Relay: No Rest for the Weary

The iPhone’s alarm is singing its mournful tune

   Driving back from Queens after delivering 890 copies of The Star, I get to Southampton and the storage room at midnight and 20 minutes later am rolling east toward 114, where I’ve been sleeping for the last four or five nights. Five or six trips up a flight of stairs and now my room is like a studio apartment someone has just moved into, minus the pizza or Chinese takeout.
    Maybe asleep by 1:30 but after five hours the iPhone’s alarm is singing its mournful tune and I am pulling on jeans and out the door and onto 114 and from there 27 east toward Montauk.
    We send a few thousand more lobsters to their inevitable end and then I am back in the car hurtling westward, cursing the motorists doing 39 m.p.h. and playing the percentages, will I be able to stop at Brent’s for a buttered roll and coffee, wolf and gulp it all down, and still make the start of the meeting of the zoning board of appeals?
    This time I do, and for 35 minutes listen to one after another consider the side-yard setback and continued existence of a pre-existing nonconforming that means the world to someone or other.
    And then it is over, and the car swings toward 114 and a two-minute shower before heading back to the village and The Star, where I spend another few hours researching and writing “The Way It Was” and then putting a calendar of musical events together but half of them are for some D.J. or other and is that even music? Then I am off to Amagansett to check on whether or not a framed fine-art print of my father’s 1975 painting of Montauk is hanging in the Crazy Monkey Gallery in preparation for the next day’s opening (it is) and then it’s a dash to Crossroads Music to see if my Telecaster has been repaired in preparation for the following night’s gig on Shelter Island (it has) and then, then, finally, I can sit down at Indian Wells Tavern and have a bite and then it’s a brisk walk to the car to grab this laptop and a recorder and hurry to the Talkhouse so I can interview Loudon Wainwright III. I stand at the bar typing like a madman as Loudon sound-checks his way through some kind of protest song, something about white trash hanging out with blacks and earning the contempt of other white trash in the process. Will this interview happen or won’t it — it probably won’t, I’ll probably have to call him on the phone sometime in the future just like with David Johansen a k a Buster Poindexter or Dave Mason, even though we were standing eyeball to eyeball there on the stage at 7 p.m. on recent summer evenings (but this time it does).
    And then I drive back to Montauk and with any luck have just enough time to hang up signs in town for our gig at Gosman’s Dock on Sunday evening, and then up and over the hill to the harbor again to help unload a boat and surely drink a beer or two with the lobstermen and somehow someway sometime drive that car back to 114 ’round about midnight to catch a few hours’ sleep until rising before 7 to do it all over again.


   Christopher Walsh needs some time off.

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