Chasing Rushmore: Women’s Edition!

So me and Q were having a beer debate on favorite all time female comedians, and it was feeling every bit the same way as when you go shopping at Target. Yanno . . . you go in for a travel sized toiletries bag and some condoms, and you walk out with a High Def TV, a six month supply of cheesecake bites and Joanna Gaines’s cell number? You know exactly what I’m talking about . . unless you were born yesterday. In Canada.

The debate as per the funniest female on the planet runs longer than a red carpet show on the planet Venus. And truth be told, I’ve always been a fool for the the double X chromosome way of doing funny business. There is nothing quite like a dame who can steal the keys to your smile. And the double down comes when she cashes in your smile for a laugh that hurtles the planet Mars.

If you were wondering what a ‘beer debate’ is all about . . it’s really quite simple. Drink beers whilst texting a favorite comrade, and then throw a fun and sexy debate into the mix. I assure you, it beats the hell out of most any other debate you’re ever gonna involve yourself in.

So we debated our Mount Rushmore of female comedians as I was venturing into the first couple minutes of The Long, Long Trailer on TCM, with Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz. If you’ve never seen it, get to stepping . . like right now. Because it’s an hour and forty three minutes worth of the most wonderful science experiment known to humankind. These two kids from different sides of a ninety mile train track worth of oceans, they were a brilliant complication whose arrangement nested into our hearts and stayed put.

So Lucille Ball is my George Washington of a Mount Rushmore arrangement of female comedians. Q had no problema with that assessment. What’s not to love? Lucy was sexy and beautiful with comedic timing that could have talked Dante Alighieri into writing the best Goddamn sitcom ever.

So from those heights, we chiseled out some more of this rock of funny sages and we came to an agreement on Carol Burnett (That was Q’s get). Burnett’s comedy skits were of an age that hasn’t even arrived here quite yet. She introduced me to the kind of drug I’ve been in the market for ever since.

We arrived at the intermezzo with one hell of a situation on our hands. Because the talent that was spilling out of our texts was akin to a garden hose inside the dog days of summer.

Next up, I went for Ellen. Because I remember some of her early stuff, before she got ABC. And lemme tell you, I would have been her groupie if that had been her thing. No questions asked. She hit me that way. Hard and sublimely. I still quiver, yeah . . it’s like that. But man, the brilliance of her stand up act was worth a mighty intoxicating platter.

So here we stood, ninety feet from home plate with a harem of laugh makers that had to be cut. Which is why you choose beer for such a debate, kids. For the hops it gifts you.

We had Joan Rivers, whose balls were mighty and whose sacred cows were always missing in action; because she spared no one and nothing, ever. And damn if that isn’t what comedy is supposed to feel like. There was Tina Fey, whose politics were so fucking smart that she made you feel as if she was swimming three olives inside a perfectly constructed martini. And so what if Amy Schumer can’t be political to save her life? She does everything else spot on, including vagina (pun intended).

Lily Tomlin is first ballot Hall of Fame, and if you go with her . . you gotta bring Bette Midler along, because she is mirror image (Big Business reference). And speaking of mirror besties, you can’t leave Vicki Lawrence out of the Carol Burnett discussion if you stayed up to watch those two light up the screen. And if you were of that certain age, you watched Betty White, Phyllis Diller and Mary Tyler Moore do the same damned bit of wonderful. And then you watched Goldie Hawn make fun of the armed services without so much as a trip to the President’s office.

And of that certain age, when Saturday night at home wasn’t a complete waste of time because of SNL . . you remember Jane Curtin and Gilda Radner. Mightily. After which Amy Poehler, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Kristin Wiig did the seats just fine.

And Whoopi did stand-up with the kind of hold you can’t teach, and then she doubled down on a cinematic career whose carom made Ghost one of the best movies. Ever. And there is Kathy Griffin, who seems a bit lost in space excepting for those NYE installments with her girlfriend Anderson (They are one of my favorite couples). But she is still all that, when she’s not beheading Trump. And speaking of women who don’t need a dude prop, Melissa McCarthy. Why she ever did that sitcom with the unfunny guy? I’ll never understand.

So me and Q debated ourselves into one last round as Lucy and Ricky gave way to Bing Crosby in Top ‘O The Morning before Q hit oil with a winner.

Wanda Sykes. Of course.

