Quaint ramblings and occasional reflections of a journeying Aussie musician...

29 October 2006

Thus Spake Zarathustra

....this is the music I'm hearing, the Strauss, aka theme to 2001 A Space Odyssey, as I JUST BOUGHT A NEW MAC LAPTOP! It's got a whole swag of stuff, including built in webcam and mike, so any Skypers or iChatters out there, let's talk! I picked it up on the way to a gig in town, came back home, and now it's half two in the morning - my social life is now over!
....More soon....

23 October 2006

New York - Brooklyn Sometimes

Customary to the Jazz musician's pilgrimage to The City is the acquisition of a lesson, some time spent with someone personally considered to be a great, a source of information to glean from along the way of the lifelong journey, mostly for one's own benefit but in certain cases to absorb that information to be passed on to friends and colleagues. Of course these 'lessons' may not necessarily be of an entirely scholastic or academic nature: having taken a few now I've found them to range wildly, from actual discussion of notes and chords and rhythms, to tangental discussions of philosophy and astrology...
Sometimes it's great to just to watch a guy, to observe a certain bend of wrist or turn of finger while playing. Sometimes it's just to spend time with a guy, to maybe pick up one thing not even necessarily even musical, which was part of the reason why I went to his gig. After hanging with him for a bit I figured that I still wanted to talk to him, that there was still some to be learnt, so after checking out of the hostel, some scattered phone conversations led me to take the 'orange ones' heading east from the island.
The carriage emerged from the tunnel into a white misty sky, and the vista of Brooklyn had my vision entirely occupied. DJ said something a while back about this largest borough of the city, if free-standing itself as a city, would be the nation's fourth largest. It certainly looked that way. The line ascended into an arc at the top of which was my station. Barney's apartment was easy to find, and I took a seat next to a kindly old upright.
Having been in this situation before a few times, I had emailed some questions to him a few weeks before in the hope of a specific approach, at least to start with. But as I have written before, one gets swept along with these people, these incredibly optimistic, forward thinking people, and it always, without fail, ends up somewhere else. No flat fives or sharp nines here folks! today's tangental territory wandered into Cuban religion, santeria, the Orishas, and Yemaya, goddess of the ocean, mother of dreams and secrets - love it!
But don't get me wrong - Barney answered all my questions as well as giving me a whole bunch more to think about, as well as loading me up with a DVD of original charts and influential music. The 'lesson' was cut short by the arrival of Gary, a stalwart New York horn player of some twenty or thirty years and one of Barney's closest musical collaborators. We ended up watching parts of a video of Barney's recent gig with legendary ex-James Brown alto player Maceo Parker.
Taking my cue, Barney called me a cab, I paid him the nominal sum he'd forgotten about and sped off toward JFK. It had been a markedly positive experience spending part of the morning with him, and he'd plied me up with more than enough musical knowledge to keep me going for a good time to come.
Thoughts wander on the cab ride to the airport, but this time around I somehow missed out on the common dread of impending return, still transfixed by the dreamlike nature of this place, seeming eerily quiet and still on a Saturday afternoon. Caught a poster at a lights on the opposite side of the intersection - "Divorce only $300 - no spouse signature required." Strolling down a boulevard on the way was a middle age black man in a canary yellow suit and brimmed hat, complete with walking stick....
It was like a dream that I didn't want to wake from. At various times in my life I thought I'd never get there. But I did, and I can't wait to go back...

