Snapshots from the early morning:
• Longtime readers will recall I once ran across Texas. (yeah, Gramps, what have you done lately?) The sun had just set as I reached the finish line, the river dividing Tejas and Gumboland. Sitting in the rescue car on the dark drive back to the home of Brother the Younger, a Jill Sobule CD was playing. It was the first real music I had heard in three weeks. There is a point of vulnerability in the psyche where things just seep in and never leave. Jill lives there for me. I was a fan before that, but that night she became part of me. I realize that sounds stupid. Just try it sometime.
• She was scheduled to play in Arizona once, which was unusual because we were never a hotbed for unknown singer/songwriters. Mo and I arrived early to secure a good seat. The club was a punk joint, with chain link fences and a bouncer who would have been comfortable on either side of the bars of a penitentiary. Three other bands, all with names like Buzzsaw Bloodpukers, were on the bill. I asked the guy at the door, just to make sure we were at the right place. “She canceled,” was all he said. And lived to play another day. As did we.
• We called our pal Jami tonight. She lives about 16,000 miles away in San Francisco. Mo and I were having a heated debate over whether a guy pulling a boxcar with his penis is suitable viewing for the workplace. For some reason Mo was skeptical. Jami is always our go-to voice of reason in such matters. She, of course, agreed with me. We talked for a minute before she had to get back to work. One of the most special people in my life, and this is how I spend our semiannual phone call? Which made me think of the Sobule song. Which made me think of running across Texas. Which made me think of hanging out at punk bars with my best friend waiting for a folk musician. And how when you’re at the starting line you just never really know where you’re going to end up. But it’s nice to have a gifted, if totally obscure, songwriter along for the run …