The gal throws the kind of heat that will leave you shuddering. She has worked with so many of the very biggest in the biz; from Larry David and Eddie Murphy, to Chris Rock and Homer Simpson. And her talent never played second fiddle, to any of ’em. You just can’t upstage a five alarm fire such as hers. And not for nothing, but she’s a masterful comedic writer to boot. Signed. Sealed and delivered.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday Morning Post

My pal Jen called me yesterday, out of the deep blue sky of forever since we last spoke. It’s been like, almost an entire calendar year and none of it mattered once we got down to giving each other shit. We somehow became solid friends in spite of ourselves.

Last fall, me and Jen engaged in some horizontal shenanigans. I blamed it on my inability to untangle myself from a married woman who chose her sides based on which social media platform she was using. Jen blamed it on the wine. We both agreed that the holidays would play our foil.

So when the gal I once played human Rubik’s Cube with dialed me up almost an entire calendar year later (Read: More than nine months hence), my mind wandered to a place no dude wants to be entertaining on a lazy Saturday. Until she hit me with the what’s what of her matter of fact.

“I’m engaged!” She coughed.

“What in the blessed fuck girl?! You? Miss . . . I’m never getting married again?”

“I changed my mind, okay? Jesus!” She laughed.

“It’s a damn shame because you were worth WAY more on the market,” I laugh. “But seriously, congratulations,”

“Yeah well . . the market is depressed,” Jen laughs back.

“So I’ve heard,”

“And get this, he totally understands dipping pizza in Nutella,”

“Oh shit, he’s retarded?”

“Fun,”

“As long as you’re both retarded, you will live happily ever after . .”

“Hey, what’s doing today? Wanna grab some coffee and I can show you the rock?”

“Hey . . yeah! Maybe we could go for manicures and chat up The Bachelor too!”

“Fuck you, seriously though. Coffee?”

“Let’s change it up a little bit. I wanna see Aquaman, so bring coffee and I’ll get the tickets,”

“Ooooooh! Jason Momoa, mama likey! Okay . . you got a deal. But they’re not gonna let us bring coffee in . .”

“First of all, you and I both know that some pimply faced ticket attendant is no match for your sweet talking ways . . and besides, not a concern if we get there early and catch up. That way we’re not being those people who chatter over the movie, yanno?”

“Those people suck,”

“Exactly . . .”

So we met up with plenty of time to spare. Jen gifted me a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup hot chocolate, which is way more sinfully stupid than it sounds. After she showed me the ‘rock’, we got down to the business of giving each other shit.

I asked her if Ryan has any kids, and she said he has one son from his previous marriage. “But he’s fifteen, which is kind of a big deal for me since every time I hear some bratty six year old throwing a tantrum in public, I think there’s no way . . .” Jen said.

“That’s very mature. I usually just think that dad’s penis was evil and mom’s vagina was broken,”

“I am at peace with being a selfish bitch,”

“You know what I’m at peace with? The idea of a meteor crashing down to earth while the world is sleeping,”

“Well more than half the world would not be sleeping, and it would be kind of horrible . .” Jen said.

“Yes, and I am at peace with the idea that I would be on the sleeping side of the planet when it happened,” I said.

“I would want to be awake, and at a Dave Matthews concert or something,” Jen said.

“Oh my fucking God,”

“Why do you hate Dave Matthews?”

“I don’t. Because to hate infers an emotional investment, and I don’t invest myself in pretentious monkeys who believe their lyrics should be amended into the ten commandments,”

“Nope, no hate at all . .”

Jen’s phone chimes and it’s Ryan. She puts it on speaker so that introductions can be made in the new old fashioned way. The dude sounds just like a movie star, and Jen’s eyes light up when he speaks.

“My man, first of all . . . condolences. I would like to tell you things will get better but I’m a horrible liar . . .” I say.

The two of them crack up in unison, like little kids who share a secret no one else in the world is privy to. Jen’s face scrunches up and when it irons itself out I can see the little girl she used to be. The one who believed in fairy tales and princes and happy endings. And inside this wonderful moment, flowers are blooming in the middle of winter and the world is making sense. I am smitten with these two, and it turns me into a ball of mush and it steals my snarky retorts.

