Thankful? You bet.
All the more so as I get out of the icy wind and enter a chilly subway and walk passed an old unwashed homeless man chewing his food with an intense look of “Oh that is so good!” as he clutches a precious plastic salad bar container crammed with Thanksgiving dinner provided him by some charitable entity.
And I walk down the platform to a too-skinny woman of 30 trying on sneakers before rejecting them. She leaves them on the dumpster, and twitches her way by me as her companion glares at me with piercing blue eyes from out of the brambles of thick blonde hair and a blonde bushy beard, and then shuffles passed me, clearly worried about her as he shoulders a couple of bags while tugging along a dirty carry-on suitcase held by a long knotted rag.
I’m thankful the train will provide a little warmth for them. But I assume the old man is staying put and quite thankful to just be out of that wind.
How I do mourn your passing each year, my dearest June
So much rests in your welcoming arms,
How I’d almost forgotten what it’s like
That buoyant highline ride across a string of performances that just won’t let you stop til it’s all done.
But after two days of wake-up, travel, play til numb, stare at alien bedroom ceiling, get up too soon after a dawn ice storm, absorb coffee and carbs, play too many hours too long but not stop even after the last video is shot, prattle on over burgers before bed, and then performing for a third day at the Martin Museum despite swollen fingers and the unexpected construction of a special presentation site for a private, deep-pocketed tour heard just off-camera, and ending up in a hotel room rented to construct our own makeshift video studio because some new Martins suddenly became available at the Distribution Center, just as I was on my way to that stage coach home, I still ended up spending Friday night back in Brooklyn, vibrating in front of my best friends while gratefully absorbing their 21-year-old Balblair and Insanely-year-old Caol Ila, and then staring at my own bedroom ceiling only to not be able sleep past 7 on Saturday, what with my girlfriend sick as a dog in Florida when I can’t take care of her, and so much back log of writing to do after the soul-crushing fatigue of my own 30-day bout of the flu has finally dissipated just in time for this past week’s trip.
And here I am on Saturday night, now after midnight, after a good sushi dinner with “super dry” hot sake, after borrowing a pre-CBS seafoam green Stratocaster, after one too many glasses of the Great Malt Which Wounds from the Isle of Skye, after Season 1 episode 2 of Grantchester, here I sit, with roommates and cat having given up long before.
And 11 hours from now I head out, Strat in hand, to the plush Battalion Studios in Gowanus for a large amplifier reunion jam with my 1990s rock band, the Cheese Beads. (And me with no ear plugs!)
I have a sneaking suspicion that sometime Monday morning I will fall off the proverbial cliff…
Until the next tour gets underway.
But at least that one will require of my fingers little beyond giving massages to some very special toes situated near, if not always on, a beach in Florida, and lapping up some sun and sea.
I’ve never been that far south before. I hear it’s nice there.
So I go out to blow a bit of birthday money on some comfort food,
Since I am sick and all
I am proud of my restraint
My annual Birthday Dinner took place at Congee Village
As it has for some 15 years
It is always a good sign when an upscale Chinese restaurant is so crowded you can barely squeeze through the lobby and bar, and your party includes the only non-Chinese in sight.
My birthday is Monday.
And that means I get a whole weekend.
Well… Here’s how my birthday weekend started.