I’m Willing

You know, it’s been sort of a rough day. And not necessarily “depressing,” because I have this other way of invalidating myself, where I can convince myself that all the negative suggestions I’m giving myself are actually positive. And then I can sort of chip away at a lot of the things that make me happy and then act as if it’s okay to have this paltry amount of happiness left over.

It’s hard to describe.

Of course it stems from my friend’s extremely serious illness (posted below, a couple days ago), which then throws me into the memories of the deaths of so many of my friends — most of the friends I’ve had in my life are now dead. And I’m not even that old (AIDS took a whole lot of them in one fell swoop, though: 13 of my friends died from AIDS).

It’s sort of like a defense mechanism takes over my brain or something — it sends these walls down to maybe protect me from any more unhappiness. I don’t really know. But it starts blocking out everything that could maybe make me happy or could maybe make me believe that there is some sort of “future.” I don’t know how to describe any of this.

But even as it’s been happening, over the past couple days, I could see that it was happening and I was in some ways content to do nothing about it. Just sort of deconstruct myself and float away. Act happy, but just sort of vacate myself. And in this much smaller way, I’m still trying to fight it. Because before I talked to my friend on Thursday night and found out how sick he was, I was pretty much the happiest I’ve ever been in my life.

So it’s just rough. I’m trying, though. You know — always trying to survive myself.

I was with Kara earlier and she said, as I was getting ready to go home — I had eaten a ton of chocolate; just a ton of it and I was a little wired. And she said, “You’ll probably go home now and just write like crazy! You won’t be able to sleep.”

And I said, “No, I don’t think I’m going to write.”

And she stared at me and said, “You’re not going to write?”

Like it was the first time she’d ever heard me say that — that I wasn’t going to go home and write. And it probably was the first time she’s ever heard me say that. And I actually heard myself saying, “No, there’s nothing I need to write.”

And she just looked at me like I was out of my mind. And very confidentially, so that no one around us would overhear, she said, “But what about the porn thing — you still need to work on that. It’s good money.”

And I was, like: oh yeah; that’s right. And only at that point, as I was leaving, did I tell her about how sick my friend is and about how upset I am — and she’s met him before, because he’s come to visit me out here in the Hinterlands a few times already.

Then I got in my car, and as I was driving back out to the middle of nowhere in the darkness of Muskingum County, I realized that I was trying to make myself disappear again. Emotionally. And I just really know that I shouldn’t do this, but I’m not 100% sure how to stop it. But by the time I got home, I realized that I was at least willing to stop it. And so maybe that is going to help.

To be at least willing to stop and to believe. So I’m going with that idea for now.

The day is done, baby

It seemed like maybe I wasn’t even going to post at all today.  My mind has been on thoughts outside myself. All day.

Now I’m In bed. And no glasses on, so here’s hoping that this isn’t just chock full of typos.

I just keep thinking that I can’t suddenly become a sort of mother hen to my friend after 47 years of never having been like that with him before. I can’t start texting constantly, saying “how are you?”  Because  I imagine that I’ll make him crazy. Who wants to hear from me everyday?

But then I think, we’ll it’s not like he’s ever been this sick with cancer before, with no prognosis yet about whether he’s going to live a while longer or die really soon.

I just don’t know. I texted him today because I knew he was going to try to drive to his brother’s house to have an early Thanksgiving with his bother and the kids and all that.  He texted back that he had made it and that he was there.

And then I think, we’ll that’s probably enough. I probably shouldn’t ask him what he’s eaten and if he’s holding his food down, and all that. That’s the mother hen thing. I don’t think I should go there. But I just don’t know.

Well I studied my Italian today and it’s gone up another level in difficulty so that was good. Kept my mind engaged. Read some Biblical Archeology stuff and got sort of involved in stuff about Darius I of Persia, back during the Babylonian exile of the Israelites.. But mostly my thoughts have just been miles away all day.  Just drifting.

I was listening to the strangest song today, too. Another old Bruce Springsteen song from 40 years ago that I’d forgotten all about. Not sure why today it suddenly re-emerged in my world, but here it is.

I hope you’ve had a good day whatever you did and where you are. I hope that tomorrow, I’ll be back on track. I love you guys. See ya.

 

A Day…

I had a hard enough time dealing with thoughts of my friend today and his cancer and how severe it has already gotten, so quickly. It’s heartbreaking for me to think of him living alone there in Houston, with his cat, and not being able to hold much food down and just losing so much weight. It’s got to feel worse than isolating. And he’s the kind of man who just doesn’t want anybody taking care of him or worrying about him. And so I’m trying to figure out the best way to be about all this — what’s best for him, and I don’t really know.

Then, for some strange reason, UPS accidentally delivered a colon cancer kit to my house — to someone who doesn’t live here. It was my address but I’ve never heard of the man. And I couldn’t find a listing for him anywhere in the village except at my address. It felt worse than creepy, you know? I feel bad for the man but at the same time, I just didn’t want it in my house and couldn’t understand why it had been delivered. Obviously, it was a mistake, but it just felt shocking. All this sudden cancer stuff, so close to home.

