Farewell To A Truly Splendid Year!

Probably the high point of my year was discovering that Chesterfield cigarettes were now available for purchasing at the gas station here in Crazeysburg!! (Even though I still don’t smoke!)

I’m kind of kidding, gang, and kind of not — because it sort of symbolized to me that eventually the thing you really want, or miss, or crave, or desire, or regret its absence and fervently wish to have it return — eventually, it all comes back around. There’s nothing to fear, or to seriously regret, you know? Everything changes. And that’s a blessing we can all share in.

You know, on Instagram, I’m noticing that a lot of people consider attending one of the Conversations with Nick Cave to be the highlight of their whole year. And I think I have to concur. Especially the one at Lincoln Center.

However, I think if I had to distill it down to my absolutely favorite moment of all of 2019 — even while I still wasn’t smoking! — it was after that show at Lincoln Center was over and I was back in that strange Airbnb in Midtown Manhattan, alone in my bed in the dark, all the city lights shining through the Venetian blinds regardless. And I was listening to the Boys Next Door on YouTube, singing “Shivers.” Nick Cave had sung it during the In Conversation that evening and he’d done such a stunning job of singing it, all these years later. And it was so cool to sort of let time evaporate for a little while and see Rowland Howard alive again, too, and everyone just so darn young. And it is such a beautiful, beautiful song.

That moment in my bed, listening to that song, was my absolute favorite moment of the whole year.

It was such a good year for me, gang. The best year of my whole life. Not that there were a lot of highs in it, because actually there weren’t. There was just a steady feeling that I was making it out of the darkness for good. And the only really low point of the year was Daddycakes dying in the spring, so unexpectedly.

Here is a photo of him with Huckleberry. It’s at the old house, at the top of the stairs.  Probably around 2014. It’s sort of a strange photo but I just love how Huckleberry is looking at him with so much love.

Okay. Have a really wonderful time saying adieu to 2019 and hola to 2020!! You know what I’m leaving you with!! Thanks for spending time in my room this year! I love you guys. See ya!


I’ve been contemplating suicide
But it really doesn’t suit my style
So I guess I’ll just act bored instead
And contain the blood I would have shed

She makes me feel so ill at ease
My heart is really on its knees
But I wear a poker face so well
That even mother couldn’t tell

And my baby’s so vain she is almost a mirror
And the sound of her name sends a permanent shiver down my spine

I keep her photo against my heart
Cause in my life she plays a starring part
All alcohol and cigarettes
There is no room for cheap regret

She makes me feel so ill at ease
My heart is really on its knees
But I wear a poker face so well
That even mother couldn’t tell

And my baby’s so vain she is almost a mirror
And the sound of her name sends a permanent shiver down my spine

c – 1979 Rowland S. Howard

Best of the Decade!

This came up in my Instagram feed today — from a decade of memorable fashion extravaganzas by Alexander McQueen.

Based on 99% of my published writing, no one on Earth has rushed to call me a feminist — oh, and I want to say how interesting I think it is that some young women today point out that there’s a difference between being a feminist and a femi-nazi; exhibiting how far we’ve come in being able to water down that idea of “Nazi.” However, what they actually mean is that they want to set themselves apart from both hard-line feminists and radical feminists, although they don’t seem to actually know those terms. And also meaning that they don’t hate men and would still like to get dates…

But I’m wondering, as usual — why not just live your life according to your principles, ideals, dreams, compassion, goals, heart, mind, etc., etc.? Oh, and vote. And think for yourself. Make your own decisions. Pay your own bills.

Get rid of the label entirely, the political correctness, the intolerance on all sides and just be brave about your own life & your own mind. That way, maybe you won’t have to worry that anyone will accidentally call you a Nazi at all — feminist or otherwise.

And I guess that’s why I just love women’s haute couture. Because I’m such a non-label-wearing female of the species. Here’s Alexander McQueen’s beekeeper’s hat & bee-based ensemble from 2013:

It just liberates women in every possible way! Plus, makes it so much more efficient for crossing the street.  And a double-plus: you know you’re going to look good when they carry you into the morgue after you’ve been run down by an untold number of vehicles in the intersection, none of which could you see while crossing the street.

