I flew home from Indiana last night. I was with my sister’s family for a few days while my nephew had surgery.
One evening, on the way home from the hospital in Indianapolis to the suburb where they live, my brother-in-law and I (my sister stayed the night at the hospital) stopped at a grocery store for a bottle of wine, and, as we came out of the store and walked across the parking lot, the smell of the June evening brought my teenage years suddenly back to me whole. Maybe June in a lot of places smells like some combination of cut grass and tar, manure, car exhaust, tree pollen, but every place has its own particular amalgam and nothing else smells like June in Indiana.
It’s out front in my mind because I’m writing a piece about those years and that place and time, and one of the songs, called “Now, Here,” is specifically about that atmosphere, that setting. It’s the opening song, meant to set the scene. At least that’s what it is now. Who knows how these things change over the time it takes to finish and develop a musical?
I’ve always been squirrelly about sharing unfinished work, but as I get older it’s not that I’m less scared of things but that I care less about being scared. Self-mortification makes me stronger. And maybe the show will never come to fruition. LIZZIE took decades and how many of those do I have left? I feel an urge to share the work now.