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{Off The Cuff} Born To Do This

by:  Charlie Shafter

People often ask me how I got into this silly music trip, and I rarely know what to say.
There are so many words that don’t come when the question in question is asked in a bar that is religiously jamming “Pussy Control” at decibels even Alexander Graham Bell never imagined.

Music is a very strange animal, and it’s an animal that can most certainly destroy you if you don’t treat it with respect and give it distance.

I was at the Fort Worth Zoo a couple of months ago, when I had a seemingly telepathic appointment with a White Tiger. Unlike the other tigers with normal pigmentation, this cat was chronically pacing in front of the glass, which presented the unique opportunity to get level with the almost 300lb tiger and look him straight in the eyes. With my confidence in the glass in mind, I lowered myself to the beast and waited. It took three or four passes before my encounter was realized, and then—like some sort of high powered magnet—our eyes locked for what must have been just seconds, but seemed like years. And I felt something that was unexpectedly familiar. I was staring at something that was much more powerful than me, yet even more fragile…and it looked back.

Just as a zoologist loves animals; I have loved music since before I knew how to say the word. I imagine that anyone with any passion remembers those moments when it looked back at them, and they had that strange feeling in their gut; that moment where time accelerates and delays simultaneously. For some, it may only happen once and it is ignored. For others, it gets buried in the reality of life. I do not know how long I will be able to do this, and I can’t say that I am certain I will do this forever. I could end up like my parents, who, in my eyes, were simply born to be my parents, and that would be fine with me. But I still get that feeling on a regular basis—and I am humbled each time it happens.

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