Reading About Jazz, Listening to Swing

Readabilty Index: Unreadable

This morning I woke up around 8:30. I had some kind of weird dream. Ah fuck I don’t really remember what it was. But at the time it was very vivid. I stood out in the kitchen just staring at shit for a while. I don’t know why. I didn’t know what to do. I always feel like I should be doing something important. But there’s nothing important to do.

Yesterday my girlfriend and I went down to the coast for our anniversary. We went to this Turkish coffee shop called Sofra. I got this orchid root drink that was too sweet and flowery for me. She liked it. She got a hazelnut latte that actually tasted like hazelnuts. I got an egg sandwich on bread that they made there. It was super light and flavorful. There’s got to be a better word than flavorful. Zesty. Nah. But fuck it. Then we drove to Newport and toured The Breakers. Then we went to lunch and had oysters and beer and chowder and a burger and talked about taking a trip to Europe instead of Asia. Then we drove around and went home. We were supposed to go out to eat but instead I got us some takeout from Bon Chon Chicken. It was delicious. And flavorful. So fucking flavorful. And we watched The Pirates! Band of Misfits (interesting quote from the Wikipedia article: “In January 2012, it was reported that the latest trailer of The Pirates! attracted some very negative reactions from the ‘leprosy community’.”). It was funny. I watched the end twice because she fell asleep halfway through. But then she fell asleep before the end again.

This morning I still had the Zipcar so I told her I’d take her to the train station before I dropped it off. Then I was going to go to the bank and then the library on the bus and get some more coffee, but once we got in the car I realized I had left my bag inside with the books I had to return and the cash I had to deposit, so I said fuck it. I came back here and started reading Blues People. I was looking for this other quote I’d seen and it didn’t take me too long to find it. Just about half an hour or…more like an hour I guess. I’m trying to just calm down and enjoy doing one thing instead of worrying about the things I’m not doing.

The quote was on page 199: “…the music by the mid-forties had also begun to get tagged with that famous disparagement art (meaning superfluous, rather than something that makes it seem important that you are a human being).”

It’s interesting because he’s talking about how the music was a way for black people to think and express themselves in a culture that wasn’t their own. Music was just something you did to get through. It was a necessary part of life. Whereas art is contrived. Or something. I guess in the 1940s the word ‘art’ had different connotations than it does today, because today it’s viewed positively. But I can still make a connection to my own life because I worry that what I’m doing isn’t art. But art, at least according to Kurt Vonnegut, is just something you should do to deal with life. In A Man Without a Country, one of my favorite books, it’s a book of essays about divers subjects, he says:

If you want to really hurt your parents, and you don’t have the nerve to be gay, the least you can do is go into the arts. I’m not kidding. The arts are not a way to make a living. They are a very human way of making life more bearable. Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven’s sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possibly can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something.

I think I’m definitely going to get in trouble for just quoting these books. Or at least I hope so. I just hope they don’t want any money, because I haven’t got it.

Ah shit speaking of that I was supposed to close my Wells Fargo account today before American Express tries to take some more money out of there and overdrafts the damn thing for the eighth time in two months.

But anyway. Why wasn’t I on here writing up a storm on Saturday? Well, shit, my girlfriend and I spent the morning together. Walking down to Oak Square and then back up to Treats bakery on Washington Street. Then I went to work and it was crazy. I missed the one bus, then I had to run up the street to catch a different bus, and it crossed the road just out of reach and I ran after it and it stopped at the next stop to pick up like five people. It was right in front of a stoplight that had been green for a while so I thought it would stop…hoped it would anyway. So I kept running in my thick boots and closed in…but that damn light didn’t change. And the bus went right through and then the light changed. So I walked the four miles to work. Ran the last mile because I was running out of time. Then we had a huge party and I made like four hundred bucks. But it was another one of those situations where people were getting drunk by the end and we were about to have to cut people off. Thankfully we were able to just close the bar at the appointed time and didn’t have to do that. It’s the one part of bartending that I really suck at. And then four of us got into a car and my friend took us all home, which was fucking suite.

Ah shit. But today I’m supposed to do the laundry too. Yesterday my fellow bartender texted me and asked me to cover for him today. I guess I pissed him off because I asked if he still needed me to cover for him…I guess it was because I texted him like ten hours after he texted me. Because I had my phone off all day because I had gotten like three straight calls from some bill collector. Oh that’s what my dream was about. My friend who went to Afghanistan came back and stayed with me and my mom at my childhood home, but he was still pissed at me but we were supposed to hang out a lot and I knew my girlfriend was not going to like it. Yeah.

So that’s what’s going on around this motherfucker today. Shit I better get to it.

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