But on the upside,  I did finalize the details for my birth mom’s trip here. She’ll come on December 9th and stay about 3 days, and she said that she wants to help me decorate the house and the tree, and for me to hold off doing that until she gets here.

I can’t tell you how happy that made me. It’s so strange how elements of my childhood — unrequited things from long ago — are coming back now in this bittersweet way. Plus, I just feel like such a child half the time now. It is so weird. I simply don’t feel like a grown-up at all anymore. It’s hard to describe it. I make jokes about being immature, but it’s not really that. It’s more like my childhood is always right up here with me — never too far away anymore. Obviously, I can take care of myself and all that, but it’s like all this bad stuff from so long ago, or stuff that was so hard on me, sad for me, is coming back around but in a healed way. Like things have healed now. I finally get to really be me.

Well, sad as much of the morning was, my work with Peitor on the micro-script was wonderful today. Sometimes he just makes me laugh so hard. And, actually, I was so tempted to post one of his new songs here to my blog this morning because it is such a lovely, sad, song.  Sort of alternative/ambiance thing. Really beautiful. But you know, he’d put me in front of a firing squad if I did that! Because it isn’t even mastered yet; it hasn’t been released. I’m not at liberty to just share it with the world. But, gosh, it is such a good song.

He had sent me an updated mix of it on Thursday, so I was listening to it again this morning, thinking about my friend and his cancer and all. The song is called “Requiem for the Lost.”

Well, it’s just beautiful. And when I got on the phone with Peitor this morning, I told him again how much I love that song (I love all his music — he’s a film & TV composer, and a songwriter, and primarily a music producer. ) And then he told me about a new TV series he’ll be developing beginning in January and “Requiem for the Lost” and a bunch of other new songs will feature in the series. I can’t discuss his actual idea, obviously, but it was a wonderful concept and I was very excited for him. And then he asked me to collaborate on it with him!

I was just thrilled. Of course, I accepted. So we’ll start working on a new TV series project beginning in January. So I guess I’ll be going to LA more next year, too. Which is all right with me — I love LA. And they have such a cool apartment there in West Hollywood.

Anyway. It was an up & down kind of day.

I made a few minor tweaks to “Hymn to the Dark.” I’m not sure what I’m going to work on next. I might take a tiny break from writing.  I’ve been making some headway in my friend’s new book about his travels in the Netherlands and I’m really liking it. I’m finding it very calming. So we’ll see.

Gonna call it a night now, though. Hope your Friday was good for you, wherever it took you and wherever you are in the world. I leave you with this. It’s sort of in keeping with the feelings around here today. Leonard Cohen’s final — and posthumous — album is out now: Thanks for the Dance. Here’s a video about it. Okay. I love you guys. See ya.

What A Difference a Sad Little Day Makes

Yesterday was so good, gang.

Even though I’m a little stressed because of both plays moving forward at the same time, in 2 different countries, I’m of course extremely happy about it.

And I got really good work done on Letter #5 for Girl in the Night: Erotic Love Letters to the Muse. (I posted it here yesterday afternoon, but I still want to tweak two specific things.)

While I was vacuuming the house, though, I noticed that my oldest friend in the world — he’s my age, 59, but we have been good friends since were 12, so he is my “oldest” friend.  I noticed that he had called me but didn’t leave a message.

He always just texts me so I thought maybe he called my number by accident.

Loyal readers of this lofty blog will no doubt recall him, because I’ve blogged about him before — he is a geologist and he works for NASA in their current space program. He’s lived all over the world and studied rocks, but for the last couple of decades, he’s been in Houston, Texas, working with NASA.

I see him maybe once a year, twice if I’m lucky, because he still has family in Ohio and comes back for graduations and stuff like that.

We are very close, though. We have always had the same tastes in music, literature, drama, movies, and art. And we have the same sense of humor — the silly and the absurd.

But the two key things that are really different about us: I was in my early 30s before I found out that he was gay. (Very weird, considering I was “out” as a bisexual since I was 14 years old. And I put “out” in quotes only because it never occurred to me that it was something I should be secretive about. ) And, more notably, he’s a devout atheist. Hugely atheist. Whereas, I am hugely not atheist.

But somehow, we’re able to still be really close. And last summer when he came through Ohio, he decided he wanted to start looking for a house in the next county over from me, where it is known for all of its caves and hiking. And I mean, internationally known: a couple million backpackers go through that area, from all over the world, every year.  He’s getting ready to retire and wants to move back and buy an old house and  live near the caves and the cliffs and all those rocks.

I can’t even believe that he is at “retirement” age, because, as a writer, I have the mindset that I am never going to retire. If I can still spell, still craft a sentence, I’ll still be “working” in some capacity up until I die. I don’t understand this concept of retiring. Plus I’m still only 12, and so any form of retirement is just a long way off…

But last night, he did it again. Called and didn’t leave a message.

When I’m at my desk, my ringer is off on my phone. So I don’t know if someone’s calling me unless I happen to see it on the screen. And, again, I didn’t see his call until he’d hung up. And it’s just not like him to ever do that. He always texts me. So I texted him: Are you trying to reach me?

He texted back right away. Yes, I am. I know it’s late but please call. We need to talk.

