Life, Tom R, and Music

Here’s a letter to Patrick (via Compuserve!) from 22 years ago when I was in a dark frame of mind.

FROM: JP, 440201,1234
TO: Patrick, 405101,1234
DATE: 10/21/96 9:51 PM

Yo, pappy,

Sorry I’ve not written lately. I’ve not been in a proper communicative mood, but have instead been operating in the “if nothing nice to say, why whine?” mode.

That’s very thoughtful of what you’d offer for Tom R. Right now I doubt I’d be a good influence, and realistically, I’m probably too unstable right now to be of value to him or you. I rattle against the walls at all hours of the night, banging on the piano, sitting at the computer, or just vegging and moping. If I drank I’d be a great alcoholic.

Things are improving, however. I went racing in Ohio for a week, helping out in the press room and getting lots of driver interviews and so on. In typical fashion, I arrived, the rental tried to give me a Hyundai that had been in a crash, and then my hotel had been closed and turned into a halfway house, still unopened.

Work is still extremely busy, almost overwhelmingly so. We’re hiring a couple of people soon, I hope. At least we’ve had the positions approved. I’m still hassling with the housing situation, an insurance company, and a bunch of other stuff; who ever said turning 40 would be easy?!

I’m very accepting now of the loss of Linda; que sera and all that shjt. I’m writing a play, a musical I guess, called “Recovery.” Well, I’ve written a song for it, anyway! I’ve got a couple of other tunes that might fit in as well. Do you want to write it? I don’t know what it’s going to be about; I just have the music. It’s not classical, it’s not even commercial, but I like to think the imagery is powerful and words commanding.

Given that, tell me…. do you have a LaserJet or ink jet printer? Fax number? Maybe I can send you lead sheets. I could send you just lyrics and chords, but the music has some minimal value as well.

Anyway, I’ve got to get an article off to SportsCar. The deadline was last Friday, so I’m less late than usual. I’ll think about the Tom R. thing, but I wouldn’t suggest getting his hopes up. Maybe there’s somebody else here that would welcome him in…. I’ll keep my ears open. We have a youth placement program at Rockwell, I’ll try to remember to check on it. Oh, if you have a Web browser (CompuServe does, I think) you can see where I work. Try:

Hi to your special lady for me.