I hate when that happens.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday Morning Post (A Prompt Challenge)

Happy Sunday kids. I’ve got a prompt post that was issued by yours truly. I shared it with the two other members of the Holy Trinity, The Notorious Q at A Dalectable Life and KC Sunshine at Table For One, so’s they could join in the fun if they feel like it. It’s simple as Simon, really. Take yourself back to the year 1985 (Yes, it’s a hat tip to Zemeckis) and explain to someone from that time what 2018 looks like. My post went in an entirely different direction than I was expecting it to go, so there’s not as much in the way of details as I imagined there might be. This post became about perspective, and how valuable a thing it truly is. 

I’m speaking on the particulars with my old friend Danny, who was taken from the world in the summer of 1985. It was much too soon for him. It was much too soon for all of us. Life always seems to steal the people you can least afford to live without, and now I find myself picking up the pieces of years that never happened and piecing them back together again as if a mosaic. Thirty three years that feel like a smoky mist.

“It’s been so long . . ” I say.

“Well . . I don’t understand time the same way you do. This is eternity, the shit lasts forever . . like velcro,”

“Yeah, how does that work anyways?”

“Velcro?” Danny asks with a sly grin.

“No . . . asshole,”

Danny laughs before tapping open a box of Reds. He wrist shots his Zippo torch and takes an elaborate tug as he ponders my question.

“What? You smoke now?”

“It can’t kill me,” Danny laughs.

“Hey, remember the time . . .”

Yeah I do,” Danny says, cutting me off at the pass. “I was never so sick in my life!”

“You never forgave Joanne for that shit,”

“She gave this impressionable young pup the run of her Daddy’s wet bar and her pack of smokes. That girl was bad news, but you wouldn’t listen,”

“Hey man, that was your fucking lesson to learn. The dude who never smokes or drinks, decides Hey why not do both in the same night because I don’t know any of the girls here and maybe vomiting all over myself will make me look more appealing,

“Screw . . . you, man!” Danny laughs so hard that he spits.

“I can’t believe Patti asked about you after that,” I say.

“Marc . . it’s like this. The bad boys appealed to her, but she was in need of a good man,”

“Well played!” I say, clapping my hands exaggeratedly as Danny takes his bows.

“So . . did Patti take it hard? Me dying and all?”

“We all did,”

“I’m talking about Patti here,”

“She never married. She became a nun,”

“You serious?”

“Of course I’m not fucking serious!” I laugh.

“No respect for the dead, tell you what,” Danny smiles.

“Things went from horrible to worse after you died. There was a grand jury investigation. Me and Matt went off the deep end there for a while and Shereen moved to Florida. I followed her there for a quick minute,”

“It’s all frying pans and fires with you!” Danny says.

“Name of my game, and I’m the one to blame,”

“Okay, since I’ve been lousy with the details since I left, seeing as how they don’t matter any longer . . what’s say you give me some dope on the state of the world. Was Orwell right?”

“Yes and no. Technology is a high wire act in 2018. We use it for everything while hoping we never reach the point where it starts using us. That old Tandy computer you had . . it done made babies. There’s a thing called the internet, and now you can chat with people from around the world. And it’s all about mobility now . . we carry our computers with us and they fit in a small bag. Not that we need ’em all the time, since our phones do everything,”

“You carry your phones?”

“Landlines are antiques. Water fountains too since everyone uses bottled water now. Newspapers and magazines and pizza delivery . . you get it on your mobile devices. We even have Dick Tracy watches!”

“Who’s the President?”

“Trump,”

“Huh,”

“Yanno . . that doesn’t sound nearly as ridiculous to you as it truly is. Okay . . lemme try harder. America’s Dad, Bill Cosby is a convicted rapist serving time. Joe Paterno, turns out . . wasn’t a Saint. He was taken down in a child rape cover-up at the school.  Communism died, and then it came back as something even scarier. Terrorist attacks are happening all over the world, all the time. Kids don’t fight after school anymore, they just brings guns in and kill other kids,”

“Alright . . shit. Sorry I asked,”

“The world’s in a very shitty place, Danny boy,”

“Nah. The world’s just fine, Marc. It’s just some of the people in it who rearrange the furniture and mess up the entire living space,”

“Fucking stardust has game! You were never this philosophical on the A side of things,”

“That’s what eternity will do to a guy,”

“Don’t get me wrong, there’s plenty of good. We had a black President. The internet has made the world smaller, and for the most part, warmer. And while Prince, Bowie and Freddie Mercury went much too soon, their music is still kicking,”

“See? Good shit happens if you take the time to look for it,”

“You’ve got perspective,”

“Well, I remember all the good times. There’s this one night, we were heading home. We had summer jobs waiting on us in the morning and Marianne decides that going into town is the greatest idea ever. It was closing in on midnight and it was breaking the rules, and nothing made more sense in that moment”

“Shit, I forgot all about that . .”