I know, I know! I’m not supposed to take this seriously. It was about making you notice the name Alexander McQueen, and not about, you know, thinking that women actually wanted to wear this — even though it was part of his Ready-to-Wear line.

Anyway. It just cracks me up.

Okay! On a wonderful year-ending note! 12,000 visitors to Marilyn’s Room this year — yes! A blog that I don’t promote in any way whatsoever!! Yay!

And even while I did add a couple hundred WordPress followers this year, the actual visitors were primarily readers from beyond the realm of the WordPress social medium, which of course interests me. You know, what is a “follower” since most of my followers don’t actually read my blog and yet most of my readers don’t follow it?

Interesting, right? But regardless, thanks for visiting, gang. I really mean that. It’s been a (mostly) fun year!! All right. I love you guys. See ya!

A Toast to One More Christmas Miracle!

Honestly, gang. Yesterday was one of those days that, for the most part, did not go very well.

The leg issues continued to make it really difficult for me to do anything that required that I get out of bed. It was discouraging and frustrating and then the director of Tell My Bones, who is still here from NYC for the holidays, texted me midday to say that he and his husband and a small group of influentials from town (meaning the whole LGBTQ infrastructure — arts, symphony, theater, politics) were getting together for brunch at the Granville Inn. Would they see me there?

No way. My god. Not only could I barely walk but I had officially gone into the realm of having “sea hag” hair — I mean, my hair really looked that bad. So there was just no way that any kind of networking whatsoever was going to happen with me yesterday, and that was depressing.

You know, I really like to make a memorable impression on people, but not because I have the most hideous hair imaginable.

Plus, I’m not 100% sure yet how I feel about networking in the town. I don’t live in the town, but the town is only 20 miles from here. And I moved here to be isolated and anonymous and tucked away in the middle of nowhere so that I could have a ton of privacy and just write. Have peace and quiet. Because I actually am an amazing networker, but once I get going, my life gets stupefyingly busy. And these days, seriously, I just want to write.

Still, it was depressing — the whole situation with my legs. And I have some family garbage going on now, too (adoptive family), which wasn’t helping my mood at all.

But then, at around 9 pm, for no discernible reason whatsoever — because I hadn’t even been able to do yoga since Friday — my legs suddenly were completely fine. Back to normal. No pain. No hobbling around. No problems doing the stairs. Nothing. I was just back to normal. And I’m still fine here this morning.

Clearly, a post-Christmas miracle, gang!

However, now I think there’s something the matter with the sun. It is almost 7:30am here and the sun hasn’t come up. It’s not even close to coming up — except for the streetlights, the world is dark outside my windows. So maybe at 9pm last evening I died and went to some sort of Purgatory and I just haven’t figured it out yet…

Either way, dead or alive, I’m planning to have a really good day. Wash my hair. Manicure. Pedicure. Probably even shave my legs, although I wouldn’t want to get too exuberant. The dead of winter is still ahead of us (more snow coming later this week) so who the heck is going to actually see me in all my loveliness, unencumbered by an arctic coat, scarf, mittens, ear muffs — well, I just don’t know. But still it makes me happy to know that underneath all the deep-freeze stuff, I will look super presentable.

All righty.

I’m thinking that either New Year’s Day or the day after, I will spend the day taking down the tree and putting everything away. And I’m going to try to figure out a way to pack everything so that I don’t end up feeling overwhelmed again when unpacking it next Christmas. I want Christmas to be happy again.

I feel like I’ve been doing a really good job of letting go of the past — the old house, in particular. And since 98% of the Christmas stuff I have now comes from the old house, there are potential minefields all over the place for me. You know, there was so much about the old house that I loved — especially Buster, Bunny, and Fluffy, who all came with me from the East Coast. And my piano. And all of my roses — I had so many roses at the old house, including old garden roses, which I just adored. I had so many flowers there, in general. And an old maple tree, and several mulberry trees, plus an arbor and an old swing — all of it is gone now. And that whole period of my life wound up being an absolute nightmare. Just unbearable. So I just don’t have the luxury of “looking back” in any way. Just keep moving forward. Do whatever I can to disconnect myself from that whole era.

And I think I’ve been doing a really good job. I had a happy Christmas. A quiet one, but a happy one. I know it’s not going to stay quiet like this forever. In 2020, I’ll have to leave home a lot more, go out into the world again, meet more amazing people. But for now, I’m here in my sanctuary, loving every moment of it. Feeling just so blessed that I lived long enough to find this place.

