Sunday, November 20, 2011

Loan Me a Dime

I was in the backseat of a car cruising from Skaneateles, NY courtesy of my ‘cancer buddy’ a woman I’ll call E, and her husband G who had graciously taken me out on a short daytrip beyond the rancid boundaries of Syracuse for an afternoon and early evening of life on rarified side of the Finger Lakes.

G is a blues fanatic and was tuned to a satellite blues station that due to some kinda cosmic blues miracle started playing ‘Loan Me a Dime’ a neglected 12:45 masterpiece by Boz Skaggs and slide guitarist Duane Allman and a horn and Hammond B3 and piano section on loan from God.

It’s a bittersweet song, and just a tad dated but it holds up and surpasses the years in a way. Boz pleading for a dime for a pay phone to call his ‘old time used-to-be, little girl’s been gone so long it’s worrying me.’
G and I briefly riffed on updating it, “Somebody loan me a cell phone…” but soon forgot about it and fell into the groove.

I know that feeling too well. How many ‘old time used-to-be’s’ have I moronically drunk- dialed for dismal results? Better let the song say it instead.
It was a farewell, too. Since coming to Syracuse and meeting E and G courtesy of one of my oldest colleagues and best friends, M, who is E’s brother, we’ve daily talked daily since, what? Maybe March? I’ve never talked so often and regularly to even a wife or girlfriend that I recall. It’s heartening.

We talk about our days and trials and chemo and blood tests and asshole doctors and nurses and the good ones too. The empty sympathies received from peers, acquaintances and the heartfelt ones too. And sometimes about relatives and no cancer talks at all, though it’s the reason for our bond. I know her now better than I do her brother, I think, weirdly thanks to this scourge.

It’s probably the last time I will see them before returning to China next month. But if so, it was a good sendoff. E and I will still call daily til the miles and phone rates interfere. In the meantime, somebody loan me a dime….

1 comment:

Fritz said...

Dear Justin,
Yup! Best thing Boz ever recorded!
Next Month? Hooray!! Fly free, brother, fly free.