Monday, July 18, 2005

On Assignment: Martinsville, Virginia-Day One

"Hands Toward Heaven" by Wes Aldridge

I like the rugged look of this shot. There is the angel, perched on a building top with clasped hands, beautifully illuminated, with the somewhat haphazard railing behind it holding the neon lights erect. It seemed to me a direct clash of the visions of perfection that most people have of the celestial beings.

I am glad that I am finally back out on the road again. Too much time in Nashville makes me want to jump, jump somewhere into something and never get back again. It is a great little town for, well, whatever people say it is a great little town for, I guess. It just might be a great little place to visit. I feel that is what I do now. Just visit long enough to wash my clothes and pay my bills and catch my next ride to wherever I am headed.

It is not Los Angeles. It is not New York. It is not Atlanta. Fuck, it’s not even Birmingham or Tucson. It’s not a flashy metropolis, and by God does it ever try far too hard to be. Glimmering and shimmering music dreams sparking and fading, they start and poof... they’re gone.

Nashville is in fact a sleepy little town with people who were once big dreamers whose eyes have grown heavy filled with sand and drip with the fermented fire of Old No. 7. Oh, the tears the distilleries have drawn from our hearts! But, through all the agony that city brings, there is something so addictive about it. You get sucked in and you make yourself think you never want to leave. And you don’t. You stay. You tell yourself you are content. You play the role of the happy Nashvillian. And in secret, you weep for never chasing the dreams that you always wanted to grab by the tail and soar around the galaxy clinging to.

Is it because no angels are perched on building tops in Nashville? Is it because the only signs of hope on Broadway or Second Ave. are the two-for-one beer specials at Robert’s Western World or Buffalo Billiards? It just might be. Then again, lets forget about all this rambling stupidity and go grab a double-tall bourbon down on Printer’s Alley when I get back. Maybe Nashville doesn’t dilute our aspirations to dreams; maybe we do that to ourselves.