Last spring I bought a ticket to see Big Head Todd, Bare Naked Ladies, and Cracker. Soon I’ll see the show. I hope I don’t see anyone I know. I relish occasional anonymity. I’d like to see Pearl Jam. Those bands were from the end of my prolonged youth, when I could have a drink and listen to live music, alone, without seeming lost. I’m part of an enormous demographic. I know there are a lot of us out there still carousing. My carousing days are done. I’ve seen boomers half lit, and they did have a good time, but drunk and disheveled isn’t for me, anymore. My sister, who lives in the Land of Shuffleboard and the Early Bird Special, reports that there is a thriving community of carousing older people there. She described a neighbor in his 80s who has his Travolta moves down. He never misses a disco night at the local joint, people go specifically to watch him.
When I was a twenty-something, single person I used to imagine building designs that would make communal living affordable and tolerable. Now that I’m older, married, and sometimes mutinous, I often wonder if the marital duplex is an architectural solution whose time has come. I sometimes make a random public service announcement to the other occupant of this dwelling, “The duplex saved the marriage!” The response, from the sofa, is typically crinkled blue eyes and dimpled grins. Marriage requires a lot of something- what? Imagination? Dedication? Concession? I don’t know. I have a friend who maintains that marriages have underlying bargains. I haven’t been able to identify what our bargain is. I think we just recognized each other.
I listened to a piece on PBS about Malaga Island last night http://www.malagaislandmaine.org/audio.htm. It was enthralling. People were forced, by the state, to leave their homes because the economy was failing and municipalities didn’t want to help them. They were black people and mixed race people, smart, hardworking, decent people put out of their homes by a government run amok. The intention was to reclaim real estate under eminent domain and sell it to rusticating wealthy people; no one bought the property, karma.
I know a lot of people are sick of politics, I am too, but we owe it to ourselves to pay attention to protect ourselves from totalitarianism. Keep them guessing.