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  • Writer's pictureChris Siders

Sing About Me, I’m Dying Of Thirst.

Uneasy. A word I would use to describe my position currently.

Nothing seems real.

At home it’s extremely clear, that there’s a powerful presence missing. When my father was alive, he kept the house going from the thunderous command of his voice stemming from his room asking someone to bring him a pierre sparkling water. At the end of everyday, he typically asks everyone what we would want to eat, if no one knows he’ll either suggest Popeyes, shakeys or cook breakfast for dinner haha. It never fails.

I miss my Dad so much. I’m a father’s boy.

I always held a strong dislike for Valentine’s Day. Now even more with my father’s passing and going through limbo-ex relationship issues and the uncertainty of it at the same time is like a backhand from God.

As a man I felt extremely embarrassed showing emotion and leaning on people to soothe my pain. Soothe my thoughts. Admittedly, first time in a while I felt like this. The day I gotten news doctors started to make the transition I screamed loud. Typically, I am viewed as a individual that doesn’t lose they’re cool like that. I know how to maintain it. However sometimes, enough is enough. The morning of his passing, I asked my family for the thousandth time do they need me home, because I was going to head to Portland to perform a few shows. Mom said I need you home. 10 minutes later, I got the call.

I can’t hold in my distressing emotions any longer. It’s going to kill me. Holding things in can kill a person. Part of the reason why I called a hotline when I got news my Dad wasn’t going to make it. I hit a breaking point.

My father’s spirit is still alive and strong. I gotten offers to perform at venues across LA this coming week. I know thats my Dad making things happen to keep me going. Spirit is saying you can do it. Body is saying you need rest. Heart is saying you’re damaged, if you keep going as you are currently, you are going to hurt yourself. Essentially repeating the generational curse my Dad struggled with. He never knew when to stop. Even during his retirement, when he could barely walk or bend over, he talked me about going back to work at a liquor store. He absolutely had no reason. He just wanted to.

I feel he follows the ghost of his mother, my grandmother, Dorothy Siders. She raised five kids on her own enduring some of the most horrific conditions as a black woman. Again chased out of Alabama, moving to South Central. Then moving to San Francisco for a period of time avoiding a stalker and a ex partner that physically abused her. She worked tirelessly made sure all of her children was well-fed. Had clothes and a education. She kept working even when she didn’t have to as well into her late 50’s.

Taking inventory of where this stems from, my body and spirit is restless. My mind races 100x faster nowadays. Before it was already at a stressful pace because I wanted my Dad to see that I can make things happen for not only myself, but for us. It’s tough coming home and not hearing his voice. Seeing my dog, Charlie Brown walking around the house sad. He’s been looking for Dad. Mom sleeps in the same bed as my Dad and he’s not on the other end. It’s heartbreaking.

A couple days ago I went to dinner with my Unc and my sister. My sister said that mom hasn’t been eating like that and expressed the fear of leaving her home by herself. My guilt kicked into high gear. I been focused on not falling into old habits of isolation, and be around people. I feel I’m not doing enough for her. This translates to me projecting insecurities on the others believing I’m not doing enough. On the other side of the coin, I get scared I lean onto people too much, to where I become a burden. Being burden is a huge fear of mine, because I am aware my life is some extremely heavy shit. I done things I’m not proud of. I been around people that done the most vile things like murder for survival.

This is my world.

I know a lot can’t understand that. It barely registers for myself how as a black man some of us are used to being numb to the hits we take, and things we see.

We need to grant permission to ourselves to fall apart.

I need to fall apart, chaotically. Not gracefully. I deserve that.

I know its going to be painful for people to see. I ask for my friends, family, supporters to catch me when you see it happen, at the same time I can’t place expectation anyone. My pain isn’t for others to take on. A lesson I am learning now. I must respect that, individuals I want to be around with, that have special connections towards may not have capacity. That’s okay. Everyone has a Breaking point. As I endure a tough period, life continues for the next person. They deserve happiness and joy. I must be mindful not deplete that joy.

The homies at VineTree had their Breaking Sound set Valentine’s Day. I was proud of my friends. Its great seeing them thrive. Before the show, I had temptations of returning to old habits. I was shaking. Trembling. Crying profusely. Watching other acts I could only think about my Dad is his love for music. He put me on to classics from journey, fleetwood mac, WAR, brothers johnson and more. I calmed down right before it was time to jump on stage. I did my thing with WEST., right afterwards I broke down outside. There was a moment I couldn’t breathe. Called my best friend, Megan. She calmed me down. I went back inside. My bones still tremble.

Long after the show at VineTree’s place, everyone was getting ready to go out to a bar. I stayed behind and worked on music. I ended up wrapping up a 22 track album that’ll never be released. I produced and written 8 songs that night. I started earlier this year when shit hit the fan. Didn’t record anything that night. I was extremely distraught. I still am. I’m still finding things to add to this album for some reason. That generational curse. I stayed behind because I didn’t want to dampen their night. They deserve to bask in that joy of performing.

I visited some love ones that’s assisting me with finding a therapist. They offered for me to stay the night for the third time. Being insecure about my self-perceived clinginess, I apologized for over staying my welcome and went home.

It’s wild. I had a conversation with my friends Kaitlyn and Nhi about acknowledging habits on logical level, but the body takes score. That’s where practice comes in to make body movements second nature. Kaitlyn’s partner hooked me up with a grief counselor who been through a lot as well. Maybe when talking to them I won’t be a lot. Deep down I felt I was being too much for my friends even in these times.

I just always think I’m doing something wrong. No matter what.

Had an interesting conversation with Arianna Basco about boundaries, holding space, and responsibility all of which are things I struggle with to a certain extent because I feel I’m going backwards. Putting myself in harms way for others. My paranoia. About being on guard upon entering the Palms Up Academy space. I used to (and still do) sit by myself, away from everyone. I was terrified getting close to people because that means lending trust. That means acceptance. Accepting things for face value has led to life or death situations in my experience. When gaining notoriety in Monterey as an undergraduate, the love was so immense I was scared to accept it even though it was proven to be conditional during that era. My confession is that view me as something conditional. I actually didn’t explore the area until my junior year of college. I have a history of lending trust to the wrong people. I am over-protective of my spirit. This past Wednesday was so much love passing through the space. Some folks lost family members over the past couple weeks.

My brothers I reconciled with, the day before my father’s passing showed up to the hospital. We stood in silence surrounding his bed for 10-15 minutes. Not a word.

Once again, United in Grief.

I still have not responded to any phone calls or messages. I definitely will soon. I am hurt. I am still devastated.  I am feeling a lot. I am extremely uncomfortable. My urges of leaving is still present.

Legacy Tour 2023, continues March 3rd-5th at Washington State University. All shows postponed in February will have new dates soon.

This is what my father would want. To keep going.

I just have to be mindful of energy.

Everyone is invited to my father’s funeral on Thursday, March 2nd at 11am. 333 W Florence Ave. Inglewood, CA. If you have any questions please feel free to contact me.

"When the lights shut off

And it's my turn to settle down

My main concern

Promise that you will sing about me

Promise that you will sing about me

I said when the lights shut off

And it's my turn to settle down

My main concern

Promise that you will sing about me

Promise that you will sing about me."

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