10 October 2006

New York - Island of Lights and Love

....Alas, dear readers, the last full day of my stay on the island yields little to report, as almost a full week of non-stop walking by day and partying by night had me well and truly bedridden until late afternoon. However, a cute and kindly Spanish dancing student who'd been living there for a week took pity on me, made me a coffee, and we chatted pleasantly in the darkness of an empty room on a Hell's Kitchen afternoon. DJ had been looking amorously her way when here earlier in the week, so I didn't consider pursuing anything, but we swapped emails as she said she was passing through London early next year. That's the hostel vibe I guess. She told of a health food supermarket on Columbus Circle, about three blocks away where I eventually hauled my sorry shaking corpse for a massive metal bowl of curry and salad.
My last eve saw me return yet again to the Village to meet up with Rob and Lucy, friends from London, who had arrived that very day, and we checked out a stonking set by Jimmy Bosch at S.O.B's (Sounds of Brazil). This was a regular Friday night classic salsa set but with that all important difference of it being in New York, with some of the best guys in the country. Trombonist Jimmy was up front in colourful shirt and leather pants singing coros when not soloing. The lead singer was hilarious - ultra slicked back hair, big brown shades, white shirt and tie, grey pants - classic! Completing the front line was the classic little tres player guy, who's obviously been doing it for fifty years, half the height of anyone else on stage and almost dwarfed by his own instrument, but ripping out ridiculous solos all night.
Farewelling my companions, I wandered down some of the more gorgeous back streets of the Village and into the 'chess' district for cheap bodgy internet on the way to Gonzalez y Gonzalez, near the corner of Broadway and Houston, the late night salsa hang. Big long room painted in yellow, full Mexican cantina vibe, sombreros with lights, streamers, a big moose head on the wall (ahh, taxidermy and live music! a lasting and important connection...)...band kicks off 11pm, free entry, dancefloor packed - my kinda place. The band were all right, not quite what I'd just seen but doing well enough, and all actually dressed in the same uniform (first time for everything)...
I felt as though a week wasn't quite long enough. While I definitely put in the hard yards and got to all the clubs on my large list, there was still a couple of places I didn't quite get to. In terms of cheesy tourist stuff though, everything was pretty much taken care of - the only way I could have done better in that respect is to have gone to more museums or galleries. That kind of added to something DJ said a while ago, about the place being mostly for work. While there's obviously plenty to do and see, if you wanted to spend some time there it would be for a distinct purpose, which also shed a new light on all the stories of all my muso friends who'd come and gone to give it a go, or indeed who were still there....

New York - Bad Sneakers (and a pina colada, my friend?)

Thursday 21st September

Today was kind of filling in the blanks of the island, the parts I hadn't seen, of which there weren't many by this stage. After another massive oil grease and salt laden bagel (by this stage in the week I had taken to eating twice a day), I wandered the three or so blocks up to Carnegie Hall - okay, great, but nearby I happened to walk past a plaque (yes I'm one of those people that actually reads that stuff) indicating classic example of studio architecture from the 20s or 30s or something - buildings specifically designed with high ceilings and large ground level windows for artists to work in, with their accommodation upstairs.
There it was again, that cultural interest - more people, more money, more history, and consequently more of a desire and appreciation for paintings, sculpture, live music et al.
Not far from there in the part of the city just south of Central Park was Radio City Music Hall and, behind it, the rest of the Rockerfeller Center. This was real New World stuff, complete with Rockerfeller's own grand statement on humanity and such...
A section I hadn't been anywhere near yet was east Midtown, and with good reason - once again, not much for the wearily wandering tourist, but it eventually melted back into the Village, throughout which I wandered gleefully. Making my way back up Seventh Avenue, I decided to dial it down a bit. After five and a half days of walking non-stop daytime and clubbing nighttime, my feet were killing me and the rest of my body needed some rest, so I picked an artsy corner cafe not far from the Vanguard, pulled up a hot chocolate, reefed out part of the mass of live music street press I'd collected over the week, and nestled in amongst the locals.
Too much to see, to do, too many gigs to go with a couple of days to spare, but checking the dates, I already knew where I was going tonight. Hanging with Sean and Echo the other night, they took me down into Times Square to Sophia's, a solo gig Sean used to do, and on the chalkboard I found the name of someone I had wanted to meet, someone I'd been in contact with prior to coming.
Hostel, dinner, then to Sophia's. A small circular bar, there was about six or seven people there and he was one of them. Not wishing to disturb (...same old nerves coming back...) I took a house red and sat alone on the other side, probably standing out for all to see. In over ten years of doing this kind of thing, going to gigs, meeting guys, shaking hands, there's still that hesitation at the straight-up self-introduction...really quite ridiculous....but then Barney saved me by coming over and introduced himself.
We'd been in touch and he kind of knew I'd be there, and as I had expected, he was a thoroughly nice guy. I have so much respect for these guys, so much admiration and appreciation, that sometimes it's like too much respect, and I end up being unable to talk to them like a normal human being, not being able to think my words through properly, becoming paranoid over saying something wrong and then saying it, with their look of an eye or a turn of face entirely misread...I might be continuing with conversation, all the while going through some sort of momentary internal meltdown, and I look over his shoulder and I see me sitting at the bar, looking back at myself shouting, "You're doing it again, SNAP OUT OF IT!"....but no, I know plenty of people like Barney, with their relentless goodwill toward all and endless enthusiasm about the music, and none of it mattered. He let me sit in with the bass player, agreed on a lesson time and fee (sort of), and I bid him adieu, reeling from oversensitivity and self-absorption and too many house reds, into the miles of flashing neon and TV screens to be sucked into the metro again, again, off into the blackness of the night...
I ended up at the bottom of the Village at Zinc, a tiny Latin bar, didn't know who was playing, ramped up the eve from there - incredible six piece descarga outfit. It seemed throw-together, hand signals, improvised coros and piles of photocopies abounded, but the best throw-together small Latin band I've seen yet, ever. Wailing post-bop tenor player with all the Latin history....harmonically outside intense keys player....cranking percussion....the swirling carnival of Salsa and Jazz....
Back to Fat Cat, the hang, drunken email checking....and a familiar face appears from nowhere. It's MJ, a bassplayer I've come across occasionally back in London! MJ's a pretty driven guy but still cool enough to come say hello, and he showed me the side room (somehow I'd missed it the last two visits) where we slumped in a couch watching a dodgy jam, just as bad as the worst ones I've seen across the world, and he tore it apart, and then vanished!...