The sun seems to be coming up. Apparently it is quite an overcast day out there. But we’ll see how it goes. I am once again out of milk! So, clearly, I have been drinking too much coffee around here this month. (You know, there was a time when I drank one cup of coffee a day and the rest of the time, I drank tea. And really good tea, too. The kind you had to order specially, in those beautiful tins. And I still have a number of teapots, but I don’t know — somewhere along the line, my life became all about coffee, and subsequently, all about the milk…)

Wow, well, the sun seems to be trying to come out. Here is what it looks like outside one of my bedroom windows right now. (In winter, you can more easily see just how close I live to the church, which is why, during the summer months, when all the windows are open, I can hear the church bells when they chime — a thing I have always loved. The church is just behind that white house with the black shutters.)

Okay, I’m gonna scoot! Have a terrific day, wherever you are in the world! Thanks for visiting, gang. I love you guys. See ya!

A wonderful rainy little morning!

It is just a cozy little morning here, gang. Rainy and not very cold. I am actually going to get out of bed today!

When I went downstairs to feed the cats, my legs were doing pretty good.  So I’m gonna just stay positive. Even though I’m not feeling that “overwhelmed by all the Christmas decorations” feeling yet — that always happens to me during the first week of a new year — I did in fact feel like I was done with the Christmas dishes.  So I have my winter coffee mug out and in full service!

Not sure why I always consider this the winter coffee cup — and I have the matching bowl and plate.  I guess because it’s red but not holiday-ish at all. I’ve had it forever now! It has lived in 2 states with me and in 5 humble abodes!

Vintage Kellogg’s, anticipating a happy 2020

I’ve decided to give the brain a little day off from thinking. Just sort of make room for people and things I love. I do have people in my life who make me really happy. I don’t actually know most of them very well, but I’ve lived around here a couple of years now and there are people here who really make me smile. They’re mostly a lot younger than me, but it’s okay.

Remember how, back in the fall, I blogged about that really sexy young gal who wanted to hang out and drink because her kid was away on a sleepover and her boyfriend was out of town, and I declined her invite because I found her a little too sexy and could see it was going to go nowhere fast? I ran into her again last evening while I was trying to get my legs to work right again and was taking a walk and, oddly, it seemed like she really wanted to talk to me.

She said, “Hey M!” And “M” is what people who know me really well call me, so at first I didn’t think she was talking to me because I hardly know her.  But then she said, “Marilyn – hi!”

And then I realized she was actually talking to me. So I stopped for a moment to chat. I was kind of amazed. You know? That she wanted to talk to me. She told me about a good friend of hers who was giving her the silent treatment and she couldn’t understand why – he wouldn’t tell her what she’d done.  And I was listening to her and noticing that she wears false eyelashes and that she had applied them expertly. She’d really just done a flawless job.

I talked to her for a little while and thought she was actually quite nice. And then I went on my way, with my old lady legs, thinking it was kind of nicely odd that she felt she knew me well enough to call me “M” and that she wanted to confide in me. It was sweet.

So even though I’m out here in the Hinterlands to sort of live in “deep cover” from the world and even though I’m gearing up for another round of life in NYC and now also Toronto, I do have little attachments here & there to the people here. I really just love them,

Okay, well, gonna get more coffee and see how the legs feel about managing the stairs!! Have a lovely little Sunday, wherever you are in the world! Thanks for visiting, I love you guys. See ya!



One of those dreaded days…

No, I’m not really sick, gang, but it seems I’m getting too old to get out of bed!

Well, that’s how it feels today. I’m having some leg issues, which I’m hoping is just part of me slacking off on the yoga too much this month. And I’m trying not to take anymore Ibuprofen. And I’m wondering if it’s time for Glucosamine Chondroitin supplements…

grumble grumble grumble…

And while I was lying in bed, refusing to get old, I was sort of rummaging through the drawer in my night table — looking for miracles or something, not sure really — and an old demo tape caught my eye so I took it out and looked at it. It was from the mid-1980s, a cassette, and there were a couple songs listed on there that I’d forgotten I’d written but I remembered that I used to really like those songs. But I couldn’t remember the lyrics. I no longer have a working cassette player, so I went in search of the lyrics (meaning I actually got out of bed!), and I did find some lyrics (which I have to say, I was sort of impressed with, even all these decades later!), but I also found these!! From the “big hair” photo shoot!!

