Wise as sage

September 3, 2002 at 5:08 pm (General)

Coming back from New Hampshire last night, after an amazing 3-day weekend, the driver decided to put on some Marillion in the cd player. I don’t recall listening to the band before, having simply written them off as just another heavy metal hair band from the ’80s. I couldn’t have been more wrong, and I don’t know if this is a good or a bad thing. What comes out of the speaker is just more British concept band bullshit à la early Jethro Tull or Genesis, or any of those other really annoying bands from the ’70s that needed at least five 18-wheelers to transport each member’s instruments to the various stadium concerts. Now, the driver, whom I’ve met only a few times, is practically creaming his jeans, going on and on about how Marillion were basically “singing poets. Everything they say means something!” (Um, well, everything I say means something also, but whatever.) I’m pretty much blocking out the sound, trying to wipe memories of Yes and Emerson, Lake and Palmer from my mind, when the driver (we’ll call him Pete) goes, “Oh, and here, when Steve Fish sings, ‘And the wet spot on the table,’ well that means that he’s just raised his glass of beer and the wet spot is the ring caused by the glass. You see, he’s in a bar. Amazing music, isn’t it?!?” I nod politely, realising that hair-metal, crotch-revealing-spandex-pants-wearing music might not have been so bad after all, but this is my ride so I’m not complaining… out loud.
Later on in the drive, just as we get into the Vermont side, we’re waved down by some guy on the side of the road. We quickly judge if he looks dangerous, decide that he isn’t, and stop. It turns out that his car has broken down: something wrong with his alternator, whatever that is (I know nothing about cars), and the battery is no longer juiced. Pete makes a u-turn in the middle of the highway and we try to boost the car. Meanwhile, other passengers get out of the car, two other guys and one girl. It turns out they’re from the west island, and were basically just travelling the East Coast of the States. Early 20s, good-looking in that privileged upbringing sorta way. At one point, Pete removes the jumper cables, and the car just dies. Meanwhile, one guy opens the trunk to get something, and afterward the trunk no longer stays shut. Their car is falling apart in front of our eyes. Finally, the girl comes around back with some burning faggot, and there’s smoke everywhere. “Is that sage?” I asked. Turned out that it was, and she was by now ready to try anything to get things to go right. Pete, who is as straight-laced and square as they come (see his adoration of Marillion), pretty much freaks out, grabs the jumper cables, throws them in his truck, gets in the truck, turns the truck around and honks for me to get in. I wait for 5 more seconds, expecting at least one of the stranded folks to ask for a ride to the nearest garage, and then just go back to the truck. I felt that Pete should have least offered a ride to one of them, but felt it wasn’t my duty to tell him so.
Anyhow, called Kim an hour or so ago, to find out how she’s doing. Everything’s okay, except that now the apartment’s resident ghost is back: Kim woke up the other night and saw a tall, thin man at the foot of the bed. The ex figures that he’s pissed off ’cause she’s done some remodeling, and from experience we know that he doesn’t like change: our first year there, he terrorised our cats, and he’s also inverted mittens and stuff like that. He (if it is a he) was becoming quite annoying back in the winter, and I was given a sage smudge for my b-day, which I haven’t used yet. I guess I’ll have to go back to the old place and drop it off; I was once told by a certain someone that it’s possible to ward off spirits with it. I’m keeping my gargoyle, however.

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