A Bloom



Past Is Present

One thirty. Aesop was able to swipe off the basket muzzle, as I had expected. My next idea is to play with him in the backyard. Elsewhere this afternoon, I jammed on the white Fender bass and decided I like it. It emits treble frequencies that my other basses don’t, which is good for cutting through the mix. I’ll use it in my next practice with Ron and Mike. Eventually I will put a high mass bridge on it. Harmonics played on it ring out very clear. I found myself sliding harmonics not only up but down. Ron wrote a song called “Jersey” in E minor that really lends itself to improv and dynamics. I should send a text to my band mates regarding practicing again. I’ve got the urge to play very keenly… In a couple of days Damien will begin work on the fence, a disruption of two more days…

Eighteen years ago I had a gig with Blueface at a club called the Foxfire. It really was quite a nice place. Stan, the bassist of Mr Wizard, came to hear us. So did Mike, the bass man with a job at Guitar Center. The band’s guitar players were pretty bad, so Richie and I as a rhythm section carried it off. Our singer had perfect pitch and was good at mimicking people’s voices. He just had a good ear. The lead guitar did not, but his energy was magnetic. The other guitar happened to be wealthy. A long story. Now, both Blueface and the Foxfire are extinct. The singer went from construction work to driving a city bus. The weather today, so vernal and suggestive of summer, brings back the past.

Word of Mouth

Quarter of eleven. I know it would be vain of me to think God is on my side for staying sober, and yet it’s kind of flukey the way the Coronavirus came and dropped money in my lap. The house fire did the same thing. Maybe letting go and letting God really works, as long as you don’t drink. Anything is possible, and you can’t rule it out. Roger told me that he couldn’t get a haircut, so I clued him in to Karen’s salon around the corner. He wouldn’t have thought of that, thinking that it’s only for women. Now he might consider it. I double checked the price list in the window as I passed the salon: men’s haircuts are 12 bucks. Meanwhile, Vicki is waiting to hear from her neurosurgeon regarding further action about the tumor. Hank and a few other guys were discussing how and where to get a fishing license. One man said it was free to native Oregonians. They agreed that Bi Mart was the place to go. My next trip there will be Monday or Tuesday to pick up a prescription. While I’m there I’ll see about buying a furnace filter and some socks. Today I bought a Coke just for a treat, and Milk Bones for Aesop. The sky is motley with cumulus clouds and powder blue, the sun hitting the ground at intervals. A perfect day in May.

First Girl

One fifty five. I think I’ve determined what was bugging me yesterday. It was the memory of my first girlfriend, who loved me and left me broken-hearted 33 years ago. My mind employed all kinds of defense mechanisms to hide it from myself. At the same time, my subconscious was gently trying to remind me of what happened in 1987. Yesterday afternoon the cravings for alcohol were so bad that I went to bed and tried to blot myself out of existence until the sun was nearly down. The trauma from that relationship is something I still have to deal with. I haven’t been in love with anyone else since her. I don’t know what to say about her right now, but it will gradually become clear. It gives me some pain to play my new bass, which sounds so similar to the old pewter Fender I owned in ‘87. I loved that little bass… Every springtime this trauma comes back to me, but not as badly as this year. I wonder what’s going to happen next?



While someone mows her lawn a shower starts

A spasm like a sneeze, then goes away

Buds on the rhododendrons soon to open

Hot pink and lavender will grace the day

The cattle dog, a marbled blue and white

Reposes on the floor, deceptively

He seems at ease but at the slightest sound

Will charge the door and bark instinctively

Neighbors, some in masks and others not

Are out to walk their dogs and passing moan

How trying on our patience is the lockdown

When everyone is forced to live alone

The shower comes again and turns to rain

No longer audible the droning mowers

People duck indoors out of the wet

As heavy cloud blind retribution lowers


Two twenty.

The sky closed up and it started to rain. It is rather a relief, a release of tension. When the wet garment is wrung, you expect water to come out. The drops hit the patio cover with a sound like a tympani. The south fence leans crazily to one side, just one more thing to take care of. Aesop feels as depressed as I do, and saying this, a deja vu teases the periphery of my mind. A while ago, a solicitor came to my door and took my rejection like a trooper. He was the third solicitor since the house was rebuilt. This morning, as I was leaving for the store, Aesop whined and began to yelp. I could hear him outside the door, and I felt bad. But he knows when things are not right. I feel ineffably sad and downhearted, deprived this week of my sunshine. I couldn’t admit to her how I felt because it would have increased her own feeling of guilt. It might compensate me to see Lisa in church on Sunday. It seems I have a couple of little crushes going on, with no future of fulfillment, but still two lights in my otherwise gloomy life. I believe it’s ok to have an inspiration in the form of a woman. If Dante and Petrarch could have Beatrice and Laura, then I’m not shy about admiring Heidi and Lisa. It’s even better that they are my friends… The raindrops keep banging the patio cover like a kettledrum. In a world of tragedy and sadness, the springtime yet promises to come.

Spring Not Far Behind

Before church.

My heart and mind are not in religion today, but still I’m going. At some point in every day, I miss alcohol like a friend. I wonder if that will ever go away? It’s like grieving for my mother, which took ten years to complete.

After church.

It’s a nice day, partly sunny. It feels warmer today. I’m in a better mood since worship and choir practice. I’ve also been to the market for foodstuffs for both of us. Pastor Joe filled in for Pastor Dan; I don’t know why the latter was absent, but service went quite well. And I was there and a part of it. Everybody came together as a team and we pulled it off. As spring approaches, I begin to enjoy people again, so I know what it means to be part of a community once more. It is good. On my way back from the store, I stopped and spoke with Dell and then Roger. I felt myself socializing very naturally, with pleasure and a little humor. Now it’s time for lunch; I’m heating a spaghetti entree.

After lunch. It was bad. I won’t buy that brand again. On the other hand, I stepped out in the backyard with Aesop for a few minutes: it is really lovely out there. My favorite aspect of it is the magnolia, which will be stunning when it blooms. Its large white flowers are always spectacular, though before, I couldn’t appreciate them. The bark mulch looks better than I at first thought. The backyard is generally worth investing in, for it gives a microcosmic little escape world, just outside my glass door. It should be a good place for reading and writing in the fresh air. Everything I used to do with alcohol will now be three times as good in recovery. I’m having a good day, and to thank for it I have time and the change of season. Life favors those who stick it out, who endure and persevere. The darkest winter always precedes the most glorious spring.