Monthly Archives: September 2003

Back to the WHAT?!

It started innocently, I swear. Dan was throwing a Back to the Future party. Theme parties in general make me nervous. The whole performance anxiety thing. The idea was to come dressed as someone from one of the time periods of the Back to the Future trilogy: the 1980’s, 1880’s, or the future. So I opted for 1987 goth (the Cure circa Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me). Scarily enough, I had all the clothes, make-up and jewelry on hand.

So Mags decided to be Future Girl, right? Hence the phosphorescent green hair and sparkles. I did her make up. It came out pretty cool with the whole silver star around her eye thing. But she goes and gets these TOTALLY HOT boots — she spray painted them silver five minutes before the party. Everyone wants at them. Including Shea. But he can’t help it — he’s gay. So he wanted to wear them but I was satisfied just licking them.

I ate M&M’s and watched the first installment of the movies. I haven’t seen it in a while. Dan was ingenious with the decor and everything — the three movies playing simultaneously in different rooms. And the balcony was decorated in an underwater theme a la “Enchantment Under the Sea.”

As I side note, I’d like to mention that Mags is a high school physics teacher. For real.



Exit Fantasy

This morning, and I have no idea how this happened, my boss and I are having our daily morning meeting and we end up talking about my love life. Or the lack thereof, as the case remains. We have this meeting every morning at ten o’clock to review what’s going on for the day and what I have lined up. After ten minutes of business talk, he routinely goes into shrink mode. He’s a fifty year old Jewish man. So he’s got a daughter my age and immediately we’ve slipped into the father/daughter fondly-antagonistic thing. He’s so cool, and I don’t think I’ve ever said that about a boss (except for Michael who was 30, adorable, gay, crazy about me, and would let me get hammered on my lunch break). Anyway, my relationship with my current boss is a little less tawdry.

This morning when we’re done discussing grants and proposals, I don’t remember how it started up, but we suddenly were talking about my love life. I think he was talking about his wife, and then said “did I tell you how we met?”” and it was a clever and engaging story, especially since they both knew two weeks into it that they’d spend the rest of their lives with each other. And they have.

I haven’t been in a relationship in two years. Of any kind. Not even a casual hook-up, not a spring fling, not a one.

We’re talking about meeting people. Or more specifically, about me meeting people. And how recently it’s become clear to me that somewhere along the line I’ve stopped getting on the Potential Girlfriend line-up and I’ve been permamently shelved on the Just Friends list. Furthermore, because of my gentle and understanding nature, I fall into the Sensitive Female Friend who can listen objectively (sometimes with teeth silently gnashing) about his current state of affairs with whatever bimbo of the week is drawing his attention instead of me.

The problem is there’s such a fine line with verbiage. There’s Hanging Out, and then there’s Going Out. Both of which are worlds away from Going to Dinner or even Getting a Drink. When one is afraid of rejection, one can always fall back on the innocuous Getting Coffee.

My social interactions are focused so much on group activities — going to shows, bars, parties, running around the city, etc. See, my boss’ whole platform was that when he was young, boys and girls just didn’t Hang Out. The boy asked for her number, called the girl up and took the girl Out to Dinner. He paid, he drove her home, and he never kissed her on the first date. If that’s what a date is, I’ve never been on one.

I’m not someone who needs another person to define me, or even entertain me. I have friends who need to be in relationships constantly, even if that means settling for someone they don’t completely click with. I’m alone by default, until I find someone that I totally want to spend time with. And I have an amazing group of friends I wouldn’t trade for the world. I love them all, and not out of convenience, and not because they just happen to be around. Some of them I’ve known for a decade or more, and I’ve put many of them through absolute terror. Some of them are girls, some of them are guys. But my boss is saying in his era, a woman didn’t have guy friends. So when a guy approaches you, you know what it’s for, and you can say yay or nay. I have never seen a well-drawn line at any point recently.

I’m telling my boss all of this — the Protection in Numbers mentality, the Getting Coffee issue, the Meeting Up Before a Show thing, all of which reeks of cowardice to me.

There’s something liberating in hearing, “I like you. I want to take you Out to Dinner.”

