Comic books were a really big deal to a lot of other guys I knew when I was a kid. And I remember going to a couple of my friends’ houses and being amazed at how many boxes of comic books they had. Every once in a great while, I’d get one. Or I’d spend some time reading theirs. But not for long. And not very often. Because something else sparked my passion much more. Maybe even infinitely more.
Comic books and superheroes were no match for my obsession.
You know how it is when you latch on to something you really love? And how you can’t seem to get enough? And how you’ll look for any excuse and any opportunity to connect with it? Well, I’m no different.
I just read a dictionary definition for the word “obsession.” It said, “an idea or thought that continually preoccupies or intrudes on a person’s mind.” And it gave an example of how the word can be used: “He was in the grip of an obsession he was powerless to resist.”
OK, so maybe obsession isn’t quite the word. Because I definitely wasn’t powerless to resist. But I sure didn’t want to. Because the object of my obsession gave me a certain kind of pleasure like nothing else in my life.
I can see how the other guys could get caught up with the ongoing stories in their comic books. And I remember being impressed with a couple of the characters, Spiderman and Silver Surfer. I even bought some of those. They were mostly well written. And the art was impressive. Especially the bold colors. So, there was a lot for eager young eyes to consume.
But they were all flickering candles. What interested me represented something more like the sun.
And I took multiple classes to help me master my new love.
But that wasn’t enough.
I found mentors who’d help me go even further by working with me after school. And even after that I’d find private places where no one could interrupt me as I worked on it all alone. Then, when I got old enough to drive, I’d use driving time for even more attention to my obsession. Or I’d find some secluded place to park.
Yeah, I was obsessed with it. And I wanted to get really good at it. And I did.
Good enough to make a living with those skills I developed.
If you know me, you know I’m talking, of course, about music.
While the other guys spent hours devouring the Marvel and DC stories, I spent those same hours practicing my vocal scales. My thirds and fifths. And how to reach the highest, and lowest, notes possible.
And how to maintain my voice for the long haul. Endurance. Vocal stamina. It worked out well, too. Because I used to get bookings where I sang 9 hours a day.
The only reason I bring it up today is because I’m still dealing with lung issues. And I miss being able to sing every day. But I’m also still working hard each day to clear up my lungs. That includes the latest appointments with a pulmonologist. I’ll find out more about what he suggests in the next few weeks.
So, to those of you who have been sending those “warm wishes” and praying for me, thank you. It means more than you know. And I hope to be singing for you again before long.
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