Lito picked up my dad’s ashes from the crematorium and the death certificates arrived. I’ve managed Budget and have held shares in the corporation for over twenty years but my dad always reigned supreme over the film itself and I confess that I probably couldn’t make a successful hot cement splice if my life depended on it and I am timid about rewinds and projectors and stuff. I seldom close up the office but Friday I sent everyone home and conducted the closing procedure by myself and every light switch and deadbolt I touched came with a weird jab in the heart that said, bittersweetly, "Now this is yours."
Yo La Tengo plays tonight at the Hollywood Bowl with M Ward and Bright Eyes. I am vaguely familiar with the music of the other acts but splurged at Amoeba this week in order to further familiarize myself before the concert. I’m iffy on the M Ward but open to more listening but I’m thinking the Bright Eyes may have been bad investment. Actually Bright Eyes is one person. Connor Oberst. Just like Badly Drawn Boy (Damon Gough) and Nine Inch Nails (do not admit it if you do not know this name) and while I admire some music of the later two, this one man as a band thing seems a stupid affectation. Bright Eyes has that sort of doe eyed Jackson Brown quality but skinnier and his voice is both pouty and petulant. Songs are sort of musically interesting and maybe tonight, with the philharmonic that will be even more evident but on record he’s got a voice I sort of want to slap.
I also fell victim to a Jackson Browne best of collection during my bereavement trip to Amoeba and without even looking at the linear notes I knew in my gut that the first chords I would hear when the cd clicked in would be of Doctor My Eyes, and yes, it did sound sweet. But so very impossibly young. I listened to the first of the two disc set and found a number of the songs embarrassing and some of the memories of who I was when they were the most meaningful to me a bit embarrassing too. And a bit sad.
I strive to be in nowness but my father’s death is such a slap back to the past and not only to who we were, father and daughter, but who I was. There is a pull back and also, a horrifying kick in the ass about the future. I ran up a muddy hill carrying a medicine ball in Griffith Park this morning. The grass has been aerated , a sea of uniform clots of dirt resembling dog turds. I finished this exercise and if there had been the life in me I would have sobbed. It hurt. I hurt. My dad was eighty-nine when he died and I wonder how, when he ran the movie of his life in his head if he would have been embarrassed by himself at fifty. Will I live to be eighty-nine? My Welsh bitch trainer seems to think there’s hope for me. If this is the case, I can’t help but be curious about how the movie of myself, at fifty, my Jubilee year, will go over in 2046.. "Oh, I certainly did go on a lot about myself on that silly blog thing back in my waning days of menstruation." The regrets and embarrassments on my horizon are certainly different than ones my dad is now at peace from. Dad is at peace with all his follies and I am alive here and fifty and perhaps making a fool of myself but there was more than a transfer of physical goods to me when my dad swam off. If I can honor this legacy maybe I’ll look back on myself at age 50 one day and think that I wasn’t that much of an asshole after all.