Really Gotta Scoot, Gang!!

It is already super, super, SUPER sunny here today, and it’s going to be very hot. So I want to get an early start into town to get the groceries.

I don’t want to complain, though, because the rest of the week is supposed to be overcast and full of thunderstorms. Of course the crops need the rain. But anyway. I’m going to try to make the best out of the sun today, but stay out of it as much as I can.

Last night’s episode of Endeavor was definitely worth waiting one year for. (I noticed in the opening credits last night that it’s actually spelled the British way: Endeavour. Only took me 7 years to notice this.)

I’m not crazy about watching it on the flat screen TV with the firestick 4, though, because it is so intensely HD that it has that “live” look to it — the “film” quality is completely gone. I actually wound up switching halfway through it, and going back to watching it on the iPad.

But everything else looks okay on the firestick 4, although it still seems so weird to have the TV in the kitchen.  I was watching a special about Viking Warrior Women last evening and suddenly noticed that I actually had both my legs — bare feet included — up on the kitchen table  while I was leaning back in my chair (!!!). Jesus. That’s a little too bohemian for me…

Anyway. Where to put the TV is the worst of my troubles right now.

Today is “reading other writers’ works” day! So I’ll be back in the Netherlands (mentally), reading Whatever Comes My Way: Travels in the Netherlands, by Roger Gaess. Today, I’m going to find out about Zwolle, Eindhoven, Venlo, and Maastricht! (I don’t know if I’m going to find out how to pronounce the names of those cities, but I feel certain that we’re going to find out where all the bars are!!)

Yesterday was a bit of a washout.  I wrote nothing new on Thug Luckless: Welcome to P-Town. I simply could not get the brain to function properly — it just kept drifting away from me (see yesterday’s post re: how the morning started out). That stuff kind of depresses me when it happens, but oh well. The week’s over. On Friday, I can get back to work on Thug Luckless.

By late yesterday afternoon, I finally gave up on trying to write. So I streamed some things on  the TV, waiting for the magical hour of 9pm, when Endeavour came on. I watched the above-mentioned Viking Warrior Women thing (fascinating, actually), and then another great episode of Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries. And then I also watched Napoleon Dynamite.

I had never seen that movie. It was a huge hit among teenagers back when it came out, but I was 44 when it came out! Anyway, I know that now it’s sort of culturally iconic so I wanted to finally watch it. I really enjoyed it. It was a very sweet & touching film, overall. And I did laugh out loud at a lot of it.

I took a walk over to the cemetery, too. Not to look at the graves, so much, as to see the panorama of cornfields.  The cornfields are everywhere around here, and the corn is really tall now. It’s so pretty to look at it. For as far as the eye can see now, the valleys are filled with rows and rows of corn, and then the valleys are surrounded by green hills, covered in trees. Just really pretty to look at. Helps me forget all the COVID nonsense.

Meanwhile, more wonderful developments re: Tell My Bones. I’ll keep you updated when I can start blogging about it. I’m super excited by the potential prospects.

Okay, that’s it today, gang. I’m going to head into town now. Have a great Monday, wherever you are in the world!! Thanks for visiting. I leave you with my listening music from this morning — Bob Dylan, “It’s All Good,” from his Together Through Life album (2009). (Below is a live version, the only version I could find, but it’s all good!!!) All righty! Enjoy. I love you guys. See ya!

“It’s All Good”

Talk about me babe, if you must.
Throw out the dirt; pile on the dust.
I’d do the same thing if I could
You know what they say? They say it’s all good.
All good.
It’s all good.

Big politician telling lies;
Restaurant kitchen all full of flies.
Don’t make a bit of difference; don’t see why it should.
But it’s alright, cause its all good.
Its all good.
Its all good.

Wives are leavin’ their husbands; they’re beginning to roam.
They leave the party and they never get home.
I wouldn’t change it even if I could
You know what they say, man, it’s all good.
It’s all good.
All good.

Brick by brick, they tear you down.
A teacup of water is enough to drown.
You oughta know, if they could, they would
Whatever goin’ down, it’s all good.

All good.
Said it’s all good.

People in the country, People on the land.
Some of them so sick they can hardly stand.
Everybody would move away if they could
Its hard to believe but its all good.
Yeah…

Well widows cry; the orphans plea.
Everywhere you look there’s more misery.
Come along with me babe, I wish you would.
You know what I’m sayin’, it’s all good.

All good.
I said it’s all good.
All good.

Cold blooded killer stomp into town
Cop car’s blinkin’, something bad goin’ down.
Buildings are crumblin, in the neighborhood.
But there’s nothing to worry about, cause it’s all good.
It’s all good.
I say it’s all good.

Gonna whistle and blow it in your face.
This time tomorrow I’ll be rollin’ in your place.
I wouldn’t change a thing even if I could.
You know what they say?
They say it’s all good.
It’s all good.
It’s all good.

© 2009 Bob Dylan

A Whacked-Out Sunday is Certainly Underway in Crazeysburg!

Just one of those days, gang.

I did not want to get out of bed (eventually, though, I did).

I did NOT (capital letters there) want to get on the treadmill this morning, but after sitting on the edge of my bed and staring at stuff for almost 2 hours, I finally forced myself to go downstairs and get on the fucking treadmill.

Then I showered. Washed my hair. I have all the earmarks of someone who’s actually doing stuff here this morning, but I am struggling to make that happen.

Mostly, I know how depressed I can get if I avoid doing stuff, so I try to just make it happen. Plus, I’ve lost 7 pounds now. 5 more pounds and I’m back to pre-COVID weight. So I don’t want to lose sight of that.

Well, that documentary on Creem Magazine (Creem: America’s Only  Rock & Roll Magazine), was really good.  I can’t emphasize enough how that magazine shaped my perception of myself and music and New York City in the 1970s, and had a lot to do with me moving to NYC in 1980 (rather than to Nashville, which was where a lot of people said I should have moved).

It was really cool to see the interviews with some of the musicians who were around my age, who were also just as influenced by Creem. It was quite a magazine, there was just nothing like it.

The documentary is mostly about the people who started it and how & why it got started, and the personalities involved (many of the writers there became quite well known). Lots of 1970s-excesses, though, which lead, sadly to suicides and accidental deaths by overdose.

Plus, the zine was so indescribably politically incorrect that by today’s standards, people now would start twitter-storms and social media hate bombs. All that nonsense. There was never a racial problem with Creem — because back then, the music from the black communities and the white communities usually mixed. But the writers at Creem were often insensitive to absolutely everyone’s feelings — expecting the people they wrote about to stand up for themselves (they did!). And they were also writing simply to provoke and to get readers worked up and involved.

The magazine was actually really fun. And fucking funny. (For the reader, anyway.) I definitely enjoyed watching the documnetary and taking that trip down memory lane, where people weren’t so intensely hung up on stuff (politics).

Plus, I miss rock & roll. Which is just basically dead now.

Creem magazine's wild misfit days of sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll

All righty. Good news continues to develop regarding Tell My Bones, but I still can’t blog about it. But it’s certainly helping me feel like there is something on the horizon besides more and more COVID and more and more shouting about politics.

