Thursday, June 16, 2005

I'm listening to jazz that just don't make no sense.

I remember those dewy spring days when I was a temp secretary in the UConn psychology building. I don't remember a lick of work I did there though I think it once involved the mimeograph machine, a car-sized gray steel beast that occupied most of an office down the hall.

I occupied myself perusing a book of quotations on the computer of whoever I was replacing, some homely lady on maternity leave I think. There was a quote on it I'll never forget, though I can't quite remember it either. It was something like this: Give a man a drink or two of wine with supper and he's done for the night. Good for nothing. Done. Going gently into that good, good night. And it's so true. I've tried to fight it and I'm fighting it now, but it's true, you get home from work and you eat and drink and you watch TV and you're done. Done! No damn good to yourself or nobody. May as well stick a shotgun in your mouth.

The jazz makes more sense now, defined by the thump-thump-thump of the bass.

I remember one time we took ecstasy and went to the gay club the Riot. Christene Cooper was going out with Jake at the time and they were sort of at the end of it all, he restless, wandering and distracted and she wondering what's wrong. Same old story. But we took ecstasy and she took off like a fucking jet plane. High, high, high. Thump, thump, thump, thump the house music went and loud, Whoa Black Betty! Whoa Black Betty! Christene was drinking water with an abnormal thirst and staring straight ahead with those curious dark eyes. American soldier dad and Vietnamese ma. Her brow was sweating rather profusely. She wore an expression like she'd just learned something she never knew anyone could know.

"I just realized... what music is..." She was having a hell of a time expressing herself. "It's... it's... it's like the first caveman who ever came out of his cave going ommm, ommm, ommm, ommm!" She was making bass notes, a jaunty walking line.

I nodded vigorously, eager to endorse and possibly deepen this rare revelation.

"It's like he's talking!"

I found Jake and he was high as hell too, we all were. I told him his girlfriend was having some kind of experience and he should go be with her and he nodded emphatically and solemnly in that way that you do when you're ripped on ecstasy, totally open to anything that comes, particularly keen for instances of personal connection. For a funny kind of ceremonial emotionalism.