Well, for starters: the coffee. But I think that’s the only thing I’m gonna screw up today!
I think my mind was wandering when I was setting up the percolator last night because the coffee came out looking almost like water this morning. Unfortunately, I slept in until 6:15am today, so rather than be patient and wait and make a whole new pot, I opted for those caffeine drops in a glass of water and off we go.
I am so sensitive to caffeine, though, that those drops will either make me hone in on my laptop for hours and write THE most amazing chapter in Blessed By Light today, or I’ll vacuum the entire house and then maybe go outside and rake leaves or something!
Yes, I know it’s the height of Spring! But a heck of a lot of dead fall leaves are still in my front yard and on my front porch and in heaps in my front garden and also strewn heavily about on my front sidewalk. And if you’re curious – yes! I am the only one on the whole block who still has dead leaves hanging around, and quite a prodigious amount, at that.
I do have lawn care guys all summer, but so far it’s only been one guy who’s come this month and he’s had his hands full just trying to contend with the staggering amount of weeds around here that we affectionately refer to as “my backyard.”
The other lawn care guy, who is of Native American ancestral heritage, has been in the wilds of incredibly beautiful Coshocton County at a Pow Wow (which I think means bonfires and a lot of drums and smoking a lot of weed, but I’m not 100% positive about that) and he won’t be coming around to help until next week – wherein, I imagine this place is going to start looking really nice because Memorial Day weekend is when I always plant all the flowers in the flower boxes and the outside of the house starts to look so pretty that all the neighbors overlook my absolute inability to give a fuck about raking my leaves in November when everybody else gets out there and does it.
(Another thing I refuse to do is shovel snow. And the minute it snows, all my neighbors are out there, dutifully shoveling their 2 feet of fucking sidewalk! But I refuse to be drawn in to their guilt trips because I have an enormous amount of sidewalk. Not just in front of my (dead-leaf-strewn) house, but I have a corner lot and the sidewalk along the side of my house goes clear past my barn to the alley in back. In case you’re curious, that’s far. It’s just not fair. It’s way more work than any of my neighbors have to do so I just refuse to do it. I’ve noticed that the snow always eventually melts anyway.)
Yes, me. Homeowner extraordinaire!
Well, yesterday was so cool! Not only am I making actual progress with my studies of Italian this time around, but in an effort to help the guy learn piano without teaching him how to read music (which is something he doesn’t want to learn), I was investigating teaching methods that rely on improvisation and that dispense with music notes, theory & composition entirely.
(I’m glad I know how to read music. However, Music Theory & Composition, in case you were curious, gang, will just kill you. It will just turn you into a flat dead thing inside. It will pulverize your brain with a heavy wooden meat mallet and it will take a pair of wire cutters to your musical imagination and snip it right off. I took 2 grueling years of Theory & Composition many, many, many moons ago so I know whence I speak.)
But I found a teaching system that is just awesome, gang. I spent a few hours going over it last night. I only spent a handful of minutes (so far) going over the piano stuff, but the guitar stuff was too cool. It is so different from anything I was ever taught by a bazillion guitar teachers when I was growing up and it was really interesting. I got my guitar out and was practicing that stuff for a couple of hours last night. It’s all just fret work, but it’s a whole different approach to it.
I spent enough time looking over the piano stuff to know that I am going to have a whole new way of relating to the piano, too, when all of this is said and done. So it was just really cool.
Between this new way of learning Italian and this new approach to music, it just shows you that if you live long enough, new things come into your consciousness that erase anything old that was really bad.
But the flip-side of that sentiment… I was also thinking a lot last night about Nick the hit man for the Mob; still just thinking about all the probabilities and probable outcomes that I had never considered before. And up until last night, my conscience had taken solace in the fact that he would have been about 80 now anyway and I liked to imagine that he wasn’t even still alive.
Until I googled him.
Alas, he’s alive & well and still living in Manhattan. Shit, you know? That doesn’t help my conscience at all. That horrible last time I saw him, when he wanted to have “a little chat with me”, and he picked me up in a limo and we drove about half a block to an “Italian” restaurant in Midtown, mob guys everywhere. I was still just 20 years old and absolutely terrified and he, in essence, tore me a new one for killing his baby.
At the time, even though I was too scared to say anything, it made me angry because it was my baby, too, and it was not a decision I had really wanted to make. It was horrible. When I had come out of the anesthesia in the recovery room, there was a radio playing and – I kid you not – Queen was singing “Another One Bites the Dust.” And they were actually singing the chorus when I came out from under and heard it. I sobbed uncontrollably. The irony was just so not funny.
I cried when they were putting me under and sobbed when I came out from it, because I really wanted my baby but I thought it was the right thing. I couldn’t in good conscience have a kid whose father was a paid killer, right?
And yet, when I was 28 and finally met my own real dad – a man I absolutely worshiped… He’d been a Navy SEAL in Viet Nam from 1965 until 1975, when Saigon fell. And he killed more people in those ten years than you and I can possibly imagine. More than he even remembered. And he was paid to do that.
What is the real difference there?
But I totally adored him and he loved me like nobody’s business. More than anyone in my life had ever loved me.
And I deprived 2 people of that potential because I guess I thought I knew everything.
I’m not sure yet how to get my conscience to calm the fuck down, but life does indeed go on.
Okay. I’m gonna get started on the novel here now. And then I’m gonna practice my Italian, then practice my guitar, and wait for the Instagram photos to come in from Copenhagen, where Nick Cave is having a Conversation tonight. And I’m just gonna let everything be all right. It was all such a long time ago.
Thanks for visiting, gang. I love you, See ya.