Steven Weissman

It began as a typical weeknight crossing. A few people sitting around the galley talking, the galley staff mopping, some tourists leafing through magazines and looking out at the lights on shore, you sitting quietly at a table. Then you opened your guitar case and began strumming, then strumming louder, then singing out loudly some nonmelodious trilling lyrics made incomprehensible by your falsetto tremolo. And it was the same bar played over and over, the sounds bouncing off the windows on the other side of the boat. But you were mistaken: It wasn't your "music" people wanted to hear—they wanted you to shut the hell up, or at least to moderate your volume so you weren't as intrusive into their space. A lot of the people on that boat were tired after a long workday and just wanted a little peace and quiet. They, and I, sure didn't want to be subjected to your presumptuous narcissism and clattering attempt to offer a soothing fucking peaceful song to ease their journey—especially since your shrill scraping vocals sounded less like a lullaby than it was like hearing someone throw a bunch of Joni Mitchell albums into a wood chipper being dragged behind the Partridge Family bus as it careens through a crowd of children at Folklife. You're like the rude neighbor who is surprised and confused that their attempt to "purge" the apartment hallway of "bad vibes" with their fucking incense isn't received with joyful thanks by everyone else on the floor. Do the rest of us—including the hardworking men and women of Washington State Ferries who also wanted you to shut up, but couldn't say anything—a favor and shut the hell up. Thanks, and peace—and fucking quiet.

—Anonymous