The Written Version of A True Story I Performed At The Moth In March
This is a story about love but this is also a story about coincidence, two themes that have enveloped my life over the past three years.
Three years ago marks the time I moved to Portland from San Diego and when the coincidences started to happen. Someone I met at random, Tom, in the Days Inn in Clackamas where I was staying while looking for a permanent residence, explained to me that this place is a vortex and very quickly I found out I wasn’t the only one experiencing THE VORTEX. See Tom’s mom went to highschool with my dad in so cal over 40 years ago. Yeah. I took it as a sign and we became fast friends. Miraculous things happen when you begin to see signs.
Now about the love part, a little background. Nate, the love of my life, he spelled his name with an n and the number 8: he was a clever, hot, multi-instrumentalists from Salt Lake City that knew how to play me, that’s for sure. I met him right out of his divorce in 2004 and quickly discovered we had some things in common: the ability to do German accents for long periods of time or drink four nights a week until the early hours of the morning. I instantly liked him, but didn’t want to be his rebound so we remained friends. For months I stood crazily by while he explored other relationships, but put on my poker face and showed up for him on bad days with Arby’s, a bottle or a joint. He taught me how to make beats with ProTools and he’d mc while my friend and I spent months rapping into the mic. He must’ve liked me to pretend we actually had talent. We got into adventures like when we snuck into a beer fest private party and made up occupations that justified us being there, did mushrooms in the park and he brought blood packets and faked a hemorrage…it was hilarious.. Often times he’d bring me an apple at work to smoke out of and seeing him on his bike approaching was like a shot of pure mdma to my gut. My brain was catching butterflies. I remember working a catering event at a golf course together and couldn’t stop looking at him in his shirt and bow tie, thinking how handsome he was. And as much as I want to go on about the times we had (And there were many) our relationship ended as something else. There was a relationships (3 years) and among the amazing times we had there were drugs, there were scandals, there were friends taking sides and drama from family. Most of all there was insecurity and it’s that insecurity that haunts me because at one point I became very afraid of losing him, but I didn’t tell him that. I never told him that….what I said instead was “I hate you and get out of my life.” And he did.
I never talked to him again.
Last year 2018, 8 years from the last time I talked to Nate I had a coincidental communication with him and it’s not what you might think. In April I came upon a singer-songwriter on Youtube that I fell in love with, he reminded me of Nate right away! His name is Shaky Graves and he’s from Austin Texas. He has a song titled “Late July”…if you haven’t heard it, I suggest you look it up. Sometime in “late July”, a few months after the youtube discovery I had a wonderful dream about Nate, we made love and I woke up and thought “Something is going on with Nate” Believing in signs I have come to know the difference between a random dream and a message. Other than Shaky Graves, his name hadn’t crossed my mind in years.
So now it’s August 18th and I’m at a farmers market with my girlfriend. Right before we left I’d actually played Late July not once, but five times over cause it had been awhile and suddenly I just wanted to hear it. Coincidentally, we get to the market and there’s a dude in a Shaky Graves T shirt. I did a double take and went over to him “Like hey I just had that record on repeat, WTfuck!” Then I told my girlfriend that was with me, hey remind me to play this song for you when we get home. This is where some shit starts to unravel. When we get home and I show my friend the song on Youtube another song pops up in my suggestions panel. It’s a song posted four days prior called “Love is Water”, a song Nate wrote about me. It was filmed in 2008, the year we broke up. That’s when I noticed underneath in the description there were three letters. R.I.P.. This is how I found out that my friend had passed away. I don’t know how to explain it, but I felt it the whole time, ever since the discovery of that first video. I’d felt him close, all the bread crumbs, the communication was increasingly undeniable.
One thing I didn’t mention earlier was that Nate had just the most scandalous dark sense of humor. He could go places that would just bitch slap my inner demon. So it was comprehensible that he had communicated to me from the other side through Shaky Graves. Oddly, whom I discovered in April, the month he passed. It had him written all over it. A psychic once told me that the other side will communicate with me through music, I’ve witnessed this to be true. In that moment I had the unshaky reassurance that he could see the real me past the addiction, past the insecurities, past what I said and did and all the bullshit. He will always hold a large piece of my heart, now he knows it and for that I wanted to put our story in a bottle and throw it into the vast ocean