09 October 2006

New York - Como Se Gozar En El Barrio?

(NB - I just got around to figuring out how to put up some pics in some of the New York entries - thanks again Sherd...)

Wednesday 20th September

'Lost in the Barrio, I walk like an Injun...'

'Throw Back The Little Ones' - Steely Dan

The haze cleared entirely the next day, and I Metroed to Lexington Avenue and somewhere in the 90s, east of Central Park, for a good long wander through Spanish Harlem (referred to here amongst Latinos as 'El Barrio'). The electricity of the place was incredible; hard to describe (it wasn't like people with trumpets hanging out of windows), but just watching people go about their business, hearing people talk, seeing Cuban flags up everywhere, you could definitely feel it.
Reaching a major intersection on Lexington Avenue, I spied with my little audiophile's eye a record store. Amazing! Floor to ceiling, glass cabinets, full of every single kind of Latino music you want. Of course, having discovered Internet CD purchasing not too long ago, I know that I didn't need to buy anything from there as it's all way too e-accessible, but it's the romance of it, the seeing the cover art right there in front of you, the exchange of a couple of words with the knowledgeable guy behind the counter, the breaking of those annoying plastic covers, the suddenly urgent need to find the nearest CD player...
Venturing further up Lexington, trying not to look at my guidebook too much (I figure I must've been advertising to locals that I was some kind of tourist), after about fifteen or twenty blocks I hit the intersection with Martin Luther King Jr Boulevard, turned left and headed into Harlem proper.
Harlem looks like it's doing pretty well for itself these days - any stereotyped images of rundown urban decay were quickly dashed by the immediately obvious encroachment of gentrification. Still, it was hardly peace and quiet - as I went to cross the street a young man and woman started up about something, wailing in each other's faces to disapproving looks. Yelling at them to stop came from a large woman on the pavement nearby, seated at a wooden table with a sack of what must have been chess pieces and a pile of boards (something I saw a bit of as I continued on). Must have been bad for business...
Reaching the intersection with Malcolm X Boulevard, the major crossroads of the suburb, I decided to leak back off the main drag and see a bit of the neighbourhood. Like the constancy of the horns and sirens, the dominating sound of these sidestreets was that of construction: circular saws, dump trucks et al. A quick stroll through Marcus Garvey Park and I was back on Lexington, heading south in search of a quick Latino feed that never eventuated.
Continuing with the theme of the day, the first stop of the evening's festivities was a venue but not live music - John Zorn's The Stone at the bottom of Avenue C, for a Latino film night. Getting there a little early, I decided to wander one block east to get a peek at Avenue D, the edge of Alphabet City and indeed the streets of the island, sometime home of saxophonists Charlie Parker and Dale Barlow (Steely Dan also give it a mention).
So I take my seat at The Stone, aptly named (prominent absence of bar and accompanying furniture), and the film collector running the night announces that we have about half a dozen local Salsa legends in our midst, notably Jimmy Bosch (who I later saw on Friday night). The movies were wicked, starting from early 20s footage of a Cuban son band (bright whites and cane hats) all the way through to a mindblowing 50s era descarga, live on TV.