The whole paying issue never has sit well with me though. It makes me highly uncomfortable to have someone else pay for me. Though there was one night I remember that was hysterical fun — Shannon and I were at a party and met this guy Joel who was loaded, and he loved us (Shannon especially) and took us out on the town one night. We were all dressed up, and went to these snotzy bars and drank martinis, took cabs everywhere. He lit our cigarettes. Took our coats. I felt like I was in an episode of Sex in the City. It helped that he was Tall and Handsome, although he bore an unsettling resemblance to Greg Dulli from the Afghan Whigs. But that’s another story. He must have been 35 years old or something. I don’t remember. I do remember though that he was very into Shannon, and telling me this, and then cornering me in the bathroom and trying to make out with me.

What is up with these people?

My boss says, “So how do you meet people?

Yeah. Exactly.

I met this guy briefly at a temp job over the summer and he was too nervous to deal with me so I asked him if he wanted to Hang Out and I gave him my number. He called me two days later and we did hang out a couple of times. We got along famously until I put him into the Just Friends bin and he shoved me into the Whore class and well that just didn’t work out in the end.

What’s weird is that my last ex, with whom I spent two and a half years, started seeing someone else two weeks after we broke up. I was appalled, but I shouldn’t have been surprised — when we originally hooked up the bed was still warm from his last relationship. He’s one of those people who can’t stand to be alone. Terrified of himself.

I was talking to Victoria on Sunday and we were talking about the Zen state of getting okay without The Thing to the point where it doesn’t matter if you want The Thing or not, and then you get The Thing just by the very nature of the universe. And Shea tells me, “Be desireless.” Which I misinterpreted at one point — I was like, “Oh — if I’m desireless, I’ll get what I want.” That worked for a week. And later he explained that really being desireless means that you don’t care whether you get what you want or not. Freakin Buddhist.

In further consultation, my boss is saying, “Well, why don’t you take initiative then?” And I try to explain to him how that’s been received in the past. I tend to be pretty forthright, and it hasn’t worked well for me. “I like you. I want to see you again. Soon.” I’m either met with silence or that disintrest that comes from lack of chase. I don’t know.

Ruby, who is in a relationship, has this particularly perfect Friend she has told me about for a while, and I of course want to meet him — he’s drop-dead adorable, writes, can talk music for hours on end (and does), just in general falls into my definition of Boy Perfect. We Hang Out and enjoy each other’s company and I drop him home and he says, “Well I’ll probably see you again since I’ve been hanging out with Ruby et. al.” Yeah. So I tell Ruby I hadn’t even considered the fact that we would eventually Go Out because I’m not the Girl Who Gets the Boy. I never have been . And I don’t know if it’s the fact that I have a passionate love of unavailable boys — those who can’t be with me either because of geography, current relationship, or mental illness.

At one point I was bitter about it, but then I just see it with such a sense of humor at the ridiculousness of it. Shannon and I at one point were going to write a screenplay about the ridiculousness of our love lives, because at one point they were just fucking so ridiculous you wouldn’t believe (I made a mix tape for this guy and the first song was “Closer” by Nine Inch Nails, you know, “I want to fuck you like an animal…” and he was like, oh nice, thanks I liked it) — she wanted to call it “Exit Fantasy, Enter Irony.”

I tell my boss all of this. It’s turning out to be a strange conversation. But I can tell he empathizes. He tells me I’m young, which I’m quite aware of. I’m not exactly banging on Heaven’s door and I sure as all hell am not planning on having any kids in the next decade.

I don’t know what to do with all of this. It’s a weird conversation to have with your boss.

Love is Blind

So Providence last night, right?

I want to start at the end, because it was impossibly beautiful — a true moment of Zen I had while driving. It was one o’clock in the morning, post-show, almost raining but not quite. The sun roof was open. I was driving barefoot. The air was deep amethyst, ultraviolet pollutionsky. I found this traditional Irish radio program that was playing softly. Shea was asleep in the passenger seat. And I was smiling to myself because I felt like when I left that down-home filthy full-of-love Blues bar just an hour before, I had left behind me a layer of useless snakeskin that no longer fit.

I let go.

Lupos is a total shit hole club. I’d never been there. I know Met Café, its mini-me, is a total shit hole club. But Lupos is just a larger scale. It’s like the Paradise after the apocalypse. With a few more feet on either side.

