Saturday, December 03, 2005

Hunting The Elusive and Transitory State of Fun

Friday at 15:00 my hands and feet began to sweat, attention span grew short. The feeling I call anticipatory delight had begun to wash over me, the expected future fun so strong & close it seeped backwards in time. DJ Spinner & DJ Bobbito's tribute to the wonder of Stevie Wonder at Mighty in SF, doors at 21:00. Plans had just all been confirmed, so the present grew less well lit while the missing light fell on the night before me. Mama always played plenty of Stevie, and some of his albums have worked as guaranteed blues breakers for me, at least for a time. You don't need Rock Med, just Talking Book in many circumstances. I figured we couldn't go wrong, and we didn't. The club was on the just OK side, not very big with not enough sofas, but not all bad with no front door search, an excellent crystal chandelier, and some killer art. The DJs ending up kind of sucking, dropping the needle in the wrong spot more than once, and when they'd get what they were trying to do right, what they were trying to do sounded corny and just messed with my groove. We'd expected a more hip-hop and electronica kind of mixing; dudes weren't even scratching. That said, we danced our asses off and had a plenty good time for a couple hours; when you start with Stevie it's hard to completely fuck up. At some point though, they played Loves in Need of Love Today; great song but a sadness came over me, kind of a nostalgia or complex association. By 00:30 the dance floor crowded us so we split. Companionship, being tired, opted to go directly home. I felt the night attempting to end too early, wanted food or something, but while I considered my options the vehicle drove itself onto the bridge. Once on the east side of the bay the water's edge at Oakland's Middle Harbor Shoreline park called to me from the right, the rocky side of Lake Anza in Tilden Park from the left, but I recalled the curfews & the claws of the law and so didn't get the wee hours waterside itch scratched. The homestead loomed in the windshield around 1:30, suburban and well lit. An impressive array of spiders busied themselves around the porch light, munching insect blood. Chocolate cake, feeding the hungry mutts, and a few pages of Gravity's Rainbow sent me to sleep.

Next day the wife went to work, leaving me with the boy and a long list of chores. The sadness I'd let start eight or so hours before lingered like a noxious odor, started to piss me off. The tea had no zap, stereo didn't go loud enough, sunlight cold. The boy and I worked with the chalk for a good while, but my focus lacked. Heard it a thousand and one times before, stop obsessing on yourself and help someone else, a proven method, so I called someone I could bet felt shittier than me, a sick friend that knows me well. Shared some knowledge, lent my ear to her troubles, practiced the art of listening without interrupting, learned a thing or two, steered toward overstanding & gratitude, laughed some, got inertia going for a mood shift. When I hung up I suspected something closeby could fully disspell the remainder of the funk. Running down options the stereo seemed potentially fixable. Yup. You know how on some volume controls these days the numbers go down as the volume goes up, but you max out at 30 or so? Well, I figured ours was like that, but turns out it goes to 00! Wow, very loud, and the little subwoofer Doug gave us booms pretty good all revved up. Within a few seconds of discovering the 00 level and backing off to a reasonable 07 the compumetric randomizer spit out a Johnny Cash song the name of which the ensuing excitement erased. I do recall that my Lab/Rottie made a request to go yard and out she went. The thunder muddled my mind but the feet knew what to do, started skipping around the house in a brisk oval. The boy knew too, so we started skipping and running, family room to hallway, around foyer curve, past the kitty condo in the living room, down dining alcove alley, into the kitchen, back through the family room and again, again, again, that boy runs pretty quick. Somewhere along the line I grabbed the rarely used rainstick and spun it like a baton as I skipped. We both were feeling hell of good when the stereo went silent. The boy, naturally ignoring the possibly serious silence, continued to run full tilt and soon stubbed his right big toe fair hard on the caster for the giant Vietnamese Money Tree. I nursed and examined the toe, intermittently pushing various stereo buttons to no avail. After he calmed down I figured out that I could still play CDs, just no computer connection, and so got back to rocking out. Investigation determined that the bass had caused an aging purple rubber band to snap, the rubber band we used to keep the wireless broadcast device together after the boy smashed it a few months ago. One small fat white rubber band later we were good to go. The boy worked his clay while I made the lunch, did the chores, and let the good mood ride.

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