Search

Conceptual Irregularities

The modern composer refuses to die – Edgar Varese

Category

home

Middle of the Night

At what point does one’s home become something more than an abode? I am sitting in an empty house. There is practically no furniture. The only things that remind me of me, other than the TV stand I made, are the paintings on the walls, all by artists who are friends: Desmond Hussey, Jeanne Risica, Babe Bakalar, Neil Bakalar, and then some Gaucho prints from the Argentine which have graced my family’s wallls for as long as I can remember. There are Tricia Lowrys, Hiro Watanabes, and Patricia Pedreiras in storage. And probably others I am not remembering right now.

The art connects me to my life, to my home. Stormy roots around on the bed. He will wake me at exactly 4am and want to be fed. We will go to the kitchen and he will eat and then we will both go out and stand at the end of the driveway in the quiet night. We will see the woman running, I think she’s Haitian, and say hi to her. She used to run with her son, who never looked like he wanted to be out running at 4 in the morning. He looked no more than 10 or 12. I guess by now he’s grown old enough to say no, but for a few years there it was a comforting sight.

The odd car goes by. If it gets late enough, a Boston Globe truck or a bakery sedan delivery. I will always notice the moon, what its phase and position is. I will think about the eons of humanity who have looked up at the same moon and thought the same things. This little slice of the galaxy that surrounds us and provides us with some kind of consistency.

This weekend is the Perseid meteor showers. Every year on our anniversary. We always go out to Copake where the wedding took place 16 years ago. We sit out on the grass in our Adirondack chairs, eyes trained on the sky. Someone sees a shooting star in the direction opposite from where you are looking and everyone turns but it is always too late. You see a meteor and you feel like you are the only one that saw it, but in reality there are thousands of people on lawns up and down the east coast looking at the same meteor and thinking the same thing.

My bride has fallen asleep out in the living room on the futon we have folded into a makeshift sofa. This is just like she used to do. Since we got rid of the sofa in the living room, she has been coming and joining me in the bedroom which I love to no end, but realistically, after 50, couples sleep alone. There is just too much mishegas when two old people are in the same bed. There are going to be a lot more bedrooms and living rooms and sofas in the new house. We’ll see…

She is my home, my everything. As difficult as this whole move has been, we have been tackling it together. We don’t necessarily talk much. But we get it done. And we provide a home for each other.

This song came up on my playlist today, a Matt Skeele song we recorded back in 95 or 96, “I Wake Up In The Middle Of The Night”. It is such a beautiful evocation of love and comfort and his singing and playing is so beautiful and it is one of my better atmosphere productions if i do say so myself. Enjoy….

Thanksgiving In The Heartland

Day 5: We go to Arlene’s assisted living facility to have Thanksgiving dinner there. We are seated at a table with the Freemans; her mother is a resident. Mr Freeman has got that taciturn Midwestern guy close-to-the-vest thing going on but I manage to get a chuckle or two out of him.

Arlene has had better days but eats a little pumpkin pie and a few bites of the string bean casserole. We all tuck into The styrofoam containers, noisily tearing off the lids so they don’t take up extra table space.

A woman is sittting alone at a table near us. An aide comes over, hugs her, and sees if she wants to move to another table with other people. She does and so moves. The interaction was so sweet.

Dinner is done by 12:30 so we take Arlene back To her room and go. It is not lost on me that that may be the last time I see her.

Mark, Lora, Kelsey and Lindsey get back from Des Moines around 6. It’s always fun to see the kids, both successful young professionals in Charlotte and Phoenix. When they get home, they are kids again, falling back into roles they have honed over the past 25 years. We sit out back on the patio around the gas fire pit and talk about work, plans, and old friends who still live in town. Kelsey and I, though at opposite ends of our careers, are dealing with similar issues: the intransigence of those who are permanently ensconced when one is trying to improve systems. I am glad to see that she is such a dynamo and is bent on trying new things.

We get back to Boston Friday night. I beg out of going to Copake and Tami winds up being sick so she doesn’t go either. Sunday she feels better and makes a fabulous turkey dinner for the two of us. I feel so lucky to be attached at the wrists and ankles to her.

Funeral

Last week we went to a funeral for Don Irwin, one of my father’s best friends. They had both grown up in Argentina and had emigrated to the US. Don went on to become a US congressman and mayor of Norwalk, CT. His family and ours were very close. One of my earliest memories is of driving down to visit them in Washington DC. They were always at the Argentine asados my father threw on an annual basis. When my parents would go away for much needed R&R from us, some of us would stay at the Irwins.

Don was always cheerful and kind of a happy go lucky guy. He and my father had a great friendship and I think that watching them taught me how to be a good friend. Don gave my father the job of DPW commissioner which was a left turn for Pop, having had no experience in public works. But the workforce was spanish and needed to be communicated with and that’s where Pop came in. The job only lasted a few years but it was one of the best times my dad had.

I have really good friends and they are among the things I value most. I believe that watching my father and Don joke around and support each other and talk about all kinds of topics and share music and family showed me how to cultivate this wonderful gift.

The Simple Life

Today was cooler. I picked raspberries tonight in Lorraine’s yard. Jiffy is lying on the bed with me. Stormy is his spot underneath The bed. My wife is watching The Young and The Restless tapes in the living room. It’s not much, it’s simple, and it’s home.
There was nothing that piqued my interest in the news today so I’ll talk about something else. Karen, our cat, is so full of life. She is playful and loves the dogs, playing with them, running after them and jumping over them. The dogs seem to regard her with bemusement. They generally ignore her. They let her eat their food and they wish they could eat hers, but they can’t.

Powered by WordPress.com.

Up ↑