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 28, 2012 - 10:57 a.m.
Yes, I'm alive. I haven't even been having particular problems. I've just been busy. Part of that is the little guy sitting next me, the son of the wonderful people I'm crashing with. I can't resist playing with kids.
I don't have that much time now to write so I'll have to rush this even though I have a lot to write about. The one thing I have to include is all the live music so I can get it onto my spreadsheet when I get my own computer up and running again. I'm trying to keep track of everything I hear.
I went to my first baseball game of the season. The Mets beat the San Diego Padres 2-0 behind knuckleballer R.A. Dickey. Most importantly I spent the day with Alan. My anxiety kept me away from him too long. It's good to get over it. I won our prediction game.
Now back to music. On Friday, I saw Emily Elbert at the Bitter End. That was a surprising place for her to play. It's been there since the 50s but no one I know has performed there in ages. Other than some special group shows the last time I was there might have been Da Vinci's Notebook in about 2,000. The crowd was small; at first, I sat with a stranger, someone who works for a Swedish Airline. I had fun talking to him about music and Sweden and Abba. Then I felt guilty because I abandoned him when I saw Deni Bonet and Andy at another table and I joined them. I asked her what she was doing there and found she shared two band members with Emily even though the two of them don't know each. I love how small the acoustic music world is. Everyone is no more than three degrees of separation away. I didn't see any of the rest of you at the show. Next time Emily plays I expect to see you. She has taken her music to a totally new level the last few years.
Last night I went to Rockwood Music Hall for the Snake Oil Review with Spuyten Duyvil, Roosevelt Dime, the Boxcar Lilies, The Stray Birds, and Frankenpine. The timing was a bit awkward as I got there from the Met game at 4:40 and the show didn't start till 7:00. I figured I could hang out there and read if nothing else. That didn't happen of course. After I used the bathroom I went out to maybe grab some food or just walk around the neighborhood and ran into Ken. That's not too surprising as his last name is Rockwood. Yes, the music hall is his. Then Lori not LORi, Joe, and Rona not Wrona showed up. They just got there really early and I hung out with them outside. Then I acted as doorman for the musicians when they arrived and guarded their instruments. In the end, the time flew hanging out. I did get some pizza and came back to eat it in Rockwood while I talked to Ron Olesko from WFDU who hosted the show. I was going to eat with Lori and company but they ditched me when I got the pizza. Lori is a meanie. I'm sure Joe tried to get her to stay. Joe is a saint.
The show was great. I did the merch but sat with Lori and company. I don't think I knew anyone else in the audience. You'll be there next time, right?
Spuyten Duyvil and Roosevelt Dime are two of my favorite bands. Their music is nothing like each other but there is a common thread. They are large bands that on the surface might appear to be hipsters. They aren't though. They play their music with love and respect, and most of all joy, not ironic detachment. You can see the effect on the audience. People get up and dance. People sing and shout along. People are moving to the music. It is no accident that I also loved them as people as soon as I met them.
This is a pretty happy entry for someone who is homeless and having anxiety attacks isn't it? Welcome to the contradictory world of my brain.
The big news is a call I got from my secretary/friend/hand-holder-in-chief just as I got on the subway on the way home. She found an ad for an apartment around the corner that is more money than I wanted but otherwise perfect. She called for me and I'm seeing it tonight. Unless I find it is built on a cursed ancient Indian burial ground or smells like liver I'm going to take it. Even if it is built on the burial ground I'll take it. Not the liver though. I have to draw the line someplace.
Today I'm going to my second Met game. It's amazing how fast I can get in the swing of things. Even more amazing is how easily Alan accepted that I just lost all contact with him for so long. I know I'd have problems dealing with that. I did explain that it had nothing to do with him. I love Alan and that's the truth. I don't try to explain the anxiety thing even to myself. I can't. I am going to write about why it can't be explained next slow day that I'm writing. The answer is mathematical.
So yesterday was great. The show was longer than I thought and we didn't get out of there till after 12:30 AM. Bob and Rona saved the day by driving me back to Brooklyn even though it was out of their way. That saved me a lot of time at that time of night when the trains don't run that often. I was back by 1 AM.
I checked things online then went to bed. I was happy from the fun things I did and even more for perhaps finding a place to live for the summer. I should have slept like a baby. Instead I woke up with the worst anxiety attack I had. Was it a panic attack? Not sure where the line is drawn but I could see something thinking it was a heart attack if they didn't know what was going on. That happened to many of my friends. Those are the things you discover when you mention that you get anxiety attacks. I ended up taking one valium to see if it would help me get back to sleep. It did and the rest of the night I slept fine.
So what haven't I mentioned? On Saturday, I went to Marshall's and bought a partial summer wardrobe. All my summer clothes are in storage now. I was in the 80s yesterday and I hate wearing long pants when it is warm. I got shorts and wicking fabric shirts. Even when I get my stuff out of storage I can always use those kinds of things since it's what I wear every day. The big thing I'm missing now is my Tevas. I hate wearing regular shoes when it is hot. I'm going to start going through the storage this week. Of course, when I get a place I'll move in the clothes I need for the summer. I recruited Lori not LORi to help me as she lives the closest to the storage. The LORi volunteered to drive up here with the pickup truck and help. That would be great once I have my summer sublet.
There are lots of problems I'll have to overcome but part of me is seeing this as a new adventure. I'm starting to call myself a Brooklynite. Lori objects. She says I'll always be from Queens and that Queens is cooler. I love Queens and it will always be part of me but cool is not the word I'd choose.
OK now I have less than an hour to post this, shower, and eat before I go to the game. I better get moving.
The Caper - May 27, 2017
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