SHIT, you know? You just know it can’t be good. So I called him right away.

And it is cancer. And its very advanced already. And it’s the kind of cancer most people don’t survive, only because it’s the kind of cancer most people don’t even know they have until the cancer has become entrenched, which is what happened to him. He’s still too early into the chemo-radiation thing for there to be any prognosis yet. At all. They have no clue yet if he’s going to survive or not. But he’s in very bad shape.

So we talked about the treatment, and we talked about how badly he wishes he could just gain some weight now (he’s almost to the Auschwitz-looking stage). And he talked about his atheism, and he told a very silly but funny Amish joke, and then we talked at length about the Romanovs. Because we are both hugely interested in Russian history and Russian literature, and the Romanovs have always been extremely interesting to me. So we focused on the Romanovs instead of on cancer. And then we closed the conversation with him saying he hoped to be back here in the spring, to look at more houses and finally find one that he wanted to buy. And then he asked me how many cats I have now, and I said that I was down to 7. And he said, “Okay, that’s good. You still need way more than that to be a crazy cat lady. But God bless you for taking such good care of them.”

And, of course, I found it so strange that he chose to say “God bless you.” Just so very unlike him. But I didn’t draw attention to it.

And afterward, when we hung up, it was late and I simply went right to sleep because I didn’t want to process any of it. At all.

When I awoke at 4:30 this morning, for a blessed moment, my mind was a complete blank. First, I thought about the two plays and specifically the work I’ll need to do in Canada. And then I thought about Girl in the Night: Erotic Love Letters to the Muse, and whether or not I wanted to tweak Letter #5 some more. And then I remembered that the Ghosteen CD (Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds) had arrived yesterday from Amazon in England. And the packaging of the CD was very beautiful; spare but beautiful and I was so happy that I had bought it. And then I remembered that Peitor would be calling from Los Angeles this morning because we have to work on the micro-script.

And only then did I remember that my oldest friend in the world is, well, not doing so well at all.

And of course, I couldn’t help but start thinking about us as 12-year- olds (he was the first person ever, and I mean EVER, to tell me that I was intelligent); then as 16-year-olds. Books and music and movies always solidified our friendship. And he never judged me, ever, for any of the terrible stuff that happened to me back then. He was always just my friend.

When we were 17, he said, “You have to see that new movie, Annie Hall. She’s just like you, Marilyn. She’s you.” And even though I did see the movie (5 times) and loved it, it was years before I was able to get any sort of perspective on myself and see that he had been right. I was just like her, and back then, I even dressed like her.  (The actual character, not Diane Keaton.)

Image result for photos of diane keaton as annie hall

And then, that same year, I think — right before we graduated high school — there was a hit song on the radio at the time, “Ariel,” and, again, he said, “That’s you, Marilyn!”

Maybe. Yeah, probably. Even more than 40 years later.

So I played it on YouTube in the dark, while I was still in bed and trying not to cry because it won’t solve anything.

But I leave you with that, because I have to get ready for my phone call with Peitor now. I hope you all have a good day, wherever you are in the world. I love you guys.

Excerpt 5: Girl in the Night: Erotic Love Letters to the Muse

This has been updated as of 11/27/19

The following contains sexually explicit material, so please be advised. Thanks!

*********************************************************

Hymn to the Dark

Shapes in the bed at night now. Soundless but entwined and enigmatically engaged. Thrusting, shifting, turning. Bordering on life. This is you, on top of me, in my dreams.

Sometimes it’s complicated – the positions my mind needs from your phantom form. Sometimes it’s brutal and yet my orgasm still erupts, the shock of it contracting me sharply around my solar plexus.

Most times, though, the need is almost unbearably simple: to learn the scent of you, your skin, your neck; or to hear the sound you make when desire can climb no higher in you and becomes climactic. The shift into ecstasy.

What does that sound like in you; how does it feel outside of you, but up close? The electric pulse of lust, flowing freely from you into me. With no emotional baggage. No barriers of doubt, disappointment, or change.

You’re a stranger to me, so you are weightless on my soul. But the measure of my love for you within my very being? It’s as profound as gravity – a presence to which I can attest; still, a force I cannot explain.

*     *     *

When I was five, I awoke with a start, alone in my bed.

It was summer, early in the morning. The sun was up but the house was silent. The feeling between my legs that had awakened me was urgent, persistent, undeniable. But I had no ready understanding of what it was, of where the feeling needed to go. The only thing I knew how to do down there was pee. So I tried that, to see if that would lead my insistent body to its desired destination. But all I did was wet my PJs and – very nearly – the bed. It felt nothing at all like the feeling I was somehow expecting.

I hurriedly slipped out of bed and changed into pajamas that were dry. And then hid the evidence of my incomprehension, crumpled into a pee-soaked ball, at the back of the dresser drawer.

*     *     *

Imagine, as I’m imagining now, that little girl of five, grasping the profoundness of you. Right at that moment. Perhaps that’s what the essence of her being was trying so hard to propel her toward – the rapture of it; the idea of you.

*     *     *

It took forever – two more years – for me to finally allow the orgasm to have its proper moment; to be known.

