Sunday, February 17, 2008

Arlo, Migraines and Balconies

Last night, we did an amazing thing. We left the house, drove twenty-five miles, and got to see Arlo Guthrie on his Solo Reunion Tour: Together at Last. I must’ve snagged the last two tickets, because we were in the balcony, Row K, seats 1 and 3, which, oddly, were adjacent. That was all right, since I was expecting to have a total stranger sitting in between us, but that’s what we got. There is no Row L. Now I have not been to many concerts in my life, generally figuring staying at home and getting to act however I want and not worry about my hair or losing my stuff or whatever is preferable to being out among a bunch of people where I have to blend in or be a spectacle. The latter is easier for me. Well, sure enough, I made a spectacle of myself by not looking like an aging hippie or biker, mainly because I am only forty-one. That’s the first time I used the word only in front of forty-one, I think, at least as applied to me. But when Arlo did eventually get to “Alice’s Restaurant” song, he said, “Now it all started forty-three Thanksgivings ago, it was on, forty-three years ago on Thanksgiving.” I thought, damn, that’s a long time ago. Then I thought, wow, I sure am young. So it was fun. I had to use the bird glasses that Memaw gave me maybe twenty-five years ago for Christmas or maybe just for no reason, because Memaw was like that, giving you stuff, but, anyway, it was a long time ago, because I used them at the James Taylor concert in 1986, I think it was. Since I don’t watch a lot of birds or spy on the neighbors to the point of using special equipment, the bird glasses are practically like new. Anyhow, I could see Arlo. The thing was, I wasn’t convinced it was Arlo unless he started talking or singing. I mean, he had the same long wild hair in a ponytail, but he had a mustache and some glasses, and, well, he didn’t look much like the kid in the movie, which we had just re-watched to get into the Arlo spirit. Fortunately, he talked and sang a lot, and we sang a good bit, and it was great. I am still on an Arlo high. Which is good, because I have had the same damn migraine for about six days now, and I’m getting tired of it. I have thrown every controlled substance in my possession at it, and it’s not going away. I am just resigned to living this one out and being miserable if I stop and let myself. I have just adopted the very new attitude for me toward migraines, which is, well, fine, migraine. Make yourself comfortable. I am going to pretend you’re not here until you get bored and go torture an easier target. I have decided that I have been such an easy mark for so many years that the word gets out among migraines and they move in on me first. I am not going to be so hospitable any more. They want to follow me around, that’s their business. I’m not real hopeful about this strategy, but I figure it’s cheap and doesn’t require me to go out of the house, convince someone who can dispense narcotics (legally, that is) that I am, in fact, in this much pain, and, yes, I am drug-seeking, because only massive amounts of narcotics could kill this freakin’ thing. But at home, meanwhile, I can do any damn thing I want because it is my house, and, well, I don’t do anything illegal, that I know of. Weird and worrisome to the neighbors with impressionable youngsters, perhaps, but not illegal.

It’s a good thing we saw Arlo last night, though, because apparently he’s going to be in Berlin on Thursday, which is a lot further away than twenty-five miles, and you can’t drive there from here.

Also, a word on balconies. I had never been in a theatre with balconies before, and had only heard about them from my parents, namely, that they were where “the colored people” had to sit and even if you wanted to, you couldn’t sit there if you were white because that would be unnatural or ungodly or something. I might mention that I live in the South. I called my mom today and asked her whether black people used to be really small. Because I am not an especially tall person, and my knees were in the ears of the guy in front of me. I was sorry about it, but what was I going to do? They only bend at one place. And if my rear end had been two inches wider, which is actually not terribly unusual, I would have been sitting on the armrests.

But, that’s America. And this land was made for you and me.


Anonymous said...

I was lucky enough to see Arlo several years ago at Poor David's Pub in Dallas. It's a small place, with seating for only about 300, so every seat was a good seat.

It was one of the best concerts I've ever been to in my life. I wish he made it down our way a little more often.

Snark said...

I got a post! I can't believe it. I am writing this now because I am trying to get a tag cloud because they're cool. I know, everybody has one. That's because they're cool. But apparently I have to add a comment under the same header or I can't convert to a "layout template," so just don't read too much into this; in fact, you should probably stop reading it now.

Snark said...

Well, clearly that wasn't it. Damn thought clouds.