...nothing here is promised, not one day... Lin-Manuel Miranda

How do you talk about being lucky when stuff sucks?
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Part One

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...when life sucks? I am not a 'count your blessings" person. I am not an optimist. I am somewhat aware of where exactly it was I've screwed up so far in my life. So how did I get here?

In recent days, as we've read about the deaths of fine performers, people whose work touched our lives (David Bowie, Alan Rickman, Glenn Frey, Brian Bedford - my personal favorite dude), I was noting how much of my life had a soundtrack. i know I know, I'm a boomer. We still had the best songs! I sat here the other night listening to the occasional recording by the Eagles, realizing "hey, I know song and that one and, oh of course, that one. And i began time traveling. I ended up in a lot of odd places on this trip, but powering a time trip by music seems to be a most excellent method ofvremembering and appreciating.

I have a graduate degree in Criminal Justice, a degree I fought for. At the time I was in grad school - in the mid-70s - it was a proud and lonely thing.etc. etc. Besides, I was in school in freakin Albany. Points just for that huh? One of my friends in school was also a singer-songwriter. I amsureit didn't happen every weekend,but I remember Friday or Saturday nights hanging out in a bar in Albany that had a microphone and a spotlight, listening to John sing. Two bucks bought a pitcher of beer and you had filled your obligation for the night, as there were 8, 10, 12 other people there with you. It was late '74-early '75. I had never heard "Tequila Sunrise" before- not having been an Eagles fan in college. Remembering John covering that song rockets me back to an exciting, challenging, frustrating time where I knew the meaning of community. Being carried through one of the courses by my sister students, Intense rants about the horrors of institutions by my dormmate Smitty who was working on an MSW. Trying to find decent food/beer in Albany. Heh. Sex, beer, coffee and maybe a little rock and roll. Reading and discussing and piling into the car for doughnut runs. Climbing back up to the 23d floor after a stupid ass fire alarm. One of the biggest crushes of my life. Real friends who helped me make sense of my life, as best they could. Feeling truly intellectually challenged and working hard to think. Being trusted with big ideas. "Ev'ry night when the sun goes down"...

Part two will come really soon

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