After a while it turned into a bit of a local reminiscence fest with the old Salsa guys, so I bailed and headed to the opposite corner of the island to scout out some of the clubs I'd heard of on the Upper West Side. I found Smoke in the hundreds somewhere - stonking organ trio sitting on a turnaround for about ten minutes, but the place was packed to the rafters and a drinks minimum that was a bit too maximum for me. Half a dozen blocks further south was Cleopatras Needle, again quite full - these places were more schmick restaurants with music than clubs to hang at, which wasn't really my vibe at the time (do enough gigs myself in that world), so I ended up walking for about another ten blocks to the nearest Metro - not much to see up there that time of night.
Headed back to the Village and Smalls - didn't care who was on cause I knew it was going to be huge and it was, a quintet run by the bassplayer. Here for the first time, in that tiny basement, I got to feel and see and hear the intensity that I'd only heard about from my fellow muso friends back in Oz. Everyone was so into it, so into doing a great job, so into creating amazing music right there on the bandstand. No slackers, no half-ass playing, no band member too drunk or stoned (from what I could tell)....everyone's soloing and comping were massive, everyone's tone was huge...the live sound again was amazing - no feedback, no level issues. This was the real thing, a New York Jazz club where new music was being performed and created, and, thanks to it being reasonably affordable, a place to hang and meet guys and get into musical adventures....

05 October 2006

New York - Alone (Again)

Tuesday 19th September

After truly incredible weather to start the trip, a white sky set the scene for our breakfast mission, a wander into Tribeca, in roughly the same area as last night. Warehouses sporting trendy shops was the order of the day, and we came across the first proper deli that I'd seen. This place was WIKKID - think your local store but with a massive salad bar and hot food bar right in the front door. It was time for another tourist box-tick - I ordered a lox bagel with cream cheese and took the complimentary pickle. The nice blonde lady next to me ordered the same and DJ was most impressed at me, thinking I was some kind of local. He regularly gets impressed about stuff like that.

On a brief side note, we'd been checking out the 'form' since I touched down, and I have to say we were both rather impressed. Must be all that proper food, gym culture, space to move and such...it's been a while for poor old DJ, and I had hopes for him but it just didn't happen, oh well...meanwhile, I bought a statuette of Liberty for eight bucks for my speshal frenn back in London (and y'all know where THAT got me!) at some bodgy store Downtown before I farewelled comrade DJ, thoroughly chilled from the weekend's activities.
And so it was that I was alone, a travelling experience I still feel a little unaccustomed to. I proceeded to ring the people I knew in town, and got through to Sean. As these things go, he had a solo gig that night not far from the hostel, and so I basically walked the streets until then. My first destination was 'the Village', home to almost all the clubs and the scene I was after. Starting from the Metro on West 14th Street, I wandered down Seventh Avenue in the grey afternoon, totally succumbed to the traveller's amazed daze.
A lot of the clubs I was after just seemed to appear before my eyes - Smalls, Fat Cat, Village Vanguard, SOBs. Peripheral vision would draw me to beautiful side streets, framed circular with trees and the stoops (those classic stairways leading down to the pavement). At the end of the village I headed generally westward, including Houston (pronounced 'How-ston') Street, trendy Soho, Canal Street and its plethora of two-dollar stores...
Finding myself on the Bowery, I stumbled past the Downtown Music Store, an actual avant-garde Jazz record store! There is one in the world! It's narrow rectangle comprised one wall entirely of the fruitiest stuff I'd ever seen, names I'd never remotely heard of. A find for any audiophile...

