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, 2016 - 1:34 p.m.
Welcome to a slept late but at least I have coffee and cereal in me edition of Wise Madness. I've done quite a bit since my last update, let's see if it makes a good tale. What's easy about narratives is that I don't have to plan what I'm writing, the chronology provides the template.
I didn't go to program yesterday, instead I went to the City to take care of social services. That timing is unfortunate as Fridays is when we have mediation and I only got to do that once. I want to try that again, I enjoyed the mediation and it's run by my favorite group leader. She laughs at my jokes, my primary criterion for liking people.
Last week I applied for social services, this week I had to get evaluated. I was told it would take up to four hours. I had an appointment for 11 AM on 51st street between 8th and 9th. I left early so there was no rush. I got breakfast at Dunkin' Donuts and just took the local train the whole way so I could take only 2 trains instead of the more convoluted but I suspect faster route. I arrived half an hour early which was my plan. I checked in and they told me once again, "This might take up to 4 hours." Did you catch the foreshadowing? I sat down, did things on my phone and read Game of Thrones. a little after noon my name was called. That wasn't too bad. I talked to a social worker for about 20 minutes. I had an anxiety attack almost the entire time. I asked him to turn his music off. I didn't say, "excuse me you shouldn’t have had it on during an interview." I did lots of deep breathing exercises. I showed him the documentation from my program. I had asked for a letter from my psychiatrist explaining his diagnosis and said several times I needed my prescriptions included. I was given an envelope by my therapist that she said had everything in it. I didn't look at it because, duh, that would give me anxiety. The social worker looked at it and all it had was a note saying that I'm in the program to treat anxiety and depression. Not a word about its severity and it didn't have my prescriptions. They totally screwed up. He said it wasn't a problem and they could call to get confirmation but I was not happy about it.
After the interview I was back in the waiting area. I was there to 2:30, that is four hours after I arrived, the promised maximum wait, when I was called to see the med tech. She took my vitals, blood, an EKG, and urine. This was my least anxious part of the day. That stuff I'm used to and she laughed at my jokes. I know taking blood bothers lots of people but not me. My anxieties are a bit different than most. Then I was back in the waiting area. About half an hour late the doctor called me in. I don't think he was a psychiatrist, which is what I thought I should see. He examined my abdomen where I had my surgery. We had a nice talk as he started as a math major. His college roommate invented the spreadsheet! Then I was back in the waiting area waiting for a clerk. That wasn't a long wait and I was giving an appointment get the results of this evaluation.
Then I went up to my mailbox at Columbus Circle stopping to at Wendy's for linner. I had to eat at unusual times, it was round 4:15. I went to my mailbox then had to head down to 14th street to hand in the paperwork I got from my landlord. That was strong. I didn't give it to anyone. I was directed to a scanner. After signing in I scanned it right into my record. That was that.
Now for a shift in gears and a flashback. The evening before I got a message from Cara, the WFUV member director. She read my last entry and saw I was looking for something to do in the City last night. She asked me if I wanted to see Neil Young? It was not a concert; it was at MOMA. He would play his new album Earth and talk about it. I of course said yes. I was supposed to be there at 5 but 6 would probably be OK. That's when it was actually start.
I got there at exactly 5. I saw Damon. He was waiting for Fred. So I had friends there. We all went into the Garden where the event was held. Nobody knew what was going on, where he'd be talking. We guessed wrong twice but we could still see. Once inside I saw Gail and Ellen. That's everyone knew there other than WFUV staff, Rita, Carmel, and Paul. I saw the back of Cara's head but did not get to talk to her and thank her. Thanks once again Cara.
Neil Young apparently through the event together in just two days. That's why nobody knew what was going on. He came out, said a few words, then "hit play." That was it for Neil.
Nobody in the audience quite new what to do. We were in the garden listening to an album with lots of people around. That's not something people are used to doing. There's no visual focus. Most of us were standing, some had seats arranged haphazardly. People milled around. People sat on the ground. People looked at their cell phones. I hung out with my friends and looked at my cell phone. Gail captured Fred and m doing that. Or was it Damon and me?
Neil's albums alternate between weird and old fashioned rock and roll, this was an amalgam. There were some songs that sounded like 60s and 70s Neil Young. Others were almost ambient, others prog rock. In between songs there were animal noises. Yes, birds and elephants and whales, and wolves, and who knows what else. We literally heard crickets. As the 90-minute album progressed there was less and less rock. There was probably enough material for a good 45-minute album. In one hyphenated word it was self-indulgent. The last 20 minutes it looked like most people just wanted it to end. Neil spent the time on a balcony on the top floor looking down on us. It wasn't even clear when it was over. Fred thought it was but there were still bird chirping Fred was right, it was actual birds in the garden I heard. I find it hard to believe many people will listen to the entire album more than once. Some of the songs were quite good, and people will listen to them. It was an odd event and disappointing as Neil hardly spoke but I'm glad I went. I had fun and now I can say I saw Neil Young. I have already seen Crosby, Stills, and Nash. I told Rita that if I found some guys named Crosby and Stills I bet Neil would take a pic with us. Oh some of you might not know that my last name is Nash.
Fred and I then headed out. We heard afterward that Gail got to shake Neil's hand. That's why I call her glamorous Gail. I ended up walking to 59th street where I could catch an express but the local was way ahead of it so I ended up taking that all the way to the end of the line. When I got there, there were problems with the BX 29 bus. My app said there were two on the way but they were hardly moving and they would have to go to the end of the line the other way and turn around. I went to Baskin-Robbins to wait and have a milk shake. I went back to the stop even though the bus was not supposed to be there. Three busses came going the opposite direction, to Co-op City. Some dispatcher did the right thing. He turned one of them around back to City Island. On the trip back I saw what caused the problem. Traffic was bumper to bumper on the one road that leads to the island.
It was a long tiring day but I got things accomplished, saw friends, and had fun. Oh and I almost cursed the Mets. They were winning 5-1 when I got home. My hosts were watching the game. I went upstairs and said I don't want to jinx them. So what happened? The Dodgers tied the game up in the top of the ninth. Granderson bailed them out by hitting a home run to win the game for the Mets.
Tonight I'm off to the City to see Kate Copeland at Left Field, a venue on the LES I have never been to. I met Kate at NERFA but have not seen her perform since then. I am having a typical Saturday night for me. That's nice.
Brother Brothers in Arms - October 01, 2017
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