Some of you might remember the song by the Beastie Boys titled, “No Sleep Till Brooklyn”. Most of you never took it seriously.
Even I am unsure the exact moment the crazy set in. Sometimes the crazies set in and we are unaware. Kind of like asymptomatic COVID-19, I guess.
What I remember for certain, is that I was hot off recording some original music. I had recently lost my job, and I was spending a whole big bunch of time on the internet.
This was in the late 90’s and AOL chat rooms were all the rage. I was drawn to the Spiritual Insights room. There was always someone to argue with, and back in the day, I loved to argue about religion.
It all seemed innocent enough. I would arrange calls and I would speak with people about their struggles.
I learned a lot, and people were mostly kind. Eventually, I met a friend that lived in Manhattan. She was convinced I could make a living as a psychic in New York.
She offered to put me up in her apartment until I got on my feet. Guitar in hand, half a tank of gas, and $35 in my pocket, I headed to the Big Apple.
My no sleep till Brooklyn story took place before cell phones and GPS systems were affordable. I could not now tell you what states I traveled through in order to get to New York.
It was wintertime. It was a journey of a thousand memories. Much too many to share here.
The funny thing about New York, from what I understand, is that there are five buroughs, and they all have streets with numbers for names. My driving around Brooklyn, trying to find an apartment in Manhattan, proved fruitless.
In the middle of some cold New York night, I parked near a taxi company and gave them the address. Somebody drove me to my final destination and I left my car on a street I did not know.
Upon Meeting My New Friend
She answered the door and pointed to a mattress in a spare room. She retired upstairs, in what really was an awesome place.
The next morning, it was apparent that we both felt our arrangement was as huge mistake. New York in ’98 was not meant for me, and we just did not click.
I was happy to oblige her request for me to leave, but I had no idea where I had parked my car.
To her credit and to the credit of the Universe, this girl sat next to me on the subway as we traveled to the cab company to look for my car. I drove her back to her apartment, she gave me some time to get a plan together, and I took off.
On the way out of the lobby, I realized I had only one dollar. I insisted that someone take it, believing I needed the karma more.
You need toll money to ride out of New York. We might talk about this later, but I stopped by a coffee shop and convinced the barista to spot me some cash.
No Sleep Till Cherry Hill
I can still feel the hunger pains. The chill of sleeping in the car with no gas to run the heater creeps into my memory, during Tennessee winters, to this day.
As it happened, I had the number of another AOL contact that lived in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. I asked her if I could buy her lunch.
We met at a local diner, and I hoped she would not let me get the check. She did not. I do not know her name today, but she saved my life in a lot of ways.
Cherry Hill was good to me. My father eventually sent me some money through Western Union and I stayed in some motel before heading home.
For days I had looked for a masonic lodge, or a man with a masonic ring. My thinking was that they would help a brother master mason. It only occurred to me later to ask my dad, a brother master mason, for help.
Why No Sleep Till Brooklyn?
My life has turned out quite a bit better than most lives which include begging for toll money and tricking women into buying lunch. I have settled down and have found the love of my life.
I have a lot of experiences for which to be grateful.
One of these experiences for which to be grateful is meeting and befriending Rich Guzzi. He is as New York as they come. He is also as amazing as anyone I know.
My wife dragged me to one of Rich’s shows in 2006. He is a comedian that uses hypnosis. I was in awe, but did not get to know him until years later.
Tonight, I get to attend another one of his shows. My wife and I are traveling to Nashville and we will enjoy what she has wanted to see for over ten years (the comedy club in Knoxville closed).
I do not talk a lot about my fringe crazy stories. There is no shame in my proverbial game. We all have “stuff”. My stuff just happens to be exciting and fun.
But tonight, I get to see Rich Guzzi.
Letting It Be
Ram Dass spent real money on LSD to blow his mind enough to experience God. God blew my mind for me so that I might experience God.
What I know is that “here and now” is the real deal. Love is the way. Kindness changes worlds and is often done with a smile.
I am happy now. Even though I got no sleep till Brooklyn.
Also, if you have time, check out Rich Guzzi on his website. You will be glad you did.