The show was sold out but we got there a little too early. Jump, Little Children was playing and then Howie Day was headlining. I don’t like when Jump opens for another band because they never really open up. They don’t seem to get playful and luxurious like they do when they’ve got the stage to themselves. But I was excited as hell to get a double hitter that night, with Howie and Jump playing together.

There were a total of four bands playing, which for ten bucks isn’t bad, but after the first two bands — some lousy beer commercial soundtrack crap and a little blond chick on the piano — I wanted them to pay me.

I don’t know. Jump came on. This band has been one of my favorites for probably 5 years now, and I’ve seen them play more than twenty times. Their shows have moved me enormously in the past, and not to the “I’m crying at the hands of Andrew Bird” way, but in the “I want to be that happy” way. Inspired me to create, to do what I love. I’d leave smiling and write for three days straight without food or sleep.

But last night, though I must confess that Matt Bivins is hands down the sexiest performer to walk the earth, I felt untouched. I felt disconnected. In short, I didn’t care.

This was a big shock to me; two years ago Shea and I had planned a roadtrip to drive down to NC for their annual Dock Street Theatre formal affair. That’s how much I loved them. I don’t know. Jay Clifford’s voice is so beautiful it wounds, but last night I couldn’t get into the music. It just rang flat for me. They only played a handful of songs before they were ushered off.

When did Howie Day get so fucking famous? I don’t understand it. One minute he’s picking his nose on stage in coffee houses and the next he’s got a fleet of a dozen techs on stage tuning his $3,000 guitars. I say good for him, I think that’s fantastic. Except that his show didn’t leave an impression on me. Maybe it would have, had I stayed for more than three songs.

He was playing with a generic back up band, and while his passion and foot-stamping post-adolescent aching is what I love about him, that all got swallowed up by the band playing behind him. It killed it all for me. That and all the drunk Todds with their white college hats in my face.

Three songs in, Shea and I looked at each other and shrugged. I sat down because my back hurt. He looked bored. “What do you think?” He shrugged. “I don’t know — what do you think?” I said I think I’m bored. I wanted to hear “Madrigals” really bad I remarked that I could just go home and put on the CD.

Which reminds me of Shannon and I having one too many bad shows at the Middle East before we decided we should just stay home, turn the music up too loud, and blow smoke in each other’s faces to create an authentic MidE experience.

So we left.

I was feeling disappointed. I felt like I was letting go of this part of me that I held dear — the part of me that I thought could still really, really, like easy pop music played by far-too-beautiful boys. The part of me that was defined by the autumn of 2001, listening to the Howie Day “Happy Endings” bootleg, sprawled on my bed and aching beyond all mortal bounds over a boy the color of September. The loss of that scared me.

We’re walking to my car and I realize in a panic that I’m out of cigarettes with an hour drive ahead of us (and there’s nothing in Providence — and I mean nothing) — not even a Store 24 in sight. There’s this bar across the street from where I parked and we can hear the music pouring out, and I figure they sell cigarettes so Shea and I go in.

You have to go down below street level to get in, and we are enveloped completely and instantaneously by Blues, smoke, and a golden, explosive energy. The room is throbbing.

I feel overwhelmed by goodness, deep down goodness, and smile on my face is enormous. I shake my head in disbelief. The band in on the floor — the place is the size of my kitchen — and the bar-goers are sitting at an L shaped table that boxes the band in. The crowd is as local as it gets. There’s a line of Harleys parked outside. People are dancing on tables and doing shots off each other’s bodies. The singer is pulling people up out of the crowd to sing back-up with him. Dirty, wailing Blues fills the room, and this old, bald, fat black man with fingers quick as steel and his bassist with the ponytail and zebra skin pants are more beautiful than a rumpled-headed Howie could ever dream of being.

That’s what I realized.

The bands in New Orleans make me fall in love with them every time I’m down there. It’s infectious, and it’s about movement, about dancing and screaming and feeling life in your bones, and it don’t matter how many teeth you be missin as long as you can sing.

The juxtaposition is ridiculous. The feeling of leaving Lupo’s lukewarm and unsatisfied, and being tossed into the middle of this crazy mass of lovers whooping and feelin the pain of the world with such joy it was palpable… as we left the place, I took off my shoes in the street and walked through the rain and got into my car, realizing music ain’t about the skin-deep, and Blues always been, and opened my sunroof and drove off into the night in my moment of Zen.

