“The Angel” – The 18th of March 1963 – Milwaukee, Wisconsin

(found by the train tracks, stuffed in an empty can of Schlitz)

Dear Brother Brian,

Loneliness is an interesting feeling, man, and sometimes we don’t know what to make of it until we’ve got somebody next to us, screaming in our ear.

Maybe you don’t feel the same way, but I’m pretty sure I spent so much time alone but never feeling quite lonely. Then I spent some time surrounded by folks but always with this emptiness in my belly and these whispers in my mind.

Then I bumped into a brunette on the street, outside that Kwik-E-Mart on the corner of 5th and Broad, you know? And it must have been like when Mary saw Gabrielle. Man, there she was, the Angel. And suddenly I felt alone and together all at the same time, empty and full, sad and happy. Man, I don’t know what it was, but it was something.

She made me stop in my tracks, and she made me turn around, and I saw everything that was laying there behind me, and I thought “Man, that could have been better, couldn’t it?”

Of course it could have, man, of course.

Because when you’re with the Angel, whoever that ends up being, you always want more. Whether it’s six minutes or six decades, you always want more, just one more second to say hello or tell a joke or hear that voice.

You feel an insignificance. You feel a loneliness. You’re always going to feel that, I think. And – listen, it sounds weird – but you’ve got to appreciate it.

I’m never feeling lonelier than when I’m next to the Angel, man, and thank heavens that she’s still with me because that’s the only place I’ll ever want to be.

You ever seen something, man? That’s how I’d explain it. I mean, we spend all this time looking and watching and observing and biding our time, but I’m asking you if you’ve ever seen something, alright? Seen something in the way that you can’t tear your eyes from it. Seen something like you look up at the sky, and you see the clouds and the haze and the stars all beyond it and the galaxies even further out too, this endless thing that doesn’t even seem to have a start. Seen something that cools your mind and makes you small and makes you realize that you could be doing something better because how else would something like that exist if someone weren’t trying to do something better?

Loneliness is an interesting feeling because we seem to hate it, but we need it, man. We need it more than anything. It’s an anxiety, man, and it’s something that motivates us to be great, to be artists who create, and it keeps us savoring every moment we have.

Without it, just think of where we’d be, alright? Somewhere on a couch, wearing a skinny tie and sweatpants, eating chips and watching Boob-Tube. Content, but not fulfilled. Satisfied, but not enlightened, and certainly not happy.

Loneliness is an interesting feeling. Don’t let it overwhelm you, but just don’t be afraid of it. Just allow yourself to feel it every once in a while.

Brothers in Peace,

Brother Hargrove

 

 

 

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8 comments

    1. Thank you! I hope it is thought provoking in a helpful way! I think a lot of people would rather just ignore or eliminate their negative feelings, which I just don’t think is all that helpful. We have to allow ourselves, challenge ourselves, to feel what we feel and investigate why we feel that way in order to better understand ourselves and grow, I think.

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