Dinner was at a pavement restaurant on Mulberry Street, central to tiny Little Italy. Dunno if it was all year around but the length of its three blocks were closed off for this crazy side show thing. Any questions about safety in New York were answered here - there was a cop on every corner and half a dozen at the end of the street.

For anyone who watches Seinfeld, my hostel on West 55th Street was directly above the Soup Nazi! Returning there before the night's hang, I fully checked out the closed shopfront (with sign saying 'Now Franchising') and tired old sign next door for Kenny Kramer's bus tour. Business ain't lookin so good dees deys...

It was mighty good to see Sean and meet his wife Echo - while I'd been entirely consumed by tourist activities, I wanted to also see some of the living, meet the people I knew there and share some of their experiences. From what I could glean from the both of them, times were difficult and it was a struggle, but they knew the reasons why they were there and they weren't about to bail.
Sean was hacking away at a solo gig the likes of which I knew all too well. The surroudings were a little schmicker than I was accustomed to, but it was the same vibe - clean, gleaming fixtures, piano herded into one corner by the chatty indifference of an audience too consumed with themselves and each other to notice. Still, like myself or any other player who's just keen to play and make a quid, Sean has an obvious appreciation of the day-job like aspect of these gigs, and as I sat and chatted with Echo, he willingly plugged away.
I bid them adieu in the next set break and headed to my next juncture, back up the top end of Seventh Avenue to the Village Vanguard. Earlier in the afternoon I nearly missed it - a tiny door with a red awning obscured from the street by scaffolding.
Paying my excessive cover and minimum for the late set, as I stepped past the cover charge guy and saw the room, the sight of the place really hit me. All the famous names and all the famous live recordings throughout the history - Coltrane, Rollins, Josh Redman et al, and a slightly nervous Bill Evans on that Sunday evening in 1961, the last time they would perform together before Scott La Faro died a week later. The room looked old, and smelled damp, but it was the original and there was no denying it.
The late set was the Fred Hersch trio with Drew Gress and Eric MacFarlane (right surname?) - a smattering of people littered the front and I took place by myself near the bar up the back. Fred's recorded work is nothing short of stellar and tonight he didn't disappoint at all. I couldn't believe how good the piano sounded, as well as the overall live sound, something which I would discover at every single gig I saw through the week.
Satisfied with the evening's performance, not wishing to bother Fred, I somehow took a wrong turn and got lost on the way out, before making my way to Fat Cat, the late night hang. There seemed to be a bandstand in the middle of pool tables, as well as much needed internet (I walked the entire island for a week and found about three cafes, all quite expensive), so I pulled up a pint of something and proceeded forthwith...and then took the late night Metro home! After 12.30 pm! Another box ticked about this place.....

New York - Monday

Monday 18th September

Our morning wanderings took us back past Ground Zero, this time in the garish light of morning. Construction has already started on the horrific new tower they're going to build there - I remember reading in an architectural magazine not long after 9-11 about various proposals and some writer suggested the idea of not having to actually build some new gigantic structure there. Did that have to happen?
Traversing the site on some elevated caged walkway, we hit the Hudson River and came back around the island toward Battery Park, the towers of Newark standing at attention to us from the other side.
I was initially reluctant (and with good reason) but the morning's cheesy tourist mission was the Statue of Liberty. Five gazillion people and a massive security check later, the ferry came past the front of her and it was amazing - once again, smaller than I expected but no less impressive. Walked all over, up on the pedestal, down by the river, all around. The stillness of the harbour was once again incredible, all encompassing of ones senses.
Afterwards, DJ took me to another couple of tick-box tourist sites; Washington Square, in the Village, student hang from NYU; Union Square, a bit dodgy; and then to the East Village, like Camden Town but far less grubby and a whole lot trendier.
DJ was good enough to give the Blue Note a go the night before, so on his last night in town I left it up to him. Sadly (!) being barred from entry to 'Hogs and Hooters' in Chelsea cause DJ had no ID(ea), we ended up in the Meatpacking district, in some bar he remembered from his past time here, with a lit-up floor straight out of 'Saturday Night Fever', ending up shooting the breeze with a married Aussie bloke and his gay mate out for some drinks at 2AM before work the next day. That kinda town!....

