Sunday, December 28, 2008

A Taft Diary, pt. 2 - How to kill time in Cinci on a Saturday afternoon

Saturday morning I wake up about an hour before my alarm goes off. I put on some classical music and start my morning stretches. there is cold air blowing in around the door, despite the towel I have pushed up against the bottom of it. Today's weather will not be quite as nice as yesterday. in fact, the difference in temperature between the time I arrived here yesterday and the time I will leave on Sunday night is a difference of about 60 degrees.

I give Bill a call when I'm ready to go (about 1pm) and we head to our first stop: Everybody's Records. I'm on a tight budget, and this place gives me the shakes. I could drop a thousand dollars in here without even blinking. I've done that sort of thing before. I know I can't spend much money, so I just say no to everything, even the cool Tom Waits poster in the back of the store. or that Mindy Smith CD I don't have that's half the price here. A shopping basket would be helpful if I were to pull the things I wanted out of the used jazz section. I have everything I want from Miles Davis...except that one. and that one. oh, and here's another one I've been wanting... If I were an alcoholic, this would be my liquor store. I'm not even going to look at that Joy Division t-shirt hanging there, because that would look really great on me. Yes, Bill, I saw that new Rosie Thomas CD there. No, I don't have it yet, but thanks for asking... I browse the record albums, just because I haven't been able to do that sort of thing at a record store in years. real live vinyl. lots of it. a selection of old jazz on vinyl that makes my head spin. I remember now how I became addicted to buying music, why I spent my weekend nights in high school and college at a record store instead of out on a date. records last longer. I pull out a couple Black Sabbath albums and put them on the turntable in the back. I had to get the guy at the counter to come back and fix the dang thing. the anticipation is kind of like when a druggie wraps a rubberband around his arm and slaps the vein. then you slip the needle in and... oh, doesn't matter how bad it might be for you. it's gooood. Black Sabbath on vinyl, the same record that warned a pastor in my youth, in a vision in his shower (probably with his mistress), that all rock music was the same, that Resurrection band was just as bad for me as Black Sabbath, that they were both doing the devil's work. It was probably the one message that made me really want to check out Black Sabbath, if they sounded like Rez. "Born Again" certainly could have been the name of a Rez album, so who knows...

I'm getting even more shaky and weak, this time from hunger and the need for more sleep. Bill buys a small sack of music (including a bit of vinyl), I buy nothing while choking back tears, and we head to our next stop - Kaldi's Coffeeshop and bar. The place Linford used to come to from his appartment across the street to write old Over the Rhine newsletters and imagine the Inklings, the place Karin used to work, the place that I love to visit in Cinci, the place that is closing up for good in a few days.
We get our drinks at the bar, then go sit at a table near the back with shelves of used books still lining the walls (though much of the place is being torn down). We have a great conversation about our religious backgrounds, how we came to the place we are now, the path that led to our current beliefs. We both seem to share an appreciation for the process that faith is, rather than the "now you aren't saved / now you are" mentality of many mainstream Christians.

Kaldis only had drinks, no food, so we get directions to a local deli a few blocks away to have lunch. I don't remember the name of the place, but it had great local flavor and hit the spot just right. A much better choice than just stopping at Subway. Bill reminded me that he knew one of my closest friends through bible quizzing many years ago, and we talked about the old days of Christian rock and how so many had fallen over the years, and the odd response Christians often have to those who fall from grace.

After lunch, we head to a 5-story used bookstore called Ohio Books. I'm always amazed at how little I'm able to find in a place that has so many more books than the average bookstore. They're pretty short on Buechner books, but they do seem to have every issue of National Geographic ever made. I get a Daniel Berrigan book, put back the Merton biography I really want, and we close the store out. I discover that Bill has never been to some of the coolest CD and bookstores in the Detroit area, so we will have to take a trip to them when we get back.

We get back to the hotel and I go back to my room for a quick nap, then the three of us head back downtown for dinner with the Orchard at Arnolds...


mediamogul said...

Here's for more used book and CD store trips. Let me know when you want to check out John Kings. Maybe a trip to Grand Rapids is in line some time. I always like hitting Erdmanns, Bakers and Kregels. More shakes are in store for you.


Aron said...

Ok, just a bit jealous now! Sounds like a lot of fun to be had in Ohio. I'm lookin' to do a road trip to everybodys records (some day). If you ever get to Grand Rapids, Check out Vertigo Music and The Corner Record Store. Both great places to drop some coin.