Lap of Luxury

One o’clock. Almost done reading Jacob’s Room. Only another forty pages. It seems to be a study in communication breakdown, the question of whether language has the power to preserve. Maybe it just perishes. The book contains many unfinished sentences and incomplete thoughts. Looking over this old paperback triggers the memory of music I heard that winter. It is The Song of the Nightingale by Stravinsky, a symphonic poem he completed in 1917. A hundred years ago might as well be a billion. A little older than the earth, the ancient sun has broken through the overcast. My mind’s eye can imagine the inside of the little music shop on the corner of Fifth and Pearl. The light was never very bright in there, but it was cozy and pleasant. A mere hole in the wall next to Cat’s Meow Jazz and Blues Corner. It smelled like spice or incense in the building. Like new merchandise. We stumbled onto the Music Gourmet in December 1993, I forget how. It started with buying the Nutcracker Ballet. I took this cd with me on a visit to Ken and Cindy in Harrisburg. Around that time, my grandnephew Travis was born. Things were never very peachy, yet I was happy because my parents were still alive.

Two o’clock. Now, my sole pretension to wealth is the roof over my head that I own. I might feel a little weird about going to Fifth Street to hang out. At the time in 1993, I was unconscious of socioeconomic realities. I lived in the lap of luxury, taking a free ride with my folks. I had no shame, no matter how my psychiatrist tried to drive me away from them. But he didn’t understand that we were an interdependent unit. The three of us needed each other. And in 1997, I performed with Satin Love to make my mother happy one last time. I felt, a bit desperately, that time was running out. But I pulled it off, even though I had to leave the band… It’s still difficult for me to tell whether I’m making choices in my own interests or rather in those of a ghost. When I was a student, my intellect went places where my mother couldn’t follow. I kind of liked that, just because I was doing something for myself.

I only like dreaming

All the day long

Where no one is screaming

Be good Johnny


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