Thursday, September 27, 2018

There was a party at a house up a long wooded driveway. I went up there and I saw it was Hells Angels, so I thought better of it and turned around. There was an interesting song playing though, something about getting your kicks, over four chords and a shaggy beat.

We’d bought a new home in Westchester somewhere. The apartment was still furnished with the seller’s things and I contemplated what to throw away, what to keep. Then there were other people there, visiting us. There were mannequin heads arrayed on top of the kitchen cabinets. The fridge was painted a dull pink.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Two French travelers had come through town and stayed at the band house. After they left C. D. said, “I should have taken them to the French River.” This was a picturesque landmark near us, apparently. I told him, “And on the way, you should have gone on incessantly about how they’re French and the name of the river is the French River.” This seemed very funny to me. I couldn’t pronounce “incessantly” properly.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

A dayslong party on a property with multiple houses of different sizes. J. L. got extremely drunk. I was scrounging around for food. In one cottage I found some eggs in the fridge and wondered if anyone would care if I cooked them. People began to congregate there. Two guys wore identical print button-down shirts and I pointed it out, saying how funny. No one seemed to think anything of it.

Bob Dylan was a dog who quoted dark warnings from the Bible.

Monday, September 24, 2018

We were saying goodbye to some relatives, after a visit. D. and S., and B. Then we took a train for the long journey home. In it my dad held forth about the privations of World War II in Europe. He described how restaurants would pick the icy snow off of customers’ hats and coats and serve it to them as sorbet. After eating the customers played cruel games with each other, one of them involving singling people out for whipping with napkins. I had a sense of Nazism infecting the spirit of the people.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

I was like the walking dead at work, knowing I’d get laid off soon. I wandered over to where the French programmers sat—we were all in one big room. F. H. caught my attention to say he wouldn’t last long either, by way of comforting me. I asked him what were his plans. He and his girlfriend would go on a trip, he said. He asked me if I’d ever been to Pelouse. (“Pelouse” is French for “lawn.”) I told him I thought I had as a child. Then the office turned into a bar and a soccer game was on TV.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

I was hanging out in a bar downtown with G. C. and my old hometown friend B. S., who grew testy and obnoxious. At one point he grabbed my arm and examined the crook of my elbow, claiming to see needle tracks. There were indeed little holes there that seemed to go past the sinew and all the way to the other side. I protested angrily, saying maybe at one time that was true, but not anymore. B. had a second mouth at the level of his chin, a wide, grimacing maw full of sharp little teeth.

The bar was one of those old ones that claims to be the first in New York City. G. C. said it’s funny, there’s a different address on the door than the actual address. I said it’s because 170 years ago—I thought carefully before choosing this number—no one gave a fuck what number they were at or what street they were on.

Monday, September 17, 2018

I rode a centrifuge that was meant to replicate zero gravity. Someone I knew was driving it, like a car, and someone else I knew was another passenger. I waited to feel it. But I didn’t, really. I lifted up my hand, thinking it would seem to float away. Nothing was too different, except I kind of wanted to puke. Maybe it would work if I had a spacesuit on, I thought.

I was near Donald Trump—he was getting out of a limo—and I imagined running up and calling him a pig. The praise I would get, the vilification, depending.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

I was sitting at a table at a tropical-themed outdoor bar with an ex-girlfriend. Someone up at the bar invited me to drink with him. I couldn’t decide what to drink. “A Coke?” the bartender suggested. “What’s in that?” I asked. “Coke,” he replied. I’d imagined it was a whole lot of different booze that tastes like Coke when it’s mixed together. I considered a tequila shot.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Driving my parents home, up and down steep hills, going too fast—90 miles an hour.

David Bowie was my brother, or my cousin. I realized this when I read something in a book he’d written, a kind of autobiography in which he mentioned me and my brother and wished us well.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

I was at a Radiohead show with friends, the night after the disappointing one we saw. It’s a much better show, I told them. The sound was better.

Thom Yorke began wandering the crowd, interacting with people. He came right up to where I sat, singing seemingly improvised nonsense words. I held up my phone, but worried that he might take offense. Between lines in his song he told me it was OK. I took a few pictures and thought immediately of posting one to Facebook with the message, “Thom Yorke just sang in my face!”

Monday, September 10, 2018

The band hadn’t been rehearsing enough and there was a gig coming up. I wondered if I’d even remember how to play all these songs, whether I’d have to improvise my parts. C. W. did always say we played great after a bad rehearsal, I thought.

I was listening to “Satisfaction,” how this was the beginning of Keith playing like Keith plays, the double-guitar riffing thing, except it wasn’t, really. Only in my dream. At the end of the tune Charlie played repeated accents on his snare, and I knew they were coming: Yeah the twister comes, here comes the twister, bang-bang-bang, except that’s not a Rolling Stones song at all, is it?

The Stones were now playing behind a gauzy curtain to the side of an arena, and I was sitting in a floor seat. I craned my head to the right to watch their familiar shadows: Mick prancing, Keith and Ronnie doing what they do. It’s not clear why they chose to be shrouded.

We were on a bus tour through Central Europe. We were advised to look out for the anti-semitic relics on one particular street, signs or messages from a darker time. Except why were they still there, I wondered. For the tourists?

Friday, September 07, 2018

Tim was still in charge of the office out west, all these years later. The place was dilapidated now, the chairs ratty, computer parts and cables disordered everywhere.

But he was still running the Product. And some of the French guys were still around, tweaking the algorithms. Their determination was poignant—heroic, even. Still there was no plan. No viable path to profitability. But there was hope.

And I wanted to help. I wished I could help.