Friday, December 30, 2016

I was playing guitar with Mick Jagger and Keith Richards. We sat in a small circle, showing each other song ideas. I told them I wanted that double-guitar sound from “Black and Blue,” songs like “Hand of Fate” and “Hot Stuff.” I played a descending bass line idea. It sounded trite until I decided to resolve it early. I played it again and Keith seemed pleased. I felt happy and relieved.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Michael Schumacher was pitching for the Yankees in an important playoff game. At one point he lost his cool and threw the ball out to left field. It followed the trajectory of a normal pitch, angling slightly down until it hit the wall at knee level. The breach of decorum caused a furor in the stadium but it was amazing how he threw the ball.

Later, a friend—maybe Sean?—pinch-hit a go-ahead home run. I stepped out of the stands and congratulated him at home plate with a chest bump, like a teammate. Later he rejoined the crowd and hung out on a patch of grass with our group, still in his pinstripe pants.

Saturday, December 03, 2016

Something about a sweater someone lost at a bar. I offered to go back and get it. A car like a go-kart or a dune buggy, its rear wheels bogged down in the mud.

Thursday, December 01, 2016

People were gathering for C.W.’s wedding. He’d been out fishing, and now was back. A.H. told me she had played the lottery every day, and won it for $30 million once. It seemed weird that she’d never told me.

I was playing soccer against an Englishman. Just me and him on the entire field, kicking the ball back and forth from goal to goal. It kept going in the woods.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

The media had broken down as result of Trump’s election. Click-bait fake news had taken over and traditional news outlets were vilified and harassed into the margins. Anyone who stood up for the truth or for thoughtful debate could expect a targeted campaign of online vitriol and humiliation. I just remember somehow trying to navigate this new world.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Pete invited me into the record store. They were going out of business, he said, so I was free to take anything I wanted. The space was piled floor to ceiling with empty beer bottles, everything Pete and his coworkers had drunk over the years. I tried to calculate whether there were thousands of dollars worth of five-cent deposits or hundreds. I decided hundreds. Pete told me I could take anything from their inventory, and there was more downstairs. I went down there to find a vast storeroom. There were kitchen utensils and knick knacks like salt and pepper shakers. Glasses, plates. I think I dreamt this because we walked by the tag sale on Seventh Avenue on Sunday.

There was a luthier’s room with guitar parts strewn about it, a workbench for repairs, and guitars hung on the walls. I walked past it to a corner of the room with strange stringed instruments I’d never seen before. There were piles of a double-CD entitled “Titles of Every Country Song of All Time.” No music, just the titles. I supposed there had been so many country songs that it took two CDs to fit a list of them all. There were guitar picks. I couldn’t find the ones I use, Fender super heavies, so I took a box of Fender heavies. I wondered if I should text C. D. and ask him what picks he uses, and take some for him.

I’d gathered some other things, I can’t remember what. They were becoming cumbersome in my arms and I had to constantly shift around so I wouldn’t drop anything. Sara called and I told her to come down, take what she wanted. There was very little good music left, though. Just easy listening compilations, Christmas music. Titles like “Trumpet Classics.” I figured it was time to leave.

Wednesday, November 09, 2016

We were on a trip somewhere, the three of us. We visited an old house on a hill, then watch a film of it being deliberately destroyed. It rolled down the hill on some kind of trailer, gathered up some other structures in its path, and crashed on the other side of the street, partly falling into a lake. There were a couple of ancient bluegrass musicians at this house, or in this film. One played the guitar beautifully, remarkably well for his age.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

There was a plane that went down in a terrorist attack. A few passengers survived, and one of them wrote a poem about it. I read it, and was deeply moved. Then I was on the plane as it prepared for flight. Or maybe I was just watching.

Friday, August 26, 2016

I dreamt James Joyce sat in a pub and raised a pint in praise of beer itself. He said, “You’re not so powerful now, but after 11 of you …”

Monday, August 15, 2016

I was in a small club watching Van Morrison sing. He was accompanied by only a guitarist. His performance grew more and more beautiful and soulful. The guitar player was creating percussive bass lines along with his chords, filling out the sound the way a band would.

Later I was driving a car. A. C. was in the passenger seat.

“Are you fucking Van Morrison?” I asked her.

“Yes,” she replied, without hesitation or shame. “About every weekend.”

I considered what this meant in terms of her marriage but didn’t ask anything else.

Tuesday, August 09, 2016

I was reading some text that said a good way to meditate was to repeat the letters “F-K-C” over and over in a high-speed mantra. In my dream the pronunciation of the letters sounded like “focusy,” meaning “somewhat like focus.” Focusy, focusy, focusy, focusy, I said, and sure enough I fell into a trance. I really felt it. My mind went numb and my vision blurred. I was a little scared, like I was losing control of my thoughts and wasn’t going to be able to get out of it. I thought about the Steely Dan line from “Parker’s Band,” “smacked into a trance.”

Friday, April 29, 2016

We were coming back from somewhere, riding in a van or a school bus, the family and maybe some others—my dad and brother, maybe. We drove past a demonstration of Ferrari Formula One cars, and I was sorry we hadn't known about it, that we'd gone somewhere else instead. There were two cars, driving around a track with banked turns. We watched for a while, amazed by their beauty. They turned into fighter jets. I tried to take pictures and videos of them as they flew past. It was hard to pan fast enough to keep them in the frame. Also, my camera was just a little disc, about two inches in diameter. It was hard to hold it steady between my fingers. There was an indicator when it was shooting video, a flashing symbol, but it wasn't working reliably. At one point a jet flew high, directly overhead. It hovered for a moment and then flew straight down, right at us. I thought I got a video. It crashed near us, causing God knows what damage and loss of life. Apparently the pilot was suicidal. I wondered how often that happened. I imagined how the pilot might have been able to change his mind, to pull up at the last moment and fly just off the ground, scaring people but not killing them.

Thursday, February 04, 2016

I was listening to a radio station where the DJ signed off each night by telling listeners to look up in the sky at the two satellites—the satellites that transmitted the station’s signal across the world I guess. I heard him say it and it was poignant, and I felt for the two satellites up there, crisscrossing the sky for us.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

I was able to walk up close to the Space Shuttle before a launch. The bottom of it was sitting on an ordinary wooden platform attached to a building, with steps leading up to it. I considered how much fire was going to come out of it soon, and wondered when they would clear the area. There were people milling around, including a matronly woman who seemed to be in charge. She carried away dirty dishes, as though in a restaurant after the lunch rush.