Give Me Some Space

Whenever Jon Rodgers plays guitar, I cry. Whenever Andrew Bird parts his lips, my heart breaks. They were playing Iron and Wine between sets. I don’t know how I made it through Sunday night alive.

I bring Jon a pumpkin to the show. Victoria asks me why. I’m not sure. We’re sitting on the steps of the Space. If I had said that 3 years ago, it would have meant the Wonderland Records practice space on Treadwell St. in Hamden, CT. Where I cut my teeth on the indie music scene in 1993. Where I fell in love with life, a blond boy and six strings.

Back then, the practice space was a converted warehouse — the home of the band Mighty Purple. The downstairs was filled with instruments. The upstairs was Wonderland Records, the label founded and run by Steve, Mighty Purple’s front man. There was no heat and little running water. Our lives revolved around the Space.

Now “The Space” is across the street, in its very own building. Except it’s not just for instrument storage and consumption of illicit substances anymore. The Space is an immaculate club Steve has nursed from the ground up into a fertile venue, record label, and thrift shop. They host open mic nights and band showcases, among a long list of other activites, all of which are performed for a full house. The kind of place that feels like your living room, but can book national acts like Andrew Bird. Like Sunday night.

Steve was untouchable to me in 1993 — on stage, singing, dancing, throwing flowers to the sold-out audience. When he left the Daily Cafe, I would touch his chair just because he had sat in it. Then one night my friend Amanda and I were walking through the streets of New Haven, and ran into Steve, and I kidnapped him and took him to Amanda’s cottage in the woods. He and I rowed out to the middle of the lake and talked until sunrise. He pulled tiny gold leaves from the water and gave them to me to commemorate the night. He told me he loved my innocence. He spent the next three years destroying it.

A decade later Victoria and I are sitting on the cement steps of the new and improved Space. It’s overwhelming to come back here, to feel out of place in an environment I called home for so many years. To see the kids who took our place, though they are a cleaned-up Christian version of the chaos and dysfunctional hellions we were.

Our Ultra Old School Friend Anthony arrives. Victoria, Anthony, my pumpkin and I are waiting for the doors to open. She chain smokes out of habit, I chain smoke because I’m having a nervous breakdown.

We see Steve working, running up and down stairs, directing the artists, manning the mic. Paying the employees. Making sure everything’s running smoothly. His wife is standing just inside the door, smiling a sin-less smile, encircling her six-month pregnant stomach with a delicate arm.

We are used to this state of affairs by now. It’s no longer weird to see. But standing there on the steps with Victoria and Anthony something suddenly snaps into perspective. Steve nods to us through the glass front doors of the club. Lighting another cigarette, I shake my head. Steve.

Me: I went to the prom with him.

Victoria: I lost my virginity to him.

Anthony: I think Vic wins that round.

::pause::

Anthony: Though the prom is kind of a big deal.

Victoria: Yeah, but Steve wore my pants to her prom.

Me: Okay. You get that one.

I’ll confide in you. The reason I’m having the nervous breakdown is not the pumpkin or the pregnant wife or feeling out of place in my home base. It is the presence of Andrew Bird, who is presently digging his violin out of his van a dozen feet to my left. I am pale and shaking. Victoria exhales and nods toward me coolly. “You gonna be okay?” But she understands. She and Anthony continue catching up about some recent news, and I can’t hear a word they’re saying.

Andrew lilts past me, all air and distance, leaving a wake of feathers in his path.

I carried a pumpkin?

Jon Rodgers, Steve’s brother, is opening for Andrew Bird. He appears in the doorway for the first time, his glow filling the entire parking lot. I want to ladle the energy out of him and spackle it to my skin. He is radiant and frenetic, as always. He tells me excitedly about the quartet he’s writing, that he’s playing piano, learning violin. Jon’s been playing guitar since age seven. That’s all he’s been doing. Half the time he forgets to eat. He wakes up every morning and says, “Yay! I get to play today! What do I want to play with?”

The depth of my love for Jon is wordless. I love him infinitely in ways I cannot even explain. He has been a piece of me for ten years. He is a miracle and a genius, and just to be around him ignites my mind. I walk away bursting with creativity. I want to breathe him in and make him part of me. Sharing his air is never enough.