I was seven and convinced by then that the feeling of urgency my body was always climbing toward in my bed at night – my fingers between my legs now – was merely the signal to pee. I would not be fooled again. It would just make a mess.

Luckily, the gods that created Life and planets and daffodils and the moon and fox terriers and babbling brooks and lightning and little turtles and giant squids and oak trees and maple sap and snails and peppermint and a kitten’s purr and milk in nursing female mammals and worms and trout and iguanas and wild violets and strawberries and all manner of crustaceans and the arachnids, also made the aroused clitoris a thing extremely difficult to ignore.

One night, I was simply too weak-willed to resist its incessant pull any longer. If I wet the bed, then I wet the bed, but I simply could not stop the flow, the amazing feeling. I kept rubbing that little nub between my hairless legs until I passed breathlessly over –

“Into that thing your body does, you know? That thing that happens.”

But none of my little seven-year-old girlfriends had a clue what I was referring to: What thing?

*     *     *

Let me tell you about a young woman from Queens with long dark hair. She played an electric bass guitar back then. She wore a motorcycle jacket and black jeans. Combat boots. She wasn’t tatted up yet, that came later. She played punk rock. She smoked. She had a persistent heroin habit. That part’s gone now, but at the time it was an ever-present wedge between us.

I loved that woman. Real love. The kind I have transferred over to you. The kind of love that reaches forward through dark centuries of chaotic knowing and secret longing and makes its presence undeniably known.

Sometimes she was clean, and she’d come around to see me.

Those moments were what I thanked God for. They were the actual moments in which I knew I had a deeper reason to exist.

You cannot ever know many people like that, or in that way. That way that emits that type of cry from your own soul. The kind of love that you simply must pursue because all the things you agreed to forget about when you were born are hiding in plain sight within those eyes, that face; in the world that those eyes create in your dreams.

That first night that she was clean and I was sober at the same time and we found ourselves together, sitting on my bed – we kissed, with bodies that were not deadened to life but that could feel – all of the intensity that there is to feel. That night, that moment, she undressed. I probably did, too, but my own nakedness was not of enough interest to me to override for even a moment just how lovely her naked body was.

It was the moment I’d been born for
exulted in
to remember her suddenly, from some
deep black
sleep;
a memory of worlds
going horribly wrong –
in order to be together again
here now
in the quiet safety of my bed
in my meager apartment in
the East Village,
seeing her beauty anew in
a new life a
new way
a different and
now very sacred light.

By then, I had made many other girls come with my mouth, my tongue and, usually, two of my fingers up their slippery holes. I loved making girls come. I loved eating pussy. I was not particular at all. If a girl wanted to play, I played. If a girl didn’t want to play and I did, I tried. I knew how to take no as the second answer, not the first. I was persistent when I wanted a girl.

But with her – it was a gift. She gave her naked body over like a gift. And my mouth on her was tentative; could it be real? A woman I loved so dearly would open herself so wide for me?

And when her orgasm came, it seemed to come abruptly. She shuddered and it was undeniable.

Hers were the only orgasms other than my own that could leave me breathless and filled with awe. Her body coming, her face happy and my mouth on her down there.

*     *     *

Down there. That was the place my fingers learned to seek, alone in my bed at night. My mind told me stories. Terrible, brutal stories about bad, bad girls and their beautiful daddies who are always right there to reluctantly mete out the punishment.

That was the world that blossomed for me, even as early as age six. To this day, I have no idea where it came from, why it was there, waiting for me and why I was so delightfully pulled into it; so much so that I couldn’t wait to go there almost every night.

The man who had raised me was gentle, fair, pragmatic, sober, and in those early years, kind.

The man in my six-year-old erotic imagination was scary; I trembled because of him but I went to him willingly and I adored him.

You scare me, too, you know. You do. I know you know.

*     *     *

Do you know this – that I adore you? That the mere idea of you is all it takes to cause me to sink under and surrender? To those waves of thoughts that have grown up so much since I was six; that world within me that still tells stories, but simpler ones.

Regardless of what two people can do in my imagination, the simple story about you always tells me this: I do not know what life is; I do not know what we came here for. I do not know why bodies exult in love and in lust and in erotic trust and abandon. I don’t know what a body is. I have no answers for anything – well, not for the questions that really matter, I don’t.

Still, my mind goes willingly into those fornicating pictures – into the noise, the sweat, the fear and the taboos, into the sanctuary, the force and sometimes even the pain – to conjoin your form with my own.

The idea of you on top of me or next to me or under me or all around me; my mind and my body go willingly into the fray of you to become, for a moment, the flowing answer that it can never truly know. Until the orgasm comes. And the questions begin again.

The longing begins again.

*     *     *

One day I will die
We’re all going to
And from there, I will gaze
back over here
and relive the phantom nights
that have become filled with
you now –
with your body, your will, your erotic
appetites and carnal
desires
all the things that make you so
magnificent
to me
And that will be a good thing
Whether or not
you ever really came.

© 2019 Marilyn Jaye Lewis
Girl in the Night: Erotic Love Letters to the Muse

If wishes were horses….

