| the Journal | the Cult of Saint Cecilia

It’s weird when you date someone as long as I dated Zvi, have that person so much a part of your life for so many years and then suddenly absent entirely. We broke up two years ago this November and have spoken a handful of times since, which is a big regret for me. He was on the radio with his band, Cindy’s Basement, when rob and I were driving to Providence the first time. I asked rob to let me pull the car over at a rest stop in New Jersey, the last place we could get 98Rock just so I could hear him talk. He sounded happy, which made me happy. Like I said, so much a part of your life and then gone … and the only way you can keep tabs is to jockey the radio dial and pray for clear weather somewhere in New Jersey.
I’ve always wanted Zvi to see the band and how far I’ve come in two years. He was the first one who ever suggested I should join a band, that I should cover White Rabbit. And he’s never gotten to see it … he wouldn’t come see it … just like I wouldn’t go see his new band.
So I found myself talking to Zak a lot. Just watching him talk and it made me feel really good. His personality and his voice are completely different than Zvi’s, and I liked Zak independently of my associations. Still, it was sort of nice to visit and look into the audience during both the shows in New York and let the stage lights fool me that his eyes were blue.

October 14th, 2003.
I forgot to mention. Brennan brought me the words for "While My Guitar Gently Weeps". I have incredible friends. He made me this card before we set off... Sigh, I should be better with emotions, and specifically, better with saying "thanks".

October 18th, 2003.
The Muse at the Gray Goose is like going to Cheers. Set atop a hill in the middle of a bunch of antique shops, the place looks like Christmas has come early to Londonderry, New Hampshire. That sort of kitschy country comfort like my Grandma Lloyd's house. You don't ever imagine it NOT being winter there.

Lucky for us, the cold temperature kept it appropriate-looking. It was so cold by the end of the night that when we sat outside, telling dirty jokes and jamming for the hell of it till midnight, the guitars were slipping comically out of tune. But I'm getting ahead of myself.


It was a small turnout for them, they say. Normally the place is packed, but game seven in the New England World Series battle between the Red Sox and the Yankees is keeping a lot of people glued to their tv sets. New Hampshire sides with the Sox.

In a couple hours, I learned more about the people at this open mic than I know about people I've known for years, and they all were the most incredible people:

First there was Kim, 44, with blonde hair and creased blue eyes. A tall woman with a sweet, dusky folk voice. She's a critical care nurse, making good money but thinking about giving it all up to pursue music full-time.

Then, Sue, in her early forties, who rob found breathtakingly attractive and who resembled what he imagined Daisy Duke would look like when she grew up. A few years ago, she went through a major life change and decided to become a massage therapist. She also had never sung on stage because a guy overheard her singing once at a party during college and told her she'd better not ever quit her day job. She was so mortified that she never performed in public, but then made a vow to get onstage by her 40th birthday. She sings and plays wonderfully. She immediately offered to put us up in her house if we warn her ahead of time (so she'll know whether she has her kids - her daughter was with her at the open mic trying to drag her away and go home. :) )Kim stays with her often to avoid the 45-minute drive back to where she lives. Dave is Sue's boyfriend. He sang a song about a woman who goes to a soup kitchen with her children on Thanksgiving Day.

Then Chris has her 1-month-old baby girl, Sasha, strapped to her chest in one of those baby holster devices. The regulars at the Gray Goose feel like they own the child in a way because of Chris and her husband, Neil's, involvement playing at the open mics and guesting with all the performers. Chris even makes her triumphant post-partem return to the stage of the Goose with Sasha sleeping on her chest, no doubt extra-lulled by the vibrations of her mother's sweet voice. The child never cries once throughout the evening.

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