Saturday, June 1, 2024

Ancient wisdom with Bob Dylan at the VFW


I was out having drinks with Bob Dylan at the VFW. Another guy was with us, but he spent the whole time quietly reading a blog on his phone. At one point later in the evening I said to Bob "I'm reading a book made up entirely of the accounts of people talking about what it's like to work with you."

Bob's head was over his whiskey and ginger and he didn't lift it up. He just eyed me sideways. He looked old and fey. Very old and very fey. "Why?" He croaked.

I took a sip of my whiskey and ginger, only to find it empty. "It's like that old Zen story where a bunch of blind men describe an elephant."

He gave me a slightly fuller look, no less fey, regarding me for a moment.

"Are you distant and aloof?" I explained. "Are you spontaneous and inspirational? Are you cold and selfish? Are you considerate and thoughtful? Are you wearied and cloistered? Are you whimsical and collaborative? Are you a tyrant? Are you a master?"

Bob said nothing.

"Maybe the secret of the story is that even if all the blind men could see perfectly, how could anyone ever describe an elephant?"

We were quiet for awhile. Then from out of nowhere Bob convincingly imitated the trumpeting of an elephant. 

The guy reading the blog, Neil, looked up a little crossly at us for a second. Then looked back down at his phone.

Bob and I burst into a fit of giggles.

Then we stopped ordering drinks and ordered some food instead.

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