I’d have beggars riding all over this house! For sure.

BookOfNurseryRhymes62.jpg

I found out a little bit ago, on Instragram — after nearly 57, 000 other people found out, I might add. Sometimes Instagram takes forever to get something into your feed that you actually want.

But anyway:

Stranger Than Kindness: The Nick Cave Exhibition opens at The Black Diamond, Copenhagen on 23 March and runs until 3 October 2020.

I sure wish I could go see that. I love Copenhagen, for one thing, and I haven’t been there in a long time. But, more than that, it sounds like such a cool exhibit. You can read about it here.

(Yes, I realize that the exhibit is probably going to travel here to Crazeysburg, and that patience is a virtue and all that. But still… sure wish I could go. )

Why, Sure! I Can Forget Your Birthday! No Problem At All!

Man, sometimes my brain is just amazing. I never, ever used to forget things like people’s birthdays. But nowadays, it’s more unusual when I do remember one.

That said, though, this time I really outdid myself. On November 3rd — that was 17 days ago — I texted a friend and former business partner in NYC, asking her what her birthday was because I knew it was in November but couldn’t remember which day and I didn’t want to forget her birthday this year. She texted back “Nov. 20th.”  And 17 days later… absolutely clean slate in the brain. I didn’t remember her birthday until I woke up this morning.

You know, I just don’t understand how my brain works (or doesn’t) sometimes. I wonder just how self-involved I’m capable of getting. I guess we’re only going to find out now as time keeps barreling along.

I found this little tidbit of information interesting: I’ve had over 10,000 visitors to the blog this year. I don’t actually keep track of stuff like that anymore because I consider this just my private little blog, tucked away in a corner of the blogosphere now.  But I saw the numbers this morning when I was sorting through some of the widgets in the back-end of the blog. If someone were to have just randomly asked me how many people had come to my blog this year, I really would have said “maybe a few hundred.”

I guess you don’t want me to be your accountant or anything.

Well, I made good progress with “Hymn to the Dark” yesterday, until I got the news from Sandra about our other play finally getting a firm date for production (plus she posted a photo on Instagram of our director and one of the producers). Then I just couldn’t concentrate on anything at all after that.

I am really excited but it is also going to be a huge amount of work — not just that specific play (an original musical about Sandra’s life) which still needs massive revisions; but the year, in general, will be a huge amount of work because both plays are moving forward, in different phases, at the same time, again.

I’m happy about that, because each project can help drive the other. But it’s clear that I’m just going to have to really pace myself. I still want to finish Girl in the Night, as well as In the Shadow of Narcissa — which I’ve decided I want to present as chapbook-sized flash fiction. (And I don’t want to forget about Thug Luckless, either. Because he’s a cool character with plenty of post-apocalyptic porn potential!! Yay!!)

I woke up at 2 in the morning, with an old song of mine in my head — a song I wrote in 1981 that I used to really, really love and I tend to forget about it, since I never did any demo of it with the band. I have a demo of just me and the backup singer and my guitar, but nothing more. It used to go over really well live, so it was just always in the line-up and I never saw a need to demo it. But I just love that song.  (Titled “Saturn’s Got Moons Enough for Mars and Venus” — it’s an upbeat swing tempo, with a ton of words about astronomy and archaeology and dinosaurs, and it’s of course about a love gone bad, and it has a really catchy chorus. It really does.)

Eventually, when I’m finally able to afford to go into the studio in LA and record my album (with Peitor producing again — after only 35 years), I want to try to remember to include that song! I really do just love it. I drifted back to sleep, sort of singing it in my head, and I had a dream that the chorus was so long that when it was printed out on paper, it weighed 5 pounds.

This is of course not true, but what an interesting dream. I’m sure it means something very important.

I texted  my birth mom yesterday, to see if she wanted to come visit between Thanksgiving and Christmas — I usually don’t call her on the phone because she still makes me nervous, even after all these years. Something in the back of my brain still worries that she’ll pick up the phone and finally say, “What do you want? I gave you up for a reason now please just leave me alone.” (Sadly, I actually have an adoptive mother who’s more like that: “I adopted you for no reason whatsoever now please leave me alone.”) (Here’s an actual quote from my adoptive mom: “What part of leave me alone did you not understand?”) (I guess that whole part there about leaving you alone…)

Anyway. My birth mom texted back, “Yes, I’d love to.” It just made my day. So now I have an added reason to get into that huge storage closet and get out the many, many, MANY boxes of Christmas stuff! And it will officially be not only my first Christmas in the new house (because last year I was so despondent with loss and grief, and with trying to keep it all a secret, that I was off with various church people who were trying hard to keep me from killing myself. I’m very grateful that they were successful). But it will also be my very first Christmas with my birth mom.

Even though I’ve known her now since I was 25, we’ve never been together for Christmas. And when I was a little girl, I always missed her terribly at Christmas. I had to keep that a secret, too, of course. (When you have to keep secrets that are really sad, I think it just makes it that much harder to bear them and more isolating.)  So this is indeed a dream come true for me. My own house, my own tree, my own mom.