I’m hoping to just focus on Thug Luckless: Welcome to P-Town today, but then tonight!!! Season 7 of Endeavor begins on PBS!!!!! And I, for one, cannot wait!!

Amazon.com: Watch Masterpiece: Endeavour, Season One | Prime Video

Well, I think that’s about it for today, gang.  I hope you have a terrific Sunday, wherever you are in this wonderful world.  Thanks for visiting. I leave you with the Everly Brothers this morning! I am currently listening to their Greatest Hits during the wee small hours of dawn. And this is certainly one of them: “Love Hurts.” (If you’re too young to know who the Everly Brothers were, they were actual brothers from Kentucky who sang and harmonized together like angels.) (Egos eventually got too big and they split up, but before that happened, they had tons of huge hits.) Okay, well, enjoy! I love you guys. See ya.

Yay for Difficult Women!!

Good morning, gang. What a lovely Saturday it is here in Crazeysburg.

I’m finishing the laundry right now and beyond that, I have nothing on my plate today but working on Thug Luckless: Welcome to P-Town, so what could be nicer?

And this evening, I’m streaming the new documentary film Creem: America’s Only Rock ‘N Roll Magazine (!!!).

Creem was my absolute most favorite magazine of all time, and when I was a teenager, I looked forward to every single issue with every fiber of my being, because to me, it was my only connection to the outside world — to what I considered the “real” world. (And I believe, even all these decades later, that I was right.)  Stream the movie here. Here’s the trailer:

On a similar note… Yesterday’s issue of Please Kill Me had a great interview with Angela Bowie Barnett (aka Angie Bowie) by Lucretia Tye Jasmine. (Hence the title of today’s post.) If you are not old enough to remember David Bowie’s career, a point came when he was extremely famous and Angie left him, and then the PR machines and Bowie’s management, etc., did their best to silence her, discredit her, de-materialize her, and just plain disappear her.

I honestly believe that David Bowie would never have figured out how to become “David Bowie” if it weren’t for Angie.  In the beginning, she was his manager. They created everything about his onstage persona together. Working really, really hard to come up with a version of “David Bowie” that could actually sell records. (It took years to accomplish that, btw.)

And now that Bowie is completely and thoroughly, 100% dead, people are more interested in what she has to say about the past.

My favorite exchange from the interview:

Responding to my question, “Was David the love of your life?” Angie says, “Excuse me?”

I repeat the question, falteringly. “Good God, no!” We laugh. “I had a headache with David, I really did. And it wasn’t anything to do with him. It was to do with the people stealing the business from me…I was furious.”

But managing someone’s career is tedious. “They’re totally and utterly egocentric. Not at all interested in anyone else on the planet. Dealing with them becomes tedious after ten years.”

Their breakup didn’t feel like a betrayal.

“I was dying to get out.” David’s drug addiction made him the best liar. “I just couldn’t stand it. It was nauseating. It made me sick. So I just wanted to get it over with and be gone.”

“At a certain stage, you just stop. You’ve realized…it’s enough now. And you want to move on.”  — Lucretia Tye Jasmine, PleaseKillMe.com

And here is the accompanying photo!! Angie, Iggy , Lou Reed with Creem magazine!! Photo by the great Lee Black Childers.

I was a huge fan of Bowie’s from 1973 onward. I really was. But he was always a shifting “persona.”  A carefully crafted character. He was  never just himself in public, in the world. Ever. I had no feel for who he really was as a human being, and when he died, I didn’t miss him at all. Because I never felt “who he really was”. He was sort of just a big PR machine that made music I usually really liked.

Well, the music lives on and I still like it, but I have no real idea who the man was and, actually, at this point, I don’t really care.

Unlike people like Lou Reed and Iggy Pop, Keith Richards, Ronnie Wood, Tom Petty, even Elvis — those guys wore their whole hearts & lives right out in the open, all over themselves; whether or not it got really messy. They weren’t just trying to sell records and concert tickets. They were (are) human beings.

Okay. So!

Yesterday, FIRE (the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education) sent out a press release that just made me completely insane (you can read it here), about a student at Stockton University in New Jersey who is facing a fine and suspension because he had a photo of President Trump as his background on a zoom conference and other students  felt “offended, disrespected, and taunted.”

It is absolutely unbelievable how intolerant and fearful so many young liberal Americans are now when people have points of view that differ from theirs. The spinelessness is just unreal.

“In my day” — we were all just thrown to the wolves and you had to figure out how to survive. No matter your race, religious beliefs, sexual preferences, etc. We were all just sent to school and we had to figure out to survive it, you know?

Trump is the fucking President, whether you like that or not. He got elected through the electoral college. It was legal. He got elected. He’s the President. Fucking deal with it. A reminder to just go out and fucking vote during an election year. Jesus.

And though it would be legal, it’s not “threatening” like using Hitler, or Goering and Goebbels and Himmler, with tons of swastikas as your zoom background. (Although I am wont to put American Leftist students onto a dangerous path that leads to men like them.)

This absolutely terrified way of non-thinking is truly prevalent, gang. It’s in universities all over the country and it’s been going on for a lot of years already — but it is getting worse. And it’s not just students, it extends to faculty members, too. (Even tenured professors are getting death threats, and online hate campaigns, and threatened with disciplinary actions for the opinions they hold.) (You might recall the director of my play, Tell My Bones, was told to take down one of Helen LaFrance’s paintings as his zoom background because his (white) colleagues accused him of behaving like a white plantation master with a bunch of slaves. And it made them “uncomfortable.” Fucking ART makes them uncomfortable — and he’s so fucking liberal; it’s ludicrous. ) (I can’t even really tell you how furious that made me. There aren’t even enough words, really.)

It really is just out of control. I got so fed up yesterday, that I wrote a letter to the Dean of Stockton University.

And I guess, as long as we have a Constitution in place here,  I’ll just keep writing letters now. Sometimes it actually helps, gang, when people think the world is watching them. (I used to write tons of letters for Amnesty International, for people in various countries who were wrongfully imprisoned — and the letters worked.  The people were freed. From fucking prisons in awful places.)

The Constitution means everything to me.  It kept me out of prison when John Ashcroft and the President George W. Bush crew were trying to round up Internet-based pornographers all over America and get them into federal prisons. It was fucking scary.

But that same Constitution covers everybody’s rights to free expression in America — even for Republicans and various conservatives, who perhaps would have preferred that I had gone to prison. It doesn’t matter what side of the fence you’re on. You have your right to express what you believe.

All righty!! I’m going to get on with this wonderful day and go work some more on Thug Luckless: Welcome to P-Town. (My Constitutional right to free expression in action, all day long!!!)

Last night, I was listening to e e cummings read some of his poetry on YouTube. So I’ll leave you with a little of that today. It’s old, of course, and not the clearest sound quality, but it’s still pretty cool to listen to his actual voice. So, hope you enjoy. Thanks for visiting, gang. I love you guys. See ya!

Here Comes A Really Beautiful Day!!

Happy Friday, everybody.

