Souvenirs (C) 1986: Unapologetic darkness

This is the eve of my destruction
And I lie awake in bed
Awaiting my arrival at the next junction.
I wonder why I came here,
Where will I go next?
Existing under false pretext
Unamused and undersexed.
Scribbling lines of banal text,
But still I wonder.
Longing for love, but afraid to awaken
Stirrings of passion I’ve long since forsaken.
I fancy myself an artist mistaken.
A voice worth hearing and faith unshaken-
Open your eyes.
I grow less patient with these sonorous tangents.
Hold the waters back longer each time
Until my thoughts unravel in rhyme.
Why am I driven
To such introspection?
Dear God! I cry out for direction!
I’d offer my soul in return for protection
But, often I fail to see the connection-
Drift back to routine.
After I’ve written as I’ve written here
I wonder about the ones I hold dear
And what they would think should I disappear
Leaving such thoughts as souvenirs-
I have no regrets.

I wrote this while a senior at Carnegie-Mellon University. My best guess is that it was the night before my final exams. I can’t think of another event I would have called ‘the eve of my destruction’ at that time, but I do recall struggling to figure out what I was going to do after graduation. I had wasted so much time trying to find a job in industry that I was very late applying for graduate school. More importantly, I didn’t have the grades to be particularly choosey. I only recall applying to two universities: Michigan Tech (my father had a acquaintance on the Materials Science faculty) and West Virginia University (my advisor had a former student on the Chemical Engineering faculty).

I further screwed up by applying to the Chemical Engineering Department at MTU (who had no idea who I was) instead of the Materials Science Department (where my father’s associate was waiting for my application).

It was beginning to look like I was going to have to take a semester off…but, both universities accepted me (go figure). Luckily, I chose to go to WVU where I later met my wife.

I played all the instruments (guitars and bass) and sang the three vocal parts.

Originally recorded in Morgantown, WV in 4-track mono and mixed to stereo on a TASCAM multi-track recorder in the winter/spring of 1987. Converted to digital and mastered using Cool96 in the fall of 1999.


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