Monday, May 21, 2007

Life Just isn't Fair

I have written before about synchronicity, that weird moment where coincidence and relevance intersect. Where did I read several passages about this concept this week? In the book I got from the library—One Train Later, the autobiography of the Police guitarist Andy Summers.
Who would have believed this oeuvre would have contained a sentence like, “On the last tour of the United States before we return to Monserrat, I saw Sting reading Memories, Dreams, Reflections —Jung’s autobiography—and talked about it.” But who would have believed I would have been reading this book in the first place? The Police came on the scene after my interest in pop music waned, or was extinguished by the demands of small children and I was only peripherally aware of the trio and their music. The book was fascinating: Summers describes the evolution of their music (though I couldn’t grasp the intricacies of the guitar-speak) and he does not attempt to whitewash the details of the 80’s pop lifestyle.

His early career featured extensive travel in broken down cars and vans, sleeping in rooms which make an “eight-by-eight room with a candlewick bedspread, the stench of Pine-Sol and a picture of Jesus on the wall” seem like the Hilton and endless meals of fried eggs, beans on toast, sausages and chips. Success brought magic mushroom omelets on Bali with John Belushi, endless drugs and alcohol and enough risky behavior that by the time I was approaching the end of the book I feared for the good-looking young musician, who by now had surely addled, fried and made mincemeat of his brain. I imagined similar physical destruction: a shot liver, clogged arteries, a pot belly. The wages of sin.

And that’s where synchronicity took center stage. Just as I was finishing the book, I saw in the Free Press that the Police are reuniting for a concert tour. There was an accompanying photo and darn, they look good. That’s my boy Andy on the left, seemingly none the worse for wear as a result of his indiscretions. He's 64, for Pete’s sake. He looks terrific. The Police will be appearing in Detroit. Will I make up for the gap in my musical education? I think not.

Mens sana in corpore sano, my eye.

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