Jon and I are talking about some things that have been on both of our minds lately — connecting with people who you feel inside that you know, people you *get* — and how unfortunate it is when you can’t tell them. Because sometimes you see an artist you know you understand. You believe deeply that they could understand you as well, but you can’t rightly walk up to that person and say, “Hey listen, you don’t know me, but I get you. And you could get me.” There might be a restraining order invoked.

Jon played with Bright Eyes awhile ago, spending time with Conor Obherst — the half-insane enigma boy. It was a similar experience for him. It’s unfortunate. Because I think artists need to hear that their work is affecting other artists so enormously. That they’re putting so much of themselves out there that their inherent nature becomes clear to someone else, someone they might not even know.

When you see someone you understand, and you know that you have something wise and wonderful to offer them as well… what do you do with that?

Jon left Robert A. Heinlein’s book Stranger in a Strange Land in New Orleans a few years ago when he knew I’d be passing through there during my travels. He wanted to share it with me. I understand Heinlein’s use of the word “grok” — to know, feel, understand and be one with another person all at the same time.

There are people in our lives that we know socially who we can confess such feelings to in a safe environment. Though even then it can be misconstrued and make social interactions uncomfortable. Especially when there’s a male/female dynamic involved. But I don’t say things to get people into bed. I say them because they’re true.

So we’re having this conversation excitedly on the steps of the Space, and I brandish the pumpkin. “Wow! You brought me a pumpkin!” Neither of us is sure why.

Later Jon confesses to giving the pumpkin to a couple of kids who were begging for it outside the club. They really, really wanted it, and he told them they couldn’t smash it. They said no — they wanted to take it home and carve it. It brought him such joy to give it to them. Maybe that’s the same reason why I gave it to him.

I assert the obvious and tell Jon that Andrew Bird is here and I don’t know what to do with myself. “Yeah, he’s really great, isn’t he?” But I’m not sure that he *gets* it.

Yet.

Four thousand cigarettes later, Victoria and I stumble into the Space and claim the seats she has knocked over several good Christians for — front row center. I sit back and put my feet up against the stage. Jon wanders out under the amber lights, holding the neck of his Guild, brown bangs covering his right eye. He sits on his stool and his violinist tunes her instrument and they begin.

Jon is churning scales, movement, spinning chord changes… he is scampering fist and haunches toward some enormous wall, wailing up against it, shouldering to break free — scrambling tooth and nail to the top and rejoicing in that victory before reeling into vertigo from dancing on the ledge. He gives us thirty minutes of his brilliant mind and then humbly leaves the stage with a wide, child-like grin.

Then Andrew lands in his halo of light with golden lips and silver fingers.

With Victoria’s hard fought and won seating arrangement, he is standing ten feet from us. There is so much humanity to this guy I hail as godly — up close I can see him do such human things tonight, but he still never becomes ordinary. I saw him perform for the first time after years of long-distance love just a few weeks ago at the Middle East in Cambridge. There was a million people, voices, smoke and laughter between us. Here there was dead silence. Clean air. And very little space.

He plays the songs I know note for note. His stories are silly and non-sensical. He is weirdly funny. One of his songs that sounds so dark and painful he tells us is actually about a scientist who is trying to answer the question of why kids are so mean. In the end, he gets the answer from a Sesame Street episode, “disturbing as that may be.”

He finishes with, “No apocolypse in this song… even if there will be snacks.”

While he’s playing, he seems confused about which instrument he’s supposed to be picking up next. His guitar is slung across his back and his violin pressed to his chest as he sings, playing the xylophone. When he switches from one to the other, the top of the guitar smashes against the ceiling. He chuckles. “Whatever money I save by not having a band I compensate for by breaking instruments.”

I see all the human details that still never manage to bring him down for me: I can see him work his effects pedal between the monitors. I watch him remove his powder blue Adidas by stepping on the heels, exposing little black socks that are on slightly sideways. He stretches an arched foot toward the buttons to add delay, to loop his violin. He writes a symphony alone on stage. I see his ferociously delicate canine teeth as he sings and the freckles on his nose. I hear him screw up the song, stumble on the lyrics, and forget which instrument he has recorded on his effects processor. But whenever he opens his eyes and looks out from his world, they are unfocused, turned in on their own radiance. He is not seeing us.

His whole existence is ethereal and haunting.

