THE GREEN BUSKER
Chapter 7 - August,1994
My aspirations on the female front became a mass of tattered illusion. It seemed the emptiness in my heart could never
be filled and I found it hard to imagine I could ever trust a woman with my heart. My anger and frustration sank into a deep
well of sorrow... and my heart cried for love... for meaning..... for someone to refire my emotions and re-connect me to the
world of the living.
For this, I would need to look outside myself.... at the needs of others. A paradox?
my need.... I must fulfil another's.....
Do you see sorrow in my eyes? - Will you say "No", turn away? - Or stay looking
at me though I can't hide my pain - See my loneliness, see my dismay? ......
Got a verse. Got a melody. Now, how about
a second verse? ....
Do you see longing in my eyes? - Will you say "No", turn away? - Or stay looking at me hoping you
can be there - To bring comfort and warmth to my day?.....
My new creation entranced me as it broke through an egg of
anguish and despair into the melody and words of a chorus... my 'siren' call....
Are your eyes green or blue? - Is your
hair dark or fair? - Would you like to get to know me? - Are you out there anywhere?
Is my heart on my sleeve? - Does
it hide in my pride? - Would you like to get to know me and to be there - by my side?
My critical assessment concluded it would need two more verses. But everything was said... and the song was too 'poor
How to brighten it?
To fulfil my need... I must fulfil another's......
Do I see sorrow in your eyes? Will
I say "No", turn away?- Or stay looking at you though you can't hide your pain? See your loneliness, see your dismay?....
Suddenly the song had evolved into poignant potency because it had empathy for all people of the world who could read
their story from the words.
The final verse....
Do I see longing in your eyes? - Will I say "No", turn away? - Or
stay looking at you hoping I can be there - To bring comfort and warmth to your day?....
The melody was framed onto a
waltz (3/4). As my new creation fully emerged from its shell I stroked it. It was a part of me manifesting onto voice and
guitar. As with any baby I took parental care to nurture its fragile early life... giving it energy to grow.
I spent the evening working with Tom, but I hazily distracted. I wanted my creation to remain with me despite the spoiling
concentration required on events that intervened. Sometimes a song simply disappears. I usually work by the principle that
any song lost to memory after a day is probably a dud song. But 'Are you out there?' was my first sole creation in Belgium.
I wanted to protect it.
Ken, Tom and I had co-operated on a humorous song telling the tale of the 'Statue and the Flying
man'. It concerned an incident that had occurred in the Cathedral Square between two street performers. Tom had witnessed
it and his telling induced reams of laughter from Ken and I. We can firmly say our collaborated song tells "the truth,
the whole truth, and nothing like the truth."
Ken spent half a year in New York and half a year in Europe trying to become a 'star' or, if not, just enjoying the crack
of it all. He always dared to try to push both himself and his music. My persistent weakness was that I rarely pushed enough...
it seems a lifelong flaw. Ken was trying to put together a video for his song, 'Welcome to Antwerp', and he had conscripted
Tom to film him in various locations around the city during the day, while I was busy with my creation. I suggested he approach
ATV (Antwerp Television) with the song and completed video. It led eventually to ATV doing an interview and allowed Ken to
add another piece of publicity to his cv.
After the evening was gone and the night drifted to two in the morning I strolled, via the Conscienceplein, with Ken
and Tom back towards
Dambruggestraat. Ken wanted to test the feasibility of night video shots in the Conscience.
Ken danced from here to there... with Tom in attentive pursuit.... I took in the peace of the Square. This peace remained
palpable despite the odd twang coming from Ken's guitar, or Ken and Tom's technical exchange on which spot was best.... or
the occasional giggle of two girls sitting against the plinth that paraded a stone faced, re-assuring Hendrik Conscience.
Hendrik was accredited with teaching the people of Antwerp how to read.... at least that was the mish-mashed legend I was
told. Whatever the mundane reality may have been my mind distorted the imagery into a pictorial farce that I found slightly
humorous...... "OK, Cedric, now you can read..... Next!"
