What Happens Waiting for Moments That Never Come

Brian Spicklemire


In an episode towards the end of the third season of HBO's award winning series The Wire, we find Detective Jimmy McNulty, troubled from personal issues at home, throwing himself into his job in order to escape. Older, wiser Detective Lester Freamon implores Jimmy to think about having something to keep him going outside of his casework. When McNulty proposes the idea that there will always be another case, that there will be another brass ring to chase, Freamon reminds him that every case ends, that "...the job will not save you, it won't make you whole." McNulty of course rejects the idea that his place of refuge isn't enough, and Freamon tries to convince him that he needs something outside of the job to keep him going and maintain his drive, and that we can't judge our life based solely on these grand moments that we're expecting to happen; that no one can possibly be completely defined by one aspect of their life. In a quote that was surely inspired by John Lennon, but with a hint of cynicism, Freamon assures McNulty that life is "...the s#!/\ that happens waiting for moments that never come."

For some reason, the first time I heard that quote something clicked in my head, and I knew that I was going to write a piece related to the images and personal experiences I had from waiting for my own "moments." In that sense, my composition What Happens Waiting for Moments That Never Come is programmatic, but similar to Tchaikovsky's 6th symphony, I feel no need, (or desire,) to divulge to the listener what that particular program is. I'd prefer they hear it and perhaps reflect on some of their own "moments."