Yeah, you kind of need a bottle of wine, of the low alcohol sort, when you get home from doing Free Wine Tasting night with the busboy downstairs for the greater part of the evening. I go through a lot of glassware when entertaining, a way of keeping the customer occupied when I'm spread thin. A bottle of Chinon and an indoor bike ride while there are still Tour de France highlights available through the cable box.
And the next day, having one more dragon of a shift to defeat after doing pretty much every night from Friday through Tuesday alone, the demon of jazz night with an 11 top back in the wine room, what do you write about? About the fragility of young love, easily disturbed or subverted, and yet the impossible durability of the same, neither a convenient quality but what-can-you-do, it all must mean something, maybe that one needs to abandon dualistic understandings, hot and cold, because everything simply is? Do you write about an aging king, fresh to a new frailty who sees suddenly in a trusted servant the wisdom, steadfast brotherly love and depth he's missed all along, carrier of valuable true things? Do you write about the whale quality of people, how some people are soothing to be around, pleasant, swimmers of deep calm old waters, who express things with less sound? Do you write down the thoughts your 83 year old self-confident distinguished African American gentleman friend shared with you at the end of the night when you walked with him down the steps and out to his car, about how "it's all about her; it's not about you," advice to the lovelorn, how you take a step, see if she wants more, take another step... "You're too timid."
Well, you're up out of bed, rising later the last few days, less time for yoga and meditation. We all need a trade. These days, one could do worse than what I do, which is an ancient thing, predating psychiatry and even medicine. An interesting journey in the modern world.
We are indeed in an awkward spot. The moment you say something, it's no longer true. It's the same thing as light. You see it as a particle it acts like a wave. Thus it is necessary to return to good old school 'stamp collector' science, the taxonomy of the botanist, how leaves are related by structure. Things are a reflection of That Which Is. A certain necessary poetry to science.
And so there is a certain truth, even as we don't know what to make of it, to something that like Hamlet reaches so deeply and accurately into the human experience, incredibly painful as it might be to watch, young love going awry, Ophelia's madness after Hamlet's feigned, or the story of King Lear. Plays which themselves might be about the futility of naming things. An actor should never get smug on Charlie Rose about playing such roles, never think for a moment, "I am so n so, successful experienced Shakespearean actor," because then you are missing something, grown facile.
Seeing Coldplay sing "You're a Star," it could kind of get old, at least by itself, after awhile, the beautiful love story of anthem rock, as it works less and less as you grow older, more like carrying on what would be impossible to carry on. The preference grows for duality, to show how that love is mixed with other things, more realistic things, even as it might endure. That's an honesty better on the system.
"The crap I used to write," MacGowan says, before the stuff of real Irish music came. "The Auld Triangle," Brendan Behan's song of imprisonment is probably not a song of courtship and fun, but it might better describe what a relationship might really go through taken as a whole. "A terrible beauty is born," Yeats writes, and it rings truer. You want to love with the greatest passion; you also want to go run and hide, never to be seen again.
I am reminded of a scene from a presentation of The Singing Detective, the BBC one with Michael Gambon, a strange Larkinesque beauty to it. Is it the singing detective himself, stricken with a horrible skin condition, or is it the old man in the hospital, struggling to say something and then who finally says it, then again, louder. "Asshole!" A moment of Shakespearean truth. A kind of 'why don't you be nice to me' honesty to it.
We go to school, we study liberal arts, in order to have a personality, to be, in effect, more honest. It's served me well as a bartender, though a vast untapped reserve, full of words. One hopes that's still a good thing in today's world.