If you  are still sort of in lockdown mode (as am I), it probably feels like Saturday or Tuesday or maybe even Wednesday…

When I woke up this morning, it did not feel like Friday. It felt like Tuesday, and I felt a little crestfallen that it was already Friday. Where is August racing off to??

And I went down to the kitchen. It was still dark out, because it’s that time of the summer where things have definitely changed. It stays dark out just a little longer now. And the birds don’t start singing until about 6am — and there are maybe 3 of them, now, instead of 3000. So it’s just crickets now, during my entire breakfast.

But I stood at the kitchen sink, where I have a really great window. It’s really wide and tall. A great view. And I stared out at the dark yard and up at the sky, and I thought of that August 2 years ago, when the man was still alive and we were in the absolute thick of falling in love — which included some arguing, too, because I didn’t know how to be loved and so my constant insecurity kind of made him very frustrated.

Anyway, in my head this morning, I was talking to him and I said: Remember that August? When time stood still? And we didn’t even realize the summer was racing away?

And then after the cats were fed, and I was fed, and the many little dishes were washed, and I sat down again at the kitchen table to write in my Inner Being journals — he came through. Just like that. His words were in my head and they came out onto the page. He said hello, and that he loved me and that he did remember that August, and that he hadn’t wanted it to ever be over, but that we have evolved now (meaning both of us) and that nothing ever really ends. That’s what he “said” !

So, that made me super happy, gang. That man changed my life. My whole entire life. (If you’re new to the blog, he came into my life suddenly in July 2018, and died a handful of weeks later, in late September of 2018.) (He changed my life because he loved me, and he was actually the first person ever that I felt really loved me. Except for my grandma, but she loved me in a different way.  She loved me in a “grandma” way, and this man loved me in every other way.)

And once I finally believed that he loved me (after a few really intense shouting matches, that’s for sure) my whole life changed.

Well, anyway. This is a magical house. And my kitchen is a magical place. Oh — my Amazon firestick 4 arrived yesterday, and the AC power cord to actually finally plug the TV into the wall (!!), and the only place I could find to put it for now is in my kitchen.

It seems crazy to have it in the kitchen, but there it sits, all plugged in. And I moved the hardwired speakers for the iPad up to my bedroom, where I keep my iPad at night. So now I have my iPad with great speakers — instead of the Bluetooth speaker that only lasts one hour — crowded onto my night table.

It just feels weird. But here is a photo I took last evening to send to Valerie (she’s the culprit friend who persuaded me to buy the firestick 4 because it was on sale). I’m watching Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries here:

(oh — and I can get the PBS Passport app on the firestick so I’ll be watching Endeavor on the TV this year instead of on the iPad!! It starts Sunday!!)

This morning, while I was lying in bed (feeling like it was Tuesday), I started thinking about Endeavor and how this would now be Season 7. And I recalled so well when that show first started. It was 3 houses ago. I had something like 3 TVs back then — including a much larger flat screen TV in the bedroom. And I had cable  service, and premium channels, like HBO, Starz,  Showtime, Cinemax, etc. (And on my iPad, I had Hulu, Netflix, Amazon Prime.)

And down in the family room, I had a really big digital TV that was hooked up with the DVD player, and it had the DVR box, and all that.

And a free-standing bar was in the family room, complete with top shelf liquor and all my bar ware. And wall-to-wall, built-in bookshelves. And art on the walls, and framed photos of friends and family set out on the end tables, etc.

Just like how most regular people live.

And then everything really changed. Not in a good way, but I won’t go back into that. And I got fed up with drinking and with watching television. And little by little, I got rid of everything but the iPad, the DVD player, and Amazon Prime.

So having a TV in my kitchen now does not really sit well with me, but it’s okay. And it has a really good picture.

On a totally different topic. here is the Cave Things item (see yesterday’s post re: Nick Cave’s new merchandise page) I  want most (a silk screen thingie), but I can’t afford it so I’ve started a Kickstarter campaign so that you guys can help me buy it!! (I am totally kidding about that.)

I have to say,

Abstract Absurdity Productions is getting every spare dime out of me right now. Which reminds me, I took that webinar yesterday on equity financing versus debt financing for film funding, etc., and my brain did indeed explode by the end of the class. It was presented by 3 entertainment lawyers in LA, and it was an intense amount of information in just under 2 hours. Most of the basic liability information I had already gotten from my accountant, but there was still other stuff that just — well, it’s a lot to cram into this wee bonny brain of mine.

It’s not all that different from when I was running multi-media production companies 20 years ago, but this is on a much larger scale.

Anyway. Every spare fucking penny is allocated right now.

Hey. Look at this! I found this on an external hard drive while trying to find some Word files for the new Muse Revisited Volume 4 collection. It’s the house we had in Cleveland from 1966 until July 1971 — just weeks before my 11th birthday.

Our house in Cleveland 1966 -1971

My bedroom was the window at the top left, behind that tree.  It was a truly wonderful house. It really was.  It had a big back porch off the kitchen, that had a big wooden swing hanging from the ceiling of the porch. And up above it, running most of the length of the back of the house, was a sun porch. There were 2 fireplaces in the house. And a den that had built-in bookcases on 3 of the 4 walls and a  built-in desk. And the whole house had plenty of windows. We didn’t have central AC yet, but it was a really wonderful, breezy house.

Unfortunately, this is the house where my adoptive mother really started to unravel, so I have a lot of intense & terrifying memories from this house, as well. I also had my first orgasm here (I was 7), and I got my first period in this house — and I was so angry, because I was only 10 (almost 11) when that happened.  And so none of my girlfriends were anywhere close to getting their periods yet. I hated that.

I was not a big fan of menstruation, in general, gang.  And wasn’t sad to see it go at age 46. Although I was devastated to know for sure that I was never going to have children, other than that, I didn’t mind menopause coming so early.

Anyway. Beyond that lovely stuff — I loved that house and I loved my bedroom and I loved my little desk and I loved my big bed and I loved my record player and all my records and I loved the late 1960s. (That’s the house we lived in that summer they walked on the moon. And that’s the house we lived in when my dad was still kind of “around” and not a millionaire yet  and was still really nice and we watched “Star Trek” together on the TV in the living room and I remember that it scared me! I watch that old TV show now and find it so funny that it used to scare me. Anyway. I got my first pair of fishnet tights there, and my first mini skirts. My first maxi-skirts.  I lived there when I first learned French and Hebrew and learned how to ice skate and roller skate, and when I took dancing lessons and had tap shoes and ballet slippers. And I lived there when I learned how to read music and to play violin, piano, and guitar. How to ride a bike. I lived there when I fell in love with the Beatles, and with David Cassidy, and the Monkees TV show. And I lived there of course when MLK and RFK were assassinated, and George Wallace was gunned down, and when Johnny Cash had his TV show and the Everly Brothers, and the Smothers Brothers, and the Beach Boys all had TV shows. And I lived there when “Hair” was a huge scandalous hit on Broadway. And I lived there when “Laugh-In” was a huge scandalous hit on TV. And I lived there when the Beatles broke up. And when our dog got epilepsy and had to be put to sleep and I was heartbroken. And I lived there when “In the Heat of the Night” was a huge hit movie and we saw it at my dad’s drive-in theater and there was a naked woman in the movie and my little jaw fell open!!  And I lived there when I started to fall in love with girls, and my little friends told me that it was a really weird thing to do. And when I lived there, every night after dinner, on the news Walter Cronkite would tell us how many US soldiers had been killed in Vietnam that day.  It was quite a house. When my parents bought it, it cost something like $35K. The last time it sold, a few years ago, it went for something like $550K. Inflation is really just insane. Anyway. There was a lot to love about my childhood.)