Other photos from this same shoot are here on the web site, but these were ones I hadn’t seen in decades. I’m 23 or 24 here — I honestly don’t remember. I only remember that my day job back then was working for the notorious  author/publisher Ralph Ginzburg (he went to prison in 1963 on obscenity charges). I worked for him in a penthouse office on W. 57th Street in NYC, from 1983-1985, that’s all I remember.

But what I love about these photos is not only that I actually look young enough to get out of bed!! But I am also smiling in a couple of them! Not something I ever seem to do in photos because I hate having my picture taken. I also like that you can sort of see my modest breast size back then in one of them! And, of course, well — the hair. Not silver yet. Full of Aqua Net hair spray.  Not yet falling out all over the shower. Jesus, I was so young.

Sorry that these are so shiny. But you can still see them okay.

Well, these really sort of perked me right up, you know? I’m not sure what I’m going to do about the legs, but I’m sure that whatever happens, I will adjust. And I’m certainly not planning on spending the rest of my life in bed, perhaps maybe just the day…

Okay, have a great Saturday, wherever you are in the world, gang! Thanks for visiting! I leave you with one of my favorite songs from back then, “Doin’ The Things That We Want To,” off of Lou Reed’s1984 album, New Sensations. Back then, I was always playing this in my Sony Walkman, walking all over NYC. Okay, gang. Stay young today. I love you guys. See ya.

“Doin’ The Things That We Want To”

The other night we went to see Sam’s play
Doin’ the things that we want to
It was very physical it held you to the stage
Doin’ the things that he wants to

Doin’ the things that he wants to

The guy’s a cowboy from some rodeo
Doin’ the things that he wants to
The girl had once loved him, but now she wants to go
Doin’ the things that she wants to

Doin’ the things that she wants to

The man was bullish, the woman was a tease
Doin’ the things that they want to
They fought with their words, their bodies and their deeds
Doin’ the things that they want to
When they finished fighting, they exited the stage
Doin’ the things that they want to
I was firmly struck by the way they had behaved
Doin’ the things that they want to

Doin’ the things that they want to

It reminds me of the movies Marty made about New York
(doin’ the things that he wants to)
Those frank and brutal movies that are so brilliant
(doin’ the things that he wants to)
“True Love” meet “The Raging Bull”
(doin’ the things that he wants to)
They’re very inspirational, I love the things they do
(doin’ the things that he wants to)

Doin’ the things that I want to

There’s not much you hear on the radio today
(doin’ the things that we want to)
But you could still see a movie or a play
(doin’ the things that we want to)
Here’s to “Travis Bickle” and here’s to “Johnny Boy”
(doin’ the things that we want to)
Growing up in the mean streets of New York
(doin’ the things that we want to)
I wrote this song ’cause I’d like to shake your hand
(doin’ the things that we want to)
In a way you guys are the best friends I ever had
(doin’ the things that we want to)

Doin’ the things that we want to

That we want to
A true love

c – 1984 Lou Reed

It’s So Good to be Me!!

You know, it turns out that “Captivity” is not so easy to write.  (Letter #6 for Girl in the Night: Erotic Love Letters to the Muse.)

It’s all kind of “right there” in my brain — I can access it easily. But dealing with those memories of the mental hospital (when I was 15) is rough.  I’ve been at it for a few hours here this morning, and for every paragraph that makes it onto the page, I sit and stare off into space for many unbroken minutes, remembering it all and feeling my skin sort of crawl.

So it’s taking kind of forever. And do I really want to relive all this stuff by including it in this book? For some reason, though, it has been laid in front of me — of my brain — calling me down the path, and so I’m following. But, jeez.

Still, I’m glad I ended up in that place than as a suicide. You know. So let’s just use the experience as a jumping off point for something creative.

