Saxophonist John Doheny was born in Seattle Washington in 1953 but has spent much of his adult life in Canada, primarily in Vancouver and Toronto. After early experiences accompanying strippers in bars and cabarets he became a professional R&B sideman in the late 1970s, touring and recording with artists both prominent and obscure. In 1991 he returned to Vancouver and began a program of intense musical study, both in academe (Vancouver Community College, the University of British Columbia) and in the more informal area of performance. He asserts that "all human intercourse is either an opportunity to learn or to teach. Everything that I know about jazz performance (to the extent that I know anything at all) I owe to those players, teachers and students who have suffered to share the bandstand and the teaching studio with me." Since 2003, Mr. Doheny has been a permanent resident of New Orleans, Louisiana, but makes every effort to spend summers in Canada because "it's too damn hot down here then."

Thursday, February 25, 2010

The End of It.

Well that's it, I'm done. With jury duty.

I was planning on doing a long post of Saints fever in the jury pool the day after the Super Bowl (which was indeed off the hook) and maybe finishing up with a character study of my last judge, Julius Parker, a pie-faced, built-like-a-fireplug Irish Channel Yat who looks exactly like my conception of James Lee Burke's literary creation Clete Purcel from his Dave Robicheaux detective novels.

But I don't have it in me. I'm sick (some kind of flu) and tired. There's a whole bunch of stuff I thought I was handling, but it turns out it's handling me. I've been thrashing about, driven by urges I don't understand and can't control.

After Katrina, I was filled with purpose. We did better than most people, no water in the house and nobody drowned (although the landlord's house in front of us burned to the ground in February 2006, necessitating our move here to the 6th ward). Sometimes I wonder though, what a thing like that does to your head. More specifically, my head. It'll mess with your sense of security, that's for sure. The phrase "safe as houses" doesn't mean shit to anybody here. And now and probably for the rest of my life, I can't walk down the streets of any modern city without an acute sense of how illusory the whole thing is,how once the lights are off and the shit hits the fan, things can get all 16th century on your ass real quick. Modernity and civilization are facades, we are all skating on very thin ice and when we break through we fall and fall. Don't think it can't happen to you because it can.

Lately some dark thoughts have taken up residence in my head and I'm working real hard to get them out of there. I'm going to stand up and walk away from this mess, just wait and see. Cause this shit is not me. Not at all.

Right now I've got a fever of 100.8 and a cough that's keeping me up all night. It feels like my lungs are coming up in chunks. But tomorrow's a new day, and spring is coming.

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