“I think about it all the time. Going over the Queensboro and the city was just getting down to business, and we were listening to Queen and screaming our lungs out and chasing forever and it didn’t matter that we were never gonna catch it. All that mattered was the try,”

I don’t have the heart to tell him that the city he remembers ain’t there anymore. And it doesn’t matter, now. All that matters is the moment he’s holding onto, and all I know is this.

I want in.

 

 

 

 

Turntable

It was June of ’86 when I hopped a plane for Port Richey, Florida. My former girlfriend had moved out of New York months earlier and I was in chase despite the fact we weren’t in love with each other. Ours was the kind of relationship that wasn’t interested with being in love. Cliches kicked the shit out of you and made you old before you really got going.

For most of the year and change we were together while she was still living in New York, forever had seemed a million miles long. And then it got lost one night when we were involved in a car accident that took my best friend’s life. Everything, every single thing, changed. We stayed together out of a hopeless desperation to save ourselves from drowning. Until the winter took us to different places, and New York, it became a place full of ghosts.

We broke up but stayed in touch. She almost got pregnant to a college football player while I swore I’d found my future wife in a Hardee’s Drive-Thru, and then we kept turning into someone elses until she called to tell me to get there, just for the hell of it.

It seemed like a great idea until I was touching down in Florida and wondering why in the fuck it was that life didn’t come with annotations. And then we were there, trying to catch up on everything we had lost and not having a chance in hell of getting back to what we had been before our lives spilled out in different directions.

The time I spent with her was filled with the kind of education only experience can provide. Among the things I learned was that the girl had more of my stuff than I remembered giving her. There was a half closet full of my clothes, including winter jackets she had no use for in her new locale but took with her just so she could wear them whenever she thought of me. She had a bunch of my vinyl, to which I cursed myself for giving up so easily. Other items of note included a sweet purple and gold Magic Johnson jersey, a Brooklyn Union Gas pylon I had gifted myself after a night of partying and a football helmet.

The more salient lesson happened from the moment I touched down and she ran into my arms. It was blatantly obvious that we tended to disagree. About everything. She thought the world was flat and I knew it was round. I was a Reagan kid and she loved Carter and Mondale. I read books like No More Vietnams and she read books like Phaedo. She was Mets, Chinese take-out, screwdrivers and U2 while I was Yankees, pizza, Corona and Bon Jovi.

It had never occurred to me that we had absolutely nothing in common back when we had been inseparable. But with the passing of time and place, now it was impossible to ignore. Once upon a time, I just assumed we were passionate and fiery. That’s some interesting shit. But the idea that we were just a couple of stupid kids who had nothing in common? Not so interesting.

So we debated who the best band in the world was and we never got back to even and then we argued on everything else. Until she was telling me to get lost and then I was hopping a plane out of there. Without my Magic Johnson jersey, or my two tone leather jacket . . . or my vinyl.

Twenty years later, we reconnected thanks to an old friend. There was zero expectation of anything romantic happening, but I had to admit it was nice to hear her voice again. She told me she was back in New York and she asked me if there was any chance we might be able to catch up over drinks. We were both divorced with kids and life was flying by and drinks with an old friend felt like a chance. To just forget all the things that time had stolen.

I had to get there. If only to ask how my LP’s were doing . . .

 

 

 

 

Three Days in Woodstock

Woodstock Heart

If someone thinks that love and peace is a cliche that must have been left behind in the Sixties, that’s his problem. Love and peace are eternal ~ John Lennon

The morning sun was shaking loose and sprinkling its rind across a Thursday morning that had come much too soon. Our three days had behaved like mercury- with a fiery abandon whose rambunctious particles cleaved the hours into minutes and the days into memory. Q scavenged the fridge for anything that could be used before we left town. Our ‘moving day breakfast’, much like our conversation, was abundant and tasty. We chowed down whilst jamming to music whose province had become more expansive on this particular morning. For every musical spill out of the sixties, there was another song that spelled a different time and place. We traded favorite songs as we dined, eager to fire up the flat screen on the wall as if it were a mystical pelt that spoke of our histories in four minute verses.