Anyway. I slept great last night. Had strange and vivid dreams with a lot of wonderful dogs in them. Lately, I have really been wanting another dog (I haven’t had a dog in over 40 years). I want one so badly. Not just to have something that would love me unconditionally — it’s more that I want something happy and frisky to give love to. However, my life is just not structured for a dog. Mostly, and most obviously, because I have a colony of feral cats here that would freak the fuck out if I brought a dog into their lives at this point. Plus, I just can’t take on that kind of responsibility. It’s nice enough that my birth mom is willing to take care of my cats now when I have to travel. Adding a dog to that heady mix is pushing it.

I’ve also been suffering from “baby lust” — that feeling that, every baby I see, I want to just take them in my arms and hug them and cuddle them and take them home with me!

It’s weird how many people now tell me that I should adopt a baby. A lot of people ask me if I have kids, and I, of course, say no. They say did you ever want any? ME: “Oh god, yes. But it’s a long story.” Then they always say: “It’s never too late.”

I look at them like they’re nuts — I’m almost 60 years old. And single. Wanting a baby and actually doing something about it are two entirely different universes now. And back when I was 40, married and looking to adopt, I was already pushing the age limit that agencies would allow for legal adoptions.

But people around here are quick to point out that age doesn’t really matter anymore. “So many girls are addicted to meth and opioids around here and they’re always in and out of jail and giving up their kids.  There are so many unwanted babies in the system around here that need homes — you could easily get one.”


Jesus, talk about heartbreaking. But there’s just no way. A friend of mine who lives out here, my age, did adopt one of those infants. But he has a wife who’s 25 years younger than he is. Plus, he’s retired now. He has plenty of time.

So many people my age are already retiring. I just don’t understand that concept. And now retiring and adopting infants. It’s just foreign to me. (It was hard enough wrapping my mind around friends getting spouses who were 25-30 years younger than they were — what the heck is that?)

Both of my younger sisters are grandmothers now and my mom is a great-grandmother. And I should be, like, a grandmother now. Not marrying people who weren’t even close to being alive when I was born and then adopting infants. But I can’t imagine myself as a grandmother. I’m still, like, a child, you know?

I often wish that a little hungry non-feral kitten would wonder up onto my porch and not leave (like Fluffy did back in 2006), or that a puppy needing a home would be somehow foisted upon me, or that a baby in a basket (preferably not the Antichrist) would be left anonymously on my front step. You know, like the Universe would be thrusting something upon me that I wouldn’t be able to refuse.

However, reality has so far prevailed. And that’s probably a really good thing. And meanwhile, I had lots of interesting dreams about dogs last night. So I guess I’m letting it all happen in my dreams.

I am so fucking tired today. Because I was lazy yesterday and, rather than make time to do yoga, I took 2 Ibuprofen because I was feeling really stiff. And that was such a stupid thing to do because Ibuprofen just wipes me out. I really didn’t think it through.

This is one of those key times when I need a keeper:

ME (getting up from my desk): “Wow, I feel really stiff today.”

KEEPER: “Do yoga. You haven’t done yoga all week.”

ME: “I could just take a couple of Ibuprofen and go right back to my desk. That’ll take care of it.”

KEEPER: “Do yoga — Ibuprofen makes you super tired and then you feel miserable and get depressed because you’re too tired to do yoga. So do yoga.”

And then if I still resist common sense, the Keeper could just take the Ibuprofen bottle away from me, roll out my yoga mat, point to the floor and say, “Do yoga.”

I would just love that, gang. I really would! You have no idea how much I would  love to have a Keeper. Then days like today — when I absolutely have to make myself do yoga and I’m still so fucking tired from pills I took last evening — would not exist.

Plus, I’m trying to take a break from Flonase. Because it’s a steroid and it’s not good to just take it indefinitely. But I’m allergic to dust — and I live in a house that is 118 years old, so dust is pretty much part of its very foundation. And I’m allergic to cats, of which I have seven. And I can’t breathe without Flonase. So I’m exhausted and I can’t breathe.

I’m having the best day!!

But underneath all that, I am actually having a good day. I’m super excited about 2020 arriving here within a handful of days. 2019 was actually pretty darn good. But I’m thinking 2020 is going to be amazing. So I can’t complain. (Plus, I only gained 3 pounds during this Christmas constant-nibbling-of-chocolate-and-eating-amazing-amounts-of-cheese season! I can lose that by Monday! So I’m good!!)