All righty. I’m gonna get going here. It is Thug Luckless: Welcome to P-Town day so I am very excited to see what new stuff hits the page for the new novel.

Thanks for visiting. Enjoy what’s left of your Friday, wherever you are in the world. I leave you with another song from Lou Bega’s A Little Bit of Mambo album (1999). This time, it’s “Can I Tico Tico You” (“Tico” is a general term of endearment used by people who live in Costa Rica.) Enjoy, gang. I love you guys. See ya!

“Can I Tico Tico You”

Baby you’re my freak once in a week
we gettin’ kind of deep in my ’86 jeep
I don’t play no tricks you know the bomb ticks
the only style I play is my self-made hits
and it kicks like that yo’ it really does
was it number one hell yo’ it really was
I got the swing the king is back in the ring
ladies throw their bras when I start to sing

[Chorus:]
Can I rock it can I knock it
can I lick it can I kick it can I top it
you make me hazy you make me crazy
and baby I don’t know what I can do

We can start somethin’ fantastic that you never knew
forget you live in plastic when I keep my eyes on you
I can’t cool down because it’s gettin’ too hot
so please baby please baby never let us stop
and it kicks like that yo’ it really does
was it number one hell yo’ it really was
I got the swing the king is back in the ring
ladies throw their bras when I start to sing

[Chorus]

© 1999 Lou Bega

Another Productive Day in the Hinterlands!

Yesterday was, I mean.

But first!! The Tom Petty website released another song yesterday that will be in the upcoming Wildflowers PT. 2 boxed set. It is called “There Goes Angela” and it was just lovely, gang! An acoustic home demo. I really loved it. I cannot find a link anymore to how you can listen to it (they had it posted yesterday). But it was one of those true Tom Petty awesome acoustic songs where he empowers the woman alone in the world, as he usually did in his songs.

Also, Nick Cave’s website revealed Cave Things today!! A place where you can buy sort of extremely expensive things that Nick Cave has designed or curated in some way. The items are really cool. Some of them are “coming soon,” but the descriptions are already there. Everything is pretty much on the pricey side. For instance, a really nice guitar pick with Warren Ellis’s picture on it, which in US dollars cost about $4, before shipping. So that’s sort of a pricey guitar pick that, you know, if I bought it I would be afraid to use, because I wouldn’t want to damage it, or anything.

Still, the stuff is really cool, but being the somewhat lowly scribe that I am, I cannot afford any of the items I actually really want. But check them out anyway, because if you are not a writer, then you can probably afford everything!!

So. Yesterday.

I spent the entire day working on the re-edits of The Muse Revisited collection and came to the decision that the “new” revised edition will only be one book, and only available in trade paper, POD (Print On Demand).

My decision came about because of the page count.

It turns out Volume 1 has a really small page count, so it doesn’t really make sense to offer it separately in trade paper, even though the page count works fine for an eBook.

Then Volume 2 has a really high page count. And volume 3 has a kind of average page count.

But if I put it all together in one book — all 3 volumes, together — it becomes way too expensive for Print On Demand.  So then I thought, what if I pull some of the stories, to ease up on the page count, put it out as one new collection…

…but then I couldn’t offer it as an eBook because it would potentially cannibalize any sales of the tons of eBooks I already have in the marketplace, published by myself and other more traditional publishers who wouldn’t appreciate that at all.

So then I finally came up with the idea to put it out under one cover, but only as POD trade paper.

So I pulled the erotic memoir, the erotic fantasy stories, and the erotic romance stories from the (new) 4th volume. It’s only traditional erotic fiction. But then I’m adding some stories that were not included in volumes 1-3. And now the collection covers 1994-2012, and as of right now, has 25 previously published erotic fiction stories in it.

Plus! I finally found a copy of that publishing history that SomethingDark.eu had published in 2012, and so that will be included in the back of the book, and it lists my publications, honors and awards from 1990 to 2012, and also includes a list of all the reviews I wrote of erotic fiction and nonfiction books for various magazines and websites back in the early 2000’s. But it doesn’t include the erotic art shows I curated in NYC, or any of the multi-media work I produced, which was just a hugely massive amount of work (1997-2006).

But I thought it would make for an interesting book. Again, everything in it is previously published and will really only be for people who prefer books over eBooks.

The title is: The Muse Revisited, Volume 4: The Selected Erotic Fiction of Marilyn Jaye Lewis, 1994-2012. And the cover art is going to be black & white and feature this photo below in some way, that Valerie took of me at Coney Island in 1995, just prior to my 35th birthday.

June 1995 Coney Island, Brooklyn NY

I don’t know — you can sort of tell by the expression on my face that we probably weren’t up to any good.  Holly Lane was there that day, too, because the Mermaid Parade was going on that day. And if you were ever at a Mermaid Parade at Coney Island in the old days — nothing respectable at all was ever going on. And it was a blast.

Okay, so I started a new publishing company, Marilyn’s Room Books, and it will be at marilynsroombooks.com — although nothing is there yet. I don’t know if I’ll just keep it as a vanity press or publish other writers down the road, but here’s the logo, in case you’re interested:

And here, for your reading pleasure, is one story from Volume 4, that does not appear in the other volumes.  It is not what I would call “erotic,” necessarily — it’s more about erotic cannibalism.  It is microfiction (less than 300 words), and it appeared in Dirty: Dirty: An Illustrated Anthology of Dirty Writing published by Jaded Ibis Press, 2013, and was written expressly for them.

(And with that, I’m gonna leave you, gang!! I gotta get ready for Abstract Absurdity Productions work here today! Thanks for visiting, though. I love you guys. See ya!)

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

“We Warned Her”
© 2012 Marilyn Jaye Lewis

It was autumn, so we slung her over the split-rails to dry in the crisper breezes, knowing the smoky air would trap the piquant flavor of her and keep it that way all through the winter. Sweet meat where there were once tight curls of flaming red hairs; those lips hairless now, smooth and cool. The throbbing, over. The tender folds salted and the blood drained. In spring, she was succulent to the eye – engorged, even, to the point where she’d driven us mad. We’d warned her: “From here, we can see your thigh!” She’d laughed at us – her mirth like tinkling bells strung through plum blossoms that are caught on the gentle wind of an April rain. We could hardly fault her for it – that blithe laugh. She’d seemed as intoxicated by spring as the dewy hyacinth blossoms, or as the swollen buds of the old roses that had not yet burst with their sultry fragrance of sin. She’d refused to believe us, yet here was her proof: gone now, from the waist up. Splitter-splatter went the shards of bone in blood. “Straighten your skirts,” we’d urged her. “Don’t sit that way – we’re going balmy!” Lewdly was how she sat, legs splayed down in the grass, those flowery dresses with their many underskirts of lace raised too high. Until it was plain that she’d worn nothing under those lacy skirts; that the fleshy folds beneath the tight red curls were swollen and wet with something salty-sweet. In the summer, she was even worse.  (“I want to devour you,” I’d whispered once, my fingers plunging up into her while I lost control of my very breath. I licked them then – my fingers – and madly kissed the side of her damp face.)

