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
July 10, 2017 - 10:35 a.m.
The Remeron has worn off. I took half a pill and it knocked me out for a day and a half. I never took a sleep medicine that was a tenth as effective. Of course, I don't want anything that knocks me out for a day and a half. I'm just mentioning this so you know I don't have an excuse for this edition of Wise Madness not being brilliant. If it isn't don't tell me; I'll cry.
My plan yesterday was to go food shopping but I got a text from Alan saying he was going to make a shiva call on Larry's parents in Queens. I wanted to do that and he gave me just enough time to get there. I can get to Queens easily but the last 1.7 miles to their house is difficult, a ride makes it much more feasible. While we were discussing details, I missed the first bus and they don't run that frequently. Luckily Jane is a saint and drove me to where I catch the bus to Queens. This required sainthood as it meant she had to fight City Island traffic on a beautiful Sunday in the summer.
The buses don't run that frequently but it's surprisingly easy to get to Queens. The Q50 takes me from Pelham Bay Station right to downtown Flushing. It's an SBS bus and makes very few stops on the way; it's a 15-minute trip to the first stop in Queens where Alan and Melissa picked me up.
When we got to the house Diana, Larry's wife had just left. Larry's sister gave her a call and she headed back. I've known Larry 23 years and never met his family even though they lived just a couple of miles from where I lived in Queens for most of that time. I loved them, they were a lot like Larry.
It was what a shiva call is supposed to be. We didn't sit around being sad, we shared happy memories about Larry. Sitting shiva is a Jewish tradition so there is food involved; not just food but babka. Mixing the sweet and the bitter is also a part of Jewish tradition. It seems strange but it was not a sad; it was a positive experience. Sometimes traditions make sense; sitting shiva is one of them; at least if you ignore the parts about sitting on boxes and covering mirrors.
It was also great having time to talk to Alan and Melissa; before the funeral I hadn't seen them in years. The wheels coming off my life had many unfortunate consequences and that was one of them. Perhaps this will mark the end of not seeing Alan. I'm going to a Met game with him next week.
Alan dropped me up at the bus stop and headed up. Only then did I check the bus time and see that the next bus wasn't for 45 minutes. I think the bus time website might have been wrong but I wasn't going to risk it. The Q44 was due in nine minutes and left from only a few blocks away. It also goes to the Bronx but does not connect with the City Island bus. I took it to the subway and took that to Pelham Bay. The longest leg of the trip was the four miles from Pelham Bay to City Island. I told you that the traffic on a summer Sunday is brutal. City Island is so crowded on weekends that nobody comes here anymore.
Jake asked me what I wanted for my birthday and I figured it out. I lost my entire CD collection that I had compiled before I became a gypsy. I miss that music. I'm making a wish list on Amazon.com. I told him that he doesn't have to buy me anything, I just want digital copies that can be dropboxed to me. If you like you can send them too. I'll take them off the wish list as I get them. Now I just have to make the list. I started but guess what, making the list gives me anxiety. I'll have to compartmentalize and do one artist at a time and not worry about what I'm forgetting. I had digitalized about a third of my collection so I didn't lose everything. Ironically, I never ripped the albums of the artists I had the most by; I had filed them separately in my collection and hadn't gotten to them yet so there's no Dylan, Christine Lavin.
I also have to get my birthday party plans up and running. I'm turning 60 but I'm still a little kid when it comes to birthdays. The only difference is that it isn't about the presents, it's about seeing my friends.
Remember how I was going to go shopping yesterday? I never did and I'm out of eggs. Horror of horrors that means I will have an eggless breakfast. I'm thinking peanut butter and bacon instead. Did I just gross somebody out? Try it, it's delicious. I discovered it in Grad School; the coffee shop next door served it. See, I learned something in school that I still use.
Brother Brothers in Arms - October 01, 2017
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