With nothing to do, except sit and watch my dancing friends, I remembered my new song. I drew out my guitar and played.
I was aware of the two girls behind me. Whether they listened, or not, they fulfilled my desire for an audience and that was
important for the inner mood.
When a song has been written - and when it derives from an immediate emotion - it is as
though an inner child is doing the singing.
When does a baby become a distinct and separate entity from its mother?
does a mother feel that a baby is an independent being?
The two girls ceased their giggling. They came to sit to the left
of me about 3 metres distant. The song drew to its sad and melancholic end....
"That was a nice song!" said the girl dressed
in black... with black hair and dark pools for eyes.
"Thanks," I replied, shyly embarrassed, "It's a new song I wrote
today. I'm trying not to forget it."
"Where do you come from?" asked the blond companion. She had a slightly fuller appearance, well endowed in all the right
places. With her bright, short Summery skirt she was more instantly appealing on a physical plane. But my future experience
on the continent would teach me to swiftly dismiss people who trawl out "Where do you come from?" as an opening line.Those
who grew important to me had their very own personal assessment of where I was coming from.... right or wrong.
The dark-haired girl, in contrast to the blond, seemed to be seeking to blend into the night everything except her face
and mind, yet this very striving somehow made her more visible to me. The blonde girl was Anya. The dark-haired girl was...
"Charlene! But I don't like the last bit! I call myself Char."
Well, I guess my first impression was of a small black
kitten. But Char was close enough in sound to the French word Chat ( cat). A cat that sought to blend into the night. Chat
Noir. The cat had grown to nineteen years old.
"We go to the same school," said seventeen year old Anya.
ticker tape of intros I asked Char what she wanted to...
"I want to write a book," said she.
Cliche! Everyone seems to want to write a book, thought I.......including me. But I picked up the ambience of creative
reaching.... so I said, " Sounds interesting."
Meanwhile Tom and Ken had completed their dance....or had noticed the sudden
onset of a more interesting dance and wanted in.
It was August... Summer...and Antwerp. The early hours of the morning were atmospheric in such a place as the Conscience.
Words danced in weaving patterns as the time moved to five....
"Well!" said Ken, " How about a coffee back home? You wanna
Char and Anya chewed it over... then said, "OK!"....with the qualification that Anya had to catch a bus
at seven, while Char had to leave by nine for work. Yeah, I know these aren't exactly normal hours etc., but this is Antwerp.
Day is often viewed as night and vice versa.
Jokes and superficial subjects - guess that was the brunt of it. But it seemed Char and I belonged in a different field,
seeing things in a different way to the others. I can make this assertion despite the sparsity of our vocal exchange.
just knew there was some special link between us..... and yet I didn't know this at all. How can I begin to explain any of
We all sat around the dining table at Dambrugge, except for Tom. He clucked in a humorous assimilation of 'mother', making
tea or coffee. Char and I sat side by side, but it was a social atmosphere that demanded open dialogue between us all so any
one on one effort was unworkable. So I resorted to body signals. My arm brushed against hers and there was no hasty retraction
from her.... nor a belated one. A promising sign.
Anya left at seven, but Char stayed until near nine. When she made to
leave I saw her to the door. Inside me, something was shaking with urgent need. It stripped away all of my outer veneer. It
screamed at me, 'DON'T LET HER OUT OF YOUR LIFE!'.
"I don't know why," I stammered, " but I MUST see you again! Please
meet me tonight!"
My expression was a blur of urgent, panicky pleading. Char's face bore a mixture of surprise, confusion
and... curiously enough... traces of a similar urgency. I didn't understand why I had so crashingly fallen for her. I am usually
reticent to commit myself too rapidly with new acquaintance.
I didn't know if she really wanted to see me again.
She said she would meet me.
I had to be content with that.
Once away from her presence I was able to re-muster Brian a little. I was mystified by my emotional outburst to this
female stranger. It wasn't like me to be so.
In a city where day often becomes night Ken, Tom and I looked at the clock. It was ten in the morning. We retreated to
our respective beds... and ourrespective dreams.
End of Chapter 7 of The Green Busker