The Guessing Game
Pete and I didn’t have unanswered questions between us. We were very open and verbal with each other. We expressed our worries and our anticipations. We knew what the other wanted out of life and if we had any regrets thus far. We knew about childhood memories that haunted us. And it was always clear how much we loved each other–we said as much, that we always would, and why. That is a gift I have gratitude for every day, but there’s a different category of less intimate, unanswered questions that I now deal with on a daily basis–a more mundane list. What company did you hire to fix the ceiling in your studio? You know the one I need to call to finish the job that was never completed. Where did you find that great place for tires? Who handles buying the business license for our company? What is your login for FILL IN THE BLANK?
Then, there are the heavier questions. Not just the ones that would be convenient to have the answer for, but the ones that I lose sleep over for fear of making the wrong decision. If I find a bunch of recordings that are unreleased, are you pleased enough with your performance that I can release them? Someone asked me how you felt about something you performed, or why you used a specific piece of gear. I think I know the answer, but I don’t trust my memory. And what about your life before we met? I have a box of old cassettes with no explanations attached. How old were you when you recorded these songs? Where did you record them? Are you proud of them or embarrassed? Shall I hire Ken Burns (I’m a big fan) to do a deep dive and answer all of these unanswered questions, then lay them all out beautifully before me?
The frustration I feel is massive and heavy. Pete’s mind and memory were sharper than mine. He would always tell me that I was much smarter than he was. Not true, Pietro! I could just scream, and on occasion I do, that I cannot ask him a question. A simple question–what’s the login?–or a deeper question–what is this song about? Pete and I generally could read each other’s minds, as many couples do, but it wasn’t 100% all of the time, especially when it came to the artist/manager relationship. Just when I thought for sure how he would respond to a business offer that I put in front of him, he would throw me for a loop and give me an answer that I never expected.
The truth is this–and this scares me most–even the questions to which I know the answers, I may forget, or even worse, I may think that I remember and accidentally perpetuate complete bullshit answers. I hate the thought that I would put down, for history to record, incorrect answers.
As I read this back to myself I realize that this sounds kind of rambling, but I guess that what my mind is doing. Rambling and looking for answers. I’m not sure how to be more precise. Or is that the problem–that I like precision? I like having “the right answer.” Call it the curse of an “A” student–always having to have the right answer when the teacher asks and fearing having the wrong one.
It causes me suffering to not know what the answer is and to know for certain that I cannot find the answer no matter how much I want it. I’m not good at guessing.