© 2012 Marilyn Jaye Lewis

It’s All About Me Today!!

That’s not actually me pictured up there, but some of the good news is that I did finally lose 5 pounds! So I almost look like her —  just need to lose about 40 years and get all my natural brunette hair back!!

However.

Yes, it is Wednesday!! Which is all about me — doing the re-edits on all the various eBooks of which I’m going to publish POD trade paper options soon.

And I’ll be talking with Valerie later re: book cover designs — and then probably talk about a lot of other stuff — for instance, they got slammed with that near-hurricane level tropical storm yesterday. (New York City is just really the happening place to be right now, isn’t it?) We were texting back & forth anxiously yesterday, while tree limbs were snapping off and flying everywhere. And her poor dog was having an anxious nervous breakdown.

But I, personally, am expecting a really easy, low-stress kind of day. It feels like a while since I’ve had one of those. Yesterday, specifically, was really intense.  Abstract Absurdity Productions days (Tuesdays & Thursdays) are just getting really intense, in general. But on we go, right?

Today is also the day of the week that I do more research on potential topics for “sex-positive” articles. It is such an interesting world out there, people –as you probably already know. For some reason, though, the topics that appeal to me most tend to be about the continuing trend towards what I would loosely call “alienation” but I think it’s actually much more complex than that. More and more people living more of their sexual lives up in their minds — but also maybe including partners that are doing the same thing.

I just find it all so interesting.

And the weather today is just amazing — really sunny but really cool.  The high is only expected to be 78 degrees Fahrenheit today, which is, you know, just perfect.

Okay. Sorry this is short, but I wanted to get started early here.

For some unknown reason, I awoke singing “St. Elmo’s Fire,” at 4am this morning. (The titular song from that extremely popular movie from 1985 — one of those movies that had an ensemble cast of young American actors who all went on to become really famous in the 1990s.)

If you’re curious about what St. Elmo’s Fire actually is (the phenomenon, not the movie), here is a short YouTube video that explains it, but I couldn’t find any actual footage of St. Elmo’s Fire occurring at sea (although, I confess, I didn’t look really, really hard!).

And as for the movie of the same name — I have to confess, I actually enjoyed it but I didn’t watch it until decades after it was a cultural hit. Because in 1985, I only went to see “cool” movies — not hugely popular ones! (Okay, except for PeeWee’s Big Adventure!! Man, I loved that movie!! I know the entire movie by heart. I do not jest about that, either. This movie made me laugh so fucking hard. I went to see it several times in the movie theater, and then bought it on VHS when the home video finally came out.)

All righty. I’m gonna scoot. Thanks for visiting, gang. I hope your Wednesday is really nice, wherever you are in the world today!! Enjoy the “St. Elmo’s Fire” serenade!! I love you guys. See ya!

“St. Elmo’s Fire (Man In Motion)”

Growin’ up
You don’t see the writing on the wall
Passin’ by
Movin’ straight ahead, you knew it all

But maybe sometime if you feel the pain
You’ll find you’re all alone
Everything has changed

Play the game
You know you can’t quit until it’s won
Soldier on
Only you can do what must be done

You know in some way
You’re a lot like me
You’re just a prisoner
And you’re tryin’ to break free

I can see a new horizon
Underneath the blazin’ sky
I’ll be where the eagle’s flyin’
Higher and higher

Gonna be your man in motion
All I need’s this pair of wheels
Take me where the future’s lyin’
St. Elmo’s Fire, ooh

Burnin’ up
Don’t know just how far that I can go (Just how far I go)
Soon be home
Only just a few miles down the road

I can make it
I know I can
You broke the boy in me
But you won’t break the man

I can see a new horizon
Underneath the blazin’ sky
I’ll be where the eagle’s flyin’
Higher and higher

Gonna be your man in motion
All I need’s this pair of wheels
Take me where my future’s lyin’
St. Elmo’s Fire

I can climb the highest mountain
Cross the wildest sea
I can feel St. Elmo’s Fire
Burnin’ in me, burnin’ in me

Just once in his life
A man has his time
And my time is now
I’m comin’ alive

I can hear the music playin’
I can see the banners fly
Feel like your man again
And hope ridin’ high

Gonna be your man in motion
All I need’s this pair of wheels
Take me where my future’s lyin’
St. Elmo’s Fire

I can see a new horizon
Underneath the blazin’ sky
I’ll be where the eagle’s flyin’
Higher and higher

Gonna be your man in motion
All I need’s this pair of wheels
Take me where the future’s lyin’
St. Elmo’s Fire

I can climb the highest mountain
Cross the wildest sea
I can feel St. Elmo’s Fire burnin’ in me

Burnin’
Burnin’ in me
I can feel it burnin’
Ooh, burnin’ inside of me

© 1985 John Parr, David Foster

A Strange Tummy Kind of Morning!

I’m still planning to do a ton of Abstract Absurdity Productions work today with Peitor, but my tummy is behaving weirdly. Like it can’t make up its mind if it wants to be sick.

Last night, lights out.  I sat on the edge of my bed in my freshly laundered cotton summer PJs, wondering if I wanted to stream a lecture on Christian Antiquities, or play some more Einstürzende Neubauten, or maybe just listen to the sound of the crickets filling the night and stare out my window at the dark.

And then, suddenly —whoops!— my tummy decided, out of the blue, as it were, to shoot a bunch of weird acid-y stuff right up into my mouth.

Just suddenly. Just like that. No warning or anything. Ich!!

Thank you very much, tummy.

It startled the heck out of me. It’s never done that before.

And from then on, everything felt just a little bit off. And even though I could still eat my breakfast today, and I did the treadmill, and even though I sort of seem just fine, I still just feel a little off.

It could of course just be anxiety. I’m really good at finding new and unusual ways to express that. Free-floating anxiety.

There’s a ton of Ab Ab Pro stuff to do (mostly for me to do, not necessarily for Peitor to do) (including another webinar I need to take on Thursday — this one on equity investment and debt financing and it comes with a guarantee that by the end of the 2nd hour, my head will explode or I get my money back).  But even though there is so much work still to do, today we are starting a new script, because we want 3 of our micro-micro shorts ready to shoot as soon as it’s feasible to do that (either out in LA or in the cinematographer’s studio down in Alabama, depending on the cost estimates we get, etc.).

So there’s just this growing feeling that nothing will ever get done because there’s too much to do. And I’m also waiting to hear back from the director of my play with any word re: the potential staged reading of my play (on zoom). Something that will potentially make me happier than you can possibly imagine, but would also require my near-total attention for a while.

