Illustration of Derek Powazek by Adam Ellis

A Wedding Planning Moment

I’m meeting with the musician who’ll be playing at our wedding. He’s a jazz guy – just him and his guitar and his friend on stand up bass. They play on the corner on sunny weekends here in Cole Valley. Heather tracked them down on Craig’s List.

I’m trying to explain the kind of music I like. I list Billie Holiday first, but most of that is too depressing for a wedding. Then Etta James. He likes that.

“Oh, how could I forget?” I say. “My favorite music in the world is old Tom Waits.” He nods appreciatively. “Anything from the ’70s,” I say. “Like, ‘Better off Without a Wife’ and stuff around that era.”

There is an awkward pause, during which I wonder to myself why he’s looking at me funny.

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Hi, I’m Derek. I used to make websites. Now I grow flowers and know things. I’m mostly harmless. More.