When the sun rose on Saturday morning, I was feeling good about myself and the new day dawning . . . after breakfast I went and played some tennis with my son Ian and our guest Carl-- a ten year old boy from the Bronx who had stayed at our house the past week (my wife arranged this through the Fresh Air Fund, and Carl had never been to New Jersey, so we took him to the beach, to the pool, on a train, to an art museum, etcetera . . . it was exhausting because he had never been to any of these places, but he had a great time and it may have opened my own kids' eyes a little bit to how lucky they have it) and now it was time to take Carl back to the Fresh Air Fund office, which was in Manhattan (3rd Ave) and I volunteered to do this because then I was ditching my family and going to meet Connell and Alec in Asbury Park to see The Dean Ween Group, and as I walked out the door my wife said, "Don't forget to get gas" but-- son of a bitch-- I forgot and didn't remember until I was stuck in traffic inside the Lincoln Tunnel-- and this made me a bit anxious and claustrophobic, but I could see plenty of gas stations on the GPS map on the other side of the tunnel, and once we made it through, I tried to find one, but no luck . . . and then I was in downtown Manhattan on Saturday and the traffic was insane and there were a lot of people and tourists and construction, and I kept making my way towards the little gas symbols on the GPS and inevitably, when I got there, it was a construction site or a plaza or outdoor seating for a restaurant-- and I knew my GPS thing was out of date, but you need a doctorate in computer science to update it-- so I finally called my wife, who has a smartphone-- and told her I was going to run out of gas in Manhattan and I desperately needed her help, and she tried to help me, but every gas station she called was closed, or just a service station-- and during this sequence of calls to my wife, she said that I went through the five stages of grief, denial that there were no gas stations in Manhattan, anger that a city full of cars had no gas to run on, bargaining . . . that if I could just get to the office and drop-off Carl, then I could walk for gas, depression-- she said at one point I was "inconsolable," stuck in traffic between construction and parked cars and close to tears-- because what happens if you run out of gas in a spot like that? do they shoot you for being so stupid?-- and finally, acceptance, I was owning it, I was going to run out of gas in Manhattan and block up some traffic . . . but, luckily, this didn't happen and I got Carl to the office, told them my dilemma and listened to everyone lament the fact that there are no gas stations in Manhattan because of real estate prices, and then I ran on fumes to the one station by the entrance to the Lincoln Tunnel, drove home, packed my bag and guitar for an overnight stay in Asbury and went to meet my friends, and we went out and drank too much and then went to the Ween show and I dropped a beer bottle and the glass cut up my toes-- which I didn't realize until I went to the bathroom-- and then when we made it back to Connell's mom's condo, I realized that I had lost my wallet, and it was too late to go back to The Stone Pony and try to find it, so I ate some frozen pizza and went to bed, and I had to hang around until noon the next day, when The Stone Pony box office opened, and then I lucked out again-- they had my wallet . . . so quite a day, and all the bad things that happened were totally my fault, and I'm lucky things weren't much worse . . . here are my notes for the future:
1) there no gas stations in downtown Manhattan;
2) I will never drive a car in Manhattan again . . . I can't handle it;
3) I should listen to my wife;
4) if you are trying to get tickets early at The Stone Pony, and there is an Italian woman picking out t-shirts, you might be waiting a LONG time . . . this woman tried on so many shirts that we thought we were on a reality show -- and the girl working the counter was so angry with the Italian woman that she was mean to us too, when we said we just wanted three tickets she said, "Not until I'm finished with her" and glared at us . . . so this lady may have been picking out t-shirts twenty minutes previous to us getting there, and after fifteen more minutes, when her seven year old son, who was sitting patiently on a stool next to his dad, coughed or cleared his throat or made some sound, she chastised him back into compliance and he shrank back into himself (my kids would have trashed the place six times over) and then once she finally got the shirts in the colors she wanted, she got into an argument over the price . . . it was surreal;
5) don't carry too much stuff in your pockets -- i.e. hardshell sunglass case-- because when you leave the bar it will feel like you have your wallet, when you really left it behind;
6) do NOT wear sandals to a concert, especially if you're going to drop a bottle of beer-- which I did . . . I was passing up to Alec, who was right by the stage, and i thought he grabbed it, but he didn't . . . and glass must have gotten into my sandals and then everyone was stomping around and the glass got shoved into my toes and I didn't notice until i went to the bathroom and it was gross-- I'm lucky i didn't get an infection . . . this is similar to what John and I learned at The Cult concert in 1990 in Hampton Coliseum . . . Ian Asbury threw his tambourine into the crowd and there was a melee for it and John and I each had a hand on it and some other dude stuck his arm (which was encased in denim) through the hole and then John's face turned pale and then I felt sick and we looked at our hands and they were all bloody, cut by the razor sharp metal shaker discs, and John had to get stitches;
7) the key to Skeeball might be the bank shot.