I know after the show that I have to tell him all of these things — that I want to live in his wrought iron and velvet candle world, that I want to roll around in the magic of that sound. That I want to be a part of all that flight.

I have to tell him. I put my hand on his arm softly and he turns to me. “That was brilliant. You’re magical. I won’t be able to listen to anything else for days. Thank you for making such beautiful music.”

He listens to me carefully as I tell him this, my right hand pressed to my heart as I do when I’m overwhelmed. He listens to me like I’m talking about someone else, like he’s watching me from far away. There is no reaction, no recognition on his face. Just the look of white clouds in a blue sky. The corners of his beautiful mouth turned up in a faint smile.

After a minute I leave him, satisfied.

I explode out of the club into the cool night and Jon is running past me in the opposite direction, post-show blissed out, shining. I can’t speak. My hand is still pressed to my heart. Jon stops halfway down the stairs and turns back to me, saying with delight, “Andrew scares me!”

I smile, understanding.

We get him.

Notes from the Underground

Why do men want to be gynecologists?

I don’t think I need to elaborate.

What’s up with cragislist list these days? It’s more entertaining than the network news. I sit at work and read craigslist, for god’s sake. Casual Encounters, indeed. The fact that you can post an ad for a Chinese chick to give you a blowjob while you eat dinner (20 minutes and a whopping $100) and have someone answer that ad could only happen in America. When you’re done you can peruse the same site for a real job and a set of china. I toast capitalism.

I’ve consumed nothing but liver and Gatorade for the past three days.

* * * *
7.16.03: I begin my day by getting shit on by a bird. The men who play chess here all day have spray bottles of water they keep handy for such occasions. Shooting starlings from the trees.
* * * *
Tomorrow porterdavis is playing as part of their Wednesday night residency at P.J. Ryan’s in Somerville. There will be music, magic and more.

I don’t trust magicians. They’re deceitful and manipulative.

Musicians, I like.

* * * *
9.10.03:Automatic seatbelts. A sea of futons.
* * * *

In 1993 we stole checkered pants from the cook’s closet of Friendly’s to wear to Ska shows. We also stole peeled hard-boiled eggs from cold white buckets of water in the giant refrigerator because their consistency fascinated and revolted us.

I was the victim of a psychological experiment today when I bent down to pick up a subway token that was glued to the pavement.

* * * *
9/6/03: It’s kind of vile — the Duck Pond, having seen it empty, now smelling it full. There’s more than just goose shit, you know. There’s a bridge (over troubled waters) where two weddings were bound wholly in matrimony today. Little did those two white routines (ingested inaccurately) know what magic, in two words, was spray painted on the supportive cinder blocks beneath:

LOOK. HIGHER.

The Commons feel like a million years ago and while it’s nice to visit, I don’t know why you’d want to live here. There are roots and sand, where I sat taking two-hour lunch breaks and hour-long cigarette breaks, avoiding the mud on my shoes as you were singing to me over long-distance phone lines: “All Across the Universe…” Bah. You are no bard, my friend. I don’t believe a word you sang with those unfaithful lips.
* * * *

Sometimes when it rains you can smell the ocean. Or is that just sewage on wet brick?

Blues always been.

* * * *
9.8.03: Soon enough this Public Garden will be flushed with fall, a million colors of gold. And then, clean cold winterwhite. Ahh New Year’s Eve… that Boy with eyes of honey and bee-stung lips — I wanted to kiss him sweetly on that brilliant icy night, red white and purple reflected in the ice sculptures, not yet finished. That night also mystical — the unfinished ice sculptures spun like surprise in the cold cold night. They were a color-dappled party that nobody else could see. The sky was magenta. I was shooting black and white film. Men with chainsaws fed crystal shavings to the sky. Their sculptures loomed three stories high with no one there to see them yet — they were abandoned and strange, only for us: hobbled horses and angels covered haphazardly in blue tarp — a flimsy disguise that no one but us would try to uncover anyway.
* * * *

No time for poetry but exactly what it is. (Jack Kerouac)

Cinnamon is a celebration of fall, if you think about it.

* * * *
8.1.03: Last night at Toad — at 12:01 AM — I screamed “Happy New Year!” into the midnight August bar. Every day should be.
* * * *

Boy on elevator wearing Dinosaur Jr. shirt.
I wantonly divulge my passionate adolescent love of J.Mascis.
He shrugs.
It is his roommate’s shirt.