And right now, I’m super hungry again so I’m gonna scoot and grab my lunch and then get back to “Captivity.” (Do yoga somewhere in there, too.) I hope you guys are having a really nice Friday, wherever you are in the world — the final Friday of 2019. Thanks for visiting! I love you guys. See ya!

Sort of A Complete Success!

Yes, except for the times I was blogging, I actually stayed away from my desk throughout Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

A true Christmas miracle.

And I made every effort to watch new things, at least on Christmas Day. I did watch one old re-run of Perry Mason, which I loved. Even though I’d seen it a million times. But then I switched to my watchlist to find only new stuff.

And I’ll tell you, it’s just weird. You know, I often see trailers of new shows that look just so cool. And then the shows go on to be mega-hits and win awards and stuff, but when I try actually watching them, often I can’t even get halfway through the first episode.

It happens more often than not. Something that should be really fun and yet I can’t connect somehow and my mind drifts away. Not all the time — I remember I loved The Detectorists. And some other British TV shows. But I thought I was going to love Fleabag and I didn’t. I thought I was going to love Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and I didn’t.

And yesterday, I thought I was going to really seriously love Good Omens, but I only got halfway through the first episode before my mind started to wander again.

I keep thinking that maybe I should try again, but jump in somewhere mid-season in all these popular shows. Maybe they’ll resonate better for me, farther along in the series. But then I run into that problem I have with not wanting to spend time away from my desk, so it never happens.

I was so disappointed with Good Omens. I really thought I was going to love that. So maybe I will try again some other time. However, last night, I switched back to my watchlist, and found a movie that had been in my queue for a couple years already (yes, this is how little I watch — or stream — TV). It was loosely adapted from a novel I loved, that came out in 2005 or so. I was sort of stunned to see that the movie is already old — 2007! But it counts as new because I had never seen it before.

Image result for what we do is secret movie

What We Do Is Secret — the story of Darby Crash and the Germs, an LA punk band from back in the mid-70s. He committed suicide (an intentional heroin overdose) in LA — ironically enough, on December 8, 1980, the same day John Lennon was killed in NYC.

I thought the movie was great, you know? Not necessarily great cinema, but just so well acted and so good at capturing the era and the feel of the story it was trying to tell. It’s a small movie, but I never lost interest in it for even a moment.

It’s not really anything like the novel, though — they are two distinct entities, but both are good and stand strong, each by themselves.

So I don’t know. I tried. I tried to plant myself in front of something brand new. But what wound up grabbing me was something already 12 years old that reminded me of my late teen years and the first year in NYC, and the music scene back then, and all the intense musicians that I knew (including myself, I guess).

I never really liked punk rock too much, although a couple of the bands I really loved (Patti Smith Group, primarily) were put under the punk rock banner but, in my opinion, were actually something so much more. But then, at the tail end of punk, came the New Wave banner and a whole lot of bands that fell under that banner were just really cool. To me, anyway.

At the end of the movie, a whole bunch of notes started coming to me for “Captivity” — Letter 6 of Girl in the Night: Erotic Love Letters to the Muse. So I was scribbling notes at the kitchen table, but I still was not at my desk!

And then I found it so intensely cool and interesting that the movie ends with Bowie’s song from 1972, “Rock N Roll Suicide,” which was the very first song in my own life that helped keep me from trying to kill myself. It was a very important song to me. And it worked for awhile. Eventually, though, in the summer of 1975, my adoptive dad told me that I should just go ahead and kill myself because no one wanted to deal with me anymore. So I went inside and tried to kill myself and then wound up in the mental hospital — which is what the chapter “Captivity” is all about. (Well, it’s about sex in the mental hospital.)

You know, I realize that we can’t make people behave in a way that isn’t natural for them, and I know it sounds trite to say this, but it really just seems to me that if people could just communicate so much pain in the world would go away. I include myself in that, too. By the time I was 14, 15, I could not talk to my parents about anything. Certainly by the time I was 15, I was so fucked up on drugs most of the time, that trying to communicate was pointless. Still, the fact was that I was unable to talk about anything. My dad was pretty heartless, but he didn’t know that I was being sexually assaulted and raped by all those guys — he had no clue. I don’t think he even knew that Greg had been killed or who Greg had been to me, to my life. My dad lived in another city, had re-married and was in a whole other world. By then, I couldn’t talk to him about anything.

