The roller coaster ride continues...been on the whole a good day, a really good one. Slept in, which was not by design, but I suppose I needed it. And got some exercise.
For those who don't know, you really don't need a car in Boston, if you live and work in the city. The "T" may not be the best transit system in the world, but it does pretty well under the circumstances. You can get about anywhere, as long as you're willing to be a little bit patient.
I chose not to try and drive the short distance from my hotel into Harvard Square, because of the time, cost and stress. A fair walk up to Kendall Square, then the Red Line into Harvard is more than reasonable; while waiting for the business lunch (haha) with Riz and Jen I did what I do when I come to Boston.
I hit Newbury Comics for some "Market Research."
NC is really the spot to go...new, used, this and that...and they were playing the Stones when I got in there, "Exile on Main Street" I'm pretty sure. Quite alright.
As usual, I dropped some cash in there. New John Hiatt CD, new Seasick Steve, and bunch of used stuff. I'm also intrigued by a 2-CD set of John Cale shows from Rockpalast in the 80's...interesting indeed they look.
Well, Jen arrives, and I do love her company. Jen is a 23-year-old ball of happy energy, and she is the template for Mima in "Parasite Girls," one of my many unpublished works. She is just fun to be around. We also hit up Hootenanny, a retro clothing shop in the Garage, also owned by Newbs.
Riz rolled up in the Blue Bomber, but not after nailing someone from behind who probably deserved it. Traffic in Boston, Cambridge, hell anywhere here is dangerous. And Riz is extremely dangerous behind the wheel of the Bomber.
Okay...lunch at Pho Pasteur (the good one), and over to the Harvard Square Office (aka Morebucks) to have a long overdue discussion of the manga version of "Sweet Dreams: Searching for Roy Buchanan." Been working toward this for a long time.
This meeting lasted 3+ hours, and over a lot of coffee. There were digressions of course, but the aim will be for Riz to storyboard out the first chapter. Jen will then translate it into her own amazing style, I hope, and soon something else for the agent and potential publishers to chew upon.
Oh, one can hope.
Again reminded of why I just need to leave Pennsylvania...the PEOPLE. Now, I've written of how Burlington, VT has had a Renaissance, a rebirth or whatever. Despite Harvard Square turning into "Bank Square," as someone calls it, there is still some character and life there, and in the surrounding parts of Cambridge, to whit, Porter, Davis, Kendall and Central Square. It's still vital and vibrant, and I have to get back here.
I miss the diversity, the coolness factor, the way people young and old can live together, go about and be entirely NON-SELFCONSCIOUS about all of it. I love hearing different languages being spoken about me, even if I don't know what they are talking about; not my business, anyway.
I love the fashion, the style, and the air of the people in this part of the world. I am from here, these are my people. It is at times painful for me to not be able to remain here.
Again, nothing against my friends and my people in PA, but it's not where I am from. I never fully understood you; yet I do appreciate that most of you accepted me for who and what I was.
There were only two places in this world that I have ever felt welcome and accepted: that was in theater (Rocky Horror and elsewhere), and in the Pagan Community.
Now...Rocky has changed over the years, and the Pagans do as well. The latter is what I focus on here...we have changed, we have had to adapt to changing times, and we do what we must do to preserve ourselves and our families. We don't have to like it, but we do it.
The practical consideration is this: I cannot afford to move from PA. I have no job prospects (yet) in New England, and I can't expect any to magically appear. When I will have time to really look, I cannot say.
The one last chance I have to secure real, meaningful employment in the business lies where I work right now. I have to hang in there, continue to do my job to the best of my ability, and hope that the powers that be understand that I will stay there if it means I will have a reason to. That means:
Make it worth my while, not just in money; I didn't get into radio to make a ton of money or become famous. I did it because I wanted to. I wanted to do something different with my life, and so far I have.
If there's nothing more for me, I accept that. I am glad to still be in this business; if I commit, I'm giving my word to not take the next thing smoking.
It is hard, though, to live in a place where you don't feel a part of it all. You feel disconnected, cut off from what you know and are comfortable with, and despite your best efforts to tone up or down to the present situation, you know it's never gonna be enough for most others.