03 October 2006

New York - Saturday In The Park

Sunday September 17th

....and awoke, to the constant sound of sirens and horns! Jet-lagged and exhausted enough for them not to keep me awake, I knew from the moment I woke that they had remained ceaseless through the night.
DJ had run off to watch a football match, and so on my first morn I was left alone to wander the three or so blocks up from the hostel to Columbus Circle, the bottom left hand corner of Central Park. Stopping off at the nearest deli, I was wiped out by the choice, and that's what it's all about there. Above any deli counter there are at least half a dozen different panels with bagel fillings, sandwhich toppings, different combinations of whatever you want. I thinking that the vibe of the street-eating New Yorker is to charge in and demand a very specific pre-set order, as opposed to my gluttinous wide-eyed bedazzlement.
Settling on some sort of festival of eggplant and garlic, I traversed the Circle to the huge stone entrance and let the park envelop me in it's wooded glory. It was about midday by then and while there were plenty of people, the park never seemed crowded. Walkway melted into roadway into woods and hills, all carefully molded out of the countryside. I found myself regularly stumbling onto fountains and statues...and the squirrels! Out in the day, no time to waste, in groups of sometimes half a dozen. Hardcore, man! I wondered why they weren't ever near the hotdog stands when I figured that they looked so hardcore that they probably owned all the hotdog stands (and had shares in the Yellow Cabs)...
One of the more prominently beautiful features that I'd failed to notice from years of Sesame Street and movies were the rocky bluffs that can be found across the entire park, natural elevation from the rabble of passers-by.

As I continued wandering, these bluffs seemed to flow upwards alongside the paths heading northward.
I really couldn't believe how truly huge the place was, how much space there seemed for everyone. I stopped for a time at the top of the central reservoir - a huge expanse of water right in the middle of the park, stretching to either side. Along it's western edge were the magnificent apartment buildings of the Upper East Side, below it, the rest of the park and the beginning of Downtown. Incredible.

Reaching the very top of the park in a couple of hours, I discovered Duke Ellington circle - Edward Kennedy himself, standing by an open grand piano (big stick), supported by three pillars each comprised of three naked maidens...yep, that's a memorial I think any male Jazz muso would be happy with! Not far from Duke Ellington circle was Tito Puente way....streets named after musicians - now we're talkin'!

I met DJ later on at the Guggenheim, dismal from the street due to renovation scaffolding, but the space itself was gorgeous - I admit it was the first thing in New York I found to be smaller than I expected, but no less impressive. DJ's architectural knowledge commanded us to take the lift to the top and walk down the spiral, as is apparently the proper way.
Back into the park, it was later and cooler in the afternoon and many more New Yorkers were out enjoying the lungs of Manhattan. We crossed to Central Park West and sat by the Museum of Natural History before subwaying it to Brooklyn.
Can I just indulge in a slightly nerdy rave about how good the subway is? Why, thank you kind reader....

itz reely cool cos there are express trains which get you round real fast as well as local trains which stop at all the stops and it's also well cheaper than the tube cos I paid $US25 for a week to go everywhere as opposed to £24 for zone 1 and 2 and of course unlike the tube no huge escalatory journeys down into the bowels of creation and there's also air conditioning on the carriages....

Ahem....my eerily constant fascination compelled DJ to threaten a quiz when I got back - I think I must need a special hat or something....

Emerging at Brooklyn Heights, we rolled down to the East River for some incredible views of lower Manhattan, then simply wandered up to where the bridge started.
It was probably the highlight of my trip, walking across Brooklyn Bridge to Manhattan, with the sun low in the sky and that wall of buildings, the magic of the island, all laid out in front of you. Travellers in a daze of bewilderment had to take care to stay to the left of the path to avoid the heat of oncoming cyclists in their dedicated right lane (I got yelled at a couple of times!).

