Daily Archives: January 24, 2006

Seen and Not Seen

The Costanza rule works. Just look frustrated and everyone will think you are busy. I constantly look frustrated, thereby creating the illusion that I am constantly busy. But I am busy despite what it may look like. Today was relatively busy with quite a few activities that kept me away from the office. Lot’s of running around midtown, and I timed it well enough to be able to do whatever it was that I wanted to do within the proper time frame.

The sun was out, the Ipod plugged in and I was boppin all over the place. I even had to go back to the same place twice due to a mistake that I had made and was able to mosey on over. Plenty of friendly glances that I am getting better at returning. I always look people in the eye if they’re looking at me. Straight men avert their eyes, gay men will look right back at you.

Lot’s of eye candy out there today. Nice shirts and ties and exceptional suited men. A wonderful Manhattan afternoon that I was able to use fully to my advantage. I had a hankering for Smokey Robinson and the Miracles singing Tears of a Clown, but it somehow never got loaded into the Ipod over the weekend.

I settled for the English Beat covering Tears of a Clown and that set me off on a 2 Tone binge. Perfect. Great stuff. Thought about Miriam and thought about Susan Sher. Two women I know who were both into Ska almost as much as I was. And when I say Ska, I mean 2 Tone, meaning The Specials, The Selecter, Madness and the English Beat. The British Ska Revival of the late 1970’s.

The Special were it for me man. Interracial, singing about politics, violence and having babies at too young an age. I sent my nephew Earl a cd of the Specials first record, hoping that it would make an impression. Whether it did I don’t know. I even turned Julio onto the Specials. For me the Specials were amazing. I never saw the original band, just a reconstituted line up in the 1990’s. No Terry Hall or Jerry Dammers, but the rest were there with a room full of mainly guys singing as nasally as they could to sound like Terry.

Some of my personal politics can be traced to the Specials first record. It made an impact on a lot of people of my generation. I even remember the day I bought it at Korvettes in 1979 the same day I bought The Pretenders and Wreckless Eric, all records I treasure to this day even if I have no idea where they physically are.

I even sat waiting for the bus at the Bergen Mall talking to an elderly woman about the records I had just purchased. I was so enthusiastic and I guess it was noticeable. I started dressing in tight peg legged pants that I paid someone at work, Emma Fairnot, 5 dollars a pair to hem. She did the best she could and I didn’t know any better.

Most everything started to get 2 Tone, black and white checkerboard in my life. Even turned a metal head at school onto the Specials. Turned him onto PiL and the Clash as well. Whatever happened to Tom Pressey?

It was just great to walk around sunny Midtown Manhattan grooving and bopping to 2 Tone. I should’ve done it 25 years ago, but things don’t always work out as planned, even in hindsight.

Walked down to Chelsea after work to see if the guys who told me about the Gauloises coming in today, were telling the truth. He seemed sincere and was mad cute, but didn’t have them in. He told me to try tomorrow and he’s cute enough to warrant a walk for 45 minutes to stand in front of a counter for a minute or two.

I opted for a phone number instead.