Done a Houdini, and now I’m back. Woo hoo!
Enough of apologies. I ain’t sorry. I just haven’t felt like writing much. Which might have something to do with the change in the weather, or my reluctance to embrace the oncoming holiday season, or something. Suffice it to say that I’ve fallen hard away from the discipline of daily oversharing. Maybe I’ll get back up to speed. Maybe not.
So here it is a Sunday morning, and I’m sitting in a laundromat typing away. ‘Tis a good feeling, having hit the Safeway for more detergent and other sundries, and Peet’s for some coffee, and then the outdoor farmer’s market for some fresh fruit, vegetables and honey, and now here I am at a little after 9 a.m. with my laundry almost done washing and ready to go into the dryer.
For a while I hadn’t written anything; I went through one of those seasonal dark nights of the soul that seems to be par for the course around this time every year, and the resulting darkengloomenwhatthefuckdoidonowensnurfen, or whatever the right German word for that is, and just general angsty angst kinda kept me from writing anything. I mean, the Giants won the frickin’ World Series, and a bunch of other good things happened, and I couldn’t get it together to write anything. Such is life, no?
So now, at least this morning, writing feels good. Lately, I’ve been more inclined to get home, fix dinner and pick up the guitar than I’ve felt like writing. I have this huge backlog of songs that I’ve written over the years, and it’s become really important to work out arrangements to them and practice them to the point that, should I ever get lucky enough to play another gig, or be stupid enough to stumble through the gauntlet of ego-crushing inanities that make up the average open-mic night, at least I’ll be ready. I’ve really been wanting to sit down with Kevin Seconds or somebody else who might have sage advice on how to construct a really killer set, but so far I’ve just chickened out.
In fact, chicken is my middle name, even if I no longer eat yardbird. I’m working on making some really positive changes, especially so that I can make amends to people who helped me out during the couple of years I wandered in the wilderness of not having a job or a fixed address. If any of you should read this, I just want you to know how grateful I am. And so now comes the hard work of making good and righting balances and doing what we in certain circles call the serious footwork. I don’t know why I’m so willing all of a sudden; maybe that I’m so very tired of living with pain, whether it comes in a dull chronic thrum or an acute and overwhelming blitzkrieg, and I’m tired of watching opportunities go whizzing by because I’m too damned incapacitated to deal.
So here I sit on a warm, nearly winter Sunday morning, typing on a bench in a laundromat. The sun is out, which makes for a healthy antidote to seasonal affective disorder, and my clothes are in the dryer, which means that all I gotta do is fold ’em and go home and put them away, and that part of the deal is done. Then, a little housecleaning. Yeah, boring, mundane, shoot me and all that, but life just seems to function better for me when things are reasonably squared away.
Tomorrow, back to it. One of the stupid little things I regret now is that I never stopped in for breakfast at Rockin’ Robin’s off the Jahant Road exit on Highway 99; sometime around Thanksgiving, I drove by there and the giant bass guitar and all the crude hand-lettered signage were gone, and the building was empty. I’d fantasized about going in there and, although the risk of ptomaine and other gnarly gastrointestinal afflictions seemed high from the looks of the place, ordering breakfast from some proprietor who, in my head, was my age, but had kept it up with all the cocktails and recreationals over the years, and now was cooking dog’s breakfasts for anyone clueless enough to stumble through his doors, while peppering them with questions about now-obscure late ’60s and early ’70s English boogie bands: “Who do you think was better, Blodwyn Pig or Budgie?” Or maybe want to argue the finer points of Jethro Tull lyrics.
These are the stupid things I think about sometimes. I’m still like this weird little kid who would seize upon one thing like a dog with a chew toy, and wring everything out of it; such is the occasionally rampant Asperger’s geek in me. Like Jahant Road: Did you know that “the Jahant” — pronounced “jay-hant” (two even syllables, second one’s vowel sounds like the “a” in “hand”) — is now an American viticulture region? This would necessitate the changing of the pronunciation of Jahant to “zha-HAWN,” to rescue the word from Okified English and put it in a context where pretentious Saab-driving oenophiles won’t stumble over it. There’s a lot more, like the San Joaquin County obituaries I found when looking up stuff about Charles and Peter Jahant, and, well ….
Well, my laundry’s done dried, and I gotta fold the schmattes and blow this popsicle stand.
More later. I promise. —Jackson Griffith