Sunday, August 3, 2003

The Closer

I remember reading a Playboy interview with Paul Simon a while back (just after he was still crazy after all those years), and it has stuck with me since because it was such a mesmerizing and influential document (and the pictures were interesting as well). Among the many topics Paul nakedly poured his heart (and bones) out about were his professional differences with Garfunkel and his recent decision to marry actress Carrie Fisher after a hot and cold, off and on, not sure whatever to make of things, relationship.

About Garfunkel Simon revealed that things were destined to eventually crash because there was never an equal separation of duties. Paul wrote the songs and through much of their partnership they allowed Art to "arrange" the music but once Paul began maturing as an artist he wasn't one who wanted anyone changing what he himself perceived what he wanted his work to be.

As for why he finally proposed to Fisher, Simon said that he made his decision when he arrived at a rare moment of comfort at a Yankees game (apparently he's a huge baseball fan- which may explain lots) where the Yanks were ahead by enough and they had their closer, Goose Gossage (the one with the unrelenting tailing hard fastball and most intimidating glare), in to finish things off. The alignment of the stars finally just seemed to be right and Paul knew what he had to do next.

So the other night I was at a Twins game against the less than mighty Detroit Tigers (who are threatening to post the worst ever record by a major league team) and I was sitting with Elvis' daughter (the one who won over my these daze microscopic heart by consistently laughing at my ever con-c-r-e{v}aling jokes) and we were having our usual quiet but significant time together and I thought to myself- there are times in life that things can make a little sense and you can be very glad to be where you are, with the one you happen to be, if only for a small moment of time. Mars will soon loom larger in our skies than any time in our insufficient history and aren't we to be glad that we are somehow alive (well, some of us) to witness it?

A recently shaved-headed Japanese (or presumed to be by all but one) awoke himself up the other night screaming from an apparent nightmare. The sweat that raced down his shiny forehead only oddly seemed to coincide with the flop sweat created in his "dream"- of him standing before a group of less than receptive people who were definitely not laughing at a thing he said even though he peppered his presentation (PowerPoint at that!) with his own brand of humor- the very thing he had been sometimes complimented on, the same thing that he was fearful was becoming one of those little thing just beyond his grasp...

So Elvis' daughter and I found ourselves seated in season ticket holder seats just to the right of home plate looking straight down the third base lines a mere 18 rows up. I've gotten used to the view but Elvis' daughter said they were the best seats she had ever sat in. The locals had just jumped all over the hapless Tigers and we discussed at what point we were confident the game was well enough in hand that we could leave early to beat the crowd. Recently recalled Rochester farmhand Michael Restovich had hit a bases clearing triple and the likelihood of Detroit having enough fight to fight back seemed remote indeed. But we stayed and I found that comfort zone that Simon said existed for him when the sound of silence crossed that bridge over troubled waters.

James Baldwin (not related to Alec or Billy) closed things out and Elvis' daughter and I scampered into the wanting to rain, but not being able to, tranquilizing Minneapolis night. I drove her back to her house in Richfield (or at least tried to being just one of the many Vee-hick-uls! inching their way forward on a once upon a time street known as Washington Avenue but now doing its best imitation of a parking lot)- and you wanna know what? Finding a friend who laughs at your often times lame and increasing desperate musings can be remarkably worthwhile in a traffic jam believe you me.

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