Tuesday, September 1, 2009

woodstock, and the soda guy...

if i haven't mentioned it before, i do not live in a sixteen-bedroom palace.

i rent out a small room in white plains that's cheap and close to the train station. the sink and toilet are in one room, and the shower's in another. i thought this was pretty cheesy until a friend pointed out what a blessing it was: because i'd be sharing these two facilities with a stranger, she said, i'd never have to worry about having to pee, just in case this guy turned out to be the type of fellow who spends half his morning in the tub.

and i immediately thought, "yeah! and if we have to pee at the same time, and he beats me to the toilet, i could always use the shower." to which she said, "ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww!!!"

i really have to stop thinking out loud.

anyway, for whatever reason, it took me a coupla' weeks to meet this guy. i'll call him the soda guy for reasons i'll get to in another blog. and because i can't for the life of me remember his first name. i do that all the time. i feel bad about it, but i'm horrible with names. and it's been five months or so-- way too late in the game to ask him, "by the way, who are you again?"

it was a memorable first impression, though. one of the first things he said to me was, "hey, let me ask you somethin'. where's the light switch to the shower?" oh, it's right over here, i said. it's been two weeks since you moved in, have you been showering in the dark all this time? "no," he said, "i haven't been showering."

he actually said that. very quirky guy. incredibly nice guy, really. but quirky. he once asked me how to reheat leftovers in a microwave. he offered me a timeshare in florida. he's asked me, on several occasions, if i wanted to take ballroom dance lessons from him, and always seems to have an unusual story for me. about fred blassie, or rice and beans, or the guy upstairs who may or may not be stalking and stealing from him.

today's story was about one of my favorite musicians. i bumped into the soda guy this afternoon while i was on my way to see ang lee's new film, "taking woodstock." and his eyes lit up when i mentioned this. "wow, man, i was supposed to go to woodstock," he said.


honestly, i was thinking... "dude, how OLD are you???" the soda guy is not only incredibly nice, but he freggin' looks GREAT! woodstock was forty years ago, so i thought maybe his parents were hippies and were going to take him in a stroller or a satchel, or in the womb or something. but then he told me that he didn't go because he and his girlfriend at the time split up. and that she, uhm... how to put this in a delicate manner...? he told me that, his ex-girlfriend not only went to the festival, but also... shared an extremely long handshake with jimi hendrix.


i really don't know why, but the first question to pop into my head-- and it's probably for the best, i imagine, that it remained in my head this time-- was, "wait, was this before or after the star spangled banner???"

but then he said he got to meet hendrix later, and got his autograph, which, a few minutes after he told me this, made me think, "dude... the guy had happy naked time with your ex-girlfriend and you still wanted to get his autograph???" i can't really figure that out. and it's not exactly the type of question i really want to ask someone whose first name i can't remember...

but, then i thought maybe he's making the whole thing up. or maybe it's the truth, and he just didn't know about the his ex's bare-cheek tango until after the autograph was asked for. or maybe he mistook jimi hendrix for bob marley. or maybe he thought, "dude, i HATE this guy for doing the hibbity dibbity with my ex, but... it's HENDRIX, man!!!"

i dunno, maybe he's just quirky.

the five things i fell in love with today...

1) hippies.
2) mud-- specifically, sliding down a hill full of mud.
3) canned heat.
4) max yasgur.
5) joe cocker.

song of the day...
"the star spangled banner" by jimi hendrix --if you haven't seen the woodstock documentary, it's worth the three-plus hours for several performances. but this is one of the standouts for me. his whole set, really. he's just so damn cool. and i can't figure out if it's a swagger because he knows he's the best guitarist who's ever lived, or if he's genuinely that nonchalant, because he has no idea that he's as good as he is. like, "ho hum, this is just what i do..." either way, it's amazing.

movie of the day...
"woodstock: 3 days of peace and music."

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