Going up the country had proven to be a magical ride, for more reasons than that farm in Bethel, New York had wrought. Our Woodstock experience turned a couple of blog neighbors into the very best of friends. We’d shared so much of the everything that had brought us to this place, and then we kept right on going; prevailing on the mood of a place that never grew up.

The ride into town after breakfast was filled with stories out of other times and places, and reflections on the times and places we had shared over the course of three days. Like a favorite song that you don’t want to end, we played our steps on a loop and got high on the payback. We had pushed our way into that line of five hundred thousand strong  . . . intent on making it two more crazy kids whose moonshine didn’t need a bottle and whose music didn’t act its age.

And maybe this place hadn’t been our first choice. All we knew is that it spoke to us in a language borne of stardust driven six strings and restless voices that once raged inside the deepest reaches of the night. The echoes reminded us that the things we lose in a fire will become the things we carry with us. It’s up to us to shine a light on them, wherever we may go.

Time may thieve the days, but the light . . that’s ours to keep.

The Proof In Our Existence

 

Firefighters Todd Heaney and Frankie DiLeo, of Engine 209, c

People are inherently good.

We’re raised to believe this concept from the time we’re old enough to get bored during liturgy and choose sides on the playground. Most kids aren’t concerned with empirical validation when the freedoms they hold most dear are threatened; yanno, stuff like playtime and dessert.

Then there was me.

I questioned everything, no matter how convincing the adults were at selling the points. I wanted to believe people were generally good, but I had myriad reasons to be skeptical. Adding to my distrust of the status quo was the fact that I read, a lot. And I observed, everything.

So it was that I questioned the cross stitched tenets of a happy life, which mandated that you go to school, score a good job and get married. Societal conventions read like a manual, and I knew that spiritual complications navigated through so much more than a simple set of instructions.

In my cross examination, I wondered how it was that Walt Disney and Henry Ford were able to strike it rich since they’d been dropouts. And I argued that Oscar Wilde wrote quite well while being mostly unemployed. And of course I had to ask why it was that marriage was such a great idea when the happiest adult I knew was our family friend George, who I pointed out, wasn’t married.

Questioning the way things had always been was usually met with censure. I was told to shut up, or to finish eating my dinner, or to go to my room. Some kids might have been deterred, but I knew I was onto something.

When I got older I began adding some patina to my simple ideas with Locke and Hobbes and liberal high school girls who wore berets and questioned everything. I struggled mightily with ghosts and found odd comfort in the idea that most people were inherently good, but also selfish. It was comforting because these qualities were intuitive and human and real. The vulnerability of these qualities guaranteed complications, which helped to explain why the best laid plans of school, work and marriage often took a hard right turn at Topeka and sometimes, they never made it back from that stretch of yellow brick road.

It was October of 2001 when I was re-introduced to the question in a pub in New York City. It was closing in on one month since the terror attacks in Washington, New York and Pennsylvania. The rubble at Ground Zero was still on fire and the inhalation of toxic smoke and ash was a much bigger issue than the news outlets were letting on. That’s what brought our small band of volunteers together. Some doctors had helped put together a free clinic for first responders at the Police Academy on East 20th Street and we were part of that effort.

When I think back on that time now, it doesn’t seem possible that seventeen years have come and gone. It feels much closer, because I can still summon that cornflower blanket of a sky that was busy going nowhere fast and taking the world along for the ride. And I can remember that juicy peach of a sun, ripe with best laid plans. And the air possessed the feeling of silk, and winter seemed likely to be canceled on account of the preponderance of this wonderful evidence.

Until the North Tower brought storm clouds and morning became night and the darkest reaches of the human heart strangled the dreams of an endless summer. After which the nation and the world had to try and put itself together again.

That’s what we talked about in the pub all the way back then. Our group weaving in and out of personal conversations, some of which spun larger before getting dismissed in accordance with the particular round of friendlies we were tossing back. And then, one of the volunteers pulled the table together when she confessed that her faith had been damn near shattered, irrevocably. She was sad, confused and downright pissed off at the thought that this hell on earth had extinguished all evidence of a higher power.

And that’s when I assured her she was looking at this horrible event in four evil acts, and forgetting the countless other selfless ones that followed. There were the first responders who rushed to the scene and gave their lives to save thousands more from getting lost inside those towers. There were the cops and firemen, EMT’s and doctors and nurses, and there were the ordinary citizens who rolled up their sleeves and got to work inside the desperate hours.

