It was very late, so late that it was early in the morning. I knew better than to click the switch on the remote, but I was bored and none of the wonderful science programs that I love were on at the time. I needed something to help lull me to sleep so I wouldn’t wake myself up with the usual lonely desperation of sleep-seeking. That’s happened too many times in my recent past, and it crushes the ego.
I was so tired that I might have got to sleep in minutes if only there had been a steady, soothing man’s (or woman’s) voice explaining the glorious details of Plate Tectonics, or the latest theory on everything being made up of beyond microscopic, Vibrating Strings… or maybe just that documentary about surfers where the waves are all filmed in that smooth, imperceptible slow motion with the blue filters that make you want to reach out and touch the water, even if you don’t swim.
I had just switched to a program in the listings that was supposed to explain how the States got their borders and had been almost asleep with the simple anticipation of the geographical history that I love… maybe I should explain that I really do love these programs and can’t help it that they make me feel so warm and happy and calm that I miss the endings if I don’t watch them during the day… anyway, the one about the borders of the states seemed to be made for children who don’t really care, because the music was loud in the wrong way, obnoxious, and the host was chirpy and grating. So I searched everything else around the dial and found only one thing that I knew I could watch. And I knew it would keep me awake. I watched, “It Might Get Loud.”
I have to own this movie as soon as I can afford it, because I felt so alive when I watched it. Everything about it seeped into my creative consciousness, between the floorboards of my imagination and my soul (no, that wasn’t really too much — it’s exactly how I feel) and I did three things when it was on: I smiled, played air drums at intervals (I never play air guitar, though I’d love to properly learn to play a real one) and I cried. I cried when Jack White talked about the blues, and when his fingers bled on his guitar strings. I cried when Jimmy Page played his vinyl copy of “Rumble” for us, listening like a rapt pre-teenager, and then explained to us why it was important. I cried when The Edge explained how he found his own style of playing guitar. I smiled and I cried.
This film made me want to get up and write something, but I knew how I’d feel if I never got to sleep at all, so I reached for my pad and only jotted down a few notes, then slipped back under the blankets to try. Smiling.
Soon the film was over and the sun came up. I was filled with a longing to talk to Jimmy Page and listen to anything he had to say with that beaming face of his surrounded by all that glorious salt and pepper hair. I was still tired, but not sleepy anymore. It didn’t really matter.