It’s always great fun when Steve drops by for a chat. He’s been coming around for short visits since way back when I was in the middle of a first marriage, still living and playing in San Diego. The days when punks sorta ruled my ears, but he tickled me in a completely different way. Tonight he’s talking about the joys of middle age and how you need to “laugh at what you used to think you knew.” He’s slyly smiling as he sings this, and encourages me to tap along with his enthusiasm. “Middle age is hectic, much less time for fun. Clearly it’s a good think youth is wasted on the young.” Wise guy. He shared some fun things he’s been learning about north Jersey, and some of the things he’s been studying about the life of Spalding Gray. Somehow we get on the subject of the past, and he tells me flat out, “Man, I Miss That Girl.” There’s a few I really miss, too, so nostalgia reigns here for a brief period, but then we agree, “there ain’t a lot to say” on that subject.
Then he starts telling me about this new girl in his his life in a poetic way, “those laughing stars, those talking trees. Was just a dream we shared that no one else could see. You’re on my mind so tenderly, as time goes by, you’re meant for me.” Then he livens up a bit and shares some cute moments with her, “there’s something special in your arms, there’s something magic in your kiss, there’s something wondrous in the words you say to me.” Steve gets around to telling em why he’s driving through these strange sounding city names in Jersey – turns out Diane lives in what he’s calling “Springsteen land.” He’s wry enough about it.
Of course, whenever someone spends more than 30 minutes in my home the subject gets around to politics, and he waxes on a bit with his opinion on Baghdad, but then he hits below the belt and starts reminding me that he’s the same age I am, smirking that “the geometric days are gone and earth is still a sphere, objects in the mirror may be just as they appear. We spin around the sun and call each trip we make a year, 30 more years of this and friend, I am out of here.” I was kinda thinking 25 years, but he’s a bit more optimistic than I am – he believes we’ll live till we’re 80. Then he strums his guitar for a little bit, not talking at all. It’s not a hard tune to play along with, but it’s pretty. Then, he stands up and puts his guitar down and acts like he’s gonna leave. We ask him to stay just awhile longer, so he pulls out his harmonica, picks up his guitar and sings an oldie but goodie for us. Then he says he really has to take off because we’ve been “lost in talk and I waste my time because it’s all been said before.” Hate to see him leave, but he’s right. And I have to get up in the morning. It was a pleasant evening, tho, and I’ll be inviting him back to get “lost in talk” a lot more this year. Everything’s all right.