My take was simply this. God was there on that horrible day, in all those people who showed up and stayed put when we were getting our asses kicked hard from all corners with no end in sight. And when the darkness was unleashed and it felt as if we were at the doorstep to the end of the world, it was no longer a question of whether people were inherently good.

We found proof.

3 Days In Woodstock

 

Woodstock bus

The Museum at Bethel Woods is the good acid. Because it will trip you out inside the time spent, with no shitty side effects. Yanno . . like ending up in the ER, or dying.

could go through a good many different sentiments in regards to the forty five minute gallivant me and Q took through its halls, and maybe I will have something more specific next weekend. But a very profound revelation has come to me as I sit down to write this latest Woodstock entry, so Imma go with it.

This revelation is a crush of emotions, stacked in a neatly felonious pile of thoughts that stole me all the way back to the UK in the fall of 1994. It was a year in which O.J. Simpson got away with murder, the Republicans took back Congress and Throwing Copper made the musical band Live a global bumper sticker.

Back then, I was roaming the vast halls of the British Museum when me and my wife came upon the Rosetta Stone. After our tour guide tap danced right past it with a couple here and there shout outs to the ancient Egyptians, I pulled her aside and told her to keep Vanilla Ice (my pet name for our guide) at bay while I did some heavy petting with history.

And so it was that I pushed the velvet rope aside and touched the Rosetta Stone, after which I wrote out a check for a religious experience that is still paying me back to this very day.

Needless to say, I wasn’t expecting the same kind of experience when me and Q made the rounds at Bethel. Until we came upon it. A rusted scrap of the chain link fence that got tucked into history by a couple hundred thousand pair of barefooted soldiers, after which Woodstock became a ‘free concert’.

had to touch it, of course. Because this was the musical Rosetta Stone, and well . . there was no velvet fucking rope stopping me. And even if there had been, Q would’ve been like “Fuck ’em, hug it for all I care,”.

And so I did. And as it turns out, the fence? It was electrified . . in the very best kinda way. Because it took me all the way back to the UK, and then it took me even further back than that. Back to a time when music was a prayer so sweet and songs were living ends.

Songs that thieved the stars and pledged them to a vinyl page, and in so doing, turned that sound into a madness that seeped into every living inch of you. Lyrics that tasted of sweet velvet plums that hung like magical kites on trees borne of thunder, with a melody that wept the misbegotten remains of a day into the luminescence of a brilliant forever after.

A great piece of music can steal back time. Leaving you breathless and shaken and spent. Alone and together, high and grounded, resolved and disputed. It preaches to your choir as it stirs your soul into the kind of rebellion the previous generation loses sleep over.

And that’s how the kids of Woodstock closed the book on a decade torn to its seams by war. It was a decade that began with John F. Kennedy promising the moon to a restless nation, and delivering that very thing with months to spare when Apollo 11 planted its talons on a patch of mystical dirt George Bailey had once claimed as his own on the silver screen.

The betwixt and between left a heavy price on the heart and soul of a vociferously tribal generation otherwise known as the ‘baby boomers’. They watched Camelot get stolen on a beautiful fall afternoon in Dallas, and then again five years later inside a Los Angeles hotel. They watched Martin Luther King’s dream come true with the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and then they watched its shepherd fall in Memphis less than four years later.

And it was those kids, who grew up inside the rattling bones of an archaic set of rules, and who punched hard at the skeletons and made haste with the gravel of the zero sum game they had inherited. It was those kids who made metal out of three heavy summer nights, shouting medieval chants inside their rocket booster clogs. They cheered and fucked and got high to the sounds of a new and distant future whose logic did not rhyme with the establishment. At all.

They hammered out a fledgling constitution possessed of a wholly different set of amendments that ran counter to the bomb sheltered TV dinner taxes they had been made to wear for a decade’s worth of time. Their demands were quite simple. Give us peace and love through music, or get the hell out of our way and we’ll prove how that kind of shit works.

And maybe it’s naivete that kept me holding to that fence. And then again, maybe . . . just maybe, it’s knowing. Knowing what it feels like to refuse the convention of a society that hasn’t ever gotten a damned thing right since Hector was a caveman trying to fetch some rock and roll out of a couple twigs.

Maybe, just maybe, I was finally in a place that understood me. And maybe, this was better than that time in the British Museum with the Rosetta Stone.

Turns out, being a stranger in a strange land has its privileges.