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At The Coffee Shop Last Night

I ran into my friend Barney at the coffee shop last night. I see him there at the poetry readings, but not much in between.

He was laid off from his job several months ago and we talked about that. He's told me he gets depressed about it sometimes. Then he told me his wife told him he should go down to the coffee shop and look for me. Apparently she thought chatting with me would do him some good. I'm not sure why.

It's possible she just wanted him out of her hair. But I'm going to go with the first explanation. Being prescribed for depression is pretty flattering.

We chatted for a while about a lot of things, mostly owning and reading books. He seems to have read a lot more philosophy than I have. I asked him what philosophers he had read, and he said "from what period?".

I wouldn't have answered the question that way. I would need to include every philosopher I've read to keep from sounding like an ignoramus, and narrowing it down to a period would be out of the question. I told him as much. I hoped it boosted his ego a little.

In the movies, when men have a long conversation they eventually reach deep discussion about their relationships with their fathers and how it shaped their lives. We did talk some about our father's record collections. I don't know if that counts or not. I told him about the 45 of the Beatles "All My Loving" that Pop brought home. I think I forgot to mention all his Tom Lehrer records, which is a damn shame. I could have walked away from the conversation with a lot more cool points than I did.

I hope I was helpful to him. I think the key to helping a depressed friend is to sound as little like a therapist as possible. I know I met that qualification. Before he left, I advised him to look through his record collection for "When I Paint My Masterpiece" by  The Band and give it a listen. That song always perks me up. I'm attaching a video of it. Maybe it will perk you up too if you need it.