Midnight Thoughts

Eleven twenty.

It’s been a difficult day. My visit with Heidi was good, but the rest was cold as a cadaver, and equally gray. My bass, arriving tomorrow afternoon, is finished in Ocean Turquoise, with a tortoise shell pickguard. Apparently the color didn’t sell well. People prefer black, white, red, or sunburst for an instrument color. It’s the conservative norm. Blue will never be as popular, but that’s how I got this bass on sale. I once owned a Translucent Teal Music Man bass that played and sounded great. The drawback was that the neck was finished with nothing but gun oil and looked ugly. It seemed like a gyp for a bass that cost me over $1300. I was never satisfied with it. I bought it in 1998 and kept it for only three years. I hope that turquoise and teal are not a curse on me. If so, then I’ll just live with it. Until the Fender arrives tomorrow, I’ll be nervous about it. It’s in Portland right now. An important point to remember is using your own ears to judge what sounds good. Euphony carries no dollar value.

One o’clock. There’s no substitute for knowledge, being informed. It’s always better when the passions don’t colorize our judgment and discretion. They have a way of snaring us in traps that are inextricable. Somehow I took my Aristotle lessons to heart as a junior in college. His Nicomachean Ethics ends with the question of whether it might be best to live the life of the lone philosopher. Since that time, I’ve watched a lot of relationships come together and crumble apart. None ever lasts forever. And the best unions I’ve seen have been intellectual friendships, the marriage of true minds. Finding them can be rare, but they do tend to last much longer. They also go much deeper than any carnal relationship. I know a person who once told me she was uncomfortable with depth and intimacy, and for that reason she wanted less to do with me. I told her that was fine with me, though it seemed peculiar to my mind. It still does, yet I realize that the true oddball is me.

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