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
June 01, 2015 - 11:33 a.m.
It's Monday but my therapist is out of town. I am of course in bad shape. The question is do I tell you about things as she isn't around? I don't know the answer. We'll see how this goes.
Well I have to start with some therapy stuff. It's part of the narrative. Yesterday was a bad day emotionally. I spent it home alone depressed and lonely. My plan for the evening was to go to Rockwood Music Hall to see Brittany Haas and Michael Daves. I've been looking forward to that all week. As usual I couldn't get myself out of the house before then.
My phone buzzed to give me a flash flood alert. I have never seen a flood that was dangerous in New York. Sure my basement was flooded. Sure Springfield Blvd at the bottom of the hill I lived in would flood when it rained hard. But that was nothing you needed a warning for. It wasn't going to wash you away. It just meant you had to turn around when you were driving. So I mocked it on Facebook. Then I went to make dinner. Then the landlord came in because there was water dripping downstairs. He thought I had let the water overflow. The roof had a leak that was patched up, it was pouring, he should have thought that. But it wasn't that. My room has a door to the lower roof in it. There's obviously another roof above my room. The gutter got clogged and the water overflowed and came pouring through the top of that door into my room. There was a flood and it was in my room on the second floor.
I got upset that the landlord, actually it's the landlady's father, only seemed concertned with what was coming down from my room to downstairs than what was happening to my stuff. I was afraid all my stuff would be ruined. If I hadn't been depressed before I'd have handled it better but it had straw that broke the camel's back effect. I just hated everything about my life. And I wanted him to start doing something about my room, like mopping it up and stopping the flow of water. Eventually somebody came with a mop. I had to finish cooking my dinner. Burning the food would not make anything better. So I finished it and I ate it. The rain let up and the room was cleaned off. I had moved things out of the way of the water. I didn't check to see how bad the damage was. I didn't want to face that. Instead I just left for the show.
I had bad timing with the trains. It took forever. Instead of getting there 20 minutes before show time or even earlier, I got there just as the show was supposed to start. Or maybe it was door time. Not sure but it was 8:45. I didn't have a ticket and was also a bit afraid it was sold out. I knew it wouldn't be, it's why I didn't buy in advance, but I also thought it might become sold out that night.
When I arrived people were still lined up outside. Things were running late an doors were not open. I got lucky and saw Kevin on line and joined him. He's the one friend that isn't a musician that I thought I might see. That's not true, Amy said she might be there. Anyway we got in no trouble. I didn't get my usual Statler and Waldorf seat. I stood with Kevin and his friends in the back. That was fine. Nothing is too far at Rockwood.
I knew that Brittany's music was just what I needed. It would have been better if she was playing in another configuration. That's not a knock on Michael Daves. .He's great. It's just that he sings and instrumental music works better at soothing the savage breast. But I also knew the music would be great and would help. It did. Did you know that New York was a hub of Bluegrass music? The City is filled with them and Michael is one of the best. Brittany foolishly lives in the Boston area. She should move down here with her people. Some of those people joined them. One was Sarah Jarosz on mandolin and vocals. Then damn the fiddler whose name I can't remember. But I loved when there were two fiddles, mandolin, and Michael on guitar. Michael and Brittany mixed it up on one song. She took his guitar and he picked up the mandolin. Brittany also plays that, though not last night. I love the way they handled it. They acted like they were working without a net. I had full confidence in them. The only issue was Brittany was not quite clear on how to adjust the guitar strap. At least she didn't have a problem with the two extra strings.
This was pretty much guaranteed to be a great show and it was. And I enjoyed Kevin's company. It was almost just what I needed. It would have been better if it were someplace more intimate. I could have waited around and talked to Brittany but there were so many people and she wouldn't be able to say more than "Hi." So I headed home instead.
I got home and saw that nothing was really ruined except the big cardboard box that held CDs. I will ask my landlady to replace that. She's a darling and will. I thought my suitcase might be ruined but it was up on its wheels so just the bottom was damp and nothing got inside. A box of matzoh was destroyed but the matzoh itself was sealed in plastic so it is fine.
I woke up feeling better this morning. I have to make some decisions on what to do. They aren't important decisions but they can have a large emotional effect. That's something I'd have like to discuss in therapy. Now I'm on my own.
OK I'm not going to do my therapy here. You know what you need to know. I'm unhappy but less unhappy than I was yesterday. Thanks Brittany and Michael and Kevin.
Brother Brothers in Arms - October 01, 2017
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