THE LAST FIVE ...
Closing up shop
It may be time for a change
Entry in the air
Music of the moment
Or ... BE RANDOM!
2001-03-09 - 12:33 a.m.
Catching up on the last few days' worth of all this stuff...What the fuck.
I deal with frustration in silence. When things don't go well, when it's not going my way, I clam up, seething silently to myself, cursing it all out in my head. I look around at the crowd for someone I know, someone I can smile to and forget for a moment how annoyed I am. My father, on the other hand, voices his displeasure. Yelling, cursing, degrading the source of the angst. And he's always placing the blame, never giving the other side credit; it's always the fault of the "good guys."
Talking about it just makes me linger longer when I'd rather forget it and move on. I'm happier that way, and it's better to be happy than sulk in saddness, isn't it?
So it's been a while, I've been sporadic here. I've been busy this week. Baseball season nears, and I've got more assignments, more stories to write. We've got a special section coming out in the paper to preview the season, and I leave Friday for five days in Florida to do some interviews and research for the stories I'll be writing to fill that section. Should be fun – there's a high school friend I'll likely meet up with, a photographer who works with the team I'll probably go out drinking with. And he tells me my hotel in Clearwater is very close to the Original Hooters. They have great wings, you know. I'll probably visit, just for the historical aspect of it. I can add "Been to the Original Hooters" to my list of life's accomplishments, along with such things as Driving Across the Country, Touching the Stanley Cup, Standing on the Field At Notre Dame Stadium and Skinny Dipping. There are more, but I don't need to go into them here.
I like Brian Denehey, no matter how he spells his name, and the blond woman who used to be on "Spin City" and has appeared as the sister on "The Fugitive" and is now the wife on the new show "The Fighting Fitzgeralds." I watched the show because it's about an Irish family in New York – and, of course, all those promos leading up to the premiere that showed her in the green Notre Dame shirt with a No. 1 on it. My father had one from his days at ND and I used to wear it in 8th grade. Then I broke my arm in a baseball scrimmage the last day of Easter break and rather than have the nurses try to remove it over my arm and head in the hospital, we said they could cut it off me and we no longer have it. On the show, though, hers is new of course. And I see that "The Fighting Fitzgeralds" is going to be on Tuesdays at 8 p.m., which was the spot of "3rd Rock From The Sun," so I guess that one's cancelled. Too bad – not that it was cancelled, but that it had gotten to sucking, thereby forcing its cancellation. It used to be a hilarious show, but losing Tommy to college probably meant the beginning of the end. Or maybe even the nail in the coffin.
Frank Crow has just played "No Surrender" – "the live version, slow" as a friend once put it – as I sit here in crowded solitude at Val's Tavern. He launches into "Suspicious Minds," Heather's favorite Elvis song. Maybe that should've been a sign? She's the old ex-girlfriend, the one from high school. Two years, we grew close, we fell in love – a part of me still is, I suppose – and it all wasn't enough to last through college. OK, to last through the first month of college. There's a whole long detailed account I can give of Heather, and I probably will someday. There's a new Heather, though, a dear friend from college I don't see nearly often enough, whom I talk about often and I can tell the difference basically by the tone of the thoughts – kind, loving words for College Heather; bitter, angry ones for High School Heather.
I had a dream the other night about the H.S. Heather. It's not the first, but what does it mean? We were lying there for some reason, on a bed or blanket or mattress or floor. And we kissed.
I remember distinctly in the dream it was familiar. Her tongue on mine, the familiar caressing, the soft lips. I remember how she kissed. Kisses can be similar, but they're never the same person to person. So we kissed and it felt good. It felt right, my arm around her. I don't know where we were – in bed?
I've had these dreams before, her and me together again. But she's the one who always initiates the kiss.
I suppose, though, that I initiate the dream.
Now Frank Crow plays "Every Rose Has Its Thorn" and I flash back to high school dances – even grade school, of dancing at arms length with pretty girls in black dresses, my hands on their hips or – if lucky – around their waist, sometimes feeling the top of their panties. The first time it happened, I was so worried that moving my hands hire would draw attention to where they were, so I left them there, taking great care not to move my hands or fingers in the event that had she not noticed yet, my movement would lead to the discovery. All this in the darkness of the Markham Place School gym.
That first sip of Coke after several beers – so, so sweet. Sweeter than ever, sweeter than it can be.
The Big East Tournament is a battle of the bands. After a loss, the West Virginia band plays a final rally, one last hurrah before the early trip back to Morgantown. At the same time, across the court, the Villanova ensemble plays the alma mater, barely heard except for those nearby.
As its team takes the court for game two, the St. John's band strikes up its song, soon melding with Seton Hall's doing the same as the Pirates emerge from the tunnel. The Pirates then have to wait along the sidelines while St. John's occupies the entire court with a drill.
Outside Madison Square Garden, in the mall area in the New York cold, the Pittsburgh band plays in front of the Theater entrance, the cheerleaders supplementing their Sousa marches with rallying cries. Only the collective accent does not seem to fit. It comes out more New York than anything: "Let's go Painthers." Or maybe "Peenthers." Or "Paenthers." Whatever it was, it wasn't "Panthers."
But oh, it was good to listen to the Band of the Fighting Irish again, booming there in the confined low-ceilinged entrance mall of the Garden. We didn't see them at first, the Pitt crew taking up the forefront, but we were heard the Fight Song a moment later and the cheering began. A woman and her daughter came running through with a Notre Dame flag, and moments later, a small entourage including university president Monk and football coach Bob walked into the lobby for the game.
Apple (Macintosh) has a great new commerical advertising CD burning capabilities on its PCs: A casually dressed 20-something guy sits down in an otherwise empty theater, except for a crowd of people on the stage. It gives off the impression of a being an audition, and the guy proceeds to suggest the songs he'd like to put on a complilation CD. The crowd on the stage is comprised of musicians, who all comment each time the guy requests a song. Dwight Yokam, Smashmouth, Barry White and others I didn't catch (it was a commercial, I wasn't paying that much attention). Quite clever.
In other commercial news, I just received Nick Drake's Pink Moon album, the title track of which is used in a Volkswagon Cabrio commercial in which four people are driving to a party under the stars and upon arriving, back out and return to the road.
There's something special in staring off into the distance at receding railroad tracks. It's a sense of wonder, adventure at the possibilities. It takes the simplest choice – right or left? north or south? – and turns them into possibly life-altering decisions based on the roads that may diverge from from that first choice, either way down the line. It's like a fork in the road or the different destinations on departure gates at the airport. Where will this one take me?
"If you've never looked off into the distance, then your life is a shame." – Counting Crows, "Mrs. Potter's Lullabye"
Next page: Simply "Ed"
© 1998-2004 DC Products. All rights reserved.
Yeah, sorry I have to be all legal on you here, but unless otherwise indicated, all that you read here is mine, mine, mine. But feel free to quote me or make fun of me or borrow what I write and send it out as an e-mail forward to all your friends, family and coworkers. Just don't say it's yours, you know?