A Literal Interpreter

One o’clock. Pastor came by and we talked for a few minutes a couple of hours ago. He had pondered my email to him a long time. Bottom line is they’re keeping an open door for me, and I’m welcome to help at Food for Lane County also. In addition I got a text message from the guitar player who had answered my ad on Craigslist. He said he would contact his drummer and we could get together. Then I practiced on my bass guitar with my brain full of the Tower of Power I’d listened to last night. Their rhythm section is really great, and the whole band is tight and together. So today I sounded pretty good, I thought… I bought some strawberry ice cream this morning. In a moment I’ll probably have some more, and give Aesop a few dollops. I so look forward to jamming with these guys. I just thought of the bass line to “Love Machine:” it is very difficult, yet I played it live with Satin Love a long time ago.

Two thirty. This is the time of the day I like the least. So I’ll just roll with it until it gets better at around five o’clock. Maybe put my iPad down and read Nietzsche for a while.

Five o’clock. Currently it’s 97 degrees outside, 84 degrees inside. Our hottest day so far this summer. Pastor said he thought that I’m a black and white thinker. I admitted that I like to have things nailed down. He’s okay with being gray and ambiguous on religion. This feedback from him is interesting. I wouldn’t have considered myself cut and dried, but I do go for precision and accuracy. That is, I will ask, What exactly does this passage mean? As if the meaning were absolute and not relative to the reader. I reckon I was never a Marxist critic in English classes. The more I think about it, the more it appears that Pastor is right… Tomorrow’s forecast calls for a high of 86 degrees. It’ll be nice to see cooler weather. It’s harder on Aesop than on me.



I recall the energy of Blue Face. We were really good together around twenty years ago. But rock and roll exacerbated my illness. I think it’s just this region, but the musicians really believe in hell and want to go there. Not me. I remember the times I drove myself home from the Hollywood Taxi after two in the morning. I’d cross the bridge from Main Street in Springfield to the area called Glenwood, thence to Franklin Boulevard past the University Campus on the left. I would go under the Ferry Street Bridge to Sixth Street and then hang a right on Willamette and follow it to Fifth. From there I zigzagged to First and on home. At two o’clock, the dark streets were pretty much mine. I thought about getting home to my pug Henry, who’d been left alone for eight hours. I felt hung on the wires between his innocence and the seamy rock and roll nightlife I was returning from. The dichotomy may have been false but it felt real to me. Western culture seemed set up that way, with daytime and nighttime activities. So there I was driving homeward with my ears ringing and my faculties fuzzy, wondering what in the world I was doing in a hard rock band. My head spun with neon pink and purple afterimages from the club. All I wanted was to get home. Every gig was like that: just get through it and get home. Whom did I do it for? To be such a chore, I don’t think it was for me. It was rather an obsession planted by my mother. Hopefully I can turn music into something I do for myself in the years to come. It should be lighter and brighter in outlook, and beyond dichotomies of evil and good. Grayness is a good thing.