if I play too long

04/25/2023 0 By BuddyCushman

I like Joni Mitchell’s song “A Circle Game”, which shuttled in when I’d been sitting here a bit staring at the empty space. I grew up on the Tom Rush version. Something New England-y about Tom’s voice. There’s the Buffy Sainte-Marie cover as well. Someone chose hers to be part of the soundtrack to a movie titled “The Strawberry Statement”, a 60’s movie which pretty much doesn’t have a happy ending, I suppose like the 60’s themselves, if Altamont feels like the final period/exclamation point of those 10 or so years. Fortunately, as far as my ongoing experience goes, I’m more of a Joan Baez/Bobby Kennedy/Jefferson Airplane/hippy/yippie cat, my memories of that time and being all mixed-up in it rather golden. Sacred even. To each their own.

I’ve been thinking lots about friendship the last couple of days. Personally. My place in it – being a friend, having friends, not so many friends. Walaking out of the meditation meeting in Ocean Beach last night I heard two women yell out “Goodbye Buddy” to me – me lost in the space of my head. That kind of thing – a bigger word could be juxtaposition – feels like an invite to crawl out through another opening window into a meadow filled with mirrors.

Technology offers red underlines with misspellings, so I was alerted to the extra “a” in the ambulating word two sentences back. And, tee hee, I decided not to “fix” it. It seems perfect in the context – me intensely focused on what kind of friend I’ve been my whole life and walaking out of the meeting without saying goodbye to anyone. Walaking feels about right.

In their song “Deacon Blues”, Steely Dan’s Donald Fagen sings, “Sue me if I play too long.” I sort of feel like that a lot. Like right now this morning.