Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Day 20: I Got The Blues

One night over winter break when I was maybe 18, I went to the house of some friends who played soccer for one of the local colleges. We were all drinking beer, and at one point someone handed me a bubbler. I didn't smoke much then and could tell right away I was literally over my head, spinning backward in slow motion like I was on a reverse Ferris wheel. I picked up a book on the coffee table to steady myself. "Fear and Loathing in America," Hunter S. Thompson's collection of letters. You don't need to be reading that right now, the host said, gently taking it from me and setting it back down. I went to smoke a cigarette on the front porch, but Glenn Hackberry and his baseball buddies were talking about a sports injury where one of their arm bones was visibly poking through the skin. I could almost feel it happening to me. I winced and went back inside. "Sticky Fingers" had been playing for a while, but I didn't really notice until Katie Weiss walked in, right at the first note of the slow, beautiful arpeggio of "I Got The Blues." A wave of warmth and sound washed through the room as she looked over at me and smiled. We hadn't seen each in almost a year and exchanged a warm hug, her coat still damp with snow. We were never more than friends who liked each other, but the small flame of her surprise entry was a saving grace, and I've loved that song ever since.

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Day 82: It’s Too Late

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