Mr. Tambourine Man
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by Kevin Limiti
The musician who played Mr. Tambourine man at the Dubliner wasnít Bob Dylan. He wasnít anybody special. He was a short, bald, goofy looking guy who bore a resemblance to that guy from Seinfeld. Despite his appearance, he struck a chord with me playing a song I heard about a thousand times before.
The bar was almost completely empty, but those who were there were just as engrossed as I was. It brought back strange memories. So I sparked up my joint and he took me away on his magical swirliní ship. I laid back and put my feet up: drugs, Hunter S. Thompson, and my best friend Chuck.
All of the sudden everything was back to the way I remembered it. I was at White Castle outside smoking a cigarette with about fifteen high school kids. None of them were my friends and all of them annoyed the hell out of me. All they did was talk about other people. It made me feel like a stupid teenager, which I was, but I always tried to appear as though I was more mature then I was.
So when Chuck showed up and asked the group if they wanted to drink, I was the only one that went with him. On our way to the Dubliner we picked up a huge bottle of vodka that he had left lying in the middle of the baha. We walked around randomly waving the bottle at girls, asking them to get drunk with us. I guess we werenít that charming, but we felt someone would want to tag along. However, in the end we got drunk and high in the back end of the Dubliner by ourselves, and then we bummed a few cigarettes after giving this middle aged guy a hit off Chuckís porcelain cigarette decorated bat. Chuck ordered a drink, and I sat in the back by the dart boards, laying my head against the cushions. The band that played Mr. Tambourine Man was unassuming but I still loved them. Chuck sat down and looked across the table to me, his hand gripping a black pint of Guinness, smiling at me and I knew that this was freedom.
Itís been about a year since then and I see myself doing the same stuff he did and it made me realize that it wouldnít be the same without Chuck, even if I did my best to emulate him. Sometimes I wondered if I had already passed my peak; that the happiest moments I would ever have were gone for good. I desperately sought out other friends to have a similar relationship to but itís always the same story; different and conflicting interests. Maybe it is at least true that Iíll never have a friend as great as him.
Even so, I feel that in projecting that image of what I believed was Chuckís best qualities such as his intellect, his morals, his idea of fun, and his love of music, that maybe Iím creating a similar image with other people who I call my friends. Even so, I have a long way to go and if I am not struck down the way he was, then maybe I could help create the world that Chuck had started.
So sitting in the Dubliner again listening to a strange man sing Mr. Tambourine man with a grin is difficult to me. I remember too much. Sometimes I hate my memories, but they give me a guideline to show me how everything is supposed to work. When things donít go right, I blame it on the fact that Chuckís not around. I am wrong though because Chuck is dead, and I have to move on also.
I advise you to look closely at the people you see in bars and on the street. Things are not always what they appear. If you examine people closely, you can always find something in them thatís worth investing in. Donít be so quick to casually lump someone into a certain category because that person might become a famous writer or something in the years to come. Or maybe they will have the ability to inspire others to do great things, and that is something very rare. In every single piece Iíve written since his death, Chuck has been the primary inspiration and I donít see that every changing. He was a great friend and truly a remarkable person. He put his soul into me, so Iím putting my soul into this for everybodyís benefit so that if I die like he did, you will know what the score is. Donít forget to listen to the musician in that shady bar you go to.
Insert amusing anecdote here.