jokerman in little havana

Against better judgment I let the weird charisma of Clinton Heylin’s new Bob Dylan biography (the weirdest book I’ve read this year by a very long shot) steer me back toward the Bob Dylan obsession that stood at bright full flower when I was in high school but then, after discovering Leonard Cohen as a college freshman, the Dylan interest kinda retreated, and probably for the better, cuz Bob Dylan’s discography boasts something like 500 songs, and he was always reinventing himself, and I think that, in college, I was looking to settle down with the works of artists that I could use as guideposts for growing up. 

People who were fairly consistent in what they did. 

Lame as that sounds. 

Tonight on my way to the bar I was listening to his song “Jokerman”, which I always hated when I was in high school, but somehow I came to learn every word of it, and I must’ve learned it at a formative age cuz it’s all there in my head now, despite having not heard a single note of the song in probably eight years or thereabouts.

What surfaced as I heard it were memories of the iPod that I took around with me in high school and the two-disc Essential Bob Dylan CD that I bought at age fourteen because I liked his song “The Man in Me” from The Big Lebowski. I remember trying really hard to love every song on both those Essential Dylan discs cuz I thought it would confer a kind of refinement.

I never ended up liking “Jokerman” but apparently I gave it many chances.

Another thing that happened on my way to the bar tonight is I stepped into a puddy-like wedge of light brown dog shit that flattened deep into the grid of my non-slip shoes, the heavy black ones I wear at the restaurant where I work. I didn’t notice the poop before stepping in it  but normally I’ve got a good eye for poop on the ground. During my three years living in Little Havana I’ve cultivated a pretty sharp eye for poop. Not just spotting it ahead of me on the sidewalk but telling one sort from the next. 

This one’s from a human. That one’s from a dog. 

I’m also reading the second volume of Bob Woodward’s trilogy about the Trump administration and it’s fun to see the dignified Woodward try not to get angry in their interviews. He quotes Trump saying on a dozen different topics that he (Trump) the foremost expert, participant, engineer. The greatest expert on China and Kim Jong Un and nuclear weapons and social media and other things. That he alone pioneered ideas or initiatives that were in fact demonstrably initiated by others. 

Stealing credit. Shirking responsibility.

I do suspect a proctologist could look at a turd on the ground and tell you more interesting things than I could, but after the proctologist I’m probably up there in rank, expertise-wise. 

And if ever you wanna take a stroll through Little Havana with me and test that…

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