1a. The Party
A high-rise apartment overlooking a convenience store and a church, painted green. Awful green. The Men hunched over in the living room, watching ultimate fighting. The Women on the balcony. Every so often, they passed each other in the kitchen, where someone had left Electric Ladyland playing in the background. The puppy ran out onto the balcony and peed everywhere, stepping in it, soaking its soft white fur. It ran into the living room, and I took it as a signal. But the party continued anyway.
2a. Cover Me
Calgary. A shitty bar that smelled like musk and stale booze. Sticky floors. Bad food. And a terrible band with a drummer and a singer you could mistake for the same guy. Not twins. The same guy in the same spot twice at once. The one guy, the drummer, had changed his birth name, which was Guy, to something else. They started playing All Along the Watchtower, but stuck in a 7-minute musical interlude about “meeting a woman in a coffee shop (co-co-co-coffeeeeee sh-sh-sh-shoooooop).” They gave everyone a free CD at the end of their set. It was self-titled, I can see it in my mind’s eye, but I can’t remember the name of the band.
1b. Objects in Space
A drunken high school party in the basement of someone’s rich parents’ house. A friend got high and became paranoid about UFOs. She curled up in the corner on the expensive shag carpet and screamed and cried about UFOs, she was so afraid. Finally, I told her that there was no reason to get excited; the air force had satellites in the stratosphere that tracked those sorts of things and if there were UFOs, we’d have likely known about it. She calmed down and after a while, passed out. At another party she stood with her friends on a balcony and I was there too, in a state of vague but real urgency.
2b. Objects in Space II
Past midnight, just outside the downtown, which was never far way from anything in the city. I was staying at the drummer guy’s, not Guy’s, rented house, was told by his girlfriend, my friend, that he was very deep and had a lot of soul. But how could that be? I found myself lying on their sofa staring, rapt, at his bookshelf, was not able in fact to wrench my eyes away from it. It was stacked with only and seemingly every Tom Clancy novel in existence, and a few copies of the same titles too. I consoled myself with the thought that it wasn’t actually my business. Outside the wind began to howl. In time, I fell asleep.
She wanted milk and ginger ale for the party. She sent him out to get them because she was busy cleaning the apartment. He stopped at a Goodwill store first, bought a sectional sofa after a quick phone call to borrow $100 from his dad, brought that back instead of the milk and ginger ale. I imagine that it was he who picked the colour of those awful walls, but that it was she who painted them. I cannot, of course, verify any of this.
2c. Enter the Dragon
The band broke up. She married someone else. Outdated computer manuals and a Bruce Lee biography sit on the bookshelf in their home, and I stand in front of it and reprimand myself by the impulse, once again, to judge, to make pronouncements that most likely helped no one, and more likely did not that much in the long run.
3. Said the Joker to the Thief
Did you know? That Bob Dylan wrote and recorded All Along the Watch Tower in 1967, but that it was Jimi Hendrix’s version, recorded six months later, which resonates with most people. Some say that Hendrix’s version has surpassed Dylan’s original. Still others believe that Hendrix’s version is the original. But given the facts that, of course, is impossible.