* * * *
9.12.03: (96 bus) I wanted to feed you so badly, feed you from my fingers like a frightened animal. But snarling with your tail between your legs you limped away. Now you show up at my back door like a stray cat, mewling for milk. I’ve got nothing but sours for you, my friend.
* * * *

Geographically-aware marketing alert: “And you thought this bus was crowded.” Ironically, the bus was empty.

It would be cool if you could tear off your leg and toss it into the ocean and have it grow another you, like a starfish can, if you think about it.

Think about it.

Worshiping September

His Highness the Dali Lama is speaking at Harvard. When I left work at 5:00 yesterday, there were people already waiting in line. Tickets went on sale this morning at 9:00. Kids had sleeping-bags and tents, rolling dreamy-eyed into the dirty Square morning and taking their places in line. We knew there would be a mob. But at least it’s a peaceful mob. There are thousands of them. There’s an element of the Lemming Syndrome, I’m sure. Half of them probably don’t even know what they’re in line for. They’ll get up to the ticket window and be sorely disappointed. “This isn’t for the Madonna concert?!”
Someone just suggested pulling the fire alarm to see what would happen to the thousands of people waiting in line who would have to relocate to make room for the fire engines. I think that would be an entertaining experiment.
So I’m a Harvard student now. Classes start next week. I was able to go to CVS and buy back to school supplies, which I haven’t done in a long time. I even got a Spongebob Squarepants pencil case and some new Bic disposable #2’s in turquoise. I’m using my tuition waiver to take “Celtic Paganism” which got a raised eyebrow from my manager who had to sign my registration form. I figure I spent four years taking shit I didn’t care about just to get to the good stuff. So now I’m just taking the good stuff.
Another fabulous testament to fall: Au Bon Pain is now serving Harvest Pumpkin soup again. Need I say more?
And I can’t wait until summer is over so everyone can put their clothes back on. I’ve seen enough toe rings and pink butterfly tattoos for one season.
I’m already rolling around in the fallness of it. To make matters that much sweeter, I am currently holding tickets to a dozen shows for which I have to down pills so I can sleep at night. It’s like the night before Christmas.
And ooooh the pain of being torn between two sources of absolute, total, and uncompromised love: today is my dearest, sweetest friend Ruby’s birthday party at her Cambridge cottage by the riverside. And Andrew Bird is playing with Josh Ritter at the Paradise. The pain. The torture. The temptation! There are ethics involved, my friends.
I was pleased as punch to hear that Josh Ritter‘s new album was released at number two on the Irish charts. And he sold out New York in several venues. Go Josh! I’ve always had a soft spot for him in my heart. He is not afraid.
Forty-two days till the Death Cab for Cutie shows.
I had a full-blown heart attack when I discovered that my longtime darlings Jump, Little Children are playing with Howie Day. I thought I’d avoid the whole skank-a-thon that Avalon in Boston promises to be so I got tickets to see them at Lupo’s Heartbreak Hotel in Providence. Plus Built to Spill is playing in Boston the same night as the skank-a-thon and I’d choose ornery indie rock boys over a fleet of navels and ponytails any day.
I am slotted for the following, which I highly recommend you all attend:

  • 9/21 Andrew Bird — The Space, Hamden CT
  • 9/26 Nada Surf — Middle East, Cambridge
  • 9/28 Howie Day and Jump, Little Children — Lupo’s, Providence
  • 9/29 & 9/30 Built to Spill — Paradise, Boston
  • 10/4 The Fly Seville — TT the Bear’s, Cambridge
  • 10/9 Calexico and the Frames (!!!!) — Paradise, Boston
  • 10/16 Iron and Wine — TT’s, Cambridge
  • 10/24&25 Death Cab for Cutie (I worship thee, Ben Gibbard) — MidE

I’m not sure I can make it through the Iron and Wine show. I’m debating going. The depth of emotion makes me puke.
In other news, I’m gearing up for a knock-down drag-out Halloween Bash this year. I hosted a Harvest Party last year because I didn’t want to compete with some big Halloween engagements in the area, but this year it’s mine all mine. I’ve already started working on my costume. It involves live snakes.
And pumpkins for all,.