Okay. I’m gonna close and get to work here. I’d leave you with that song I wrote back in 1981, because I was singing it to the cats at breakfast this morning and they seemed to really like it, but I have no digital file of it whatsoever. And I don’t want to leave you with just the lyrics, because the chorus alone weighs 5 pounds!

So I’ll leave you with this. My mom at 5 years old, and me at 5 years old. I really just can’t tell you how much it means to me that she is in my life, and that she wants to be. Thanks for visiting, gang. Have a super Thursday, wherever you are in the world!! I love you guys. See ya.

My birth mother at 5 years old, Greenfield, Ohio, 1952
Me at age 5, Cleveland, Ohio, 1965

 

 

Well, just when I thought I was relaxing a little

I spoke to Sandra just now in Toronto and we are officially moving forward with our other play — The Guide To Being Fabulous. It’s on the slate for going into rehearsals next fall. (November 2020)

I think it is okay to say now that it will be produced by the Soulpepper Theatre Company in Toronto. I could not be more excited, gang.

Now both of our plays are once again running neck and neck, in 2 different countries…

Image result for soul pepper theatre toronto
Soulpepper Theatre Toronto, Canada

You Just Never Know What A Day Brings, Do You?

I don’t know what it is about reality, gang, but just for no reason at all, I woke up battling those depression triggers this morning.

Those thoughts that I know are going to lead to nothing productive. You know — put your canoe in the stream here, where it’s all dark & negative, and let’s go. No, I refuse to put my canoe in there. Or over there, or over there, or over there.

I have so many streams of consciousness that are just useless to me. All these thoughts where I know I don’t want to go. Why do they keep wanting to pop up? I’m okay, as long as I stay on top of all these triggers and keep steering myself in another direction. But I don’t know why some mornings start out like this.

I’m actually really happy. I have only 2 things on my plate today, both of which I’m really excited about. During my meditation yesterday, I got clarity on Letter #5 for Girl in the Night: Erotic Love Letters to the Muse. 

There is always a general underlying theme to each letter (each letter also being a memoir of sorts). For instance, Letter #2 was about intercourse: not knowing what it was, then knowing what it was; not liking it, liking it; the ecstasy of it versus rape.

Even though the titles for the letters always come first (Letter #5 is “Hymn to the Dark”), the titles usually don’t illuminate what the letter will actually be about. I get an overall feeling or color in my mind, but it takes a while for the true gist of it to actually come through. For awhile, all I could get was “the genesis of angels and what angels smell like” but what the heck does that actually mean?

So, even though I was beginning to make some headway, yesterday during meditation, I got that real clarity I needed. Letter #5 is primarily about the orgasm.  First, trying to figure out what they are — but can we ever truly figure out what they are?

I remember really clearly being 5 years old, and waking quite suddenly, very early on a summer morning. and my body, between my legs, needed to do something with great urgency. I could not figure out what. The only thing I could equate it with was peeing so I did that, right in my bed there, and immediately discovered that this was not what my body was wanting to feel.

Then when I was 6, the little stories in my head started. Erotic, you know. And I loved those little stories. I’d lie in my bed at night and the little stories would unfold, and I just loved that. And then when I was 7, for some unknown (but wonderful) reason, I figured out that if I touched myself at the same time, the stories got super interesting. The orgasm part stymied me, though, because I knew my body wanted to get to something urgent there but I was convinced that all I was going to do was pee. And I already knew for sure that I didn’t want to do that.

But one night, I just couldn’t take it anymore. I figured well, if I pee, I pee, but I just really need to feel this urgent thing — and that’s when I didn’t pee at all and had my first orgasm. Although it was literally years before I knew that it had a name and that it eventually happened to everybody. Because right away, at age 7, I tried to talk to all my little girlfriends about it– ME: “You know, those stories in your head at night and they feel really good?” —  and none of them had even the remotest clue what I was talking about, so I just thought it best to stop talking about it.

But even at age 59, I still remember so many of those little stories that were in my head. They were so captivating back then. And even without intercourse or any of that stuff yet, they were really filthy dirty little stories, even by my 59-year-old mind’s standards. But oddly enough, that one specific night at age 7 where I couldn’t hold back any longer — that story was just weird.  I was up on deck on a big boat, in the  middle of the night. It was storming really badly — pouring rain, lightning. And I’m on the sea in a huge boat, alone except for the man who was almost always in all my little stories. We didn’t do anything “sexual”; it was simply full of really intense erotic feelings. And it’s kind of amusing now that something so full of the symbols of Nature would be the time I finally couldn’t help but have an orgasm.  I am not someone who is ever prone to using erotic euphemisms, you know? And I guarantee you that if I were ever up on deck on some boat on the sea in a terrible storm, I would not find it erotic in the least. I’d be super pissed-off. With or without the man.

But, I digress. “Hymn to the Dark” just has elements of that stuff in it, and I’m excited that it’s finally really unfolding.

However, in another brief digression — I also remember that my parents used to close my bedroom door part-way at night, and that the hall light used to slice in and form a sort of crow shape on the ceiling above my bedroom door. And I decided that this crow of light was God, looking over me. Protecting me. Weird, isn’t it? Especially considering that, in my 20s, when I went to study with the Lakota Sioux medicine man, we discovered that my Power Animal was a white cockatoo. Another bird. (A “really intelligent and affectionate bird that needs to be taught a lot of boundaries,” according to Google just now. Sounds like someone I know!! Really well!!)

