Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Ben Greenman | "Oh Lord! Why Not?" | 2007

Dear William,

I name you despite your refusal to reveal your own name during your account of the events that transpired following the passage of the Litt Act. I knew immediately it was you. How could I not? I loved your music. I love it still, although Music, as a thing, has broken my heart too often and too horribly to want to continue to acknowledge any love I might feel.

I am like you. In the way, perhaps, that Rick Hayward and Kayla Jay are like you. I was special. And then I wasn't. Is this true for all people? Even those who aren't or never were Pop Stars?

I have so many questions for you, William. Chief among them, this: What are we to do now?

Oh, I know... A Burger Man franchise for you. Car-pools and sack-lunch making for me. But what are we to do IN OUR HEARTS? This morning, my six-year old son asked from the back seat: Doctor, doctor, why is there a hole in my stomach? I waited for the punchline. When none came, I said, "I don't know, why?"

He said, "I'm asking you, Dad."

I had no answer. Oh, a few popped to mind. Like, "Because you're dying." Or, "I guess that's just the human condition." But none seemed very funny. In fact, quite the opposite. My four year old daughter bailed me out with the old chestnut, "I have a button collection." To which the boy replied on cue, "Oh yeah? Do you have any belly buttons?" When my daughter pulled up the front of her shirt to display her belly button, I glanced in the rear-view mirror and saw, in their smiling faces, the abyss.

A hole in my stomach, indeed.

I hope for your boy's sake that you and Gloria have patched it up. Your son sounds like a good kid. I hope he can figure out a way around the chasm. I hope he can find that moment's peace that makes the years of heartbreak bearable.

Keep in touch. You are loved.

Rhett Miller