The morning of this show, I remembered I bought a ticket months ago. So I went.
Jayhawks, original lineup, irresistible.
Gary Louris and his Gibson are, I believe, the same age.
I have been thinking about death far too often the past two weeks.
I suck at math, but have been making calculations. Thirty years ago, what was happening? I was in Mr. Mack’s English class, pointedly reading Pound’s Cantos and saying screw you to almost everyone. Thirty years from now, I will be 75 freaking years old. God and the Prime Mover willing, that is.
Though I am not into Mindfulness Meditation with a copyright and trademark, I’ve always been mindful of small, good things. Plus I absorb minutiae. The term for this trait is “eidetic.” I do it with words, meals, moments, visuals. Remembered paragraphs from magazines 25 years ago. And not profound paragraphs.
I freak people out with my recall of their past.
A guy from college said, “You’re not supposed to remember that. That is my memory, not yours.”
I was there in the quad, smelling popcorn and mildew, I heard him, I saw the precise shucking of his parka. This was 2010 when I spoke with him, 25 years since he announced his recent shtupping of a certain someone on the 50-yard-line. Ours was not a rah-rah school, so this collegiate moment and image charmed me back then. It promptly lodged in my brain.
Along with so many private dirty details, my own and others, restaurant tables mid meal, sounds of chairs in 1987.
The precise moment of a New Years Eve spent on a phone long distance with my best friend, both of us wondering what the eff have we done, why are we 23 and sad, her brother — a bit older and sad too — intoning awful Edie Brickell lyrics in the background.
It’s like it happened yesterday. And I store all of this crap.
And when something hideous happens, I make computations. Bad in math as I am, this is not a good thing.
As the mother of the brother and sister mentioned above once told me, “Youth is wasted on the young.” As a friend who calculates things for a living told me today, “Don’t spend your middle age forecasting your old age.”
I think rocking out to Gary Louris and Mark Olson (especially Gary Louris) is a fine outlet.
The one thing I’d change: better sound for Karen Grotberg. Her piano makes “Blue,” as far as I’m concerned. I wanted more of it. Karen Grotberg, from one bespectacled black-clad mom to another: You look awesome and I love to watch you play.
The person directly behind me made this recording. I’m the head of big bouncing hair. The beefy forearms at the end are not mine, however.
Chanting “walkin’ on down the road” with a crowd of people who genuinely loved this band, as I do, felt really good, since, I realized, everyone in that room is getting old.