Friday, August 12, 2016


Just experimenting with an idea I dreamt up for a novel about five or six years ago. My writing mentor, a poet and novelist I won't name to protect his privacy, took a stay at Carrier Clinic in Central Jersey. He'd undergone cancer treatment, had a bad reaction to chemo, got hospitalized again, and in some state of delirium, muttered words about suicide. You know how it is in our uncertain times, when no one knows simple care anymore--you get thrown in the looney bin for no reason, really.

So I went and visited him there; conversation found us both intensely lucid, under the circumstances...he soon won dismissal from the place and never resented the experience, finding it interesting material.

How's this. As I was driving down U.S. 206, I thought of a former job as a meal carrier by car, this during 1992. I was asked to pick any number for my long-range, two-way radio handle. "601," I said. A mile or two before coming upon the road I knew Carrier is on--just by physical association, familiar with the area, not by road name or number--I thought of this novel I might write, 601, about country roads, radio music connectivity, and other weird linkages between signposts of sorts. As I drove out of Carrier two hours later, I headed back out that same road, and something nudged me to look over my shoulder before turning left onto 206 towards Bedminster. Well, check the number. It's a Country Road, right? I figured now I need to learn as many as I can.

CR 601.

That's the road Carrier is on. Didn't fully blow me away. I was already thinking of weird connectivity.

I'm still thinking of our recent Boston trip. Maybe this one particular novel, if I ever write it, needs to do with interstates and state highways, state highways like CT-15, also. Clear of the Metropolitan region, I switched on the radio, turned the dial, pausing at three or four stations worthless to linger upon, and then hit upon Boston's "Foreplay/Long Time," this certainly worth our time, the song just warming up. Trish and I both love the band--and Boston.

"Bach on mescaline," I said.

Trish chuckled. I started thinking I really need to study up on Bach's musical structure, to find correlations of any significance between Bach and Boston, the band. I notice Boston's alternating notes in a few falling-tone guitar riffs, which suggest Bach, if I'm not mistaken, though this pattern is too trivial without more substance behind comparison.

Further on the way, sort of suspended in Island Time, three hours feeling at least a little closer to eternity than strictly to hours, flying up Interstate 91 in our brand new Honda Civic--Lynyrd Skynyrd, "Free Bird," live. The live recording. God, I had never before heard it so well. The standard recording absolutely sucks by comparison. And this bird will never change--won't you fly high, oh freebird, and I say, yeah!

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