i related my note last night knowing that my birthday’s beginning was definitely “just beginning.” after walking maxx one-last-time (he bullies me around) and giving the bathroom bowl one last shot with that plunger, i returned to digs in the loft; it’s located in the back of the building.
below me, there was a party going on that, i had been assured at one-thirty in the morning, was “winding down.”
a moment of background:
these guys had an idea a while ago of opening a DIY space.
i suggested it might not be that good an idea in a commercial location on a corner of a main thoroughfare that had been recently raided by the police for being a drug-dealing spot.
“well, we can have the parties in the basement and no one’ll be the wiser” they said.
“good luck” i said.
“and we’ll have art shows and happenings” they said.
“i think that’s great” i said.
(i was only fifty-five then. i’m older and wiser now.)
“it” was a birthday party, but “it” wasn’t my birthday party. i also found out when i was being assured (at one thirty in the morning) that this was “it.”
“it”, in this case was the last hurrah for the leaseholders of this space. i guess the plans for this DIY space to become a legal entity was no longer happening, so “it” became another “it” and this is the “it” this guy was talking about.
i immediately began to get a bad feeling about “it.”
“it”‘s not going to drag on all night like “it” did last time, is “it”?
“oh, no.” he said.
i did not believe him.
i went upstairs and turned the volume up to compensate for the increased turbulence that was building evermore just below me.
i felt a shitstorm coming.
there is no soundproofing between me and my downstairs neighbors. none. zilch. zero.
a couple of months ago, my neighbors had a party and “it” got a little out of hand.
i came down at 3:15 in the morning and said “this is wrong”
and they said “i’m sorry, we’ll take care of “it” ”
please bear in mind, i’m not talking about a jukebox. we’re talking about amps, boards, bass-bottoms, cabinets, horns – all that good stuff, directly below where i’m writing this. no escape.
thus assured, i went upstairs.
forty-five minutes later, just before i was going downstairs to do something that might have gotten me arrested, the police showed up and ended “it” for them that night.
this is “it”, here.
ok. back to someone else’s birthday;
at three AM, an hour and a half after the “wind-down”, as the volume grew ever louder and understanding that i was right back where i was two months ago, i walked downstairs, walked to the stage and said plainly, as i pointed up to the ceiling, hollering,
“that’s where i live. it’s three – o – six in the fucking morning. stop “it” NOW.”
for a millisecond i was uncle buzzkill, said fuck that, these douchebags don’t give a motherfuckin’ rat’s ass about me or my birthday, so i’m calling “56-cancer-survivor TRUMP.”
i don’t play the cancer-card anymore except in my mind.
i wondered where the pinochle/bridge phrase came from.
i also wondered if adrenaline causes heart-attacks. i was pumped.
i wondered if someone was going to say “go fuck yourself,” and thought what my next move would be if that happened.
exiting, i didn’t wonder that i was too old for this stuff. i knew it.
climbing the stairs, i kept waiting for the music to start again.
again at my desk i sat, no longer able to concentrate on writing. (all i need is an excuse.)
i switched on adult swim. moral orel was on. the inhabitants downstairs tried occasional percussive overtures to the sound person. a few different chants began, followed by a rendition of “happy birthday.” it was a throaty, angry version of that song.
they were not singing this song to me.
about a half-hour went by when i started to hear the sound of breaking glass. this sound would not end for almost an hour.
i would turn down the volume on the television because i was afraid that this is where bad things happen. i would hear voices of people doing all sorts of things that got me worried for my home, maxx and my buddy, buddy.
drunk, rageful people who go on a destructo-jag can do bad or at least, stupid things.
i would hear anxious and plaintive voices trying to calm down aggressive voices. i would hear words that lead me to believe that on at least one occasion, a fire may have started. i wondered if i would have to run out of my living space with my animals and what it would be like to have to live in my store.
i wondered if the fire department was going to show up.
i wondered if the police were going to show up.
i wait until after five in the morning before going up to my loft to sleep.
that was “it” for me.
as i lay me down to sleep, i say, “shit, i gotta deal with that toilet in the morning.”
and i’d celebrate my birthday full of good cheer.
and friends would regard me kindly as i would do my best to live in the spirit of gratitude.
ok. maybe a tad too dickensian, but you see where i’m trying to go with this.
i would look at the one, visible, shattered window where shards of a birthday would be welcoming the new tenant. i shudder to think what “it” looked like in there.
i would have lunch with a demolition-squad detective who used to hang out at scrap bar.
a neighbor would bring a big pan of macaroni and cake and the “hearts and minds of goodbye blue monday” would feast.
that’s what i call my GBM family.
i would stay upstairs for most of the evening and write this.
i’d finish “it” on someone else’s birthday.