I now know what I'll be doing next March 16th, assuming I haven't assumed room temperature by then. It's a rare occasion when I know what I'll be doing in a week, never mind in eight months....
I'll be in Detroit, a city I heartily dislike.
The reason is simple: A friend called me this afternoon -- in some respects, he's my best friend -- to let me know he's been signed to play a concert there on that date. I assured him that if he'd comp a ticket for me, I'd be there. I mean, if I come up with my airfare, hotel room and food, the least he can do is lay admission to the concert on me, right?
He'll probably expect me to pick up the bar tab in return. A ticket would be cheaper.
In any case, I'd go if I had to ride freight trains to get there and sleep in an alley when I arrive.
I've mentioned him before. He is a monstro talent, with technical facility and arranging ability that sometimes leaves me short of breath. When you play an instrument, you're keenly aware of what it takes to approach the genius level in a performance. I don't have that much talent and never will; he does.
Moreover, he is performing in a venue that I haven't been to in 40 years. The instrument housed there is a favorite of mine; it knocked me out when I heard it in person, knocks me out when I hear recordings of it. I have heard it played by people who have much less talent than my friend R.; it sounded good even then. I have a CD of him performing there that is just flat-out stunning.
Somehow, I am most comfortable around musicians. Other writers can get dreadfully boring; I can, and have, spent countless hours with musicians -- good ones, anyway -- without a moment of boredom.
Music is one of the two things that, all things considered, I would most love to spend the rest of my waking hours involved with.
The other? All things being equal, the rest of my time would be spent with a female musician. A woman who can lay down good tunes with style and verve leaves me weak in the knees. Even though my experience with the breed has so far been less than successful.
I try to tell myself that was an unfortunate exception.
Why does it always come down to that? Because, in my view, music and love are all that matter in this messed-up world. Ideally, they get intertwined.
I'd dearly love to have to buy two tickets for the Detroit trip. But if I have to go alone, I will.
I now have eight months to get my chops back up to speed. I know he'll expect me to sit down and play at some point during his rehearsals....
17 hours ago