And then an email arrived at dawn from the accountant to follow up on everything regarding our 723 million LLC set-ups for Ab Ab Pro, and something the accountant said in the email brought to my attention that I might have misunderstood something during our phone  call  on Thursday and that I might have misspent some of Peitor’s money and, if so, I will have to pay him back today. And I thought — anxiety circling ever closer — please don’t tell me I have to absorb that cost right now. Crap.

And then I found my imagination doing that thing it does when it wants to just bail on me — I started thinking about the factory that’s a 5-minute walk from my house. And about how I noticed when I drove by it yesterday that it had a huge “Now Hiring” sign out in front. And I thought, I should go get a job at that factory.

It assembles auto parts for Honda.

I have no clue how to work in a factory. I have no clue how to assemble auto parts.  I have no real marketable skills at all except for writing and editing, and I have no clue how I would stand on my feet for 40 hours a week in an assembly line and not shoot myself. But suddenly, since it is only a 5-minute walk from my house, by brain is telling me to just give up on everything and go work in a factory.

I was at it in my imagination for quite a while before I finally realized what I was doing and had to snap myself out of it: Jesus Christ, Marilyn, you’re not going to go work in a factory. You’re going to deal with your life.

And then I further thought about how most of my friends are now retiring and getting those social security checks and winding down their lives.  And I’m still in the very thick of everything, and am also very seriously contemplating another online start-up with M. Christian to begin next year. Something that would be so fucking cool and would be an indescribable ton of more (editing) work for me…

And I marvel at this idea: Retiring. What is that, exactly? How do people manage that?

It’s the exact opposite of what I’m always doing — piling more and more projects onto my plate. Projects that I love, you know? That I simply cannot say ‘no’ to.

Well, anyway.  As much as I would love certain aspects of retiring, I don’t think I’m ever going to do that.

On a whole other topic– Nick Cave sent out a Red Hand File today that was really interesting, about the nature of songwriting. You can read it here. It was really well stated. Just beautifully expressed.

And it was illustrated with the handwritten lyrics of a song he wrote a million years ago, “Sad Waters,” which was on the Bad Seeds’ Your Funeral…My Trial double EP from 1986. (And I always used to lie on my bed in the hellhole tenement apartment on E. 12th Street and listen to it on my record player and stare up at the ceiling and wonder why it was a double EP, and not just an LP? But anyway, it wasn’t.) Here’s the image he used. I just love this!!

Well, okay. I guess I better get started here. Have a terrific Tuesday, wherever you are in the world!! I know this will seem like an odd choice to leave you with, but this is the song I was listening to this morning, as I was drinking my coffee and  trying to get a grip on all my anxiety. Lou Bega, “I Got A Girl.” From his 1999 hit album, A Little Bit of Mambo (a really fun album, by the way).

So listen, enjoy, get rid of that free-floating anxiety if you can. Go file for your retirement benefits. Relax. Take it easy. Have a good life!! This song promises all of those good things. Thanks for visiting, gang. I love you guys. See ya.

“I Got A Girl”

Six, seven, eight, nine, ten
Lou Bega on a trip, would you all come in?
With a little bit of this and a little bit of that
You can get what you see, you can see what you get
And I bet that you all a little bit excited
If you need a autograph, honey, I can write it
I got girls worldwide on the planet
Some called Whitney and some called Janet

I gotta girl in Paris, I gotta girl in Rome
I even gotta girl in Vatican Dome
I gotta girl right here, I gotta girl right there
And I gotta girlfriend everywhere
I gotta girl on the Moon, I gotta girl on Mars
I even gotta girl that likes to dance in the stars
I gotta girl right here and one right there
And I gotta girlfriend everywhere

From Miami Beach to Beluga Bay
From the Milky Way to East L.A.
From St. Tropez to my home cafe
That´s my way and I do it like day by day
In Africa, America, Europe and Australia
Asia, Canada, I take them all an’ marry her
India, Arabia to the girls of Germany
All around the planet, you can be my fantasy

I gotta girl in Paris, I gotta girl in Rome
I even gotta girl in Vatican Dome
I gotta girl right here, I gotta girl right there
And I gotta girlfriend everywhere
I gotta girl on the Moon, I gotta girl on Mars
I even gotta girl that likes to dance in the stars
I gotta girl right here and one right there
And I gotta girlfriend everywhere

You and me, no matter where you from baby
No matter where you from baby, baby only you and me
You and me, no matter where you from baby
No matter where you from baby, baby only you and me

I gotta girl in Paris, I gotta girl in Rome
I even gotta girl in Vatican Dome
I gotta girl right here, I gotta girl right there
And I gotta girlfriend everywhere
I gotta girl on the Moon, I gotta girl on Mars
I even gotta girl that likes to dance in the stars
I gotta girl right here and one right there
And I gotta girlfriend everywhere
I gotta girl in Paris, I gotta girl in Rome
I even gotta girl in Vatican Dome
I gotta girl right here, I gotta girl right there
And I gotta girlfriend everywhere
And I gotta girlfriend everywhere
And I gotta girlfriend everywhere

© 1999 Lou Bega, Christian Koenigseder, Achim Kleist, Wolfgang Webenau Von

It’s Sort of Been that Kind of Day!!

I went into town early this morning to get the groceries, and then came back home expecting to post to the blog, but then the whole day romped away from me! Followed by a deep need to nap.

The lawn guy was here earlier, informing me that baseball season is officially over for the local kids and now football season has begun. (This is, of course, assuming that none of the kids develop COVID symptoms, because as soon as one of them gets it, the whole team goes into quarantine, etc., etc.)

Well, this switch from baseball to football is an indicator that the summer is as good as gone here in the Hinterlands! How the fuck does that happen, gang?! I mean, come on.  4 seconds ago, it was early June and the world was my (COIVD-19-infused) oyster.

Time indeed marches on. Even though I’m not happy about it.

Okay. Well.

As loyal readers of this lofty blog no doubt recall, Mondays are now my days to catch up on other writers’ works, give them feedback, etc. Today, I am still focusing on the Netherlands travel guide that my friend, Roger Gaess, in Brussels wrote. (Whatever Comes My Way: Travels in the Netherlands.) I really love this book. I’m learning so much about places in the Netherlands. And also a lot about the beer he likes to drink, how frequently he likes to drink it, when & where he likes to smoke weed (and how much), and what he thinks about while doing these things in various locales in the Netherlands. (I haven’t even gotten to the chapter on Amsterdam yet. I imagine that will be of great interest.)

He also notes architecture a lot, which is really interesting, but then it makes me wish he had photos accompanying his comments. (He’s a photo journalist by trade, so he must have photos somewhere!)

But, seriously, I am really enjoying the book. And I am sort of marveling at his bravery — to just go wandering, with only a general idea of what he hopes to find and then usually finding it.

For whatever reason, whenever I am in Europe or the UK, I am almost always staying at the homes of colleagues. And here’s something important to know about me: I have no sense of direction. None. Even all those decades that I lived in NYC, I had to pay extra special attention to which river I was heading in the direction of in order to know for sure that I was almost always going the wrong way.

ME (thinking anxiously): Shit. That’s the Hudson River. I’m going the wrong way! Now I’m going to be late for my fucking meeting!

