Home Base: Part I

[For A.C.]

Everything is going to be okay —
you just did too much.

Hang in there.

The ambulance is on the way —
you need to stay with me.

Hang in there.

Remember buying that Jimi Hendrix poster on that wall over there?
It was freshman year, you had just moved into the dorm with Robbie,
remember? Remember the pictures you took the first time we all met?

And remember the ones you took while snowboarding
on some mountain in Vermont on a trip with Tempest,
only two weeks after becoming friends? Remember
the party Tempest had last weekend? I never thanked you

for pulling my girlfriend and I apart when we were both too drunk,
too ready to start dumb shit, after she pushed me into the wall
and I pushed her back. Remember that? That’s why I don’t
drink these days. I never ever drank High Life again.

That was just too much, just like now, but we
recover, we learn something, we
become better.

Hang in there.

How about that photo with you and Barber, before he got fat, backstage
at the New York City show in 2004? Remember we walked out of that show,

spun, it was raining, so we all stood in the rain looking up, letting the rain
wash off the bit of culture we found ourselves in but could never breathe…

We started to get too wet, standing in the middle of Times Square.
You took a photo. I still look at that photo more often than most.

We walked to McDonalds, the one at 1560 Broadway,
by 46th street, and declared an upstairs table “Home Base”.

We stuck a fat milkshake straw in a cheeseburger for our flag and watched
a stranger yell at himself in the mirror, demanding he eat his chicken nuggets.

We decided if we were ever lost or separated we would return to Home Base.

Three years later, when I was working six blocks away from Times Square,

I would walk by Home Base on every uniquely sunny day.
I never entered the building. I just walked by and gave a dollar
to the young beggar and his dog sitting outside. His sign was
never clever and he did not seem particularly important. But

he barely seemed alive and his dog knew it was going to be another cold night.

That rainy night in Times Square, we didn’t have a place to sleep.
We didn’t have much money or any friends to call living nearby.
But at Home Base we were safe. You took a picture of the flag.

You’re doing well — everything is alright.

Hang in there.

Think about Clair.
Think about Clair’s kid!

He’s the man – and that kid loves you – that’s why they call him Little Sonny.

He escapes in music and likes to wear baseball hats just like you.
You mean more than that kid’s father — you are that kids life, man.

And Clair–she’s on her way–she’s not mad, she just wants to take you
to her bed, so you can be together and sleep this off until morning.

She’s on her way. And you’re doing good; you’re looking better.

Just hang in there.

– — – – – — – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Here, take this tissue.

Your nose is bleeding a little bit.

Don’t lean back though — that’s more dangerous —
just pinch your nose and relax. I know it sucks,

but you’re alright. Just try to take a deep breath, breathe
from your mouth. Stay leaning forward. It will stop soon.

In a few hours they’re going to start serving breakfast at Home Base.
I bet our cheeseburger-straw flag is still upstairs. You’re alright –

Imagine this is Home Base; everyone is here, everyone is laughing.

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