Thomas Wictor

Old Man

Old Man

I’m not yet able to write the sort of post I want. There’s a lot information about Israel and Russia that needs to be disseminated, but I’m not up to it. Also, a huge Middle Eastern media outlet is expressing interest in my posts about Yemen. I spoke to the reporter, and he said that I’m the only person on earth debunking the lies being told about the Saudi-led Coalition. A story may come out of it. They have to be careful, since I’ve been tarred as the crazy guy who sees ghost cats. While I recover from the fluhv, here’s a post about Neil Young’s song “Old Man.”

It used to hurt to listen to “Old Man.” Many of the lyrics strike home.

Love lost, such a cost
Give me things that don’t get lost

My book Ghosts and Ballyhoo: Memoirs of a Failed LA Music Journalist is about the cost of losing everything, including love. I was very happy in love exactly once in my life.

1988

In 2012 I reconnected with the woman I call the Cardinal Ghost. She was a completely different person. We had nothing whatsoever in common, to the point that we couldn’t even have a conversation. When I knew her, she was a bass guitarist, like me. We tried for years to learn the bass line of a certain song, but since it was originally played on a sequencer—a computer—we gave up. Then Trevor Horn showed that a human could do it.

Look at his concentration. It’s nearly impossible for hands to produce those notes with an electric bass.

When I sent the link to the Cardinal Ghost, she wrote back, “Did I used to like that song? I don’t remember that at all.”

Actually, it was our song. Admitting to myself that the past was dead was the hardest thing I ever had to do. I don’t know what I was expecting a married woman and mother to say to someone she hadn’t seen in twenty years, but that was a terrible moment. I’ve since come to terms with it. The poet Stephen Crane knows what I was feeling.

I wonder if sometimes in the dusk,
When the brave lights that gild thy evenings
Have not yet been touched with flame,
I wonder if sometimes in the dusk
Thou rememberest a time,
A time when thou loved me
And our love was to thee thy all?
Is the memory rubbish now?
An old gown
Worn in an age of other fashions?
Woe is me, oh, lost one,
For that love is now to me
A supernatural dream,
White, white, white with many suns.

For me the three years of sublime happiness I had with the Cardinal Ghost are now a supernatural dream. I remember them, and I even remember the emotion, but I can’t feel it anymore. That’s as it should be.

The best TV commercial ever made is Toy Boat, for eBay.

The director is Noam Murro, an Israeli. Of course. Israelis know all about loss and wishes for second chances.

Well, I now believe that nothing is ever forgotten or lost. I’m not the same person I was when I was with the Cardinal Ghost. In many ways I’m much diminished, but in other ways I’m vastly improved. I now see the big picture, so my own fortunes aren’t important to me. But I like to revisit that long-ago time when I thought I was set for life. It’s now like watching a movie. Or listening to a song.

Old man look at my life,
I’m a lot like you were.
Old man look at my life,
I’m a lot like you were.

Old man look at my life
Twenty four and there’s so much more
Live alone in a paradise
That makes me think of two

Love lost, such a cost
Give me things that don’t get lost
Like a coin that won’t get tossed
Rolling home to you

Old man take a look at my life
I’m a lot like you
I need someone to love me
The whole day through
Ah, one look in my eyes
And you can tell that’s true

Lullabies, look in your eyes,
Run around the same old town
Doesn’t mean that much to me
To mean that much to you

I’ve been first and last
Look at how the time goes past
But I’m all alone at last
Rolling home to you

Old man take a look at my life
I’m a lot like you
I need someone to love me
The whole day through
Ah, one look in my eyes
And you can tell that’s true

Old man look at my life
I’m a lot like you were.
Old man look at my life
I’m a lot like you were

This old man is a lot like the man I was in 1987, but I’m also completely different. It doesn’t mean that much to me to mean that much to anyone anymore, and I don’t need someone to love me the whole day through.

What I need is steel screening.

steel_screen

Tim installed it over the French doors where Lyle Cat and Brother Cat escaped last night. The house was flooded in late 2012 and needs to be demolished. We were about to do so when both my parents were diagnosed with Stage IV cancer on January 16, 2013. That experience lingers; we haven’t yet been able to get back on track. But the house still needs to be demolished and rebuilt, so we can tack up steel screen and not worry about how it looks.

The cats seemed upset at first.

trapped_cats

But then they readjusted and were happy.

happy_cats

Their situation today is different from what it was yesterday. They can’t get out, but that also means they can’t be eaten by coyotes or run over by cars.

Almost every change brings with it compensations.


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