In the middle of about a two week period, where the fall season slowly crept in, and the constant rolling breeze consumed us, a day of unbearable heat and rain returns. I'm running late; at a standstill in bumper to bumper. I've got Jethro Tull blasting throughout my car radio -- hold on a sec, this is the best part...
(The music gets louder, before falling back to the original volume).
Sorry, the sax solo is my favorite part. Anyway, I don't think my person of interest will mind. We've gotten to know each other quite well over the years.
In preparation for my interview, I've looked back at some of his work. He too writes on Odyssey. His last few articles are all focused on "Glow," that Netflix show about the women wrestlers. He seems a little obsessed to be honest. However, it's become one of my favorites too. In between each glow-tastic piece, he has a few poems, and before that, he looked at the "View Askewniverse."
Two articles, in particular, are the cause for my interest in the subject; "The End Is Nigh..." and "Summer Is Halfway Through..." Both are more serious, borderline depressing articles. And if you've read any of his poems, you may have caught on that such an outlook isn't far off from the truth.
I'm finally here. I order a green-tea because I hate coffee, and I sit at a nearby table. There's a slit in the table like someone took a knife to it, and the cushion is slightly torn at the stitching along the rim. I have my hair down for a change, which has proven to be a mistake. With the rain and humidity, my hair is a frizzy-fro. I've got tan jeans on, along with my "Macbeth" T-shirt I got from the Lincoln Center when I saw Ethan Hawke on stage a few years ago on my birthday. Though we didn't plan it, my subject is wearing the same shirt, which he also got when he saw the production live, on his birthday several years back.
"This borderline, depressed outlook; would you say it still accurately reveals your current insights?" I ask, jumping right into things.
"A few years ago, I visited my old English Professor from Arcadia. I asked her to look at some things I had been working on, and she said that my viewpoint, or voice in each poem was a weirdly optimistic pessimism. I don't know, but I kind of liked that."
I liked the answer. It somewhat made sense, and in a way, described my outlook on things.
"And with these two articles, are you still in the same boat?"
"No, actually," I say with a positivity that even surprises me.
"I know this will sound crazy, but I think Jethro Tull is the cause for everything slowly falling into place."
"Jethro Tull?" I was listening to them on the way here, how odd to hear it coming up during the interview.
"Yeah, I had always liked them, but it wasn't until about a month ago, so I guess a few weeks after those pieces, that I started to dive in and go through their albums one by one. Anyone who has read some of my more revealing articles knows I've been struggling in various personal areas of my life.
"Well, within about a week of diving into the 'Slipstream' that is my journey into Tull, I received a call back on my resume. Finally! The six months leading up to that was constant rejection. I know it's dumb, I thought that I wasn't going to get anywhere, nowhere towards my goals or even a skeleton of the future I'd been hoping for. It has the potential to open a lot of doors, and that's the one thing I've been looking for these last few months."
"How does Jethro --"
"Bare with me, but I listened to 'Too Old To Rock N Roll, Too Young To Die' on the way to the interview, and on the way home. Within a week, I got called for the next interview and listened to 'Aqualung' on the way to and fro. And by the next morning I got the news, and later that night I went bowling with this girl-"
I stopped short in my response, and a small smile started to form.
"You don't typically smile, Robbie. Are you gonna tell me about her?"
"Maybe in the next interview, but for now, all I'm going to say is that Jethro Tull, has somehow brought me good fortune, and it has been a continuous flow of good fortune. I feel like I need to write Ian Anderson a thank you letter."
Ian Anderson of Jethro Tullupload.wikimedia.org
With that, the brief interview comes to a close, and I return to my car. I think I shared enough with my interviewer for one day.