What’s happened to me? Do I even care about things anymore?
Showing posts tagged personal
Just in case anyone was wondering if I was still around, yeah, I’m still here. Just away from a computer for a bit.
In any event, I was on a rare absence from Boston when some fucker(s) blew up the finish line of the Marathon. Now that I’m back, I finally saw the massive police presence all around town. Holy fuck. How does it make people feel safer to have officers standing around all over the place with M-16s? What do they need rifles for? If somehow there was a reason to use them, it just seems like that would involve a lot of risk to innocent bystanders. Not to mention that cops are responsible for killing more innocent people than terrorists in the US.
Also, my library book is now overdue because the library still seems to be completely inaccessible.
Continued from here. Read that first. I’m not going to summarize it.
OK, so that was Friday evening. We probably went out to Foley’s that night, but the ten years since then has obscured any precise memory. I’m pretty sure it was the Monday after that when we went out to the Otherside Café, back when it was cool (also, of course, back when it existed; still not used to it not being there, even if it had ceased to be cool ages ago). Ravi’s eight-day plan had a bit more detail by then. He had arranged with a service where you drive somebody’s car some long distance for them. Drive-away cars were a fairly popular thing back in my parents’ day, but pretty rare in 2002. Quite possibly non-existent now.
Some random person happened to need a car driven from somewhere near Syracuse, New York to (I think) Tuscon, Arizona. Our coworker Nate, who I mentioned before, had a car and could drive Ravi and Sean out to Syracuse, and then continue on to San Francisco with them. So could I drive Nate’s car back to Boston? Actually, that was perfectly fine by me. I hadn’t been out of college for all that long, and still knew people I could drop in on for a night’s rest in Troy, New York. For some reason, I was thinking Syracuse was closer than two hours from Troy when I agreed, but I would have done it even if I had known. Various other people on the other side of the country would lend a hand with the Arizona to San Francisco part. That didn’t involve me.
Halloween night, which must have been either Wednesday or Thursday of that week, I went over to Cambridge to meet Ravi’s roommate Bryan and see the apartment. As it turned out, Bryan and I hit it off pretty well. He was heading out later to the annual SPiTZZ Halloween show (where they would dress and perform as the Cramps) at the Abbey Lounge, and was apparently good friends with the band. I had seen them back in August, and was amazed by them, but hadn’t managed to make it to a show since. I don’t think I mentioned, but my parents’ house, where I was living at the time, was pretty far away from fucking everything.
So I tagged along with Bryan for the show, and a couple drinks at Charlie’s afterwards. I recall also spending a bit of mental effort to figure out that although he totally had the voice for it, he wasn’t actually gay (really, though, how many straight guys use “fabulous” in casual conversation?). When I returned to his apartment (hell, it was after midnight of Oct. 31st, so technically my apartment by then), Sean had made it back to his sleeping bag in the living room, but Ravi never made it home. I took the couch (well, futon) and Sean insisted on the floor, and we watched Three’s Company reruns for a while. Grunted a hello to the other roommate, Luke, when he passed by in the morning. Work was a little confused when I called in from Cambridge the next morning and didn’t know where Ravi was. It was his last week, what were they going to do, fire him for being late?
The Friday of that week was Ravi’s going away party. It was convenient, because I could just pass out there that night since it was my apartment now, and in any event I was going to be heading out with Ravi and Nate and Sean the next morning. Apparently, I succeeded quite marvelously at that. I’ve been told that Ravi’s tiny bedroom had me passed out on the mattress and about eleven other people crowded around me doing coke. I always miss the good things.
The next day was filled with the sort of bittersweet sadness of a long goodbye. We loaded all of Ravi’s stuff (other than the mattress I was keeping, and still have, a couple guitars I mailed to him later, and some other random crap) into Nate’s little ten year old Honda Civic. He really didn’t own much. I don’t remember anything about the drive before the Mass Pike crossed into New York, except Ravi’s insistence on stopping for a drink as soon as we had left Massachusetts. Celebration for leaving the state with no happy hour.
We were running late, and finding a place for a drink turned out to be surprisingly difficult. I think it was East Greenbush where we found one of those little blue signs directing highway drivers towards nearby accommodations that said Margaritas. But that didn’t really pan out. Just as we were figuring it was time to give up, somebody in the car noticed that the nondescript white building up ahead had something that looked like a Budweiser neon sign. By the time we pulled up, we had no idea what to make of the place. It looked more like a house than a bar, and certainly didn’t seem to be doing business. But it was indeed open.
Well, who knows about “open”? The doors were unlocked, and there was somebody behind the bar willing to serve us. Her name was, I think, Bunny, and she was about eighty years old. The whole place was entirely out of a whole different era. She told us all about it, took us on a tour. We saw the amazing cast iron kitchen fixtures, and the jukebox that had actual 45s in it. Totally would have played some Johnny Cash had it been turned on. She told us about how it’s the place that the local politicians go for various functions. We only had time for one beer and the tour, and she wouldn’t let us leave until she had stood on her toes to give us all a kiss on the cheek. Somewhere, I’m pretty sure I’ve still got an ancient matchbook from that place.
I don’t know how late it was when we found the drive-away car office outside Syracuse, with one lady waiting up for us before closing up for the night. There was some paperwork that didn’t concern me, then we drove out to a gas station to fill up and move all of Ravi’s crap from one vehicle to the other. It was starting to snow. Then we hit up a liquor store. Ravi bought me a bottle of Jameson (but some fancy sort of Jameson) for my trouble, and we said our goodbyes out in some cold lonely liquor store parking lot somewhere out in the vicinity of Syracuse with snowflakes blowing around us.
Then I took over driving Nate’s little ten-year old Honda Civic, with a driver-side window that didn’t entirely close. It was actually getting pretty snowy by now, and I was two hours from Troy and all alone. I got that thing up to about eighty, driving straight into the snow, some of which was blowing into the car. I’m pretty damn sure not a single car passed me until I was on the Hoosick St. Bridge crossing into Troy. Partly was a feeling of loneliness after saying goodbye and having a two hour drive by myself that I was anxious to get out of. But I was also starting a new chapter of my own life, and I had no idea what it would bring.
And that was ten years ago, almost to the day.