In no particular order:
- his new rental is super easy to get to and I had to drive past Ralph and Ivy’s old place and that got me thinking about her. She has always been one of the people I had in mind when I wrote a homily for Beacon. I also had to drive by the John B Pub and that took me back. Many’s the time I sojourned there for the beer and the Blue Meenies, and often Jerome was there since he’s lived out that end of town for years.
- Nice little house on a freaking huge lot. Back deck is SQUAREDANCEABLE. Garage faces the alleyway and usually people come in through the back – the concrete walkway doesn’t even go to the street out the front.
- Jerome greets me with a big hug and makes me a cup of coffee (I think dang this is good coffee – had it with oat milk – and it turns out to be EXACTLY the same coffee that I taste tested to have the best price point for the coffee at our cafe back a decade ago.)
- We speak of many things. Obviously I spent some time moaning about Paul, and worrying about Mike (a dear mutual friend, you won’t believe it but Mike CALLED Jerome AS I WAS WALKING UP THE STEPS) but mostly we talked about ideas instead of people, because he is hyper smart and very broad of mind with lots and lots of interesting life experiences. We talked about suicide and the drug crisis, who we’ve lost. We talked about old friends.
- A decade ago I gave him a peyote seedling. (They’re legal now as plants or seeds, git bent if you’re going to bring stupid morality here.) It got stuck in windows with no light and bolted. It’s finally in a proper place to settle down. Now it looks like a three inch long peyote penis, sage green and crooked and skinny and so funny looking that I laughed for about thirty seconds like a cackling witch when I saw it. Honestly you’d laugh too but I didn’t bring a camera.
- He hauled out three new (and used ha) guitars, two of which were Seagulls, and you KNOW how I feel about Seagulls. I got off a couple of songs, Don’t You Weep and the Zero G song, which was fun. The second guitar he handed me was the one I wanted to steal though, sweetest sounding steel string I think I’ve ever held in my hands. Then he showed me new guitar tech which I now need to buy for all of my instruments, plus I need a couple of humidity readers. Then he showed me his grandmother’s violin. It is at least a hundred years old and looks amazing, so much darker than modern violins are finished it’s quite breathtaking. That felt like glimpsing a bit of family history so I got chills.
- Heard about his kids, and how lovely. Oldest wants to be a professional soccer player and hauls his own ass out of his warm bed to practice IN THE ROOM GIVEN OVER TO SOCCER in the basement. There’s a cushioned astroturf floor, a practice goal and – necessary for wind, I guess – a treadmill. Also told me about a thrilling match between a US team (in Seattle) that cheated (assaulting the goalie to the point he was taken to hospital – he was down on the ground and those badly coached adolescents KICKED HIM IN THE KISHKAS which only resulted in a yellow card WHAT THE FUCK REFS I mean seriously) that Jerome’s kid’s team managed to win despite the godforsaken adjudicating and the violence and pettiness of the other team. Like – as thrilling as the last world cup game in the retelling, I was on the edge of my seat.
- He gifted me something lovely and small and appropriate on the way out the door.
- I got to sit in Jerome’s sunny kitchen for most of it.
I really did feel restored. Lovely night of sleep and feeling much sounder about the universe.
All y’all have a good one, you’re good people and I’m glad you’re here.