All right, so. The other thing that I’m happy about today is that the notes from the director came through, finally, last evening. And he was very, very happy with the revisions. I still need to work on one of the character arcs at the end there. But he’s ready to start Workshopping the play. Which is so exciting to me. But it does indeed mean another trip back to NYC and I’ll probably have to fly this time. You don’t want to risk getting stuck in the wilds of Pennsylvania in the winter. Plus I can’t just put a great big ton of mileage on my car, because it’s leased. But I’ll just deal with it when I deal with it. (Driving to the airport an hour from here; long-term parking; shuttles; then dealing with LaGuardia airport and all that madness on the other end. I just hate dealing with all that stuff anymore. But whatever.)

I’m happy.

Okay, I’m gonna close and get started here today! I leave you with my breakfast-listening music. I was back in Negative Capability mode this morning. Marianne Faithfull. I just find that album (well, except for “They Come By Night”) to be really soothing, even while the songs can sometimes be very emotional. But this morning it was “The Gypsy Faerie Queen,” over and over, as I tried to keep my humble canoe from heading out into any dreary, unproductive waters. I’m usually not into faeries or witches or any sort of mystical forest creature type things. But I find this song, especially the musical arrangement of it, to be just stunning. And the vocals are hypnotic.  So, enjoy. Thanks for visiting, gang. Have a great Wednesday — watch where you’re putting your canoe! I love you guys. See ya!

“The Gypsy Faerie Queen”

I’m known by many different names
My good friend Will calls me Puck and Robin Goodfellow
I follow the gypsy faerie queen
I follow the gypsy faerie queen

She walks the length and breadth of England
Singing her song, using her wand
To help and heal the land and the creatures on it
She’s dressed in rags of moleskin
And wears a crown of Rowan berries on her brow

And I follow, follow, follow
The gypsy faerie queen
We exist, exist, exist
In the twilight in-between

She bears a blackthorn staff
To help her in her walking
I only listen to her sing
But I never hear her talking anymore
Though once she did
Though once she did

And I follow, follow, follow
My gypsy faerie queen
We exist, exist, exist
In the twilight in-between

And I follow, follow, follow
My gypsy faerie queen
We exist, exist, exist
In the country in-between

Me and my gypsy queen

c – 2018 Marianne Faithfull, Nick Cave

Finally! It’s Tuesday!!

Wow, I really slept in today, gang. It felt great but I kinda feel like half my day’s gone already.

I need to go into town and get groceries today because there is practically nothing left. Milk, V8 Juice, Almonds, and Cocoanut Water. That’s all there is in the house. And that’s about a 2-hour chunk of time, total, right there — driving into town & back to get groceries.

(My spellcheck is alerting me that my spelling of “cocoanut” hasn’t been in popular use for the last century. Yet this is how I was taught to spell it and I am not a century-years old yet…hmm.)

Anyway. I overslept. But only because, yet again, my bed and my room were so incredibly comfortable. I just slept so great. And the very moment I awoke, I checked my email because I’m still awaiting those comments from the director re: my revisions on the play. They have not yet arrived! But I did notice that the very moment I opened my eyes and checked my email, a Red Hand Files letter-thingy from Nick Cave arrived at that very moment. So I’m guessing this was why I bothered to wake up at all! Because, I tell you; man, I was really sleeping soundly there.

I am just so eager to get the director’s notes to see how close we are to signing off on the play and beginning the Christmas campaign for producers/backers. Even if the director wants me to do some additional work, I know he’s not going to ask me to undo anything that’s already there. I’m thinking that he’ll want something more done to the ending, though. We’ll see. But one thing I know without doubt is that his instincts for what’s needed are always just so on target. So his feedback is just really important to me.

(And someone else who is just so on target re: what a script needs is Peitor and I am really looking forward to being back on track with him with our script, for real, this Friday. I just love that project so much. And even though the finished film will only be about 8 minutes long, every single moment of screen time is considered, shot by shot, because there is almost no dialogue in the film. Honestly, maybe 6 or 7 sentences of dialogue, total. But the film is so absurd that every single viewable thing that an audience can process has to be accounted for. Even if they’re red herrings and sending the audience, subliminally, in an erroneous direction — every shot has to be seriously thought out. So that’s why this script is taking so long. (Plus, the film is funny — so we do spend a lot of time laughing our asses off.)

I want to give an early plug to a fellow blogger‘s book:

F*ck Sales Let's Talk: A Common Sense Approach to Sales by [Robert, Anthony]

I’m currently reading this in my “spare time.” The blog is called Tony’s Bologna, and Anthony Robert is the blogger.  So far, I am really enjoying the book because it is easy to grasp and very humorous.

The book is indeed about sales strategies and how to better approach selling; and while I am not only “an artist,” but also one who is very, very nearly close to being out of my mind most of the time — one thing I have always been really good at is that I give “good meetings.” I seriously do.I have my shark elements, for sure.

