The Diary of a Garish AmateurRichman in the Park with Heartache
Millenium Park, Chicago, in the bandshell seats. Jonathan Richman on stage.
Nearby a small boy is flailing his arms and legs almost imperceptibly, with his Hummingbird energy; I believe he is attempting flotation, and my roommate, next to me on my right, is talking about how important it is to observe these young kids dancing this way, while they’re still willing to do it. The little boy’s smile is the biggest thing in sight but his father isn’t amused. ‘When he’s thirteen, he’s not going to want to dance that way anymore. When he’s twenty-three, he’ll have to get *really drunk* to do it.’
Meanwhile, on my left is my best friend with his long-term girlfriend, and they’re being real lovebirds. Maybe this is the natural progression: for twenty-five year-olds to be Lovebirds, well after they’ve been flotation-attempting Hummingbirds, at age five. I mean: this is some *mature fucking love* that they’re sharing. Because this is a large public event and this is where natural progressions are reinforced!
Have I missed the natural progression? Moments earlier I spoke to my best friend about the irrational paranoia that strikes me at these spectacle public events. I tell him how shakingly afeard I am of seeing any of the four females I don’t want to see (whose timing in appearance ‘I want to be able to control’) at an event like this, in a city of millions.
There is one female in particular who has my thoughts and feelings on lock-down, and has for a while now. There are moments when J. Richman is so manicly touching that I think everything would be okay between us (‘Lovebirds’) if she was just sitting next to me in this aforementioned spectacle public event. But we don’t speak anymore, and that fact is so confounding in this context of natural progression reinforcement and Lovebirdism and expression of manic love that I need to leave this park.
I need to watch basketball. I need to watch the Oklahoma City Thunder, led by Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook and James Harden (23, 23, 22) see the life fade from the eyes of the wily, championship-tested San Antonio Spurs, led by Tim Duncan and Tony Parker and Manu Ginobli (36, 30, 34), and seize their moment. Yes, basketball: I am looking to you for redemption, I am looking to you for surrogate warriors, I am looking to you for representation, I am looking to you for guidance. I need to see someone of my generation lead a squad of athletes to the shiniest of corny trophies, in order to move forward with my life.