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Monday, March 19, 2007

Neighbors


Yesterday, for some reason, I had Neil Young on my mind and on the cd player. I also listened to Bob Dylan and Wilco (I have really been on a Wilco kick lately - they are a band making great music, their last three cds have shown tremendous creative growth and nerve), and well, I spent much of the day, reading the paper, listening to music, and just chilling out.

In the afternoon, I went to Starbucks and bought Neil Young's "new" cd, an archive release from a concert in 1971, "Live at Massey Hall." It's a legendary show, Neil Young, alone on acoustic guitar and piano, playing a raft of newly-written, unheard of before songs, some destined to eventually show up on his great "Harvest" disc. So, I spent time sipping a latte, reading the paper and listening to Neil sing his heart out. There's no other instrument on the planet quite like Neil's mournfully expressive voice.

Later in the evening, I watched Richard Linkletter's comic version of Philip Dick's "A Scanner Darkly." It is the perfect movie for our distinctly paranoid and schizoprenic culture -written in the wake of the war on drugs, Richard Nixon's enemies list and his assault on our constitution (see "The U.S. vs. John Lennon, " for more background).

"What happened? How did I get here?" - Bob Arctor.

Anyway, in the middle of the movie, my upstairs neighbor starting jumping up and down on her floor, my ceiling. The force of her jumping was such that the little plastic fire detector in my hallway came crashing down. This neighbor (a thirty something woman) has done this kind of thing before, she starts jumping up and down, and sometimes she can be heard yelling. She lives alone, I've seen her out and about, she seems "normal," but this jumping and yelling thing is quite the strange and baffling phenomenon.

This time, (I've usually just ignored the jumping and yelling and it usually stops after a few major thuds), I decided I needed to get to the bottom of what was going on up there, so I ventured up a flight of stairs and knocked on her door. Vigorously. She didn't answer, but I could hear her stomping around and shouting. Thoughts of concealed weapons, and bloody steak knives went through my head. I stopped my knocking and started to turn away from the door, and then I heard a very disturbed snarl come from somewhere behind the door, "Neil Young is an asshole!"

I walked back to my apartment, somewhat stunned, I guess it's safe to say, she's not a Neil Young fan. Something tells me Neil's music is gonna find it's way to my cd player (I can't help myself), frequently in the coming days.

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