I remember a party here and some stoner in a Black Sabbath shirt kept requesting Iron Man. I’d never seen the guy before and he was way high and quite insistent about hearing Iron Man. I am Iron Man he sang, dum dum dum dum dum/da da da da da da dah/dum dee dum. I gave in. So you want Iron Man? Here ya go, and I put on Eric Dolphy. Ba ba ba da be da/da be da. That’s Iron Man, I said, and showed him the cover. He looked bewildered, even hurt. I almost felt guilty and jacked up the volume. Dolphy screamed a solo. He left. Jazz can be cruel.
I remember driving through Missouri River bottomlands on the Yankton Sioux reservation on the summer solstice. Dusk faded slowly and the air was full of fireflies as the sun took forever to set. We stopped by a bridge to get our bearings, reading the map by the last rays of sunlight. Somewhere past 9:30 it was finally nighttime and we slunk through Nebraska on the south side of the river in the dark, the air fragrant with loam and alfalfa and slow water.
I remember the time a doctor told me I was an alcoholic. But I barely drink, I said. He gave me a look. Denial, he said, was part of my problem. But doctor, I scarcely drink. When I go out to I’ll have a drink or two, and just every once in a while at home. I barely qualify as a social drinker. I’m writing you a referral for our alcoholism counseling service, he said. But I’m not a drunk I said again. It will be OK, he said.
A friend asked if I went to the counseling. No, I said, I’m not an alcoholic. I barely drink. You didn’t go to the AA meetings? Of course not. But this is Hollywood, he said. A former drinking buddy of his met David Bowie that way. I don’t care, I said, I’m not going to go to AA meetings. It’s your life, he said.
Got asked for the zillionth time last night how we’ve been married forever. Well, I said, it’s been thirty eight years of me mansplaining to an Indian who’s not gonna listen to a white man no matter what. Fyl laughed. The earnest questioner was as bewildered as before. Maybe you think about it too much Fyl marriedsplained, and the tenor player began a gorgeous, perfect Skylark, Fyl closing her eyes as jazz love filled the room.
Today’s the day that all the Eastern Orthodox kids had their second Christmas. That’s all I knew about the Great Schism when I was a kid, that the Greek kids down the street got two Christmases and the Irish kids just got one. Anyway, Merry Christmas, Greek kids.
The pad is utterly Xmas free again. Every year there is a Christmas explosion that fills the house, and then just as suddenly it reverse explodes back onto the closet shelf, all of it but the tree (which goes wherever sacrificed trees go), a crazed Christmas party’s worth of stuff reboxed with an inherited Germanic efficiency that my Irish half observes with lazy poetry.
Apparently if you slip your phone into your shirt pocket without shutting it down and then forget about it for a couple hours strange things happen. I’d retreated to the bar and between songs odd sounds were emanating from somewhere. I paid them no mind as I hang out in weird bars. As the bartendress did not seem especially interested in the story of life I reached for my phone to admire myself in my blog–I used to be so clever–when I realized it was on and the odd sounds I’d been hearing were from an enthusiastic Filipino/Filipina shemale thoroughly bespattered with DNA that had reached its evolutionary dead end. Imagine my surprise. Just as several women descended on me for drunken New Year’s Eve’s Eve hugs I managed to shut that particular window, and noticed between hugs and slurred Happy New Year’s that there were a dozen windows open on my phone screen, all safe for work, one of which, somehow, was my Hotmail spam folder, and either blind chance or fate managed to pop open the email titled “Hot Philipeno shemale!!!” and activate the link. Hence the odd sounds emanating from my shirt pocket. I never look at my Hotmail spam folder, and a good thing too, as it was full of videos of doomed DNA. I deleted its contents, ignoring the metaphor, then closed all the open windows, turned the phone off and thought safe, sweet analog thoughts the rest of the night.