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Serenading the Cockroaches

That cockroaches can, up to a certain point, be lived with.

DFW, Infinite Jest


There’s a certain harmony to be found on porches. Mine is bigger than the house itself — the porch, the harmony. Evenings are spent outdoors because the sky entices you to live your life as a piece of the greater cosmos, to avoid sequestering yourself behind whitewashed wood-paneled walls in order to play your role as a character in the world’s fiction, which means you draw parallels between your own cigarette ember and the moon’s cylindrical white light. I carry my guitar onto the porch to argue with the monotone drawl of the cicadas and assert a key much higher. Cars rush by stubbornly on the highway that runs parallel to my front yard. But the creatures of porches and brush and erratic existence ¬†compliantly argue with their mechanical existence. As I pick, cockroaches venture from the faux-woodwork, inhabiting a perimeter of three feet in front of me. As I continue to pick and sing — or advance the string melody — the cockroaches encroach on my circumference of sound, attempting to infiltrate my two-foot arch of personal space. I stomp my foot in defiance, letting them know that I’m inviting of all who pursue the opiate of melody, but that a certain space must be maintained between the performer and the audience. They respect this space, stalling a few feet away without the stereotypical erratic maneuvering, but maintaining a solace that accompanies few amphitheater audiences at a music festival. I continue to play, to sing, because of the mutual respect, acknowledging an audience who could never analyze my lyrics, but can inhabit a certain bliss in the oscillation of melody.



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