I had to make an abrupt gear-shift when returning to the city from the beauty and relaxation of Maine when a guy half-heartedly tried to mug me for my keyboard on 4th and D.

Marcella and Rich were kind enough to transport the slightly unwieldy instrument in their car after we did a reading/performance together in Orono. I picked the keyboard and keyboard stand up from them on 4th St. around 9:30pm on Sunday night. Just as they drove away, a SRO-type junkie/and/or/crazy guy who had been hovering around started coming toward me with some kind of metal object and a very unpleasant look on his face.

I gently put the keyboard on the cement behind me, picked up the keyboard stand, held it above my head in a way that made it clear he could be putting himself in harm's way, and asked, "Are you okay?" He seem confused by this, stopped, and threw what turned out to be a square metal plate at me, which completely missed. He grudgingly and slowly went away as I calmly menaced him with the keyboard stand.

I realized later that this use of a musical instrument is in the tradition of the Japanese Shakuhachi flute, which doubles as a weapon if you're in a pinch.

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