30 May 2013, 10:53am

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Two Portraits of Arizona

Does Maynard James Keenan like The

Books? This is a question I ask myself

lately. Does he even know who they are?

Has he heard of them? I would have heard

of The Books. But famous people are

different. Their time is full. So many side

projects. Besides fronting for the rock band

Tool, Maynard James Keenan also owns a

vineyard in Arizona. I heard about this on

the Discovery channel. This summer I am

thinking about making a visit to try some of

Maynard’s wine. I might even ask him about

The Books. I think of the bass line in

“Smells Like Content;” the singer’s voice

reminds me so much of Maynard.

Tell me I remember Flagstaff. I was there

and I saw people. Walking around and

buying things. Dressing up. Some of them

were like you. I saw a lady in a wool coat,

and scarf. She was bending over. I thought,

now this is a town that you might like. You

were always picking up things. The food

there—honestly I can’t say. I didn’t have

any. It was mid-January, the town reminded

me of dry-ice. I bought some gas.

Ultimately, what did Flagstaff have to offer?

Anonymity. A weather sample. Culture.

Pine trees, snow and fog. It was like the rest

of the world, I guess. Except that everything

there was lifted.

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