I don’t know how I knew it, but it was a couple of years down the road. Everything had that old soap opera haze. Then I saw her, her blonde hair hangs down to her shoulders. She smiles, today was the first time we’d seen each other in years. Suddenly everything flashes to a night a few days later and we’re walking slowly, as if to savor every minute spent together. I take a breath of courage and finally ask “Would you like to go on a date sometime?” She said no. She didn’t say that her reason was because I used the word date, I just knew that somehow.
I woke up. After a dream like this I was disappointed to see I was in Nicaragua and would be for a year and a half. I was bugged. How annoying is it that despite feeling a certain way someone could be put off by a simple word or label? As I showered I had inspiration. I softly sang the words to myself so I could remember them without anyone else in the house hearing them and making fun of me. I hurriedly pulled out my little notebook intended for lyrics and wrote them down
How come I didn’t see this happening?
She never looked like this before
She stands before me in her beauty now
It’s something that I can’t ignore
Her hands in mine
My hands go numb
I start to shake
And I lean in
She’s more than gorgeous now
(backup: but that’s not it, that’s not it)
She’s my sensation now
(backup: but that’s not it, that’s not it)
She’s everything I want
And more than everything I need
And every time we meet
She makes my world
Within the hour we had a small meeting and I started to tell my buddy about the dream, and the song, and how when I came back to the states I would start a band and this song would be famous. He laughed and then looked at me and said “is it funny that I actually believe you?”
It’s a hot humid day, the banana plants and palms combine with the soggy sweaty heat to make you feel like you’re at the beach but you’re not, you’re at least 2 hours drive from the coast. You wake up sweating because you forgot to turn on the fan last night. You don’t even notice the mosquitos anymore, or maybe the constant layer of sweat keeps them at bay. You pick up the bucket and dunk it into the tub full of 2 day old water the mosquitos made their home, it was running low, tonight must be water night. In this area you only get running water for a few hours from about 2-4 am. Standing in the shower with your bucket of water you hold a small bowlful above your head. It doesn’t matter how hot you were when you woke up, you never get used to this. Within 2 seconds you go from dying of heat stroke to hypothermia. Showers are never that short in the states. Suddenly with this cold splash to reality you can hear the world wake up.
The neighbors turn up the music. I had grown fond of reggaeton, it takes the average dance-pop beat and throws a Latino twist on it. Change everything from English to Spanish and add a few sirens and you’ve got yourself an entire culture, like Latino hip hop and dance. The beat had the same rhythm in just about every song, I knew because as I would walk street after street the songs and lyrics changed, but the beat stayed constant. You feel like you’re always at a party, it’s a happy tropical type of music. Suddenly the economic troubles and the corrupt governments don’t seem so bad. It was almost as if it were ingrained in the atmosphere, right there with the humidity, the palm trees and banana plants. Here are a few examples of this kind of music. Lemme know what you think
From 2007-2009, I served as an LDS (Mormon) missionary in Nicaragua (No, that’s not Africa, its Central America). You might be asking “What does this have to do with you becoming a rock star?” Well, it has a little bit to do with it. It was a great experience, I learned a lot about different cultures, I had to learn a new language, talk to a lot of people about the gospel of Jesus Christ, made a lot of friends, and served people. Its very taxing physically and mentally. You’re away from your family for 2 years, paying to be there (no we don’t get paid), and constantly moving day after day in the heat (some missionaries in the cold). Don’t get me wrong though, I don’t regret it one bit. It was an amazing experience I’ll never forget.
Here it is
If you’re unfamiliar with what missionaries do, we basically talked to and served EVERYONE; people in the streets, knocked on people’s doors, talked on the bus, in the stores… everyone. If you’re pursuing music as a career you’ll need to approach people to share your music, hand out flyers, or try to make friends (who become your best fans)
Being in Nicaragua was eye opening. I took for granted what I had while in the US. I didn’t realize how much of a luxury warm showers were. You aren’t quite as aware of what you have until its suddenly taken from you. The first time I saw someone open their door, who had a dirt floor, nearly brought me to tears. I was so sad to see that people live in shacks made out of junk they find: tin walls, tin roofs, sheets of plastic, that soft plastic that garbage bags are made of. I hope while I was there that I helped and served people spiritually, emotionally and mentally. One day I want to go back and help people physically, and financially.