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 โ 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 โ except to show how very dull we are ...
-James Branch Cabell
September 22, 2012 - 4:22 p.m.
I'm in my temporary room and having a paralysis day. I'll write about happier things.
I had a busy day yesterday. After school I checked to see if an apartment that would have been almost perfect for me was still available. It wasn't. That left me with the nightly place I had already looked at. I decided to take it just to have a place of my own even though I'm not happy about the neighborhood or the apartment. I do love the landlady. She's one of those people that spreads sunshine. It's why I took it.
I raced from school back to the friends' place I was staying. I grabbed my things and headed off to the new place. I somehow managed to not hurt my back to much. I'm getting good at dragging four pieces of luggage around. Maybe I should get a job as a bellboy. I take advantage of the one piece of bungee cord I have. It attached itself to me when Jon and Elisa gave me a ride. After they dropped me off at the subway I found it had attached itself to the NERFA tote bag I always carry. I keep either forgetting to give it back to them or seeing them unexpectedly. If I were a mystic I'd say it was fate or karma. I'm not. Mystic is another word for delusional. When I say delusional I'm being kind. It is just one piece of minor good luck amidst my not so good luck. I am resourceful though. I've gotten good at making that one piece of cord go a long way.
I got to the new apartment far later than I wanted to. I do not know where I lost the time. It somehow took me half an hour to get from my office to 3 blocks away. I must have done something I don't remember. Maybe I was beamed aboard and alien spacecraft and my memory erased.
By the time I got to the new place I had to leave. I just took care of the formalities, got the keys, dropped my stuff in my room and raced out. I had to get from Brooklyn to Garden City on the LIRR to see the Kennedys. I managed to get there just about when I wanted to.
I know I saw the Kennedys just last week but it had been far too long before that. That show was an acoustic house concert, this was at the Our Times Coffeehouse. Of course I did the merch.
When I got there I saw Lori not LORi who got there even earlier than me, though not by much. She hadn't taken her seat yet. We grabbed spots down front and saved a couple for Rona and Bob. I found Maura and took over my marching duties. They have a new album out and business was brisk.
For what I think is the third time this year Maura had laryngitis when I saw her. I think I'm a curse. No that's not the term; I'm the center of a vortex of disaster: Nothing mystical there, just an observation. It isn't cause and effect.
Fred came in shortly after we did and sat across the aisle from us in the first row. I love having friends at shows. There were quite a few other people I knew there too. Someone even recognized me from doing merch for Red Molly. I had to explain my position in the acoustic music world for him. As I don't know what it is that is always a challenge.
Pete and Maura are as much hippies as anyone I know. They ARE peace, love, and understanding. Somehow they manage to simultaneously be consummate professionals. When they take care of business it gets taken care of. Maura has an amazing voice, it's a big part of their appeal. So how do they handle her having laryngitis? With aplomb. She found that what she was missing was her middle range, she could hit both the high and low notes. So what they did was sing songs that only had the notes she could reach. In addition Pete did more solo guitar numbers than usual. That not only filled time but gave Maura's voice a chance to rest. The first song was rough. The second was better. The third, "Fortune Teller Road" was in many ways better than the recorded version! She pitched it two steps higher and the strain in her voice made the eerie song even eerier. Somehow it came out more pagan. Maybe pagans simply had laryngitis.
By the time the second set came around you'd have never known something was wrong. She figured out exactly what songs too sing and in what key to sing them. She they did Mattie Groves which has plenty of vocal gymnastics I figured her voice had recovered. It hadn't. She simply did it in a way that it avoided all the notes she couldn't hit. It was the equivalent of a dancer performing on a floor with holes all over it and managing to avoid all of them. It added to the excitement.
After the show I had time to hang out with Lori, Pete, and Maura before my train came. I needed that. One of the reasons I went to the show despite the chaos was that I knew seeing friends would help my psyche. I went for Pete and Maura: Lori, Rona, Bob, and Fred were a bonus as I didn't know they'd be there. Bonuses are good.
I'm not a polyanna but I always do try and look at the bright side of life (da dum dee dah dee dah dee dum). Everyone should face disaster some time just to demonstrate how great friends and family are. There is no way I could have gotte4n through things on my own. I've been homeless three times in the last five years and have always found people willing to put up with me. I'm always insecure about people and knowing that is priceless. I haven't mentioned their names but to everyone that has let me crash with them, thank you. It is so much more than having a roof over my head. The moral support is just as important. And thank you to all the people that I didn't stay with but still reached out to me or that didn't run away when I reached out to them. I have so many people there when I need them. So despite everything I've had a Wonderful Life.
Eban said that he liked my quotes and that got me to read them again. The last, by Cabell, is as close as I've found to the secret of happiness. I've written here several times that there is no secret to happiness, That's why I said close. It has served me well.
And now back to my regularly scheduled travails.
Getting home was a bit of an adventure. The railroad went smoothly. I then had to take either the 3 or 4 train to my place. They are on separate platforms. The sign at the 4 said, "late night the 4 stops at the 3 track." It was a bit before midnight which seemed like late night to me. It isn't a well defined term by the MTA. Sometimes it means after 10 PM.
After not too long a 4 train came on the 4 platform. Oh well I said, it was a bit before midnight. Maybe it switched over then. Then a train came on my platform, a 2. That's fine it is supposed to stop there. Then another 4 came yes on the 4 platform and now it was after midnight. Then a train came on my platform yes a 2. Then finally a 4 came yes on the 4 platform. I decided to get up and walk to the 4 platform sure that the next train would come on the 3 platform.
The next train to come was on the 3 platform no it wasn't a 4 it was a 2, still no good for me. Then a 4 came miracle of miracles it was where I was waiting. I wasted something like 40 minutes.
I've been pretty much frozen today but I'm going out tonight to see SONiA. That means I can't see Roosevelt Dime and Honor Finnegan at First Acoustics, Coco's coffeehouse. This is the good kind of problem to have. I have a choice of two shows with great musicians and good friends. I don't get to see SONiA very often so she wins. The rest all live in the City. So now I better get going. I've spent almost the entire day in my room sitting at the computer. I didn't even call Lori not LORi like I was supposed to. I'll do that now. I need to get stuff out of storage and she might be able to help.
Brother Brothers in Arms - October 01, 2017
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