I close my eyes. At first, it’s almost difficult to keep them shut. It’s a will power thing. I know the sleep will come, but I have to focus on my eye lids staying closed. It’s an effort to keep them shut. It’s squeezing that same muscle you use when you jump into water. My brain runs wild. I think of all the things I need to do today. Usually, this is the time when I think of girls too. Past, present, future. I plan for tomorrow without meaning to. Then I stop myself, I take a deep breath. The breath comes from somewhere I can only reach when on the verge of sleep. It’s not my chest or stomach or diaphragm but somewhere deeper. Everything slows. Suddenly I can hear my heartbeat in my ears. My eyes are shut not by will, but just stuck there. Now it would require effort to open them. I continue to think of these chores, errands, stresses, and then tell myself I will deal with it tomorrow. I think of the women again. But this time, I catch myself talking or moving or trying to bring them over the border; over the border into reality. What is real blends with what is dreamt. What is dreamt begins to multiply. I find myself walking foot over foot, crossing a cement barrier. My feet are bare. The barrier is wet. The dream has formed. The rain is coming and I’m in a world I can no longer define or explain or remember, but it’s there. It’s real, in a way. Maybe a few years or months or weeks or days from now this dream will become reality. Maybe it will be an episode of déjà vu. The struggle begins. The rain becomes harder, the sleep becomes deeper. I feel my breaths and my pulse disappearing into this world and I feel the room I lay in sliding away. Nobody can find me in this place. Nobody can ever see this place. Maybe not even me. I may never remember it or experience it again or feel the way this place makes me feel; yet, I’m there. It fades. Just like all memories or place or experiences it disappears with time. It’s time is distorted and different from my time or your time but it still has a time. The dream is gone. It’s a bottle in the ocean with a message that nobody will ever see. Then, this place begins to brighten. A light has come in. My brain begins to leave this place and search for its real home, realizing it is lost. The room I lay in begins to multiply. Creeping in through the pores of my skin is the place where my head rests. The room brightens. My eyes, they open.
The concept of Music to Words was born on a lonely, word-blocked night in Pittsburgh. It came to me as I realized I dealt with writer's block by using music to ignite my imagination. This idea was further verified in a non-fiction writing classroom with one of my favorite professors ever, Jonathan Callard. One day Professor Callard had us do an exercise where we wrote while listening to certain music, letting the sound pull our writing in a direction. Or, vice versa, letting our writing pull the sound into a different place. It was a great way to bring out great writing, and I haven't been able to stop since. With that concept cemented into this blog, I came up with the idea to start a Music to Words series. Simply press play and read.