The Naked Guy

Today when I was playing I took two positive trips down memory lane, I want to share one here and the other will go in the post on possibility.

In college we had a Jazz Combo class, I always signed up for Jazz Combo even after I bombed out of the music school, one semester I was paired with the Naked Guy. There was a man who enrolled in College late in life, he was really smart, a computer programmer at the beginning of the internet age, who went back to college in his forties, he was a very good tenor saxophone player, he also was a activist for public nudity.

He would frequently lie in the common areas of the dorm in the nude, and then proclaim his right to do so under the constitution, of course this caused quite the stir, and he was in and out of the campus newspaper, and here he was standing next to me every Tuesday and Thursday, just me on Baritone Sax, and him on Tenor, mind you he never showed up to class nude, and I never brought it up with him, I know for a fact if I were with him today, I would have had the nudity talk with him, but then I wasn’t eager to lean into difficult conversations or inquire with empathy and curiosity.

I learned a lot from him- One thing I do well is improvisation, I hear cord changes and don’t need a sheet in front of me, one thing I don’t do well is this, I can’t play heads by ear. I need music, so in that combo that instructor challenged us not to use the real book or fake book, we had to learn all the heads by ear. I remember us doing Mr. PC, and Blue Rondo a la TurkI listened to Blue Rondo a la Turk today and have no clue how I learned it.

It was nice to have those pleasant memories flowing around while I practiced today. After eleven days, I am beginning to look forward to my practice sessions. There are so many wonderful memories that I have hidden away because I got attached to this notion of expressing my pain, expressing my pain is healthy, but swimming it in over and over, isn’t healthy. I look forward to swimming in the pool of pleasnt and happy moments, as I look back and move forward.

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