OR

ME (thinking anxiously): Shit. That’s the East River. I’m going the wrong way! Now I’m going to be late for my fucking meeting!

Always. One time, while staying  at a colleagues house in London, I came up from the tube station and immediately, without any hesitation whatsoever, began going the wrong way. It was after 11pm and it was, of course, dark. And it was just a neighborhood, you know? Just houses and streets. I had no landmarks. Everyone in every house seemed to be in bed asleep. Everything was just dark.

I wandered the neighborhood and sort of began to panic. I had brought my cellphone on the trip but had left it in my room because I couldn’t get service on it in the UK. But thank god, I found one of those things called a phone booth. And I even had British coins in my pocket!

And so I went into the phone booth and realized I had no clue what my friend’s phone number was because I always called him on my cellphone.  I couldn’t even remember his address, although I knew the street name. I had of course forgotten that I would be coming back to his place in the dark of night and that recognizing his house in the pitch dark wasn’t something I had practiced, or anything.

It was really a scary feeling. Thank goodness two young women came down the street I was on and helped me at least find the right street. And eventually I stood in front of what I thought was his house for several moments before going up to the front door and letting myself in (they were all asleep).

But that is just so me. Generally clueless about where the fuck I am, no matter what language anyone speaks. So Roger’s book is really fascinating to me in that regard. He just sets off, in some other language, and arrives generally where he wants to be.

Okay.

I’m guessing you’ve heard by now that President Trump wants someone (like Microsoft) to buy TikTok really soon or it’s going to be banned here in the US, as well. (It’s already banned in India and Australia is considering banning it, as well. And all US federal employees are banned from having it on their phones.)

I hope somebody does buy it because I really did enjoy it, I just didn’t want the Chinese tracking everything I did on my phone…

(Of course a certain NYC-based newspaper that I no longer give much credence to assures us we are all over-reacting, but it was also a NYC-based bunch of officials who assured us that the Coronavirus  (as it was once called) was not contagious. And to date, of the 231,000 people in NYC alone who got the virus, 23, 021 New Yorkers died from it. So, you know. I’ll get my news somewhere else now, thanks.)

Anyway!!!

It’ll be interesting to see. Hollywood is dying to make a truckload of money off of TikTok so it’s really important to not ban it for any pesky national security reasons.  And we need Hollywood to make a truckload of money. It’ll re-assure us that COVID 19 has not ruined absolutely everything in our culture.

Well, sorry this post came so late in the day. I’m going to get back to reading Roger’s book now. I hope that what’s left of Monday is really good to you, gang, wherever you are in the world. Thanks for visiting. I leave you with my jaunty driving-to-town music from this morning. I’ve posted it here before, but here it is again. Einstürzende Neubauten, “Ten Grand Goldie,” from their new album Alles in Allem. I don’t really know what it’s about because I don’t speak German, but the song is still really catchy! So enjoy. I love you guys. See ya!

Excerpt #2 Thug Luckless: Welcome to P-Town

Okay, gang. Here is another excerpt from the new novel. Again, even though the novel is hardcore erotic, this excerpt is appropriate for all readers.

These are a few very short chapters from Part One.

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

Excerpt from Thug Luckless: Welcome to P-Town.  (Approx. 3  & 1/2 pages)

Taken from Part One: Mavis Says Goodbye
© 2020 Marilyn Jaye Lewis

Mavis had lived alone in the apartment since the accident at the plant. Her husband was “one of the lucky ones,” she said, who had died instantly. Their two children, who had been at the school down the road from the plant, had practically melted, but it had still taken them a while to die.

“The hospital, of course, was full. And I mean beyond belief full,” she said. “My kids had to die in a long row of children, out on the sidewalk. In front of where the school had been just that morning. They couldn’t be moved, you know. I couldn’t take them home with me so that maybe they could die in their own beds. What was left of their skin would have just fallen right off if I’d so much as touched them.”

Since those days with Mavis, I have met many women in P-Town whose kids had died in that long line of melting children out on the school sidewalk.

I have tried to picture it on my inner screen – that long line – but all that comes up when I focus is a line of baby goats that have been set on fire, and I don’t know what it means.

I hear the screaming, though. Of the baby goats. It’s horrible.

I cannot process suffering.

That’s how I damaged one of my hearing sensors. Slamming one side of my head into the concrete pylon of the old overpass. Trying to make the horrible sounds of screaming stop.

*     *     *

The apartment building where Mavis lived was six stories high, and had two large apartments on each floor. But only two other residents were left in the entire building, besides Mavis – both of them were women who had also lost their husbands and kids in the accident.

I got to know those two women very well after Mavis died. She died from what was called an aneurysm – of the heart. Her heart unraveled. Something like that. I’ve tried to picture it but nothing comes.

All the women from that building are dead now. No one lives there anymore.

*     *     *

Mavis wore pretty dresses. Pretty, like her. With flowers all over them. And she wore shoes with high-heels and with open-toes but no backs to the shoes at all. They looked dangerous but she could balance on them just fine.

When she was in the kitchen cooking at night, I sat at the table and watched her. We would talk while she cooked. She would place a cup of coffee in front of me. And a plate of food, when she sat down with hers. Of course, I don’t eat. But I sat there with my unlit cigarette in my mouth, a cup of coffee in front of me. The sugar bowl. An ashtray. A plate, with food on it; steam rising from the plate and from the coffee cup.

A fork. A knife. A spoon.

She sat across from me at the table. Sometimes we spoke while she ate. Sometimes she talked on and on, not expecting me to join in. Other times, she was silent and it looked like she was listening to something in the distance. Something outside the window, down the street, and very far away.

*     *     *

“It’s always so damn hot now – always.” Mavis would come to bed in a tiny nightgown. It hardly covered any of her skin but she still said she was hot.

The plumbing wasn’t great but there was still electricity in most places in P-Town. Lights worked. Appliances worked. But the machines that made the air cold, those didn’t work anymore and no one from the city would come to P-Town to fix those. They wouldn’t fix anything in P-Town. If it broke, it stayed broken.

“They’re afraid,” Mavis explained. “They think that if they come here, they’ll all catch what we’ve got and then go home and die. But that’s just stupid. It doesn’t work that way. If you weren’t here during the accident then it won’t affect you. It’s not that simple. Nothing is that simple. But it sure is easy to be stupid, isn’t it, Bill?”

“Yes,” I would reply. And I knew for sure the reply was correct.

*     *     *

Mavis said, “Sometimes I get so tired in the afternoon that I can’t keep my eyes open another minute and then I lie right down and fall dead asleep for five minutes. Just five minutes. And I feel myself step out of my body – right out of it – and I take off and run. I’m free. I’ve got stuff to do – to investigate. To see. To feel. I come back, and I can look at my body, I know where it is. And sometimes I say, ‘I’m not getting back in. I’m done now.’ But then I always get back in and then I wake with a start – like I’m falling.”

I don’t sleep. I don’t dream. I don’t know what any of that stuff feels like. But when Mavis would talk about it, all those words were in me – I could see them and I understood.

