There have been requests.
I would at first like to say that my old friend, Bart, has moved in with his girlfriend, Susie, into her lovely home in Valley Village. I helped them move. This was two weeks ago and Susie pointed out that I didn’t mention it on the blog. How dare I move them, spend a whole day, and not write one little word? Well, here it is: I am so glad I helped Bart move into your place, Susie. Bart seems very happy. And I think it’s very cool that you two were able to mix your furniture and lives together in what seemed to be a pretty low key first day. Bart got a little tense when Susie and I started declaring how we should pack the moving truck. Our idea was against Bart’s plan. I picked up on this rather quickly and I backed off and just started loading the goods onto the front median strip of grass near the truck. I figured, “Let the lovebirds figure it out. I’m just the muscle.” My favorite part of the move was when the wacky neighbor with the bad back insisted helping with the unloading. And it became all about finding special light boxes and throw pillows for her to carry. She was harmless, however, I had this weird fear of her. I guess you could call it “Lady-alone-in-a-tiny-rental-with-mountains-of-cats-who-will-do-anything-including-helping-the-neighbor-move-in-her-boyfriend-even-though-she-has-a-bad-back-because-she-so-lonely-syndrome" aversion. For my reward, Susie served delicious dry salami and cheese with very tasty bread. It was worth it. I haven’t moved anyone in years. I found it very refreshing. I was glad for the physical experience and the drizzling rain at the end.
My old friend Megan, who lives in Queens right down the street from our NYC love room, really wanted more info about career lady. As did my sister-in-law, Rebecca. This makes much sense. Both of these women are artists, and artists struggle terribly with career, career identity, career time, lack of career, career in motion, career stalled, career in the toilet, career at the bottom of the wine bottle, career delusions and career funk-in-general. I was going along fine with my career plans, sort of, when I hit a very nervous wall of dread. So, my friend, Lisa, who is quite persuasive, if not even a bit overbearing in this area, got me to go to her Wednesday night group sessions. I like groups. Always have. I feel there is safety in numbers. And, I’m a camaraderie kind of person. I will say this—Barbara Deutsch--you can check her out online at dbapproach --has tools. But honestly, what’s even better than her tools, is Barbara Deutsch. Sure, we talk about things like, “Shift to the side when making the pitch. It’ll change your energy,” and “Be a host, not a visitor,” and “If you feel unsafe, provide safety,” and “As far as money goes, make the ceiling the floor,” and “If you are a wreck, get somewhere private and say BRING IT ON while you punch your fist into the other open hand,” and “Make decisions as if you were twenty-one years old,” and “If you get some crappy rejections, you won’t melt,” and “If someone speaks to you in a disrespectful way and you let it ride, you are then training them to continue to treat you in that way,” and “Be interested, not interesting,” and “Whenever you have a repetative negative reaction during similar situations, just think of it as the alien monster on your face and say THERE’S THAT THING I DO, and the alien, so recognized, will slither off,” and “Go into the positive pain of things that you want to avoid,” etc., and they are all great things. And I use them. But what’s even better is that Barbara is genuine, she’s a true champion. And somehow, it doesn’t seem like an act. She seems to really like to help people. It’s a fascinating experience. And all the neurotic, cool people are doing it.
On Thursday, my old friend, George, from my childhood, came to visit for a long weekend. It was pretty amazing. Something about hanging out with your best pal from the early years is just so sweet and reduces life to its simplest components. Plus, it helps that George is really cool, knows who he is, is a solid, loving presence on earth for his two sons and his wife and in-laws, is extremely curious and clear headed and articulate and is totally game. When I moved to Suffern as an eleven year old and having had a history of very few friends (other than my guitar and my fish), George showed up and he quickly wedged his way into the life of my brother and I. Soon enough, the three of us would build forts, put pennies and bullet shells on the train tracks for the trains to flatten, collect things, take busses to the good shopping center in New Jersey, shoplift, smoke cigarettes and everything else. George went to the Catholic school right across the street from our public school. He got out about fifteen minutes before we did and he’d wait for us in the parking lot in his maroon Catholic school uniform and we three would walk home together. When I was a sophomore and he was a freshman in high school, we shared a locker. George was always pretty happy and easy going. He still is. He bought two stuffed monkeys for his kids at the Arclight gift shop.