I Spy In My Imagination

Rockaway Park, May 2nd, 2024


As the Q22 bus pulls away from the bus stop, the engine and the road combine to make a low bass F note just as the song I’m playing resolves on the same chord. Later a frying pan sizzles like a brushed snare drum and accompanies my finger picking. N. L. is beaming. He tells me he is communing with the season. I believe him. He tells me he has spent some time with my record and loves it. I tell him he reminds me of an old friend. He yells “Justin” out the window to a passing friend of his. I tell him the old friend he reminds me of is also called Justin. 


He also tells me it is the anniversary of a marriage that is no more. He is still beaming but now there’s a slight shadow of sorrow from the world of other possible outcomes. Perhaps.  “No blame, no forgiveness,” he toasts. 


My friend Dan walks in the door right as I finish a new song I’ve been working on. I tell him you just missed it. “No”, he says, “ I heard it coming down the road. I liked it.”


Springtime has come to the Rockaways. The flowering trees have erupted on every block. Some of the grumpy people have revealed themselves to merely have been undercharged solar powered beings desperate for light. They stand up straight and and move with purpose There’s a flicker of joy and madness in the evening light. Mostly, I think most people are mostly “good”/ doing their best in this often brutal existence. However, when I’m driving anywhere in NYC or walking or cycling ANYWHERE in Rockaway I am convinced these motherf#$%# would happily drive right through me to get to the Stop and Shop 20 seconds earlier. I have to do a lot of work to return to calm ish. 


Saoirse is almost 5 AND A HALF. She has just learned to ride a bike. She’s reading and writing a little and making up stories and jokes and drawing with the wild imagination of someone who still counts their age in halves. The questions are getting harder. “Ask your mother” has been deployed more oft than I’d like to admit. 


Last week we went upstate and planted 55 tiny trees. Some of Saoirse’s friends and their parents came to help. Not for the first time I am grateful for the friends I have made through our child.  She has upgraded “I Spy” to “I Spy In My Imagination”. It’s some ninja level stuff. Extremely difficult and far more entertaining than the original. Feel free to incorporate it into your next long drive or bedtime ritual. 


I have loads of gigs coming up: 

NYC, Boston, Worcester, Cork, Dublin, Glasgow and many more. 

You’ll find them all on the calendar page of this site. 


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