This year has been nothing if not epic. A country that sat still for an eight year coup by a rich Texas spoiled brat elected its first black president. The economy still tanking almost as bad as The Great Depression from the Texas brat not giving a shit about anything other than war and filling his buddies' pockets (okay, he does seem to have helped diminish AIDS in Africa, but I'm sure there must be some creepy diabolical reason behind it. Like the pesticide company here in Maryland selling all its assets to go into selling pills to women with breast cancer, an illness more and more linked with pesticides.) A once seemingly proud nation displays its greatest rage over attempts at getting health care for an uncovered populace of epidemic proportions.
Haiti getting slammed to an Old Testament degree.
John Fahey successor Jack Rose dying tragically young, followed by Sir George Rickels and poet performance artist, prankster David Franks.
And I fell in love and bought a house. Surely the gods are angry. As I've muled books and records steadily for weeks now I've constantly felt the shifting of the earth beneath me - a race between setting up a refuge before the wrecking ball comes for me like it's come for so many others. To think I chose journalism as a major in college over acting because I thought journalism was a more stable choice. To think I then chose English instead. To think I bothered to even go to college. Owning a house I now know it's the plumbers and carpenters who rule the world.
Now when we are almost moved in, the pristine white walls starting to dot with friends' artwork, the windows starting to cover with blinds shielding the innocent passerby from our Swan Lakes of domestic squalor, the Great Snowzilla stomps upon our puny plans and lives. BWI reported 26.5 inches early this morning with a projected 4 to 8 additional to come. Apparently the most recent record snowfall was 2003, but I barely recall that one. I thought there had been a huge one in 1996, but that just might be a reflection of my level of poverty and anxiety at the time causing me to feel it as relatively larger. I did get inspired to write the song "Chinese Food" for the group I was in, Little Gruntpack, from the grouchy old woman who lived above me and Pope living on Chinese food deliveries during that big storm. I'll never forget when I first moved into Pope's and the old woman knocked on his door to ask in her spectral voice if he knew why roaches went from one end of the bed to the other. "Hhhmmm, uuhhmmmm," Pope answered in his gravely Tom Waits mumble. "I guess to reach the other side."
And I have a childhood memory of one in the early '60s hitting on the same day that the "Batman" show starring Adam West premiered. I remember looking out the sliding glass door at my older brothers playing in what I thought was snow higher than my head. Wanting to be out there, but not wanting to miss Batman either.
And after the initial anxiety worrying about the closed up store and the unfinished move it was a relief to walk wide shut down streets almost completely free of traffic except for the occasional monster truck, exotic snowmobile and weenie operated Humvee, Max running gleefully off the leash. Everly and I have had two weeks together in the house without really being able to be together except at night when we crashed exhausted. Juggling schedules for car use being home for various appliance deliveries or phantom plumbers and now a record snow of over 26 inches is gracing us "free" time by paralyzing our outer world.
And nothing beats a snow emergency for meeting new neighbors. Everyone parading - Everly in her Mayor Snow Bunny brightly striped clown pyjamas, me in her floppy eared shaggy blonde fur hat that looks like (as Mike of Sri Aurobindo pointed out) the hair of Bruce Vilanch - in the novelty. The secret joys of apocalypse without the nasty trimmings (well, unless you're sick and/or aged living alone, or your power went out and you have no food. Or you have no lodging for that matter.) All the daily repetition has momentarily been buried by a blanket and you can see your old surroundings with new eyes. People walking up and down Hartford Road hailing each other and exchanging news on what few things are open - the tobacco shop and the liquor store. One guy saying he's going to make $300 tomorrow shoveling when the snow is completely done and people want to get on with their lives.
Then home again, to a house where the roof is only a year old and has held up and the power has remained on. Time to spin some hidden gold vinyl that had been buried and left behind in the attic of Everly's old place by former tenants - The Staple Singers on VeeJay, Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee's "Folk Songs" and the J.B.'s "Doing It To Death".
Life can be very good indeed. Now if only Everly would realize the true genius of "Green Acres".