Writers and musicians, if they’re good, share the uncanny ability to “feel” what they compose or perform.
It was that way with Freddy. A very accomplished drummer, he also had the ability to compose, and set to music, lyrics second to none. When asked the secret to his success, he would always have the same answer.
“You gotta feel it, if it’s ever gonna speak to anyone else.”
Freddy had been “feeling it” for several years. But, one day without warning, it all came screeching to a halt. It just wasn’t there anymore. He couldn’t write anything. Nothing came to him, and he soon got to where he didn’t even want to play music anymore. Freddy had burnt out at an early age.
Friends, while trying to help, offered a wide range of advice. Unfortunately, the advice Freddy chose to accept was the worst he could have been given.
In a desperate search to once again “feel” what he’d lost, Freddy began experimenting with drugs. Uppers. Stimulants. Anything to lift himself from his current state. At times, the old magic had seemed to have returned. But, it was never for long. His search continued to lead him down a dangerous spiral, which included harder drugs. Again, for a time, Freddy had found the illusion of recovery. He was playing and composing with a magic as in the old days. Some said, he was at his best.
There was little doubt his music had made it back. Numbed by the drugs, Freddy only cared about his next show–his next song. Things went along seemingly fine until the drugs no longer produced that “feeling.” Not willing to crash again, Freddy began mixing lethal cocktails of anything he could get hold of.
One such combination released Freddy to the most euphoric sensation, which left fans in a frenzy, as his music skyrocketed on the charts. They said he was at his all-time best. Freddy believed them.
Walking back to his bus after a particularly great performance, Freddy hallucinated that he could walk across the freeway, through traffic, without being harmed.
Freddy never worried about “feeling it” again. He never performed again. His life was changed for good.
I went to see him just the other day. Freddy now has a quiet little place out in the country. It sits on a shady hillside. Neighbors are quiet out there. Nice headstone.