Sunday, August 30, 2009

Death in the children's store

The bells on the door jingle. I look up to see Mr. H (for Harmless) and his new pal. Both 60-ish, a little scruffy, and markedly slow. Mr. New (his buddy) wears a cap that’s been washed a few times and won’t ever look nice again. His baseline expression is one of slight amusement, near-smiling. They both slouch. Mr. H has big lips that chew up his words as he gets them out. He looks at me only from the periphery, but he always comes in. I wonder what he’ll take out with him today. It’s usually a free brochure on businesses in Cambridge. Sometimes it’s a flyer for a babysitter or cloth diaper service.

Mr. H: Hellah-o. You’ve seen us before, right?
Jo: Yes I have.
Mr. H: Because we come in here sometimes.
Jo: Every weekend.

New: Everyone has to pass away eventually
Jo: busies herself looking in cabinets.
Mr. H
: We come in here. Me and my buddy here. What’s your name again?

: It’s Jo.
Mr. H: Jooaa… Jo?
Jo: Yes. Jo.
Mr. New: Do we all have to pass away? Why should we all have to pass away?

Mr. H
: Yoomans do pass away. We have to.
Mr. New: looking to me, although seemingly addressing Mr. H
I don’t see why we should have to.
Mr. H: plucking a business card, because he only takes things that are free.
The animals, they don’t live as long as yoomans.
Mr. New: We should live forever.
Jo: as though there’s something essential inside cabinets that must be found. looking busier...
Mr. H: If you think of a dog they only get to be about twenty before they die.

Jo: eyebrow spike...
Mr. H: Or a small dog they only make it to about twelve.
Jo: Yep.
Mr. New: But why should anything die?
Mr. H: rocking from foot to foot.What do you think about little people? I bet little people pass away earlier. I bet they don’t last as long as we do.
Jo: shrug.
Mr. H: I’m 58. That’s me, I’m 58 years old now. This year.
Mr. New: How is it we’re going to pass away?
Jo: I don’t have an answer.
Mr. New: It seems like we should have been made better to not pass away. Why do you think it is we pass away?
Jo: Um… well, we’re made out of stuff that rots.
Mr. H: Because if you think of it little people are like little dogs. They probably don’t last as long.
Mr. New: I think maybe we won’t pass away.
Mr. H: heading for the doorWe will though.
Mr. New: following
I’m not so sure about that.

The door jingles as they exit, still jabbering, talking to themselves as though they were never speaking to me. Out into the world.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Ahh, memories.

I found myself saying this today and I'm still chortling:

"I thought we were dating, but it turns out he was merely French."

I guess this is proof that those "you'll look back on this and laugh" moments truly exist...

Saturday, August 15, 2009

the boulevard of broken strings

There are few events that can come up that will make me cancel plans with other people I like, but Jake Armerding playing at Club Passim is one of those events.

Apologies, person with whom I canceled plans, but the show was flippin' amazing!

I forget, over and over again, how much I love live music, only to be smacked in the face with the power of it when I'm in its presence again. Watching these men expertly, lovingly drawing music out of mandolins, saxophones, guitars, guitar cases! There's an alchemy there that I miss and feel throbbing like a phantom limb. I used to be capable of that.

More than that I miss Arahsae, who introduced me to Jake Armerding. I miss listening to my brother play his guitar/bass/whatever through the bedroom wall, even being annoyed with him for it. I miss the feeling of slipping my voice between the notes of guitar, trumpet, keyboard in that basement jazz club in Galway.

Last night Cap'n Armerding broke a string during the first song, which he solved prettily enough by switching for his mandolin. Then he asked the crowd if anyone could change a guitar string. I wanted to raise my little hand, but honestly, I'm clumsy. There was a moment when I would have done anything to hold the guitar, warm from the performers hands, be somehow a part of the machine of that music.

I hope the neighbors didn't mind me belting in the shower this morning.