And my adoptive mom was just so abusive. She wasn’t physically abusive anymore, but she had the emotional and mental abuse thing down like a science. She terrified me. I was in constant anxiety mode whenever she was around me. I totally lost my ability to communicate. So when my dad told me it would make everyone’s lives easier if I killed myself, he overrode anything David Bowie was trying to convey.

And then, even in the mental hospital — man, excuse the pun, but that place was crazy. What I learned in that place was how to fly under the radar, you know? To not get caught at anything, and to finally tell the doctors what they wanted to here so that I could get the fuck out of there. I wasn’t any better when I got out; I was worse. Because no one in that place had been able to find out what was really wrong with me — what had happened to me. Because I wouldn’t talk about it. I couldn’t figure out how to tell anyone. I could not communicate — it felt life-threatening to me.

But it was just ludicrous — what was going on in my life that my parents knew nothing about. I remember one Friday night in the early summer of 1975 (this was already several months after I was actually raped), I was home alone and talking to a girlfriend on the phone in my room, and I heard someone down at the front door. So I said, “Hold on a minute, there’s someone at the door.”

But when I went down to see who it was, these 3 guys from school jumped me and dragged me off to the woods, and had me stripped out of my clothes in a heartbeat, and I was fighting them the whole time and yelling at them to stop. And then one of the guys said, “If you don’t quit fighting us, Marilyn, this isn’t going to be any fun.”

He actually said that. I was flabbergasted. I said, “Just give me my clothes back!” So they gave me my clothes back. I got dressed, went back home and my girlfriend was still hanging on the telephone. “Where did you go?” she said. “You took forever.”

That kind of shit would happen to me a lot after Greg died. It got so that I was afraid to leave the house. Afraid to go to school. Afraid to walk home from school because the path home was through those woods — which bordered an old abandoned rock quarry, where there was a cave that the guys from school had built a little fort in. That stupid fort was some scary shit. It seemed like there were always guys waiting for me around that fort.

Anyway. I digress rather regrettably. I really just wanted to say that it was so cool that at the end of What We Do Is Secret, Bowie’s song “Rock N Roll Suicide” played as the credits rolled, and I felt, you know, like I had survived my own life. So that was good.

And on that note, I’m gonna scoot and get started here! 2 days away from my desk felt like an eternity! I am eager to get back to work. Thanks for visiting. Enjoy Boxing Day, if you live someplace where that is celebrated. If not, enjoy the day after Christmas! I love you guys. See ya!

“Rock ‘N’ Roll Suicide”

Time takes a cigarette, puts it in your mouth
You pull on your finger, then another finger, then your cigarette
The wall-to-wall is calling, it lingers, then you forget
Oh, you’re a rock ‘n’ roll suicide

You’re too old to lose it, too young to choose it

And the clock waits so patiently on your song
You walk past a cafe but you don’t eat when you’ve lived too long
Oh, no, no, no, you’re a rock ‘n’ roll suicide

Chev brakes are snarling as you stumble across the road

But the day breaks instead so you hurry home
Don’t let the sun blast your shadow
Don’t let the milk float ride your mind
You’re so natural – religiously unkind

Oh no love! You’re not alone
You’re watching yourself but you’re too unfair
You got your head all tangled up but if I could only make you care
Oh no love! You’re not alone
No matter what or who you’ve been
No matter when or where you’ve seen
All the knives seem to lacerate your brain
I’ve had my share, I’ll help you with the pain
You’re not alone

Just turn on with me and you’re not alone
Just turn on with me and you’re not alone
Let’s turn on and be not alone
Gimme your hands cause you’re wonderful [2x]
Oh gimme your hands.

c – 1972 David Bowie, Jorge Seu

Oh, and PS….

I just now remembered that Barnes & Noble refused to carry Neptune & Surf in any of its stores when the book first came out, all because of that story, “Gianni’s Girl.”

It offended their sensibilities that the story was an eroticized gangbang. They told my publisher that it was rape, however you looked at it, and they refused to sell it.  I could understand their point, of course, but I was devastated when my publisher called with the news — they were the hugest book chain in North America. Thankfully, Amazon was already around by then, so the book sold like hotcakes, regardless. And then Barnes & Noble not only carried the Blue Moon mass market edition of Neptune & Surf, but they also hired me to write 2 erotic romance novels exclusively for them, 3 years later. So everything, you know, well things change. Don’t they? Now gangbangs are all over the place.

