The Great Plotnik

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

New Year's Eve 2013-14

dreamed last night that I was in a one man boat, trying to pull a second boat, that had become disabled, across a large pond over choppy seas. It was getting late, I knew we should have started out earlier. The skies were threatening. I think this had something to do with flying to LA this morning.

We left Atlanta after an intense week, what with Christmas, JJ 's house flooding, and BZ needing to buy a car. She just moved to Atlanta after five years in Providence after seven years in New York and who knows what comes next. Right now she's got to drive to Colorado. She's tired of uprooting herself and moving to cities where she doesn't know anybody, but Dad can't do anything about that. He just wants to make sure she's got four new tires. 

Holidays can be lonely, or they can be fun, but they are always markers. It was hard not having Christmas with Danny and Staci and Bells and Des this year, but they ended up in Mexico. So BZ and I sat on the sofa and I rubbed my daughter's feet and realized she's getting even prettier as she gets older.

In the dream, the pond could be Atlanta or it could be LA. Or, it could just be a pond. 

We got into LAX from Atlanta a little after noon but it took half an hour just to get off the plane and almost three hours to find a shuttle bus to get to Union Station. Rose Bowl tomorrow. Lots of people in Michigan green and Stanford red, crowding the airport sidewalks, filling up the buses. We got to Mom's around four and she already wanted dinner. She had a smoke, and then had trouble breathing and felt faint. We sat on the sofa, mom and me, and I put my arm around her and we waited 'til it all passed.

Twenty five years of working every New Year's Eve, and I don't miss one minute of it. Playing the music was too easy on New Year's. People were too determined to love you, to have a good time, to drink too much, to dance too wildly, to shout too loudly. Yahoos grabbing my mike and vomiting on it. The trailer park in Carson, olive loaf on whIte. Driving home exhausted while dodging drunks careening all over the highway.

But double scale, triple scale. Too much money not to take the gigs. Hot New Year's to get you through bleak January. Most guys took the first gig they were offered then kept trading up, finding subs to fill in on the first gig. By Dec. 30 the only people available to sub were the worst players in town, which explains why you heard so many bad bands on New Year's Eve, made up of guys who hadn't worked in years and had never met each other before.

I don't miss my dyed black mustache, my tuxedo, my ruffled shirt, my little bow tie or my big bow tie or my cummerbund. Maybe I do miss counting down to Auld Lang Syne. Maybe I do miss some of the really good bands. It's possible.

But New Year's Eve is just for being here now. You dream, and then you wake up, and very little of it ever makes sense. This does. It's nice to be here. That's it and that's enough.


At 5:14 PM, Blogger Karen said...

Sounds like you were much needed in Atlanta! We have the plague in NYC, so it's good you were away. The biggest New Year's conversation is "and how long have you been on antibiotics this round?"

Here's to a good 2014!

At 6:55 AM, Anonymous jj-aka-pp said...

Wow GP I'm sorry that's the view you got of Atlanta. It could be because you spent all your time shopping for cars next to malls.
I can go for months without driving by mall.
Obviously you need to make another trip :-)

At 7:24 PM, Blogger notthatlucas said...

No details on the car she ended up with? Did you actually manage to find a human car salesman? I think the boats are metaphors for trying to decide between a Smart car and a 73 Vega.


Post a Comment

<< Home