Otis’ head, in two parts

I gotta get out. My cube is too small. I’ve made it smaller by inserting earphones in my head and shutting out the din of the office. Occasionally I’ll get up and walk around, but every door seems closed. Right now, I’m listening to the Falcon Ridge disc Susannah made a couple years ago. It was a get-rowdy disc she made for her friends, even those who couldn’t make it. It’s taken my head to some Northeastern farm field. My body, though, is stuck in a half-cubicle. It’s almost scary.

I’m a little paranoid, I think.

I’ve pretty much completed my work for the day. That makes the office seem even smaller. At least when a major project is on the horizon, there is a vast expanse of paper and responsiblity.

I should let myself admit that I just don’t care right now. My heart is with my wife and kid at home in a series of feedings and naps. My ambition is wrapped up in a fanciful world that I’m afraid to admit exists. My head is about 75 miles north of here, beside a lake, bobbing to music as it bounces across the water like skipped rock.

But here I am and I feel so trapped I’m on the verge of a panic attack.

I suppose if I just let myself go, let myself gently into the frame my mind is taking on, I’d just get up and walk out, put on a pair of cheap sunglasses, get behind the wheel, and just drive around in the sun for a while. That usually settles me down.

As I write this, I type a paragraph or two, sit and stare at the picture son my desk for a few minutes, write a screenplay to the soundtrack in my ears (now, Lyle Lovett’s much-too-solemn “Step Inside This House” Disc 2), then return to typing, just to see words on the screen.

Damn, sorry about that.

I need to stop opening my head before I know what horses are going to run out. A smarter Otis would not write as he thinks.

I’ve since switched to Big Smith’s first disc which has lightened my mood slightly.

With that in mind, here are the things that I don’t want to talk about at LEAF this weekend:

1) My current job

2) My job prospects

3) With the exception of my son being born, anything that has happened in the past twelve months

4) Anything related to the presidential race

5) Anything related to the war in Iraq

And here are the things I want to do at LEAF:

1) I want to make an effort to see more music than I usually do. Foremost, I want be sure to see Billy Joe Shaver and Acoustic Syndicate in their entirety.

2) I want to sit by the fire and talk.

3) I want to make it to the drum circle, but make no commitments.

4) I want to convince Mrs. Otis that it is okay to have fun again.

5) I want it to be like it was five years ago when I hit the mountain for the first time.

Yeah, that should just about do it.

Brad Willis

Brad Willis is a writer based in Greenville, South Carolina. Willis spent a decade as an award-winning broadcast journalist. He has worked as a freelance writer, columnist, and professional blogger since 2005. He has also served as a commentator and guest on a wide variety of television, radio, and internet shows.

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