|An iconic image from my adolescence.|
Please click the soundtrack to listen to while you read:
I have nothing but praise for Ayn Rand. You are free to leave comments on that statement and they won't be deleted. There you have it: I enjoy and agree with the ideas in Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead. I am a curious hybrid. My favorite authors are Walt Whitman, Herman Melville, and Ayn Rand. Make of that mix what you may. I admit Ms. Rand has the heavier hand when it comes to plot and a poor ear for character's names. I mainly enjoy her books for the monologues. I read the other two for the whole book.
As a much younger man, almost a proto-man, I listened to the album 2112 over and over while I toiled in my makeshift painting studio in my parents basement. I had it on cassette tape and learned all the words, without the benefit of liner notes, through repetition. I can sing all of side one from memory to this day. I need cues for side two. Though I have a CD of the album I rarely listen to it anymore.
I remember thinking this was a very deep piece of musicianship. It's a concept album. Side one tells a story progressing through each track. In a totalitarian world a man discovers a guitar and learns to express himself, learning in the end that self-expression is against the collective norm that keeps society humming along. He commits suicide in the end just before the world is liberated for free-thinkers. Heady stuff and the stuff that makes teenagers thrum with self-justification. I don't think it's a bad lesson. I never seriously considered suicide.
The number 2112 reappears in my life from time to time, probably because I am sensitive to it. The emblem above (without the lettering) is emblazoned on the Littlest Ninja's windscreen. Twenty-one twelve. It rolls off the tongue, beautiful alliteration; one word, two words, two numbers, four numbers, one number. I am not a numerologist. I think that field contains nebulous arguments inside of arguments, none of which can be proven and none of which are relevant.
I bought a house today. My address: 2212. So close!
New Orleans is not a totalitarian state. I am not rebelling and I don't feel that I don't fit in. I am sinking roots, happy to be a permanent citizen, happy to be able to enjoy and participate in the life of this great city. No thoughts of suicide in the Crescent City. The crescent moon is waxing not waning and I bask in its glowing light.