As you may have heard, it’s been raining a lot here. Yeah, I know. “Doesn’t it rain there all the time anyway?” Har har. No, it doesn’t. Just lately, though, it’s been bordering on insane amounts of rain. Of the last sixty days, I’d guess we’ve had at least some rain on about 55 of ‘em. That’s a lot of rain.
So how do we cope? Well, techniques vary. Some people go into denial. I had a postal carrier for awhile who wore shorts every stinkin’ day, no matter what the weather was like. Rain, hail, snow, wind… didn’t matter. And it seemed to be working for him. There was one snowstorm a few years back that made his kneecaps turn blue, but otherwise he seemed to thrive.
Others fall back on escapism. Movie theaters and bookstores do land office business this time of year. Travel agents, too – there are different types of escapism, y’know. Bars and coffee houses offer chemical escape. If you’re drunk enough, it doesn’t really matter if it’s pouring outside or not. The same is true if you’ve downed enough espresso to make your individual molecules vibrate faster than the speed of sound; you can actually move faster than the droplets can fall.
And then there are those of us who let it all soak in. Not literally, of course, ‘cause that would be gross and exceptionally pruney. Let’s put that image aside, then, and quickly. What I had in mind was more a pondering of the situation. Staring out the window at the watery world, a glass of cheap red wine in hand and, say, Coltrane on the box. Or Miles, or Bill Evans, or Dexter Gordon, or Sonny Rollins, or…
I don’t really know enough about jazz to write about it intelligently, or even competently. I know I’m drawn to bop and post-bop, for the most part, and I know that I’ve enjoyed most of what I’ve heard from the artists listed above, and that’s about all I know. I feel like I’ve just barely dipped my toes into a vast sea of possibilities.
So that, as they used to say, is where my head is at these days. I listen to my Thelonious Monk Quartet with John Coltrane at Carnegie Hall and have my little pseudo-intellectual beatnik fantasies. That’s how I’m coping.