Merry Merry & Happy Happy!!

Okay! Merry Christmas, again!

If you were an early bird here to the blog (or whatever time it was where you live), and caught the limited-time post,  I hope you enjoyed reading “Gianni’s Girl” as much as I enjoyed writing it, 25 Christmas Eves ago.

It was truly one of those stories that I felt was dictated to me by the main character. The words came, the story came, the whole thing flowed out in one (long) sitting, and did not require any editing except for punctuation and misspellings here and there.

And it’s true — Wayne and I were having a dinner party that night because it was Christmas Eve; company was coming over, we had a ton of cooking still to do and last minute grocery shopping to do, and I was glued to my desk, writing furiously away because this amazing story was spilling out of me and I couldn’t stop it. I wrote it by hand, then typed it up a few days later. (I still have the handwritten manuscript in storage.) I didn’t even own a computer yet.

Wayne was so incredibly irritated with me that morning. He kept coming impatiently into the room: “Aren’t you done yet? We have to get going!” ME, scribbling away: “No! It’s still coming!!”

I recall vividly, both us hurrying along Broadway in the throngs of last-minute shoppers. It was a very cold and overcast day and I was sort of delirious, trying to explain to Wayne how incredible this story was that had just suddenly come out of me — though it had taken several hours for it to come out. And he was not impressed in the slightest; he was just so irritated with me.

For me, though, the story had been so vivid as it came out onto the page. I could see the entire thing — like a movie. And the part where Gianni is talking about having all that sex with his mom, and his mom always being pregnant and his dad being an abusive drunk — that part actually looked like it was in a tenement on the Lower East Side of NYC. I’m not really sure why I decided it was in Chicago.  I guess because it was bootleggers and it was 1927. Although there were plenty of bootleggers and plenty of mob guys in NYC in 1927.

Anyway. I know that for obvious reasons, it can be considered an offensive story (gang rape), and the fact that it ends up being a love story kind of fucks with some readers’ heads, but I wrote it down just as it came to me. And then people seemed to really like it — well, except for the girl it’s dedicated to — “Michelle.” She did not dig it at all. She was really offended by it. She didn’t like it until years later, after it actually became popular and conveniently had her name on it. It sold something like 75,000 copies, new, in all its various English editions combined. I don’t know how many have sold in French, or as “used” books or in eBooks. (It’s in a few different eBook collections.)

Blessed By Light came to me the same way, except it was an entire novel.  Someone else was dictating that story to me for nearly a year and I just wrote it as it came. After I was halfway into writing it, and had begun reading back over it with my editor, I was really startled to see how closely the female character (the “girl in the night”) resembled me. It was uncanny and disconcerting and weird, because I didn’t see it as I was writing it. However, I purposely titled Girl in the Night: Erotic Love Letters to the Muse after that character in Blessed By Light, because it felt like it was me.

Well, okay!!

I tried very hard to stay away from my desk yesterday. I was successful but I had sort of a disjointed day because of it. I did re-watch Distant Sky: Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds Live in Copenhagen. It took a couple different sittings for me to get through the whole thing. I just find that concert and those songs just so amazing. Beautiful. Intense. Wonderful. Here’s “Girl In Amber” — I posted this photo briefly last night. But then everyone was visiting the photo of Basin Street in all that fog last night, so I pulled it to re-post it now:

“Girl in Amber”

And in case you don’t follow me on Instagram (I don’t think any of you do!), here’s a couple of photos I posted there:

Doris, on the table, ensuring she is first in line for Christmas dinner (this table is just for show — I eat alone in the kitchen).


The meanest cat in the world, Francis, on her Christmas chair! (Her mom, Tommy, underneath it.) (This is a vegan-friendly chair, it didn’t cost much. However, it is less than 2 years old and the cats have already destroyed it.)

Well, that’s it for now. I’m gonna go eat lunch or something resembling it. And then try to figure out what I will do next. I’m feeling like I might actually work at my desk today… (heavy sigh). We shall see.

Merry Christmas, everyone. Thanks for visiting!! I love you guys, see ya!