Music in this show:
1. Ken Nordine, “My Baby”
2. Evelyn Evelyn, “Elephant Elephant”
3. Bang On A Can All Stars feat. Kyaw Kyaw Naing, “Hsaing Kyaik De Maung”
I’d been riding Becky’s blue cruiser around a seemingly up-and-coming arts district of Dallas, Texas, called Deep Ellum, looking for a place to get a beer. First, I tried the Deep Ellum Brewing Company, but they apparently don’t sell to the public except on Thursdays. I rode down Commerce–the bars on the sunny side of the road blasted banal music, and a promising Cajun bar looked sad and chilly in the shadows across the street. I biked down Elm–a bunch of people sat outside in the sunshine, smoking and drinking. Obviously, that was the place I wanted to be.
I came across Roy, who was tending bar at this place called July Alley. Actually, I could never really find him…when I first came in, someone had to point out the bartender–Roy and his long white beard were hidden behind the screen of a video game. When I returned for a second beer, Roy was concealed within a group of people who were talking in a booth–a “staff meeting”, he said.
The bar smelled like vomit, but the women’s restroom was magnificently clean. A little skirted figure without a head was affixed to the restroom door, and a double-headed figure indicated the men’s room. Art lined the brick walls.
The first thing Roy told me was a story. We later made a deal that I’d buy a third round if he’d let me interview him. When we hunkered down, Roy recommended a book about Eastern philosophy. He also told me about meeting “Cat Man”, who buried aircraft fuel in front of his trailer home and kept wild cats caged on his property. Roy’s rough outline of his own Point A to Point B demonstrated that any effort to demarcate the intermediate steps in advance actually may be a waste of time.
Roy mentioned his wife a few times during the course of our conversation. For 14 years, she’s suffered from dementia; for 6 years, she’s been diagnosed with a terminal illness. Here’s just the trace of a description of Roy’s marriage–
Music in the BONUS:
1. Jana Hunter, “Palms”
2. Davina and The Vagabonds, “Sugar Moon”
As it turns out, by the way, Roy joins my growing list of people whose first marriage did not work out. He happens to be describing his second marriage, which is great news for those of you who have been discouraged by romance, right?