That's my activity for this evening.
I am being visited by ghosts from the past. There would be more, but the box containing some old recordings I'd like to be listening to right now is, if I'm lucky, somewhere on its journey back to me.
Those tapes, which a friend has transferred to CDs, mean a lot. They remind me of glorious days. Some were made before I was born, though I knew and revered the man who made them, and once had a chance to play the same instrument on which they were made. Others were the result of my own collaboration with the same man, a brilliant musician who lost none of his skill with age.
But never mind that.
Like Joe Gillis, floating in Norma Desmond's pool in Sunset Boulevard, I find myself, more and more often, telling my story in past tense. That is, I assure you, involuntary. I would like to believe that more achievements -- and more happiness -- lie ahead. But I see few signs of it.
Not that all my memories of the past have to do with music. I'm thinking about a warm day in the East, when I shared an outdoor shower with a lovely lady. We had lots of soapy fun before heading off to enjoy burgers and beer.
And I remember a visit to a bar in NYC's Grand Central Station with the same lady. We got pleasantly buzzed on martinis before riding the commuter train back to her place...as I recall, we saw fireflies that night....
And I remember a day when another woman told me she loved me, and could not imagine life without me.
And I remember a day when I was lionized for an article I wrote. On that same day, a check arrived, for a sum that more than compensated me for the time and effort I had put in.
And I remember a day when a magazine I created and edited received fulsome praise.
And I remember the day when a beautiful, talented woman (the one who could not imagine her life without me) told me she wanted to marry me.
All these memories have one thing in common: they are memories, the remnants of promises and dreams unfulfilled.
That is why I feel more comfortable in the past than the in the present. I can see my mistakes, but I can also see that I had hope.
If I choose to look at the good moments, I must look backwards.
So I look into the past, when there were still possibilities and dreams.
And I look to tomorrow with dread.
15 hours ago