Mark was horrified by my sentimental singing along at the end-only my getting up and plunking out a Billy Joel tribute on a piano could have been less welcome.
I am no Deadhead, that is for sure.
I loathe guitar solos, space, and improv that goes on for more than 90 seconds, but there are a few songs I like and a few that transport me to a sweet space in my memory.
I love the whole album of Workingman's Dead, for instance, probably because it lacks those very elements, which excludes me from ever being a true Dead Head, I have this proclamation from an authority.
In the early 90's I dated a fellow that was a Deadhead.
It was his job, his passion and the meaning of his life, to follow them around the world, watching concerts and trading bootleg tapes with other Deadheads.
He liked to say that he was on sabbatical from Columbia, but at 27 he was just a bum with a really big trust fund and a lot of time on his hands.
He literally stumbled into my life, one day while I was working in a chi chi stationary store downtown, doing a window display.
I was standing up in the window of the store, when I met eyes with this really tall guy.
He proceeded to make some silly gestures and mime to me, which was lovely, until he missed his step when the light changed and fell into the street, and was nearly run over by a bus.
Naturally I had to run out and make sure he was ok.
He was, and after following me around the store, purchasing a lot of unnecessary paper he asked me to dinner.
For the next year or so Jimmy was a sort of 6' 4" sociological case study for me.
I eventually quit the store and got a job teaching kindergarten in Beaverton.
Jimmy went across the US and to Sweden, Germany and Denmark and watched Dead shows.
I worked bartending on the weekends for a temp agency that placed catering staff, to make extra money. Jimmy slept all day on my sofa, when he was in town and chastised me for being boring.
I made craft projects with five year olds, and Jimmy drove to San Francsisco for the weekend.
We wrote letters to each other constantly.
I adore writing letters.
He would address my letters to Heidi in Poetland
We were not in love with each other, thank goodness.
I frequently tried to lecture him on being more responsible. He laughed and ate a lot of my food and took too many drugs.
He once called me to wire him money when his father cut him off.
but I don't have any money.
I sent him $20 and asked him not to use it for drugs. He called me pompous and boring, more than once.
Then he got beaten up really badly in a drug deal gone bad. I called his brother and asked him to get him out of my house. He made me worry and I hate to worry, so after a while I asked him not to come see me any more when he was in Portland, which he sort of ignored until there was an incident where I threw his backpack out the second story window and wouldn't buzz him into the apartment.
I found better boyfriends, and not a single one listened to the Grateful Dead, which was a really good thing, and eventually I found Mark, who almost never sleeps on the sofa and doesn't think I am boring.
Right after I had Maxwell, I got a call in the night (which if you know as many crazy people as I used to, is never a good thing).
It was Jimmy.
He had gone through rehab and somehow thought that after nine years I might be happy to receive a call from him in the middle of the night.
I asked him never to call me again, and he agreed and so far he hasn't.