I’ve been living in Covington for a few weeks now. I’m still feeling my way around the area. As a writer, I keep a notebook of interesting things I see or memorable conversations I have. I’ve compiled some little Covington stories to share with you.
Gun people: I don’t pretend to understand them. I don’t relate to people who carry guns, collect them or shoot them. To me, guns encourage violent behavior and are a danger to society. I shot a gun once back when I was 11 or 12 years old. Living in the country, my father let me shoot his gun into a field. I remember the shot being loud and me falling down as the gun went off. It was scary.
Would it shock the hell out of you that a 57-year-old man would love Amy Winehouse’s music? I do. When I found out she died late last month I played her Back to Black CD over and over again. Winehouse had a unique, soulful voice and was one of the best songwriters ever. For those of us who followed her, it was a sad day when she left us.
I was playing my mandolin just like I do on most early evenings. Playing this musical instrument, which I’ve been playing since I was a child, relaxes me. On this particular evening, it was making me sad. As I played, thoughts went through my mind that this would be the last time I’d be playing the mandolin in Westwood. The following day was moving day. I was making a change in my life and moving to Covington.
About 20 minutes into the phone conversation, I started to feel annoyed. I was tempted to light up another cigarette. But, trying to cut back, I didn’t. My mind raced to excuses I could make to wrap up her nonstop talking. This wasn’t supposed to happen.
Last week, I had a little time to kill before an afternoon appointment, so I went to Fountain Square to hang out for a while. Sitting at a table, I listened in on a conversation two young girls were having at another table to my left. “I haven’t seen Paul in over two days,” the girl with the dark hair said. “I miss him so much; love him so much, I can’t stand this much longer.”
Jazzy is what I called him as did others who knew him. He considered us friends, but the reality is I don’t think any of us really knew him at all or even wanted to. Why he kept popping up in my life I don’t know. Some people keep resurfacing like a bad penny, and he was one of them. That won’t be the case anymore. Jazzy died of a heroin overdose a couple weekends ago.
If you were to ask me when I was 16 years old if I would never again want an automobile, I would have told you that you were crazy. Every teenage boy wants his own set of wheels. I was no exception. My first automobile was a 1959 Chevy Biscayne. It’s a bit faded now, but that’s me in the photo with my car.
I liked this young woman cutting my hair. Focused at the task at hand, she wasn’t saying a word to me. She kept her eyes squarely on the top of my head and used those scissors like she knew what she was doing. A friend had driven me around Western Hills last week looking for one of those express haircut places on Glenway Avenue.
The guy has been eyeballing me for weeks at the bus stop in the mornings and has been chatting with me. Small talk at first — you know, the weather, why are the buses always late, that type of thing — but lately, the conversation has been more personal, wanting to know what I do for a living and where I live.