The Crud, codeine and a new album

I sit there, trying not very successfully to focus on my new guitar magazine as I wait. 

After a few minutes of gazing distractedly at random pages… the door starts to open. I set my magazine down and get ready. Then it closes again, and I hear voices in the hallway.
Opens, and in walks the Doc. Little younger than me probably… tall, lanky… giant hands and a big grin.
“I had this Crud last week. It lingered, too.”
I smile. Yes. Lingers.
“I’m gonna prescribe some antibiotics. Do you want some codeine, too, to help you sleep?”
I nod, smile growing… eyes widening.

“Make sure you measure it!” he says, half-jokingly, looking at me sideways, with a smile. “The last person told me, ‘Doc, I slept for FOURTEEN hours!”

Fender 1953 Reissue Sting Signature bass. The bass I will own by the end of this year.

“‘Did you measure it?’, I asked.”

“Ummmm…. no…”
Thanks, Doc.
Then on to Rite Aid. “We’ll page you when it’s ready.”
Walk around the store, trying to be interested in anything other than the way my body feels.
“Finding what you’re looking for?” Just waiting for my prescription.
“Can I help you find anything?” Just waiting for my prescription.
“Sir, do you need some help?” Just waiting for my prescription.
Maybe if I get on the intercom and make one sweeping announcement, they’ll stop following the guy in the leather jacket with the unpleasant expression on his face.

“Attention Rite-Aid staff and fellow shoppers… I realize it’s noon, and I should probably be at work right now, instead of roaming these aisles… back and forth, up and down… occasionally stopping to pick something up, removing my glasses and studying the label. I’d like to assure you that while I may fit the profile of a no-good, piece-of-sh&! shoplifter, I am not trying to steal any discount candy, hotplates, or lawn ornamentation. I am, in fact, waiting for my prescription to be filled. Thank you for shopping at Rite-Aid.”

But then the seventy-something year-old woman behind the counter would probably get in my face… “Sir, SIR! You are not authorized to use this Public Address system! We’re going to have to ask you to leave, or we’ll contact the authorities!
Forty-five minutes later, I give up and go to the counter. “What the @%$!, people! Where’s my sonuvab@tching PRESCRIPTION already?!!!” (Translation: “Ummm… is my prescription ready yet?”)
“Name?”
“Birchard.”
“Oh, HERE it is, right here!”
Argh! How long have I been needlessly walking around, waiting?!
Home. Pajamas. Antibiotics. Codeine purple cough syrup. Close my eyes… open them and it’s 4 hours later.
But the night will last forever.
Forever.
The long, dark night. Where visions of playing your bass are suddenly replaced with dreams of chasing a bad guy with your posse… and being handed a gun. Having the main bad guy look right at you… “You’ll never do it, you spineless wimp!” The gun is SO heavy, and so OLD. In my dream, I can barely pull back the hammer with both hands to cock it. But once I do, I waste no time in pointing it at his heart and pulling the trigger with my left hand.
My left hand?
Awaken… what time is it now? One a.m.? Three a.m.? Midnight? No… it’s almost 6 a.m. now. Night is over.
But the codeine lingers.
(Incidentally, just between you and me, writing and recording of the new album has begun. Apparently this alternate reality is just twisted and fertile enough for new seed to take root.) 
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1 Comment

Filed under Living a joyful life, Playing the fool, Writing & recording original music

One response to “The Crud, codeine and a new album

  1. Great story. I think we’ve all been there. Codeine vision quest. I think the bad guy gun thing has to do with the perception of the heart, emotions, and fear. You destroyed his heart. The gun was old and heavy, out dated.

    One of your best.

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