Day 318: I Just Wasn’t Made for These Times

I imagine talking to Miles one last time, both of us alive and aware of the inevitable future.

I imagine him walking into the room with me, his time short because he has to go. I imagine walking into the bedroom and he wakes up and I have a few minutes. I imagine him sitting up with me in the funeral home with the white sheet draped across his legs. I imagine him rolling up on his skateboard and stopping to talk for a minute. Just for a minute because he has to go, but he has a minute or two, just a few words. What to say?

I have my chance to talk, and I know what I’d say. I love you. I miss you. I’m sorry. I can’t wait to see you again.

Day 247: Good Vibrations

I am very sensitive to the atmosphere– to the light and humidity and temperature.

This time of year, I am remembering in a powerful, Proustian way my experiences from last summer.

It is summer and it is July. As I walk around and experience the heat and the light, the bright light and intense heat of the day, I remember last summer when Miles and I spent a few days in Rochester for his photojournalism workshop.

Earlier this evening, I was walking through Lewisburg and it was just at dusk, the magic hour.  It was like Rochester last year. The whole town was bathed in the beautiful light of the evening. Miles was busy during the day but he was free after 4 pm, so he and I spent the evenings exploring Rochester and we walked often in the evening light, the warm light we are sometimes granted at the end of the day. I remember leaving the record shop in that light. I remember walking to the beach and looking out on the lake in that light. I remember walking out of the restaurant in that light where I had a delicious mushroom sandwich.  Much of my favorite memories on that trip happened in those evenings when it was a beautiful light, perfect for pictures and ideal for enjoying the world, especially this new little city we both got to know a bit.

Day 168: Sloop John B

I was in high school and my friend Fran and I were in the car. We had an oldies station on and a Beach Boys song came on. I did not think much of it, but Fran said that the Beach Boys were good. We listened to the song closely. It was from Pet Sounds, “Sloop John B.”

“I wonder if the Beach Boys took drugs?” I asked.

The next line in the song was, “This is the worst trip / I’ve ever been on.” It was as if Mike Love was right there in the car with me answering my question.

It was not until much later that I really appreciated the album Pet Sounds. It is a beautiful record. I have listened closely to it many times and sometimes with friends. It is a great group-listen record, the kind of album you can listen to deeply and repeatedly.

As Greg Gethard will tell you, Pet Sounds has the worst album cover in rock history.

Day 165: Wouldn’t It Be Nice

I was in the attic at the house today, sorting through boxes of stuff. I was looking at the boxes of camera equipment that are stacked up in one end, an area where Miles had a futon. He was in the attic a lot. He had his computer and a stereo up there. It was a a little oasis with instruments and a couch.

One of the boxes was out of place, like someone had gone through it looking for something. My first thought was, Miles was up here. Miles was looking for something. Of course, it was false. I stacked the boxes a few weeks after Miles died, in an attempt to organize some of his photography equipment. It was somebody else. Maybe it was me, and I just forgot about it.

A whole range of ideas ran through my mind very quickly: I keep all this stuff organized for when Miles can come and pick it up, when he is done with college and has his own place to live. He will be back soon.

It’s all false. I know it, but sometimes these thoughts leap immediately to mind.