I became insane with long intervals of horrible sanity.
Edgar Allen Poe
The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one's time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it is to be stopped at all.
- H. L. Mencken
Many people would sooner die than think; In fact, they do so
What I have been telling you, from alpha to omega, what is the one great thing the sigil taught me — that everything in life is miraculous. For the sigil taught me that it rests within the power of each of us to awaken at will from a dragging nightmare of life made up of unimportant tasks and tedious useless little habits, to see life as it really is, and to rejoice in its exquisite wonderfulness. If the sigil were proved to be the top of a tomato-can, it would not alter that big fact, nor my fixed faith. No Harrowby, the common names we call things by do not matter — except to show how very dull we are ...
-James Branch Cabell
May 26, 2014 - 10:58 a.m.
I'm updating again less than 12 hours after my last one. I don't want to step on that one's toes so make sure to read it now, especially if you are a music lover, Dayanu!. It's about a special evening of music, largely Bluegrass an it's kin.
Now on to another day, a blast from the past. Yesterday I did something I used to do quite often and every year Memorial Day weekend, I played in the Eastern States Regional Bridge Tournament with Roy. I bet many of My Gentle Readers don't know I'm a bridge player. I am and I've been playing tournament bridge for over 20 years. Bridge is one of the things neglected when my life blew up. Roy's is one of the friendships that's been neglected. It's not from not loving Roy or loving bridge for that matter. It's just matters of convenience and the difficulties my anxiety give me overcoming the problems. As in all anxiety related things it's self-perpetuating. The fact that I haven't been seeing Roy makes it harder for me to initiate contact with him. If I have lost contact with you, that' might be the reason.
Roy texted me the other day out of the blue and asked me if I wanted to play. I overcame my anxiety and texted back to him that I would and we arranged to meet. So I headed out on my usual expedition, shuttle bus to the to the . I would have been there early if I hadn't realized that I should have taken the train one more stop to get to my bank for cash. As it is I walked in right when I was supposed to meet Roy at the New York Hilton.
So we haven't played in ages. We play a pretty complicated system. The way my brain works I forgot all the names of conventions but can remember what we play because it all makes sense. There's a reason we do everything. Till of course the one hand I totally forgot that 3 Clubs was Puppet Stayman not 2 Clubs. That was just stupid. I was also very sleepy by then. Still no excuse.
Our bridge was off but our shtick was on. Roy is one of those friends that people enjoy watching me with because we are entertaining. We have our set stuff and we can always do variations on the themes. We're like a comedy duo that's been working together for ages. We ARE a comedy duo that's been working together for ages.
There were a few people I remembered. One was 15 when we met him 20 years ago, a bridge prodigy. He was also a snotty kid. He grew up into such a warm funny adult. I love seeing that.
Of course there were some people that weren't as much fun to be with and that don't appreciate our lighthearted attitude. And there are some that just don't respect bridge proprieties. Every round is timed yet one round our opponents left the table to talk to each other, I am pretty sure about the last round, for five minutes. We only have 21 minutes for the round. We fell behind. And when they came back they were still talking about the hand which is another impropriety. we are going to play that hand too. We can't hear about it. One woman was so upset that were weren't punished when I revoked, missed following suit when I could have, that she refused to score the hand. She wasn't hurt at all. They got all the tricks they were entitled to. I wasn't trying to cheat, I was tired, my eyes were particularly bad, and the cards were sticking together.
We had lunch during the break at The Irish Pub. That's the actual name. OK who knows what I ordered. You should. It was bangers and mash. The waitress had an Irish accent. It isn't a real Irish pub if the wait staff doesn't have Irish accents. You know I'm a sucker for Irish girls.
I saw Farley for the first time in ages an ages. I taught him how to play bridge about 35 years ago. Now he plays all the time. I use to play social bridge with him every week. I've known him since college. He was a grad student and teacher and I was a student.
It's good getting parts of my life back but it isn't easy.
So how did we do? Terrible of course. We haven't played in years. But we had our moments. I got to be brilliant now and then. I got to be an idiot in a way I hate being an idiot too. I misplayed one hand criminally. No I'm not going to beat myself up over it.
After the tournament Roy went down to Penn Station to catch the LIRR and I headed home.
I had a nice surprise waiting for me. Not one but two musicians that I love as both musicians and people sent me unreleased material. I can't say who they were or what they were but they were amazing. When the time comes I'll let you know and make sure that you know that you have to hear it for yourself.
I have been complaining about my life quite a bit. And those complaints are legitimate. But there are good things too. I get special privileges more than most people even though I can never spell privileges.
I'm not going to go there now. I need something to write about tomorrow. I'll make a note of it. I have nothing planned today so I need actual thoughts for tomorrow.
Today's breakfast is my most basic and most common, poached egg with Taylor ham on a slice of bread. I don't toast it and I prefer that to having it on an English muffin. You should try it some day.
I just found out that Brianne has a pet rat. So do Leah and Emilie. Those are three of my favorite people in the world and three young women I met when they were teenagers. So is this significant. Does it mean that I'm reminiscent of a rat? Maybe I need to put some cheese on that egg. I think I will.
Brother Brothers in Arms - October 01, 2017
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