…And thank God, the final day. Phuck Philadelphia.
I’m heading home earlier than I had planned. I couldn’t wait anymore. I’ve never wanted to see Knoxville so badly in my life. (And it’s funny that the second I became homesick, Kentucky was not my home. But that’s just a bonus.) I’m sitting in a terminal right now, waiting for my flight to board, where I will be whisked back into the comforts of a tiny apartment, a roommate who is hellbent on making me quit smoking, the job I’m really bad at, and yet still love so, so much… The comforts of Open Chord, Awaken City, small group, Wednesday night worship, Tuesday night Love Wars, and my family. My real family. I can’t wait to get home to a sink of dirty dishes, or a floor that needs sweeping, or the bed that needs making (although I’ll probably have to sleep in it first). Life without my son continues to be an existence more miserable than words could ever describe… But what I do have, I’m grateful for. For the God who loves me and the people who put up with me, I’m grateful. And I’m doing the best I can to show it.
After an audition that was too horrible and humiliating for words, I left the convention center and wandered around Philadelphia for a couple of hours. I finally sat on a park bench after I found a 7/11 and bought a pack of cigarettes. (Sorry, Joy) and waited for the bus stop. And by the way, smokers in Philly must be rich, because that pack cost me $8. I yank my patch off, and into my fifth cigarette, I hear a girl’s voice. “Hey, there.”
A Philadelphian is speaking to me? “Hello.”
“I’m just wondering… Did you just audition for The Voice?”
I realize she must have noticed my guitar, and explain to her no, that I was at a callback for America’s Got Talent. She thought that was amazing. She then proceeds to explain to me that she does a podcast for her school’s music department, and she really wanted to interview me. Right there, on the spot.
The interview was quick, but detailed. She asked me where I was from, what I was doing here, the audition process, and then asked me how today went. I probably sounded pitiful, but I said, “I didn’t even really get to sing.”
She didn’t miss a beat. “Will you sing right now?”
And so, for a podcast for the entire University of Pennsylvania, I sang. And it felt awesome. I had so much fun doing that, I wondered why I couldn’t do it back at the center. Then I remembered the lesson I’d learned from my first audition, and that was that there’s no joy to be had in this. I looked around at where we were standing and noticed that we were in the presence of three angel statues from three different Catholic churches. And now I know exactly how Peter felt when he heard the third cry of the raven.
I don’t care if I never sing again. I just want to go home.