....From the Statue of Liberty and ferries on the harbour to Downtown and Midtown, then Empire State, standing out from the 'crowd', then the river and the other bridges, Manhattan, 59th Street and Washington et al, to the expanse of Brooklyn and far off to the Verrazano Narrows, the mouth of the harbour, the start and the end of it all.....
Ending up near Town Hall, DJ took me to Ground Zero. While fully aware of the tragedy and weight and significance that the place had, I didn't feel moved to sadness. It just felt strange.
DJ was a little reluctant at first, as was I (as I always am when trying to sell something called 'Jazz' to my non-muso friends), but true to form, he gave it a go and we headed into Greenwich Village for the first of my marathon gig haul for the week. West 4th Street was first stop, none other than the Blue Note, for the Bad Plus and Jason Moran's Bandwagon, the first solely piano trio, the second same plus guitar.
From both outfits it was heavygoing for these ears - I gotta say that I'm still coming round to Bad Plus, and tonight's set wasn't the most enthralling. It was something about the Chicagoesque blues and occasional freeness of the Bandwagon which left me a bit more satisfied. Or maybe it was those incredible slices of pizza from Joe's Pizza just round the corner (there were no toppings, only cheese and the sauce, and it was that good!)....

02 October 2006

Dumped On The Phone

...So I got dumped on the phone last night. First time for everything, right? It was on the set break at Oxo, and I'd been trying to ring her all day and talk over what happened the night before, so I finally got through to her and it was categorical, there was no correspondence to be entered into. We said our respective apologies, and I knew there was no point in trying to keep it going, and she was fairly direct.
The night before had been her 21st. She'd told me her ex would be there, her ex of not too long before we'd hooked up, and how he kinda looked like me, and at first I was okay with all this in my tried (well tried)and true manner of being easygoing and accepting with these things. But of course, rocking up to the party after a couple of reds and consuming vast quantities more of same seemed to change my sensibilities somewhat.
She was doing her social butterfly thing and that was okay, but it seemed whenever I looked over that she was hanging with this guy. It got to the end of the night and I wondered where she was, and there I run into them on the stairwell. So I slink back into a couch and hold my head for a bit and next thing I'm outside and she's apologising tremendously but I must have appeared not to have been listening, mumbling rubbish about not being mucked around ever again. So I left, in a cab, by myself.
She told me I was a great Guy and all but she'd finally realised that she didn't want to be in a relationship with anybody right now. And it was done. Back on for the second set, so Caroline picked a bunch of tunes for the Dumped set ('Mean To Me', 'What A Difference A Day Makes' et al), and we had a laugh and such.
After a warm September, the Autumn is finally here, and while it remains my favourite season of all, it's still that stepping out the front door at the start of the day and realising you're wearing too much, or not enough, and a breeze picks up and the weather gets up and inside you, you get caught out. I seem to feel it the worst on my upper arms, biceps, in between elbow and shoulder. I made sure I was wearing plenty of clothes today, that I would keep nice and warm and that I kept myself well fed and watered, as I was reminded of an eve not too long ago, wandering around Leicester Square by myself, in a big blue coat to keep me warm, dropping into bars to sit for a while, watching the lights, wandering, not knowing really where to go or what to do. No tears, no joy, just alone, but okay, I guess.
You just wear it. And the whole thing is kinda good in a way. After the three year epic with whatsername, there went a long enough time before any involvement with anyone. Then there was one, for a while, now this other one. It was the whole thing of getting back on the horse, so in a way it kind of feels like mission completed. And they were both gorgeous and we had fun, and I'm still here and alive and running my own show all right.
And now, friends, marks a new chapter in the love life of your correspondent. I'm feeling like I'm gonna go solo for a while, just see how that goes. For the first time ever I just want to do my own thing, not feel as though I desperately need someone to make my life complete. Dunno how long that's gonna last, but it's okay for now....