This afternoon, something ran across my roof. It might have been an overweight squirrel. I didn't get outside quickly enough to see. I know it wasn't likely to have been a giant tarantula, as the tarantulas don't come this far north, though this is the season for them. The males go out looking for females early in the autumn. It's odd that, though I've lived in California all my life, I've never seen a tarantula in person. My neighborhoods were all too developed, I suppose, but I never even saw one when I was visiting out in the sticks (which happened frequently when I was a kid.) I've heard tales from people who have seen hundreds of them crawling about the vineyards of the Napa Valley and the orchards of the San Joaquin, but I've never seen one. Thus, I'm able to imagine them being much larger than they probably are in reality. I can imagine them making great, rapid thumps as they run across my rooftop. No, it must have been a squirrel.
Lately, my musical obsession has been a CD of piano rolls played mostly by Eubie Blake. I program the CD player to play the album's middle nine tracks, and put it on repeat. One particular song, called "Don't Tell Your Monkey Man," tends to become a very complex earworm. I keep hearing snatches of it in my head all the time now. A lot of the old piano rolls featured an early form of overdubbing, in which the pianist would fill in the original recording with slightly off-beat flourishes and such. A neighbor in my old neighborhood had a player piano when I was a kid, and I remember watching the masses of keys pumping up and down, up to twenty at a time, when they played one of those overdubbed rolls. It was fascinating. Even then, the sound of ragged piano conjured images of high-ceilinged barrooms and long, black Packards passing by on the street outside-- scenes I must have picked up from seeing old movies. I still get those images from listening to this CD. If I remembered my dreams, I suspect that these days many of them might be taking place in 1925. Maybe that's why I've become obsessed with the album. The present-day world isn't particularly appealing to me at the moment.
Nine O'Clock. Have to go make soup.