Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Me and Sue and Heather

Heather was in town, and I went to meet her and Susan for lunch at Burger Heaven. I'm wearing a coat from Tumi Sport, a hat from Mandarina and Duck and my new Levi's 505s. Heather and Susan had attended a performance by Lucinda Williams the night before, and were on their way to the MoMA. I feel like they're always going to see Lucinda Williams. I myself saw her twice, and then I felt like that was enough. She's not going to sing "Passionate Kisses" anymore. She's not going to sing "Car Wheels on a Gravel Road."

Once a year I like to purchase a coat and a scarf, which I incorporate into my rotating wardrobe. The coat I am wearing in this picture is this year's purchase. Perhaps my ultimate goal is to do a music video in which I am wearing lots of different coats and scarves. I have never seen a Lucinda Williams video, but if there is one, I'm sure she is only wearing one coat.

I used to make a lot of macabre jokes about my dead friends and family, and now Susan is doing it, too - about hers. When I told Susan and Heather about the panicky feeling I've been having for a couple of weeks now, and that I was now on Seroquel during the day, not just the night, Susan drily told me that someone she knew used to take Seroquel, and now he's dead. I replied, perhaps unnecessarily, that that wasn't the best commercial for Seroquel.

Do you, like me, ever feel like you've taught your friends well? Perhaps too well?

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Replacement wallet

*Sigh*. I loved my little green canvas wallet with the birds on it. I got it two years ago at an Urban Outfitters, and I knew it wouldn't last. Now here it is with a huge hole in it.

A salesman had warned me when I bought it: "these wallets are kind of childish." I was mortified, knowing that in the parlance of the young and hip, that means "you are too old." But I was used to it by then. There aren't too many 38-year-old men who idly browse through Urban Outfitters, waiting for some shiny item to thrill them, to call to them. I am one such man.

Luckily, I have a replacement wallet, and it has a funny backstory. A long time ago, my friend Jimmy was in Japan, and he went to someone's house. At the house, he complimented a lantern, and he was given the lantern, just like that, simply because it was the custom to do so in Japan! But Jimmy knew beforehand that that was the custom, so he had complimented the lantern in order to get it. He really wanted that lantern!

Years and years later, not knowing this story, I complimented Jimmy on his wallet. Not too long after that, he gave me an identical wallet as a gift. I thought, what a nice guy! But then I overheard him telling the Japan story to someone, and I realized what he had done. He is trying to live a good life, and because he can't track down his Japan hosts, he had paid it forward, to me. I want to live a life like that, and just my wanting it actually makes it happen sometimes, on certain days.

Now, though it pains me to retire the bird wallet, I have a new wallet to use, for no other reason than that a friend was trying to be a good person. Random acts of kindness ...