Tag Archives: Roland Deschain

Out of the Dark

1 Jul

When my old laptop died, I had to get another one. There was no way I was going to know what to get, so I asked my nephew. Under his guidance, I bought a Mac, and it is a cool piece of machinery. It has all kinds of bells and whistles that I have no idea how to use. However, there is one thing that is mega-cool. The keyboard lights up.

That means I can work in the dark, and, as I have always said, I do some of my best work in the dark. Some people refer to my office as a cave because there is only a single bulb burning. More than once, a security person has stopped by because they thought I had left my door open by accident.

I have always liked the dark. Nights are better than days. Staying up late is better than getting up early. It could be the mystery of the dark that fascinates me. You cannot really tell everything that is going on. People do things differently in the dark than they do in the light. Simply, darkness is a favorite of mine.

Just think about all of the cool stuff that is associated with the dark.

The Dark Knight (Batman at his best.)

Dark Chocolate (Good stuff.)

It was a dark and stormy night. (Every book should begin this way.)

Cinemax After Dark (I got cable in my room way too soon.)

Darkman (Alright, this one is a little obscure. If you think Liam Neeson was a badass in Taken, then you should see him in this.)Darkman

Dark Shadows (Think of it as Phantom of the Soap Opera.)

Dark Night (A great song by The Blasters. Everyone should give it a listen.)

Dark Horse (Not the Katy Perry song. I am talking about that person who comes from nowhere to achieve greatness.)

The Dark Side of the Moon (Pink Floyd made what could be the greatest album of all time.)Dark Side

The Dark Tower (A series of books by Stephen King about Roland Deschain, the Gunslinger.)Dark Tower

On The Dark Side (A song from Eddie and the Cruisers that was actually performed by John Cafferty and the Beaver Brown Band.)

See, there are a lot of great things that come out of the dark.

A Friday in Nashville

1 May

On Friday morning, I headed to the large city to the west for some appointments. It was “reading day” at school – which meant no classes and students, ahem, studying for this weeks exams. The plan was to sleep late, but the appointments started coming at me on Thursday afternoon. So, there I was all dressed up with a bunch of places to go.

My first stop was at a lawyer’s office on Deaderick Street. Driving this street has always made me a little uncomfortable because it includes the word “dead” and my name, “Rick”. Bad omens everywhere. Despite my concerns, I made it to the parking garage safely and wound up the ramp until I finally found a spot. Upon hitting the sidewalk, the realization hit that I was in Nashville. A man walked briskly past me while muttering to himself. I picked up the words “God” and “Hooters” but couldn’t make out anything else. I am sure it was an interesting conversation, however.

After carefully crossing the dreaded street, I entered the building of destination and took the elevator to the 17th floor to sign some legal documents. There is one thing that you should all remember. If an attorney rents an entire floor of a skyscraper, then you are paying some big bucks. (Try googling “big bucks” and see what you get.)

After the meeting, I had some time to kill before meeting my friend for lunch. I drove around downtown and realized that it is a very different place during work hours. People were scurrying everywhere like worker ants carrying leaves. Except, the leaves were brief cases and boxes and all sorts of items. I like when women wear high heels, but, damn, it looks uncomfortable walking on a city sidewalk.

The hustle and bustle of downtown was getting to me, so I went to the Midtown area and the brand new Barnes and Noble at Vanderbilt University – otherwise known as my crack house. However, I passed a sad sight along the way. An entire block was being demolished. Happens all the time, right? Except, this isn’t just any block. It used to be home to Tower Records, a place that I have spent countless hours searching for music, both popular and rare. It is indeed sad to see the record store go away. It reminded me that bookstores are not far behind.

At the bookstore, I bought something. I don’t know what it is, but I can’t go into one and not come out with a book. Anyway, I bought Where the Tall Grass Grows: Becoming Indigenous and the Mythological Legacy of the American West by Bobby Bridger. I know – it sounds fascinating, but I haven’t started yet. I first had to finish riding out a starkblast with Roland Deschain and his ka-tet.

Ok, I killed enough time before meeting my friend at his office. He invited me to a meet and greet lunch at the swank Nashville City Club. Well, it’s swank if you consider early 70s decor to be swank. It is a private dinner club in a Nashville penthouse and has been the location of a lot of moving and shaking for decades. However, I get the feeling that it is struggling to maintain its grandeur.

We made our way back to the downtown area and found it more crowded than it was earlier. It turns out that they were preparing for the next day’s marathon. After struggling to find a parking place and ending up in the same garage where I had been earlier, we made our way to the swank. Surprisingly, my meal was good with fried chicken and waffles covered in raspberry syrup and a side of fried jalapenos.

More surprisingly, the meet and greet was good, and it included some interesting folks.

The Dean of the Business School from my university.

My friend who sells pencils and balloons.

There was a mason who works with historic preservationists.

Beside him was an owner of billboards.

Across the way were two guys who work for a linen company.

Next to them was a lady who works at the City Club and who was wearing some impossibly high heels.

Then, there was me. I didn’t talk about teaching. Instead, I talked about Hamilton Springs, a residential/commercial development based around a commuter train station that my brother and I are working on.

I don’t make it to the weekday, daytime version of Nashville very often. But, this day turned out decently.