It’s been a while, hasn’t it? Things have been so crazy lately that it’s been exceedingly difficult (sometimes simply impossible) to formulate a thought on anything other than what’s right in front of my face. I haven’t sang in weeks. I bought a new bass guitar (Warwick Thumb) that’s the best feeling and sounding bass I’ve ever played; yet I haven’t even plugged it in now that it’s here in my new studio. Speaking of the new studio, it’s in a similar state to that of a brand new muscle car which was purchased spanking fresh from the lot, driven home, parked in a garage, covered with a drape, and that’s where the grains of sand froze in suspension. It rests.
I’ve felt less than creative, musically. Over the past month and a half I’ve really been backed into my cave, maybe even longer. Small things have been done here and there in the Stenosis corner, but for the most part the coals have come to near cold. The Stenosis SlogCast was approved and put on Stitcher, iTunes and Google Play; so that’s nice. Of course, I haven’t done a SlogCast in a while. But regardless, when I do them from now on, they’ll all go out to those platforms for people to listen to. They’ll evolve too. I’ve slowly learned how to do everything I do all by myself over the years and with that comes the inevitable result of things not being “stellar” in the beginning. The more audio I upload to my site, the slower my site will be. So I’ve been researching hosting platforms, but haven’t settled on one yet since very few people listen to the SlogCast currently. It just wouldn’t make sense to spend more money on something that isn’t, at minimum, replacing those funds to exist.
I’m on my 3rd cup of coffee already today.
Some of you have kindly asked about my son and how he’s doing. First off, thank you. Sincerely and from the deepest part of my heart, thank you. For those of you who are unaware, I posted a picture on Instagram and the Facebook Page about my son. There’s so much that I keep from you all and it often comes at the cost of being burned at the stake because people don’t understand what’s going on in my personal life. “Your YouTube videos suck now” “Why aren’t your other albums like Scream Therapy?” “Why don’t you post more videos?” “Why are you not doing singing videos?” and so on and so forth. There are tons of questions, numerous fingers pointed at my shortcomings, fan expressing their frustration with my content not meeting or exceeding the standards they have formulated to expect in some way. It’s not their fault, they (or you) haven’t been shown the pages of the book, as it were. So my focus on keeping Stenosis anonymous and pointed strictly towards “the mask behind the face” or whatever has ultimately been the Achilles Heal of everything I’ve “created”. So it’s difficult to quantify when people get “up in arms” asking why I’m not creating what they want to see; when trying to hold some fragment of myself together after weekly or biweekly appointments at the Children’s Hospital hearing that my son won’t survive. I can’t explain that. It’s simply not possible. There is no way that anyone can understand what that’s like. With my eyes I read the “this is what you need/should do to satisfy my consumption” comments. With my ears I hear the Doctors tell me they cannot ensure my son would survive birth, or if he did they couldn’t say for how long he’d live before suffocating from an inability to maintain his breathing. With my head I hear myself saying I’ve failed. Failed at creating the musical career I’ve dreamed of since I was old enough to formulate thoughts. Failed at giving my son the life he deserves to live. Failed at being able to ensure my son with life at all. You will never know the true feeling of failure until those two situations are placed upon you left, right, and center.
My son is alive. He survived birth and is truly the ember in my internal fire that nobody can put out. He is named after my brother who passed away (the reason behind my grey tie). That’s not to say everything is free of worry or stress, as he still has continuous visits to the Children’s Hospital to see specialists. Before he was born, it was projected that he had a condition call Osteogenesis Imperfecta (more commonly known as OI or “Brittle Bone Disease”). Though after being born and after the initial genetic testing, the hospital determined that he does not have OI. That was great news! After months and months of being told your baby more than likely has a fatal condition that will yield a very short, if any, lifespan, it was cautiously wonderful to learn that diagnosis was retracted. Then, of course, began the journey of “Pandora’s Box” to determine was he DOES have. It’s a question that is still unknown. He was born with bilateral clubbed feet so he has to go through sequential castings to correct that over time. He was casted about a month ago and spent a week in the worst pain I imagine an infant can be in. After a week of constant Hell for him, the Orthopedist said he’d have to wait 6 more weeks to be casted again to see if my son tolerated it better then. Personally, I hate the appointments. Absolutely hate them. The only good one out of the past year that has gone by was the one my son had to go to which was a couple days ago. It was his cardiology appointment to check on a couple conditions my son was born with, one being a PDA (basically where the two chambers of the heart have a hole between them). My son passed his EKG wonderfully and the Cardiologist said his heart was great. So that was a wonderful flash of light in an often very dark and dismal tunnel full of “Dr. Dooms”. I would rather the doctors just leave my son alone now and allow him to live the life they all said he wouldn’t have. But then again, that wouldn’t take away the conditions he needs and deserves treatment for.
In short, my son is doing great. He’s amazing and I want to give him the very best life I possibly can until he buries me and NOT the other way around. Thank you to everyone who asked about him and left heartwarming comments on my post. I apologize for not responding to every comment, as expressing my genuine appreciation on every comment would certainly present it in a watered-down manner that simply would not do it justice. Also, my son absolutely loves Gigglebellies… They make me want to headbutt the wall sometimes, but they keep his attention and allow me to drink my coffee (somewhat) so it’s a fair trade.
So what is the future of Stenosis? Is there a future? Is Stenosis done? The best answer would be to say that the questions alone just confuse me. I’ve spent so much time trying to do things I thought fans would like that I’ve completely ignored what it is that I like. It’s become too complicated in my own mind, needlessly. When making a video for YouTube, for example, I’ve first asked if I think people will enjoy it and then I secondarily and faintly ask if I enjoy it. Through the process I’ve learned that the vast majority of the “relationships” people have with Stenosis are consumerism and not personal; backwards of what I imagined. So that makes it to where you can’t win. For a while now I’ve just retracted and tried to separate myself from that stress. My son has, and always will be, more important than trying to figure out why people are disliking my videos.
I will say this: the mask is going away. Also, I’m going to change my YouTube channel from something that I thought was a business and into something personal. I’m going to do actual vlogs. Not because everybody else does, but simply because I want to. I think it’ll be a better way for me to tell my story, as it were. The music will still be there and I’ll still do cover videos and whatnot. I always wanted to be that musician on stage, singing to the crowd, riding around in a steel horse (tour bus). Maybe one day that’ll come, but for now it’s not here and I just want to do what I want to do with my channel and my content. If you don’t want to see that kind of content, that’s OK. I have reached a point where I will create my content, not someone else’s content. If people connect with what I do, I am forever grateful. If the don’t, that’s OK. For those who feel vlogging is stupid and nobody should vlog anymore because Casey Neistat did it; that’s the same as saying Will Smith or Jim Carrey shouldn’t have tried acting because John Wayne already did it. If you want to do something somebody else has already done, do it. Just because someone else has done it doesn’t mean you have. Nobody can be you, which means nobody has done or can do what you want to do. For me, that’s returning to the mental space and internal energy I felt when writing “Scream Therapy”. I enjoyed it more. I was drawn to the studio more. It felt more like a heartbeat and there was no deadline to keep attention.
I’m typing this on the Stenosis website because I know those who care will read it. Those who don’t care, won’t. This saves time in both directions. Everything ebbs and flows, peaks and valleys, sways to and fro. I am no different.
I will make a video where I step out from behind the Wizard of Oz curtain. Soon I will become The Face Behind The Mask… I hope you’re there.
(click the picture to see the post)