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toybeatlesCarol and I saw a young girl the other day, gazing lovingly at some celebrity who had his arm around her, and it got us talking about how odd all of that is.

We’ve both hobnobbed with our share of celebrities, and while it is ridiculous and they are just people, it can still sometimes throw you off.

“Oh, I’m having drinks with Mick Fleetwood, and he’s telling me I am a great drummer,” or “I’m in a suite in Las Vegas watching the NCAA basketball playoffs with Bruce Willis and Demi Moore, and Bruce just laid down a sixty thousand dollar bet on one game.”

Things like that can make you wonder how you got to wherever you happen to be. Why am I here right now?

But I get the same feeling walking across the lobby of the building I work in every day, or sitting down for a concert at the Greek Theater. How did I get here?

1965-05I grew up on a dirt road in a town with a population of 1400 in the woods in Minnesota. Andy Griffith’s Mayberry would have been the big city to us. We didn’t have a barber shop or a hardware store or even a sheriff. One gas station, one corner store, two schools. The end. I spent the first fifteen years of my life there and had no reason to believe I’d ever live anywhere else.

But when I was 15 years old we moved to the huge and frightening metropolis of St. Paul, and everything was different after that. The move was devastating to my young psyche, but of course in retrospect was the greatest thing that ever happened. In less than three years I was living by myself in an apartment downtown, and working every day running printing presses in the basement of the Hamm building across the street.

And that shit made me wonder, how did I get here? So I guess I’m easily amazed and confounded.

I don’t know if that feeling is normal. Maybe everyone else looks around and thinks, “Yeah, this is the world, this is me, big deal.” But the world I walk around in continually surprises me, and a lot of the time I find it hard to believe that I’m in it, putting on my pants or buying a loaf of bread.


Today we’re going to a movie in Hollywood, which hundreds – or thousands – of people do every day. On the way home we’ll probably stop at Philippe’s for dinner, something a thousand other people do every day.

But I can pretty much guarantee that most of the day I’ll be wondering how the hell it’s me doing this stuff.

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  1. you wear pants?

    I’m always thinking what a fluke it is to be alive and alive at this particular point in history. the randomness of it, I guess. how nice it would be to be a dog or a monkey and not really be aware of the bizarre concept of being conscious of your aliveness. or something.

    and a french dip sounds good. pick me up one, thanks. do they make their own potato chips?

  2. I usually wear pants. Besides, it would have sounded odd to say “putting on my skirt or buying a loaf of bread.”

    They don’t make their own potato chips, but the make their own pig’s feet. I’ll pick up a couple of those for you too.

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