Bed Tyme Stories

BED TYME STORIES

 

A week after the death of his father, Tim calls and asks if I would visit him at his new studio. My first inclination is to say No, preferring the isolated dusk of depression.

I could really use your help, Tim pleads. Hearing my hesitation, he adds: Dude, the studio is right next to a porn store.

timme

How could I say No to the guy who makes me can’t-catch-my breath laugh? Just like with his music, Tim riffs on stories, like the one where he accidentally sees his grandfather’s scrotum as a 4-year-old. It was drooping all the way to the floor. Dude, can you imagine what seeing that does to a kid?

I decide I could use a good laugh. I’ll be right over, I tell him.  

In the parking lot next to Bed Tyme Stories and High Standards Smoke Shop, I knock on the door of a building the studio shares with Fantastic Hair. It takes Tim a minute to unlock chains and codes to let me in. When he gives me one of his take-no-prisoner big-bear hugs, with the little breath left me, I manage to say:

Location, location, location.

A lone security light illuminates the porn store’s mural of the Blue Ridge Mountains with hope and promise:

Where Adult Dreams Come True.

Barking a laugh, Tim releases me, spreads his arms like a Giant Royal, and jokes:

Porn, vapes, and music all in the same block. Dude, it’s like heaven.

After a rapid-fire dialogue on varying types of dildos, Tim and I sit down in his new digs and share a Vape. I apologize for not calling about his father, and thank him for the invite. I tell him: You are one of a few people I trust to see me living in a dark place.

Tim could use some encouragement as well. He has faced more than his share of hard knocks – sued, betrayed, maybe embezzled, bounced from his old studio, forced into risks he never imagined, and, then, the loss of his father.

Tim tells me he wrote a song about his dad a few years ago, but can’t find the courage to sing since his death. From the stool in front of his mixer, he pulls a wrinkled scribbled yellowed paper and I see the title:

18-Wheeler

When I encourage him, he begins to sing the story of his father, who abandoned the family when Tim was 2 for a lifelong love affair with wanderlust — driving 18-wheelers, riding cross-country with Harley Davidson gangs, running high speed from himself.

You left one son in Georgia

And one in San Antonia

You left your wife in Tulsa

To run off with the road

Tim stops to remind me – his dad’s leaving opened the door to a diabolical tide of abuse from his stepfather.

Through strikethoughs, he shares 18-Wheeler’s final verse:

After all these years of riding

You finally made it home

After all these years of driving

Don’t you feel alone?

After praying together, Tim asks if I would video the song while he records.

I only have an iPhone, I tell him.

That’s enough, he reassures.

*

From the sign of the Bed Tyme Stories, neon colors spasm in a gray fog creeping slowly along a dilapidated stretch of Asheville Highway. Light drizzle saturates a lingering sense of melancholy; abandoned storefronts haunted by rusting rust, black molds, crimson taillights.  

Before recording, we share a few hits off the vape under the porn store’s sign.

Not much a neighborhood, Tim says.

Soon, I find myself in that familiar posture, doubled over in laughter. As soon as I catch my breath, I say: It’s the perfect metaphor.

In recording 18-Wheeler, we decide on minimal  – one guitar, one iPhone, one tilted table lamp, and one raw dog story.

For the next eight minutes, Tim pours out his heart in cathartic worship and authentic emotion: grief, longing, heartache, forgiveness, hope and a shitload of grace.

For those of you in the Fuse community, fans of his art, we desire to share his raw transparent story, not a polished gem.

We invite you into Tim’s singular art and story, and encourage you to share this blog, so others will be blessed by Tim’s gift and authenticity.

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In the parking lot near the sign advertising lingerie and high standards, Tim and I thank each other for being here on a sacred evening.  Together, we continue to learn the power of encouragement – to give each other courage. To rise above fear. To stay in God and each moment.  To hear truth. To see beauty. To create art.

In the midst of a depression I couldn’t seem to shake and a song Tim couldn’t seem to sing, we no longer despair alone but worship together.