A Turn in the Road

I guess my life is getting ready to be different.

You know how you can feel it — that things are changing? The way you’re perceiving your life, or the reality of your life, or maybe what you think is the reality of your life?

I guess I started feeling it the other night, when Peitor began texting about certain new goals he had for Abstract Absurdity — our  production company — and I realized that my perceptions of that part of my life were shifting.  And not just realizing I was going to have to go to LA more often. But realizing the full scope of the micro-shorts that he and I are creating — they are extremely strange. Visually, they’re abstract; story-wise, they’re absurd. And they’re super short.  But they rely heavily on the vision of the directors of New Wave foreign cinema. From 50 years ago, basically.

And I think it’s strange that he and I know all these films. The other day, we were working out a shot of a sexual assault that needs to be viewed from the POV of inside an overturned vacuum cleaner, and Peitor wanted to include the sound of the vacuum cleaner bag deflating/sighing. And I said, “how are we going to get that?” And he said, “We’ll just make it up. Do something ‘Jacques Tati.'” And I said okay.

And then I thought that it’s so weird that I’ve seen most of Jacques Tati’s films, so I knew what he meant. Why have I seen all of those Jacques Tati films? Have you? I mean, really; why? What is my life?

And then the new section of Tell My Bones — if I can use a pun without meaning to —  dramatically shifts the scope of that play.  In one 3 or 4 minute song, I’ve managed to visually push it into the areas of lynchings and slave auctions and the extreme racism of alleged white “Christians.”  I still haven’t heard back from the director but I know he is going to be, at the very least, taken aback by where I took  the storyline, and how I took it there. Where did it come from? The only thing I really know is that it took me a few weeks and a lot of nausea to get it there.

Then yesterday, I spent 9 hours doing another edit of Blessed By Light. It didn’t actually need much real editing, just some punctuation tweaking here & there. And then I sent it off to yet another small press. (I still haven’t heard back from any of them.) But after reading it again, from start to finish, without having read it like that in about 7 months, I was struck anew by how strange it is.

I love reading it. I love that I wrote it. But I still don’t understand what it actually is, besides a short “experimental novel.” Which I guess is just a really handy label for saying: “I wrote this but I don’t understand what it is.”

And I saw that this same small press publishes chap books – of poetry and fiction. And I thought, but my chap book (In the Shadow of Narcissa) is nonfiction. It’s flash-nonfiction. It’s a flash-nonfiction memoir chap book.

You know, leave it to me to be hard at work on something that doesn’t actually have a ready category. Yet again. ( I have done this more times than you can possibly imagine, throughout my career.)

And I have just been working really, really hard for like the last 17 months. Without a break. Going from project to project, and then back again. And I am so incredibly happy with how everything is turning out. But everything I’m doing is so strange.

And when I was pouring my first cup of coffee this morning, it occurred  to me that my writer-friend in Brussels is correct — Blessed By Light is a weird title. No one on Earth will understand what it means and they’ll think it’s some sort of New Age-Christian book. But what it is, is a fictional American rock & roll legend thinking about his life– and doing stuff, falling in love, talking about his life, his career, trying to deal with his family, his best friend’s death, having to quit smoking — in the final year of his life. That’s all it is. (Except that he thinks his life is beautiful.)

“The Guitar Hero Goes Home” is a chapter title, but it’s probably a better title for the whole book — with “home” meaning “heaven” or something like that.

Even though Neptune & Surf has been around now for over 20 years, no one ever related to that title, either. They always thought it was going to be about the ocean and the planets or something. Or mythology. But it’s named after 2 streets in Coney island — in Brooklyn. The French publisher thought “Neptune Avenue” made more sense as a title, and they were completely right. It made way more sense.

Anyway. I don’t want to belabor the nonsensical aspects of my life — of which there are many. I’m only saying that I can feel my life shifting. From the creative process, to the going-back-out-into-the-world process. And all that it may or may not entail.

And thinking about mortality — will I be around next year, ten years from now, forty years from now? How much of my work will I actually get done? What’s going to be my legacy? I had sort of a life from hell and then wrote a lot of weird stuff. And was alone (with cats) most of the time.

That kind of seems accurate.

This morning, I woke up around 4:30am and the strangest song was going through my head — a Paul McCartney song from 1970: “That Would Be Something.” I loved the McCartney album. I was 9 when it came out and I played it nonstop for months. But I hadn’t thought about that album in years.

Whenever I wake up with a specific song in my head, I play it on YouTube, even before I turn on a light or get out of bed. Because I want to see if the song tells me something, before my mind gets cluttered up with regular life.

So I played the song and it was, like —oh my god— my entire 9 year-old life came right back to me. I was such a strange little kid. Music was my entire world. Playing records, but also playing the piano, the guitar, the violin. Music meant everything to me. I think music was my barricade against my mother. I think it protected me, somehow, and helped me survive. (It didn’t keep me sane, but it helped me survive the insanity, for sure.)

Overall, though, I realized this morning that, for whatever reason, I’m just plain strange. And my life is probably just going to be about writing stuff and putting it into the world. And then over & out.

And I also realized — remember a few months back, when one of my nylon stockings disappeared from the washing machine in the space of 20 minutes? It never ever came back.

So I’m guessing that reality is not just about manifestation, but de-manifestation, as well. Certainly food for thought.

Okay. Nick Cave will be Conversing in Brussels tonight and tomorrow night, and then he’s done. I cannot stress what a dearth came out of Nijmegen. Honestly. I think it was worse than Portland, Oregon. I know he was already in Belgium last year.  I don’t remember how it went. (I do remember that Luxembourg’s show looked like it was astoundingly amazing. But I’m not 100% sure how long I plan on remembering all this stuff…)

Anyway. I’m gonna scoot. I have some more boring legal documents I have to go over this morning, and then maybe I’ll just sit and stare for awhile. Not sure yet. But thanks for visiting. Have a super Thursday, wherever you are in the world! You know what I’m leaving you with, but you’re probably not expecting the entire song to have only 2 lines of lyrics…still, it’s a really catchy song. It really is. And for whatever reason, it totally encapsulates my girlhood and makes an uncanny point about where my mind still is.

All righty. I love you guys. See ya.

“That Would Be Something”

That would be something,
It really would be something,
That would be something,
To meet you in the falling rain, momma,
Meet you in the falling rain.

Oo-hmm-hmm,
Oo-hmm-hmm,
Oo-hmm-hmm,
Meet you in the falling rain, momma,
Meet you in the falling rain.

That would be something,
It really would be something,
Mm, that would be something,
To meet you in the falling rain, momma,
Meet you in the falling rain.

Meet you in the falling rain, momma,
Meet you in the falling rain.
Meet you in the falling rain, momma,
Meet you in the falling rain.

That would be something,
It really would be something,
That would be something,
To meet you in the falling rain, momma,
Meet you in the falling rain.
Meet you in the falling rain, momma,
Meet you in the falling rain.

Oh, oh.

Meet you in the falling rain, momma,
Meet you in the falling rain.
Meet you in the falling rain, momma,
Meet you in the falling rain.

Oh!
Oh!

Uh, now, meet you in the falling rain, momma,
Meet you in the falling rain.
I meet you in the falling rain, momma,
Meet you in the falling rain.
Meet you in the falling rain, momma,
Meet you in the falling rain.
Uh, meet you in the falling rain, momma,
Meet you in the falling rain.

c – 1970 Paul McCartney

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