This weekend, roughly half the things I tried to schedule failed. It was a loud, continual reminder of how forces beyond your control can throw your plans out the window.
First, my phone stopped notifying me of messages on Friday evening. I missed three voicemails and three text messages between eight o’clock and midnight. While I didn’t pass the evening in misery – I got a hot dog at Spike’s, watched the season opener of “Burn Notice” on Hulu, and drank a lot of whiskey – it meant I couldn’t hang out with Sylvia. Which is what I’d planned to do.
Second, I was able to reschedule with Sylvia for the following afternoon. Which was good. But this meant I didn’t go on the Southie pub crawl that my friends through Yelp had organized. And while catching up with Sylvia was a good time regardless, it meant a bunch of my friends had to drink beers and accost strangers without me. I’m sure they managed.
Third, I had tickets to see Psychedelic Furs at the House of Blues that evening. This, I had worked out: I’d go to Michelle Z’s housewarming barbecue in Arlington, leave from there around 7:00 and get to House of Blues around 9:00. This would put me at the concert an hour after the doors opened at 8:00. I could see the opening act (She Wants Revenge, who sounded interesting) and get up nice and close for the folks I’d come to see. This plan lasted until I got back from Michelle’s (at 7:45) and actually looked at the ticket. Doors opened at 6:00.
Swearing, I didn’t quite sprint to the subway. I made it downtown by 8:45, late enough to miss the first two songs (“Love My Way” and “Heartbeat,” which are phenomenal live) and half of the third (“Like a Stranger”).
None of these failures were critical. I missed hanging out with Sylvia on Friday night, but I got to reschedule for Saturday. I missed drinking with the Yelp crew on Saturday, but I see them plenty. And I missed the first two songs of the Psychedelic Furs set, but I’ve seen them live before. They hadn’t written any new songs in the intervening period (or the last eighteen years). The crowd was small enough that I could still shoulder my way pretty close. And while I’d missed two of my favorite songs, I still got to hear “President Gas” live. Psychedelic Furs recorded “President Gas” in 1982, and it’s only grown more relevant every year since then.