This may sound foolish, but if I was offered a good job there, with gave me stability to do the other important things in my life, I'd do it. I can write, refine and continue on my literary works anywhere; I can play music anywhere, though I'd certainly miss my old bandmates. But we come and go, that's a fact.
"Tarkus," by ELP is going on my iTunes right now...it's been running and I can't even remember what I heard before. Oh well...
...I must be practical, as awful as the truth is. Where I live is good. The work I have is good; I want more, and not just to pay my bills. It makes my living down there worthwhile to know that I can make a difference in that job. That propels me, and lets me carry on with every other thing I have to do to survive.
It's not so bad, really; but again, I have more searching to do of myself, and I am doing that. I am considering what I need to do to make myself feel fulfilled. It can't just be the job. It has to be other things.
Now, I'm gonna probably get more personal here than I should ever...but I don't think I'd say this to anybody to their face, but most of you probably already have thought it. I see a chance to continue my broadcasting career in Pennsylvania; I see a chance to be able to use wherever in the area I live as a base for all the other works. It's portable, it's easy. If I didn't have to move, that'd be great, because I hate moving.
Problems beyond employment: living standard. Living in New England is not cheap, folks. Massachusetts is one of the highest taxed states, though their sales tax is ironically lower than Pennsylvania's. Isn't that interesting?
But yeah...Vermont's prices for things like gas are not much different than PA for example. But cigarettes are $8 a pack across much of New England; well, I don't anymore, so that's fine. Most people though...bite the bullet, or quit?
Gas in Mass. is nearly $4 a gallon on average. Costs are higher here, they really are. Like in NYC and other places, your pay tends to be geared toward what you have to pay to stay.
In the 90's, I lived in a rundown house in Watertown for $200 a month. The only reason we could get it that low was because there on average were four to five other roommates. Most of us could not afford anything else.
So...get a really good job, or sell the book? One or the other, and that's about fucking it.
I have to stay where I am...but coming back keeps me from going insane.
Other problem: in PA, I have almost ZERO chance of finding someone to have a long, and meaningful relationship with. I will not go into my rel. with Alice, whom I've spoken of; we are great friends, and I adore everything about her. We may not be "it," though. Doesn't look it.
Everybody always says that whomever I end up with (at least in the wake of my marriage) is perfect for me. NO, actually not. Never has been; I know a lot of that is me.
But there is no choice down there. I am too different, in most cases too old, and others tend to want more than I can give.
Marriage? Do you actually think I want to do THAT again?
Children? You're joking, right?
I have enough trouble keeping myself alive, let alone the responsibility and obligation of that subject. Years ago, I was aware that I am an unfit parent, temperamentally. I lack the patience. Some of that I think runs in the family, but some of it also is just me.
My health is another matter; I cannot father a child because my illnesses, one physical, one mental are both hereditary. I wouldn't wish either of these on my worst enemies.
Religion? What am I, anyway? How do you explain that to more mainstream, conventional people? You can't, not really. I certainly don't expect anyone to convert to what I am, and I don't plan to change myself unless I feel it is right. What I am right now, is right for me.
I feel my luck would be better in another place, maybe even in another lifetime.
Now: I don't tell you this because I am feeling sorry for myself; not at all, I'm actually feeling very relieved that I'm writing this. What I can't speak in words, I can write. If you read any of my writings, you'll see a lot of strange, dysfunctional characters. They are not all me; some are amalgams of others I've viewed, some of whom deal in the very same things I have.
I also write what I want to see, what I hope the world could be, if we really made an effort. Either way, this is what I deal with, every damned day.
I do what I do because yes, it makes a living, but because I love it to death. I think to my dying day, I'd do something in radio, if I felt it made a difference, and I could perpetuate some form of it the way it should be done. I can't change it, but I can make it better, even in a small way.
I write because I must; I have stories to tell, and it's really good therapy. If I didn't have this outlet, I probably would be dead right now.
Music is another; after years of listening and DJing it, I like making my own for others. We'll see where it goes.
"Hold on My Heart," by Genesis just ended...I never like Phil Collins' singing...I greatly admire his drumming, but not his sappy songs and his narcissistic need to have that dome of his right up in your face of nearly every record.
"Future Primitive," by Santana...ah, neat.
Well, I think that about does it for my therapy this evening. Time to get back to whatever work I am doing on my vacation. One more day in Boston, and NH...must get ready for it.