My Greatest Fear

Some people fear losing their love.
Some people fear a bolt from above.
Some people fear the subway platform shove.
What is it that makes us who we are?
What is it that takes us near and far?
What is it that makes us love the stars?
My greatest fear isn’t losing you.
My greatest fear isn’t autumn’s gloom.
It’s not that I don’t fear these things, you see.
But, my greatest fear is losing me.
Sometimes I fear the engulfing abyss;
Physical or spiritual emptiness.
But, at least I’m aware enough to feel like this.
The terrifying taste of the TIA
As parts of my brain slowly fade away
And not being sure if this isn’t my last day.
My greatest fear isn’t in the dark.
My greatest fear isn’t clear and stark.
My greatest fear, I fear to say.
My greatest fear is to fade away.
I’m so afraid.
Why can’t I read?
I can’t remember your name.
I can’t even tell you what’s wrong.

This song is a particular favorite of mine and is a fairly accurate depiction of actual events. It’s a relatively simple tune, but a very busy arrangement.

In the early 2000s, I was under a great deal of professional stress and was home at lunch one day reading a magazine when I realized that the words on the page weren’t making sense to me anymore. Terrified, I went immediately to my doctor’s office. She saw me within about 15 minutes and asked me to tell her what was going on. She then asked me if I could remember her name…I couldn’t even though I’d known her for years. This was followed by a ride to the ER and a face-to-face meeting with the stroke team at the hospital. But, by that time, the symptoms were subsiding. After a CT scan to rule out bleeding in my brain as a cause, I was given clot-busting drugs as a precaution and a bed for the night.

It turned out that the problem was a temporary interruption of blood flow to part of my brain (a transient ischemic attack or TIA).

Lots of individual tracks on this one. In addition to the drums and bass, there are electric (Gibson ES-335) and 12-string acoustic rhythm guitars, a midi brass section (I find it pretty convincing), a solo guitar (again, the ES-335) and EIGHT vocal parts (a doubled lead and three doubled harmonies).

Regarding the vocals; I was going for a close harmony with a fair amount of compression, sort of like the recordings of Karen and Richard Carpenter.

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