Thursday, July 30, 2015


It’s been sweltering here, little sweetheart, for days. But I’ve been getting in my six mile run everyday nonetheless, trying to get out before noon, when there’s still a bit of shade on the westside up along the Hudson. Today, thunderstorms were forecast, and although they didn’t go full force until after I finished, it did begin to rain while I was out and that cooled things off a bit. By the very end it was pouring and I came to a stop as I veered back off the river path, crossing the West Side Highway. I walk to and from there because I’m not too keen about running along the crowded sidewalks or stopping for traffic lights. I just walked unhurriedly, getting soaked. Even stopping, as ever, outside the little garden rectory and saying our prayer.

I didn’t have any appointments right away after, and that was a good thing because I was knackered! I took a bath and then fell fast asleep in the middle of the afternoon. When I got up a little later, there was an email letting me know some guitar cable I ordered had come in and I could come pick it up downtown.

I decided I’d walk, so I headed out a little after rush hour. I made my way down Ninth past the Port Authority and Penn Station and began heading east toward Union Square around 21st Street, I think. Somewhere around there, I heard some electric guitar noodling. It sounded live, not like coming out of someone’s car stereo or something. And as I got closer, I could see it was two guys - about our age, I guess - one on upright bass and the other on a big hollow-body electric, playing jazz. It was really nice. Not too crazy but not too Lite-FM, either. They were good. And they were kinda tucked into this little alcove away from the sidewalk by the primary school there, against a brick wall. One sole audience member, a neighborhood kid, a boy of maybe 12 or 13, listening intently. I thought I might put a bill in the open guitar case at their feet, but I remembered that I only had a twenty on me. So, I nodded to the bassist as I passed, and kept walking up to the corner, into the deli and back to the beverage cooler. I grabbed a six of Lagunitas IPA and took it to the counter. It felt a bit funny. I haven’t bought beer - let alone Lagunitas, my go-to back in the day - since I quit drinking a year and a half ago. But I pocketed my change, took the six back to where the guys were still playing, pulled it out of the black plastic bag and sat it at their feet. They were mid-song but you should’ve seen the bass player’s face turn from Very Serious to Oh-fuck-yeah-dude in about two seconds. I told them they “rocked”, which, admittedly, was a little lame but they didn’t seem to mind.The guitarist thanked me and I headed on.

Guitar stores aren’t my favorite places. That’s why I usually order online and I did this time, too, but I had to pick up the stuff at the store itself. I gave them a copy of the email and they sent someone to go grab the cable for me. Unsurprisingly, even though it was almost closing time and the store was nearly empty, some guy was shredding a metal riff, the same one, over and over, heavy on the hyper-fuzz. I went to the other side of the place and tried distracting myself by looking at even more cable. But eventually I wandered to the corner and spied out the culprit. He moved on to arpeggios. And I think he had a thing for Slash. Same haircut, same vest, same basic black. And I swear, I’m not making this up, baby - he was wearing a top hat. Happily, the cable was procured, I collected it and headed for the door. But not before - again, you couldn’t make this up - Top Hat broke into the riff from “Sweet Child o’ Mine”. Gotta love New York. 

Jason and I were talking about this the other day, my love - in fact I need to tell you and write about that day, too - that with so many great old places and fixtures of this city disappearing, giving way to another glass tower or luxury condo or waxing salon (seriously, this neighborhood is filled with waxing salons, now - everyone moving in here now apparently has a ton of dough and is really hairy) we need more than ever to celebrate everything funky and fucked up and quintessentially “Noo Yawk” while it’s still extant. Remember those bumper stickers we’d see sometimes, t-shirts, too, imploring people to Keep Austin Weird? Somebody needs to do that for this city. Somebody needs to do that for us. Maybe we do.

Anyway, it was a beautiful night, little sweetheart, and I took this picture. And somehow I know you know all that. I know that you were there. As ever. As you are here, even now, looking over my shoulder, whispering a revision in my ear, ready for a quiet hour on the sofa and a dream to take me with you for a while until morning. Until you get word it’s okay to take me with you for good. Forever. Until that day…

Monday, July 27, 2015

With a heart full of love

Little sweetheart, I have so many things to tell you and write about. And I am going to right away! I have to go on a long train ride to and from Boston over the weekend, so that will be a good chance to. But right now, right this minute while I'm thinking about it, I want to tell you something that happened and happens to me that makes me think of and know that you are near. 

On Mondays I go to see that nice lady who has been helping me, my grief counselor. Her office is all the way over on the Upper East Side and there is no good way of getting over there in a hurry. It's almost always just as fast and just as good to take the long walk. I walk through the park, little sweetheart. Past Tavern on the Green and Poets Corner and the bandshell and Bethesda Fountain and the boathouse and the lagoon and I come out finally on 5th Avenue and keep walking. 

Part of the journey takes me through Sheep Meadow and for years, when the weather is nice, I have seen an older lady painting a huge canvas there near the edge, by the gate on the far side, of the skyline as seen from that vantage. I'm often in a hurry and I've never stopped to say hi or introduce myself. Until today. I stopped and I told her that I have meant to say forever how much I like her work and how nice it is always to see her there. And she was very nice sweetheart and thanked me and said what a lovely day it was and I agreed and we said our so longs and I was on my way. And I got just a few feet away and I burst into tears, little sweetheart. Because every time I am kind to someone, I feel my heart fill with love and I know that you are with me. You are my treasure, little sweetheart. And you always will be. Thank you, my love. Thank you. 

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Can't I Be With You Now

Little sweetheart, we've made a third video from the new record. It's for the song Can't I Be With You Now (the penultimate track on Angels) and is, as ever, all for you. With all my love, my darling girl. Until that day...

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Free Day

Coming back from my run just now and walking on W51st near the rectory and little garden where I often say a prayer for you, my little sweetheart, I am stopped by three young nuns in full habit regalia, each with a large takeout beverage cup complete with drinking straw in their hands. "It's free Slurpee Day at 7-11", one says to me smiling. "You gotta get over there." Another proceeds to helpfully tell me where the nearest is on 8th Avenue. I ask what flavor they have. "Any flavor you like!" No, no I mean, which flavor did each of you choose, I'm wondering. The leader, the conversation starter, the nun who has spoken to me before - I remember her once telling me after she saw me saying my prayer for you near the statue of the Virgin Mary and told me after, told me at the time "she hears you"- tells me now that she got banana. The shyer of them says, "blue raspberry". Nice, I say before the last of them says, somewhat curiously sheepish, as if she regrets her perfectly delicious choice, suffering from free buyers remorse, "cherry coke". I don't know if I just look like I could really use a Slurpee or if the enthusiasm of the adventure has led to this kind of cold soft drink evangelism but there you have it. "Bless you", my favorite one says. And God bless you, all of you, I reply. And then I stop and say your prayer...

Thursday, July 9, 2015


Saw this quote today, little sweetheart. It's something Rumi once said and it seems very much how I feel about the way you have always, even before I ever laid eyes on you, lived in my heart, and shall forever: "Lovers don't meet out in the world. They're in each other from the start".