If I were to make a film about my life using one, lonely frame, it would be in a bar. You’re sitting next to me, contemplating how high the seat is, how short you realize you really are. Possibly, curling your feet around the base of the stool. After every draw of breath, after every baby sip you take of your Brooklyn Lager, you piece together the story of the brewer, how long it takes to make, that secret, organic ingredient you swear they put. Perhaps relate how your new tattoo of a flower or a tree or a book came to be. Because we have nothing else to talk about. Anymore. And in return, I would be bobbing my head over my beer. Trying my own best to piece together this really great song that went, “We drank on your dollar, the small world growing smaller. Until it is just you and me, in love with our own misery.” I’m humming it. I’m not really listening to you. Sorry. That song would be Amy’s. And if this ever happens, well, I have that song captured on camera now like a little bubble strapped to a chain around my neck.
“Do you remember her, Kevin?” Jennifer O’Connor asked me a few months ago after her show at the Happy Ending Series. Amy smiles. Jennifer smiles. Five years ago, in a restaurant in the College of New Jersey, Jennifer played in front of tired professors and indifferent students. And so did Amy. It was the first time I’d ever seen Jo’c play live. And I suppose, that was the day I heard Amy for the first time too. Five years later, we shake hands and we meet. “Yeah, I remember,” I said. Amy smiles. Jennifer smiles. Five years later, the three of us are in a small piano room for an hour to record this little film. It’s funny how things end up sometimes, no?
“She’s an angel, that Bez,” says Kendall. You can see it. You can feel it. You can hear it certainly all over her record that zigzags through stories of working and not living in restaurants and bars. But Amy, like the swimming, calming feel of her songs, has stayed so innocent, so loving in her laugh, in her smile, in her look. I, certainly, am not. And this angel has made my memories of working in shit hole bars and restaurants so uniform, so blended together with her voice that I’m struggling to figure out whether even the worst moments, the worst strangers, the worst drunken nights were wrong turns in life or right.