"Don't tell me I'm burning the candle at both ends -- tell me where to get more wax!!"

nice to hear about your day, it inspired me..

saturday, may 20th in the year of our lord 2001

9 am- i had four eleven year old girls spend the night and they woke up- we gathered our wits about us, brought in the clothes from the line, and went out in the big red convertible. drove down main street (verrrry slowly) with them on the back seat waving and smiling. tried to get into c'est la vie for breakfast but they were packed, and the pizza place (their second choice) was closed so we settled on bagels and cream cheese- then home to do a little overdue web work, pack them up and drop them all off at danielle's little brothers baseball game. then drop off my cordless battery packs to get them wired up and re-batteried-

penny is back in the hospital so i visited her, her lung is successfully draining, and she's out tomorrow, though will probably have some serious pain for a while. saw keith, who of course showed up at the same time bearing wheat grass juice and vitamin c, was a bit tense, but nonetheless very relieved to see that he still looked like keith, albeit with much shorter hair. an hour in a private room puntuated by the piercing twittering of hungry owls. strange, but true, speakers mounted on the top edge of the building play recordings to keep the woodpeckers away, who had developed a disconcerting habit of pecking on the windows. at one point penny punched the nurse intercom and requested her dose of demerol, a cheery and enthusiastic voice on the other end said "we'll be right over".. that's room service.

picked up the batteries, thank you very much, and home, but saw a big pile of bagged leaves, so made a quick detour to deliver about 500 pounds of leaves to the house i'm working on, figure i might as well get her compost pile going while i'm fixing her cabinets. dropped off a housewarming cd to the lovely and softspoken jennifer, whom you met, then home, and david my subletter was there, we had a small glass of whiskey to celebrate our joint ventures, and showered, tried to get in touch with someone to hitch a ride up to tampa with, having missed my earlier opportunity, you see, because the whole thrust of the day was to get to a huge show in tampa that our community radio station puts on once a year. they didn't answer, and had already left as it turns out. so i realize that i have just enough time to make it 65 miles up the road for vietnamese food before my volunteer slot selling water at the show, magically find monet's phone number which i had lost, she will meet me at trang's at seven o'clock. into the truck, detour to the post office to drop off a check toward rafaels overdue rent just in time, drive to tampa....

traffic was weird, i'm driving 85 in the middle lane and people are passing me right and left doing a hundred, hundred and twenty. dozens of them. maybe my speedometer is broken. maybe it's the end of the world. find trangs, and monet and gabe are getting out of their car right in front of me, we go in, get huge smiles (they know monet, and she inspires that sort of response) and get served maybe the best vietnamese meal ever. spring, summer, autumn, and winter rolls... and they buy me dinner and the waitress does her silent goddess thing that mutes us all into accolytes. monet is coming later, am looking forward to dancing with her, like *really* looking forward to dancing with her. time to go to the cuban club, i'm late, but not too late. pull into ybor city, looks like a good parking space, turns out to be a half mile walk, no wonder there were empty spaces. check in, get a wrist band, ascend three big flights of stairs to the ballroom and start selling water for three hours. sell maybe 500 bottles of water, along with donna beth. beg people for money, get several tens and twenties for bottles of water worth thirty cents. dance with donna beth, watch a guitar player give his all to rock and roll, take a break, go downstairs check out the bluegrass band. take 50mg x. sell water till eleven. then get loose and start walking around.

look for monet. see an eight year old girl methodically walking around de-littering the patio. she single handedly clears all the cups, crushed bottles, and paper from a space the size of a front yard. i watch a big, and i mean big, black, bass player and two little white guys who happen to be brothers, play slide blues like eric clapton would have if he'd been there. look for monet. find several people i haven't seen in years, get hugs. find monet. she's dancing with keith. this is getting repetitive isn't it? we all go outside for fresh air. it's time to dance. rather aimlessly at first, it takes a while to approach each other. we try three different kinds of music in succession, i start to pay a little attention- it's a tricky thing, because i love this girl and i don't want to get too deep without breadcrumbs. we do actually dance. monet really can dance, she does it every day, and when she puts her mind to it i do fall in love hopelessly. so far we've seen several bands, and they were ok. the best is yet to come, but we don't know that yet- we get out on the street and i see toby- who is, believe it or not, over here from germany, organizing migrant farm workers as an alternative to military service. sort of like the peace corps, trying to bring light to the dark corners of america. he's selling t-shirts to raise money to send to the families of six mexican pickers who perished in a van crash several months ago. i feel like i'm not accomplishing much good in the world, comparatively speaking... he's glad to see me and i realize he feels really thankful for help i gave him several months ago getting him a computer. i feel better, at least i'm facilitating people who do what needs to be done.

we go back up the grand staircase and dance for a techno dj on the landing, she gives monet her business card, wants her to dance for her project. we are somewhat whipped, and drag, well, actually we more like run, up the stairs. i like walking with her, it's like dancing with a deadline. and lo and behold, the pearl of the night. the weirdest band i may have ever seen in my life, laurie anderson's bastard sons. these guys have 20 foot horns with right angle bends at the business end, that he blows, spins around, uses to communicate some secret to his bandmate, swoops over the crowd, dopplers in and out against a tonal background that seems to come from somewhere like pluto with a warm heart. this band is incredible, people are standing around gaping. they play water bottles by blowing and whistling and singing into them- the same bottles i was selling, they play acoustic instruments, they play electric guitars, they play melodicas, they play tambourines with their tongues, they play trumpets, they play loudly, they sing us a sweet tenor ballad, you realize you are being blessed with musical genius, and they are having so much fun doing it. god, and then, we go back downstairs and see someone self destruct in front of a microphone, he's so drunk, his girlfriend abandons him, and his band to their fate. the rest of the band is mad at him, they plead for reason, for just one song, but he's just incapable he hits the keyboard with his forehead and i clap when he finally admits "i can't do it" but he's the heart and soul of this band and they can't do anything without him, they are tied to his voice. it's painful and we give him his due respect, it's a marvel of raw, drunken emoting going on up there on stage. but that's all we'll give him and we finish the evening back with geggy tah of the eerie horns on the top floor. (i may get a butt if i keep climbing this many stairs). i could dance with monet for a week or a month or a year but they come to an end for the night a precise one beat short of a measure, leaving us with the invisible, inaudible, conclusion as one last small gift. we talk to the band, i buy erica a blood red tank top and we thank them profusely- they ask people to please bring instruments to the impromptu show they are doing the next night- as these were rented for them by some kind soul...... rented instruments? they did that on rented instruments? no comment. i want to do their web site.

we walk out, monet, roger the organic farmer, and myself, and walk maybe a mile to monets car- along the way we see a small chaotic attractor cross an intersection ahead of us, it's unfocused but feels dangerous, it's a few people pushing too fast or being abused, and i hear a bottle crash on the pavement, monet realizes after we pass that someone looking very alert has walked off after the attractor carrying the bottleneck/knife. we dash back a few feet so we can watch his travel up the sidewalk from behind. we study his walk for a full minute and i state the hypothesis, hopefully correct, that he means no overt harm, perhaps he's just being defensive. but it's an ugly act, he left a pile of glass on the sidewalk. we all get to our cars, i make the drive home alone, and sit here at six am finishing up this page of typing.

what can i say, it was a long day...

love you all,