I have a terrible headache, a bad cold, you know, the usual. It is a Friday night and I'm considering what to do. Not that there are that many options. I mean, there are basically two options, stay in or go out. The 'out' option is not terribly exciting and involves meeting up with a person, probably downtown somewhere even though I want to stay uptown. And conversation will inevitably be stilted. And let's face it, I don't really want to go out, I mean what's the point? I will spend money pointlessly, forget about the obvious shittiness of my life for a coupla hours, and then feel bad physically (and otherwise) tomorrow. And I don't want to stay in because I don't like 'in.' Long story.
I got an e-mail from an old friend of mine in Bangladesh yesterday who wrote to me to remind me of the songs we used to listen to as kids. Apparently, I had a cassette tape (!) which had a song by the band called Poco. Yes, Poco, that Poco. Think of 1970s-era sub-Eagles feel-good California music that flows over you. As soon as the song is over, you've forgotten it, but it felt good to listen to it for a few minutes, especially 'cause when you first heard it you were 15 years old and had a crush on some girl. The song in question, "Crazy Love," is actually not as bad as I make it sound. It still conjures up little feelings buried somewhere in my keenly sharped indie brain. "Crazy Love" was perfect for being 15 and being, um, of the sensitive ilk.
Anyway, the dude who wrote me the e-mail is exactly my age, has the same name. We followed very identical paths in our adolescence, smoking our first cigarettes together, having our first girlfriends, discovering Houses of the Holy at the same time, reading Slaughterhouse Five simultaneously, etc. etc. One might say that he was my best friend at that time. We were two clowns, he the witty optimistic and me the sardonic foil. (Although when we argued, it was always because I accused him of using my jokes, which were better than his, to impress people and pick up chicks). I have not had much contact with him since we were about 18 although I've seen him on and off over the years, sometimes at parties, once in a bar in the West Village, another time at the international airport in Calcutta (Kolkata). He remains perfectly frozen in time, maybe not physically but his personality and his presence. He's just as full of optimistic one-liners and has nary a dark strand in his entire body. He has no time for melancholia or navel-gazing or yearning or any such thing. Life is good and it is what it is. In his free time, he seems to follow English soccer and posts youtube videos of forgotten seventies bands on his Facebook page. ("California" by Manfred Mann, anyone?).
I have my headphones on, listening to stuff on random. Am listening to an old Verve song, the one called "So It Goes." He ends the song with the obvious lines.
"....another drink and I won't miss her
another drink and I won't miss her..."