies that you told yourself. The trouble was that I really was intelligent. Too intelligent maybe. I saw through the lies. I knew that this life I pulled out of the box wasn’t going to deliver what it promised. I tore it off. I would go naked into the world for better or worse. It turned out mostly for the worse but I have no regrets. I don’t know how or why I am here but I knew that those pre-fabbed homes out in the suburbs were no place for me to waste my life. I knew the quiet stability people sought out there was only an illusion. I knew that there was nothing you could buy that would bring lasting satisfaction. I was going to build something of my own out of bale wire, duct tape and whatever else I found lying around.
I’m going to burn all I can scrape.
Fix it all with duct tape.
and there’s no need to get bent out of shape this time.
My mother watched me perform this song. It was the only time my mother saw me play. By then, she knew that music wasn’t just a passing thing for me to outgrow. I gave a good performance. People lined up to buy some of my homemade CD’s. It wasn’t much by her standards. I am not sure if she ever really understood why someone would forsake material success to pursuit the life of an artist but she was trying. Two of her sons had chosen that path.
I’m going to leave you a disappointment to live up to.
I took her through the sites of Salt Lake City. We went into Temple Square. She saw the statue of Jesus anointing Joseph Smith and his brother. “Bullshit. Bullshit. Bullshit” was her response. Back in her hotel she talked about death and her expectations of what happens after. In the last decade she watched her husband and mother die. She was dying herself though we didn’t know it yet. She told me she didn’t believe anything was waiting for her. Heaven and the afterlife was just more bullshit. I told her I thought we just went back to being everything. I told her that we are everything even now but we just don’t realize it.
I’ll build you a song you can sing to.
Expectations is my most personal song. I wrote it for myself. I didn’t care if anyone else liked it. I put an acoustic version on my album, Songs for No One. I meant that too. Those songs were for no one. Still many people told me it was one of their favorites even though it doesn’t follow ordinary pop conventions. Sometimes when you are honest you speak for more than just yourself. Sometimes you are made to realize you are not as alone as you once thought.