Stream of consciousness. Writing. Listening to Keith Jarett. Driving down I-95 from my Motherâ€™s house. We were up for the day. She told my wife Iâ€™m like a ghost. Like a ghost since those things I had to go through long ago. I donâ€™t feel like a ghost. I feel like a dead plant come back to life. Green buds peering out with hope into the light. Thatâ€™s how I feel today. In my 40â€™s things look and feel so different than they once did. If I knew then what I know now what would I change? This is supposed to be stream of consciousness. I am thinking to much. We are driving. It is late. Will I go up to the dog run with Kristin tomorrow? Will I push myself to leave the house? I enjoy my house. I enjoy my Sundays. Time alone at peace. Quiet. Time to enjoy my home. I love Sunday.
My son is becoming a young man. I wonder what he thinks of me sometimes. It is hard to entertain a thirteen year old. Up for an afternoon once a week we drive to Lilyâ€™s in rural Connecticut and spend the day. The smell of dog pee makes my nose burn. Alex has a new guitar. His step Dad bought him an amp and new guitar as a bonus. I wonder why. It seems unusual. It has distortion, see? Now I can REALLY play Smoke on the Water, check it outâ€¦ Later he seems so bored. Painfully bored. What are we going to do, Dad? I donâ€™t know. I donâ€™t know what to do. He wants to do something just the two of us. That sounds nice but I canâ€™t think of anything to do and I feel bad for that. Eventually I go to the piano and tell him to get his guitar. I ask him what key does he know how to play a blues in. He doesnâ€™t know. But he plays some of those rock songs. Heâ€™s taking lessons but all he seems to learn are 70â€™s and 80â€™s rhythm guitar parts. Iâ€™ve heard him play blues. At least a little. I mean how can you not on a guitar? Its made for the fucking blues. Anyway, I say well play that blues you know that I heard you play and he starts that little riff off the bottom two strings that is the first blues thing you learn on a guitar. I say thatâ€™s E. Weâ€™re going to play blues in E and I play the piano. The guitar is not in tune so I make him tune up with the piano. Then we start. I just keep playing 12 bars after 12 bars and he mostly gets it except sometimes he goes to the four chord too soon or misses the five all together. So I stop. It can go like this. There are three chords. E is the one chord, here. You can play either four full bars of the one chord, or one bar of the one chord and one bar of the four chord followed by two bars of the one chord. Letâ€™s just stay on the one chord for four bars. Then we play two bars of the four chord, see? And I sing and play it. Then it is two more bars of the one chord. Five chord, one bar, four chord one bar, and one chord one bar, five chord last bar to bring it back to the top. That is it. 12 bar blues. I play rhythm piano and a base line while he tries it out. I play some pentatonic bluesy lines. He tries to keep up but he canâ€™t really play all the chords. At least we tried. What is that teacher teaching him anyway? I donâ€™t play guitar. I worked in a guitar-centric music store once. I fooled with them a little. I showed him the blues scale and he picked it up really fast. I hope he will practice that. Weâ€™ll have more to do next time if he does. I said I love you when we dropped him off on our way back to the City. I told him to practice. I often feel guilty, especially after I drop him off. He craves attention and my time; but it is never enough to sit still. He asks me about junior high and what it was like for me. This is something I want to share. I want to share everything with him. I want to give him everything I know, all the failures and successes. All the mistakes. I want him to know and I want to share it. If I can give him this it will have made sense. He wonâ€™t have to do the same stupid things. I can be there to guide him like the person I always wanted but was never there. He asks me and I start to tell my tales. He gets bored or maybe just distracted and starts to talk about something else. Its ok. Heâ€™s thirteen. But sometimes I just have to get pissed and tell him how Iâ€™m trying to answer him and tell him about something and he isnâ€™t listening. Iâ€™ve already been through it. Thereâ€™s nothing you can tell me about being thirteen at John Winthrop Junior High that I donâ€™t already know. But even if there is, Iâ€™m listening. Listen to me. Let me share. Iâ€™ve already been where you are and where you are going.
photo of me and my dad Rye Playland, NY1974 or 75
photo of me and my son Queens, NY 2003