How did you do it, David Crosby? I saw you Friday night. I wasn’t really into the idea of going to your show. When the Y drops off the CSN&Y, so does the BH&J. But my wife wanted to go and she agreed to see Bob Dylan with me in September if I’d go see you. I’m not telling you all this to be insulting. I’m just reminding Guinnevere out of the side of my mouth that she is still being held to her end of the deal (to see Bob Dylan in LA on September 3rd and to remind her to ask her parents if they can watch the kids while we see Bob Dylan in LA on September 3rd).
I am getting too old for mosh pits but your shows draw a peaceful crowd. Unless they’re tripping on the brown acid—then they’re just plain irritating, David Crosby. Anyway, I was able to stand very close to you. And yeah I was hoping you’d toss me a pick. Stills was tossing picks like he was in some 80s metal band. Why so stingy with the picks, David Crosby? You wore baggy blue jeans and a denim shirt that buttoned. You were startlingly fat, but who cares? I’m not trying to make you self-conscious, David Crosby. We were lucky enough to have a rare desert breeze that blew your long grey hair all Medusa-like hissing in the wind. You were awesome. I just stood and watched you the whole show and I kept wondering over & over: How did you do it, David Crosby?
I thought about my buddy Skip stabbing his inner thigh and smearing his own blood all over his apartment like some last fuck you Rothko. I thought about my wife’s best friend, Larissa, in her house for days, overdosed, alone. I remembered listening to her crying in bed next to me and the helpless way I couldn’t think of anything to say. How did you do it, David Crosby? I thought about how Keith was so late for that gig in November and poor Brandon went to his apartment to find him and boy did he ever find him. The bodies piled up at your concert last Friday night, David Crosby. You were surrounded by stacks and piles of dead bodies all awash and floating in an ocean of blood and do you know what you did in spite of all this, David Crosby?
And when you started singing Our House, I just cried and cried and cried because I don’t know how to grieve properly, David Crosby. I’ve heard there’s steps, but I don’t do it right. I’ve never been able to do the whole emotion thing via any kind of orderly pattern detailed in the best selling self-help books. I looked at my wife and she appeared to me in the context of your singing as the radical opposite of all dead things. She doesn’t have old friends, David Crosby. Life used to be so hard. Indeed. And I wish that Crosby, Stills & Nash covered Pearl Jam’s Alive because that would’ve been sweet because we are. We’re still alive. We’re all still alive. How in the hell did we do it, David Crosby?
I should’ve grabbed Guinnevere and kissed her right there but I’m a better writer than I am a spontaneous kisser. But dear Guinnevere (JENNA!), I wanted to kiss you. I did. I wanted to stand on top of that mountain of dead bodies and kiss you because kissing, like singing, is a strong enough argument against death. Who needs meaning and afterlives when there’s kissing? Kissing is enough.
A line from one of my buddy Skip’s old poems says: “Addiction is devotion. Look it up.”
Go do it. Look it up.