I’ve been released! Essentially this means my two weeks of post-op recuperation requiring me to stay house bound is over. On Wednesday 2 December I was sprung. I can tell you it was wonderful. It was the first time I had driven further that the local grocer a couple of miles away. I actually drove into real Tucson traffic and it was a trip!
This surgery is one of those negative check marks when looking at hiring an older individual. We are considered a feeble risk and we will drive up the cost of premiums in the company insurance policy. No matter that we are doing our best to be healthy, we are loyal and give our best. I’ve lost weight, am eating carefully, and sleeping better that I have in a while, yet I’m seen as a risk to the millennials in charge. To the company we create issues in their minds.
This is what it feels like to be profiled. It has nothing to do with who I am, who I really am as a human. It has to do with perception. To the new college graduates and the millennials in charge I am the age of parents or grandparents and we are useful only for telling stories about the past and keeping traditions going. We make them uncomfortable.
Well I have a few stories to tell.
How about the first time I did speed at a concert that was also my first laser light show-Steve Miller and left there to go to Jekyll and Hyde’s, a gay bar for dancing.
Or the time I was at the Boston Concert and kept dropping the ball of hashish from the pipe bowl every time I tried to light it.
What about my friends and I hitchhiking up and down Speedway Blvd in Tucson on a Saturday night, leaving my car at Pinecrest Center?
Or the time my buddie Eddie gave me a gram of coke for my birthday, and in gratitude I shared the lid of weed I had.
I got memories for you!
Experience is what teaches lessons – all of the lessons – good and bad.
I have years of administrative office experience. I worked for doctors, realtors, insurance brokers, scientists, retail buyers…you get my idea. With plenty to offer and the time to offer it, why doesn’t that equal a desire for these skills?
Want more? I throw a good party, I’ll keep a confidence, and I’ll be there for happy hour. I can talk about football or laboratory sterile technique. I can kill it at karaoke too!
Now back to my writing. My female lead is about to get busted by her son coming back from a hot date with her new man.
Last Friday night I went with a friend to a show called “A Celebration of Joni Mitchell.” I knew some of her stuff, mainly the older things and the songs made famous by steady radio play, but I was rather surprised to learn of her music evolution in later years.
She developed industry collaborations with artists like Herbie Hancock and Charles Mingus wherein she delved into a bright, smooth, and moody jazz persona. I found I really enjoyed this style. I’ve always been a jazz/blues fan, and unlike others I can ride along with the waves of jazz improve and scat singing. This latter style is what much of this musical excursion was composed.
That night the crowd of Gaslight Theatre Music Hall was a bit older, a bit mellower, drinking wine, beer and lots of alcohol on the rocks. There were several men with their long grey hair pulled back in ponytails, and women like me dressed with a nod to the inner hippie with flowing tops, strings of necklaces, and long hair. There also were the retired couples who look like the AARP magazine covers, yet musically there was something for everyone.
The band, fronted by a woman named Kimberly Ford, were obvious professional musicians. Ms. Ford had a great voice, capable of flowing through the remarkable range of a Joni Mitchell song. She played her guitars, engaged with the audience and her band, while not missing a note of “Help Me” or “Coyote”.
I dug it.
It reminded me of a dream I once had of singing in a cellar club, with a combo consisting of drums, bass, keyboards, guitar, and sax. Doing Ella Fitzgerald and Johnny Mercer, along with some old big band ballads for an intimate group of nightowls. I guess we all have one of those dreams.
Hippies never age, we mellow. All that peace and love wore us out like the line from a movie says, “how much sex, drugs, fun can you handle?” I remember the sixties and most of the seventies.
I was that skinny girl with long brown hair in the “maxi” skirt swaying to the music. I would escape my family, go to Himmel park, and sit until I was joined by a few cool people with strong bud and we would talk, listen to someone play guitar and make connections. This was my own private world. I’ve never shared it until this moment, written as it were in precious stone.
I burned candles and incense, read High Times and Rolling Stone. I had black lights and plants everywhere. I remember seeing the movie “The Sand Pipers” and thinking I wanted to live there, on a cliff in a cool two story beach house surrounded by art and music.
Funny, I would still like that.
Because my life was rather transient recently my house had a low maintenance feel. Now that it seems I will be here for a couple more years, at least until I can move to a colder clime things are taking on some of the old energy, including me. I have starting wearing the long skirts again, my hair is long as before, but now the plants, candles and incense are coming back.
I love fabric and textures. Smelling old books or plants whose leaves are bumpy or fuzzy. Words that bathe you in feeling whether read or sung. Sensory impact.
A few of those hippie memories are not pleasant. I was taken advantage of for being rather naïve and trusting causing a few scars but for the most part it is treasured in my mind. I was young, open and free, then life intruded and expected conformity and compromise which I gave. Now the circle is almost joined. Open and free are in my line of sight. Instead of being a hippie I have decided I will be a pixie.