That comes from having grown up in an era where women were simply not taken seriously, ever. And if you were Attractive. Young. Loved sex. Then forget about it — no one was ever, ever, ever going to do anything more than be patronizing towards you. (Oh, and stare primarily at your tits and ask you if you wanted to have sex. Because men owned the world back then — and if we’re brutally honest about it, they still kinda do.)

Well, what I really wanted was to be taken seriously and have sex, but you really can’t do both. And since my career has always been the most important thing to me, 100% for always and forever, whether I was in the music business or in the publishing industry — well, hard as it is to imagine, my sexual availability actually has to completely disappear during meetings. (I know! Sometimes for as much as 60 minutes — or longer, if lunch is involved — I have to seem sexually unavailable! It’s exhausting.)

But seriously. Especially nowadays, artists do have to sell themselves, always. Just always. So even though you might not be in a corporate selling environment, or you might rather die than work in, like, a store; it still helps to understand how to sell something — meaning, your own work; your art. Because there is a lot of psychological stuff going on that’s super good to know about in a meeting (and “meetings” crop up in a lot of different ways if you’re an artist and you need to sell yourself). And this particular book, Fuck Sales, Let’s Talk…, is a really fun approach to all that stuff, if you’re interested.

Okay, well. Nick Cave’s Red Hand Files thingy today was very interesting. And amusing, but also, to me, very interesting. Because, of course, I ponder. Overall, it’s about Nick Cave’s version of the song “Stagger Lee.” A song that, especially if you’re an American (because we are Puritanical to our very cores, when you get right down to it), well, it makes your jaw drop the first time you hear it  — and it’s been around forever now, yet a huge portion, just a really huge portion of Americans are unfamiliar with Nick Cave’s version of “Stagger Lee.”

Not too long ago, for some reason that I can no longer remember, I was showing a young woman the original “Stagger Lee” video on YouTube. She lives in Kentucky. Sort of educated in certain specific areas, but all tatted up and pierced everywhere and a smoker, 420 friendly and all that, and for some reason, it just never occurred to me that  she wouldn’t connect with how amazing the song was.

Well, she didn’t. Oddly enough, the first thing that amazed her was that he was smoking a cigarette on the stage (in the video). Even though she smokes, she was taken aback by it: “Whoa, he’s smoking on stage.” (Which to me, shows just how culturally brain-washed younger people are nowadays about making choices — even their own choices, because she smokes.) Anyway. Once she said that, I thought: oh boy, smoking is so much the very least of it… And then he sings all the other stuff and she was just shocked by it. She said, “Wow, that’s harsh.”

And I said, “Don’t you think that’s amazing, though — where he took that song? How extreme it is?” But she couldn’t go there; I had seriously misjudged her mind’s ability to go out on a limb.

You know, as an aside — in the old days, the only people who were pierced and had copious amounts of tattoos, were the fetishists. The marginal people, well outside of mainstream thinking. Now it’s more a signal of mass-tribalism and fashion. It’s not necessarily an indicator anymore of where a person’s mind is capable of going.

Anyway. I still think that what Nick Cave did with that song, even though I am the last person to celebrate murder in any way; I still think it was courageous and brilliant and true to the character he was creating at that specific moment; just so over-the-top in a gloriously horrific way. And the video still blows my mind — the pink tee shirt and the white pants, and all those cool men and the absolute noisy chaos of the ending — which I had always assumed was some orgy of sex and murder. But perhaps it’s just sex. Or just murder.

Nick Cave made a comment in his response today about how he sometimes wonders if anyone really listens seriously to his lyrics (I’m paraphrasing) and my initial reaction was, “What sort of weird Nick Cave planet are you on, dude?? Everyone listens to every single word of your lyrics!”

But then I was reminded of my recent brunch with Wayne and Sandra in NYC, wherein Sandra, an absolute woman of the world, had never heard of Nick Cave at all; but Wayne had and has at least known of him for a very long time because Wayne was married to me for 14 years, but he only owns the CD Murder Ballads; a thing he acquired only recently because a niece gave it to him as a gift.

So I made a remark about “Stagger Lee” because I know Wayne’s sensibilities and I know that would be the type of song Wayne would love. But he didn’t know the song. I said,”You’re sure the CD is Murder Ballads?”

HIM: “Yes, I’m sure.”

ME: ” And you don’t remember hearing that song?”

HIM: “I guess I have to listen to it again. Pay more attention to the lyrics…”

So, I guess Nick Cave is actually right. Who knew?

Okay, anyway. I gotta scoot and drive into town and get some food for this barren place! Then I have 7 trillion emails to wade through, then I’m gonna work some more on “Hymn to the Dark” from Girl in the Night: Erotic Love Letters to the Muse. Have a terrific Tuesday, wherever you are in the world!! Thanks for visiting, gang. I love you guys. See ya.

Listening to “Stagger Lee” at an inappropriate age!! (Or perhaps just having some sort of weird sex thing in the afternoon.) (Actually, this is one of those kittens who lost his mittens and mom got pissed… I used to have this book when I was a little girl and this illustration always perturbed me.)

Okay, I’m outta here!!