What will you be singing for us today?

I will be singing my heart and soul. That sounds cliché, I know. But it’s true. I’ll be singing all of it with every hole and dip and fracture and crack.

It’s going to be ugly, and I’m sorry for that. It won’t be smooth. It will probably break, several times.

I guess I should apologize in advance, because even though this is going to suck for me it is going to be painful for you. I never got around to cleaning it, you see. There are shards of glass everywhere and I cut myself while singing it all the time.

My lips will start bleeding but don’t let that alarm you. It is just as painful as it looks but don’t look away. Look. Listen. This is everything. It’s everything I have and it’s sore and raw and it’s kind of terrifying, but it isn’t nearly as scary as what’s happening right now.

So when I’m finished, be honest with me. Not gentle. I can’t stand gentle. I can’t stand caresses and pity and sympathy. I don’t need it. I don’t want it. I need firmness. I need it to be stern and concrete and solid and clear as the air after a summer rain. I don’t need favors or reassurance. I know what’s coming and I know how to deal with it, because I have dealt with it before. It won’t hurt anymore than any other time. So don’t hold back.

All I ask is that when I stand there with everything in pieces at my feet and my mouth full of blood, you do the right thing and say,