Oxford, Alabama—I am in the car. I am sipping a coffee. And I am waiting to take a stage and entertain a bunch of good-hearted people.
I have ten minutes until showtime.
And I love you.
Admittedly, I don’t know WHY I love you. Because chances are, we’ve never met. But I DO love you. And I guess you could say that I’m only passing it on. Because that’s what you do with love. You don’t keep it in your pocket.
See, once I was once a kid who looked out a bedroom window at acres of sadness. After my father departed this world, it took two decades to find myself. I didn’t know if I ever would.
I was a drifting soul. I’ve had a hundred grunt jobs, and a hundred more, and not a single job paid over a few bucks per hour. I was a blue collar nothing. You would’ve walked past me in Walmart and never remembered my face.
At big gatherings, I was the
man who sort of blended into the upholstery. I am a high-school dropout, a person who once felt like a waste of cosmic space.
A man who would usually find himself in the kitchen after a family event, doing dishes because that’s where I felt I belonged.
I don’t know. Anyway, I felt unloved, unwanted, unseen, un-special, un-smart. For the largest piece of my life, I wondered if anyone gave a damn about me at all. And if they did, I wondered why.
Growing up, it seemed like other kids had more important things to do than worry about love. Most were interested in sports, girls, fast vehicles, beer, or combining all four of the aforementioned.
So I didn’t believe in love. I thought it was a made-up idea. And a cruel one at that. But I was wrong. Because somewhere along the way,…