As I write this, I am sitting on my roof and I am watching a homeless lady push a grocery cart down the street. I am timing her to see how long it takes for her to push the grocery cart from one end of the block to the other end.
It takes her twenty-two minutes.
This might seem like a very long time to you, but it is a very long block and a very slow lady.
The reason I am writing is because I have been wanting to tell you that I went to see Neutral Milk Hotel play the other night. This was at Warehouse Live, just east of downtown, back on February the 19th.
The show was really great, all warm and fuzzy and faded. It reminded me of the year 1998, when I was thirteen and homeless and I found a cassette in the street on which someone had dubbed In the Aeroplane Over the Sea.
I did not even know who it was on that cassette, but I listened to it until I wore it out. It was warm and it was fuzzy and it was faded, and it had lyrics like, “God is a place you will wait for the rest of your life,” and “How strange it is to be anything at all.”
It wasn’t until three years later, with the cassette long since worn out, when I finally ran the lyrics on Yahoo and discovered who it was I’d been listening to for all that time.
Neutral Milk Hotel.
So the other night, I was at the show and I was not thirteen anymore. Oh sure, there were some moments when the music made me feel weightless and outside of time, but then I would start to worry about things like where the fire exits were and whether this tall bastard was fixing to stand right in front of me.
When the show was over, I went home and I wrote a song on my acoustic guitar. I call it, “Oh, How Punk You Are, My Dear,” and it’s in the style of Neutral Milk Hotel except that it is ridiculous.
Still, I mean, I got to see Neutral Milk Hotel, and it was really great, and I’ve been wanting to tell you about it.
I think I might start coming out on the roof more often. There’s something about being up here that makes me want to write.