The day that she died, I saw her on the screen inside me: she took off and ran. It was just like she’d said had happened in the dream. She was free. Done with it. She left her body and did not get back inside.

*     *     *

Mavis called it “spooning.” To spoon. “Like spoons, and how they fit together in a drawer,” she said. “It’s an old-fashioned word but most people still know what it means.”

I was not pre-programmed to spoon, so she pressed my “learn” button and then told me to lie on my side on the bed, as she was doing, and to make my body form a sort of ‘s’ shape – as hers was doing. And then she told me to press up very close to her.

In that position, we fit together perfectly.

Spooning. To spoon. Like spoons.

I committed it to my memory and she was happy.

I worried about the heat, though – that she was already too hot and that maybe this close proximity of all my mechanisms to her body would make her feel much hotter. It did. But she didn’t care.

“My husband and I – we always slept like this. This is what I want. It’s okay.”

I came from the factory fully functional in many positions but for a long time, Mavis did not want to use any of those. Only the ‘s’ curve.

“Just this,” she said in the dark. “This is what I need. So many things went into me in all those same positions that you were pre-programmed with at the factory,” she explained. “I know all those positions. There’s nothing wrong with them. In fact, so many good things came out of me because of those positions – babies, joy, delight, ecstasy. Rapture, even – do you know what rapture is, Bill?”

I scanned my screen and found ‘rapture’ and it was very agreeable. “Yes,” I told her. “I know what rapture is.”

“I lost everything in the accident. All the good things that came out of me – of my body? They’re gone now. I cannot get any of them back. I can’t put any of them back inside – even though I wish I could. I wish I could push them all back up inside me and never let them out. Keep all my rapture safe and never hear the screaming. But it’s impossible. Now I just need something to help me pretend that the loss of them is not permanent. I need something to follow the gaps of me – the bends, the curves, the places along the outside of my body that are empty. That’s all I need now. It calms the voices.”

“What does that mean?”

“They call to me – it’s constant.”

“Who calls to you?”

“My children. My husband. They call to me. But I can’t go yet. And until I can – having you to wrap around me like this? It calms the voices.”

“I see,” I said. Although I did not really see. However, many of the words she’d spoken were not unfamiliar to me and had rushed to my inner screen – colliding with each other, shooting around like a sudden heat applied to electrons. That was what it looked like – her words on my screen: like a kind of science. And then, just as rapidly, her words tumbled from my screen, rolling right down the edge of it, like a waterfall of sad words, and then disappeared. A science of dying.

Then it was just dark, and she was breathing, and her ‘s’ curve fit into my ‘s’ curve perfectly on the bed, and so I held her – just like that. The breathing going in a rhythm of lifting and falling.

“What were your children’s names?” I asked her.

“My daughter’s name was Olivia, and my son’s name was Chester. We called them Livy and Chess.”

I felt the names find their places in my vocabulary feed.

“What was your husband’s name?” I asked.

“Bill,” she said. “My husband’s name was Bill.”

I couldn’t process it. “Bill? But that’s me. I’m called Bill.”

“I know,” she said. “You can have the name now – I’m giving it to you. It’s yours. You’re Bill now.”

A man came up on my screen who was nameless, but only because I had his name now. I was Bill. Then the man with no name disappeared.

And then it was just the rhythm of lifting and falling – her breathing, filling the space around us on the bed. Between us there were no spaces, though. Those gaps were filled.

© 2020 Marilyn Jaye Lewis
Excerpted from Thug Luckless: Welcome to P-Town

Here Comes Sunday!!

Okay, well, if you’re here wondering what happened to the new flash-memoir piece I posted here last night — I only wanted it up for about 12 hours. Since it’s brand new & unpublished, I didn’t want it to get too many views yet.

But thank you for all the “likes.”  I appreciate it.

Today has been one of those days where I had to try to just get myself on automatic and make myself do stuff. It was one of those mornings where I didn’t really even want to get out of bed.

Well, I mean, I got up at my usual 5am, fed everyone, did all my millions of Inner Being Journal-type thingies down at the kitchen table, then went back upstairs and meditated, then went BACK to bed, and then didn’t feel like getting out of bed.

(I know, I am, like, just fucking neurotic. If you think I’d be hard to live with, imagine how I feel when I wake up each morning, 60 years running now, and realize: oh my god, she’s still here.…)

Okay, anyway.

I somehow managed to get on the treadmill, even though I absolutely did not want to work out today. And then, after my shower, I even forced myself to finally cut my hair. I cut off three inches and my hair still hits just below my shoulders. It had gotten so long. I really, really didn’t want to cut it because I love long hair, but it wasn’t really looking very attractive. So it had to go.

While I’m waiting on PBS Passport to air the new season of Endeavor (in 7 days), I’ve been splitting up my time in the evenings watching both the old Season 2 of Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries (which I watched 6 years ago, when it was new, but I don’t remember much of it so that’s fun), and then a newer show (also on Acorn TV), Dead Still.

That one is only a 6-part show, but I like it a lot. It’s quirky. The only drawback is that most of the characters have such heavy Irish accents that a lot of the dialogue I don’t actually understand. But I can still follow the plot. It’s not that tricky. And it’s really fun.

But as I had feared, having the Acorn TV subscription again is giving me way too many options for TV shows that really, really appeal to me.  And I really don’t like watching (streaming) TV. It makes me feel like I’m wasting time.

Sometimes I try to convince myself that it’s “research” and it’s giving me an opportunity to see all the great new television writing that’s out there — and that’s partly true. But I have so much reading I could get caught up on in the evenings. Just during the pandemic, I’ve bought 20 new books.  And so far, I’ve only finished reading about 3 or 4 of them.

Even though I need structure, otherwise I sit around, staring, and that almost always leads to terrible, terrible places; I still have just so much structure to my days, that it can start to make me go completely insane.

At some point before I die, I would really like to figure out how to just enjoy myself, without having a single darn thing to do from morning until night. I think I would really love that, as long as I had some sort of keeper, you know, who would keep my mind distracted.

Well, I did not make much headway with Thug Luckless yesterday, because I had to take another webinar mid-afternoon, and I wanted to take it in “real time” and not stream it later on.  And then, on the heels of that, I had a great phone conversation with Kevin (director of Tell My Bones) about potential stuff for the staged reading of the play, which was really exciting. However. That all sort of skewed my energy for the rest of the day.

Today, however, I have nothing left on my schedule that I need to do but work on Thug Luckless, so that’s pretty cool. I am hoping that it’s going to be a productive day.  (Yes, I know — I’ve just spent the last 5 hours doing what most people spread out over an entire day, so hoping that the day “is productive” is just fucking insane.)

Oh well. You know, if I didn’t have these cats counting on me — I realize that Kafka had TB, and that he eventually died from it, but I used to think that it was so cool that he would just go off and disappear in a  sanitarium in the mountains for huge chunks of time and try to “get well.” (Kafka was almost as neurotic as I am.) (I’m just kidding, gang — he was one of the most neurotic writers that ever lived.) But sometimes, I just wish I could go off somewhere and “get well.” I really do!!

Franz Kafka - Wikipedia
One of my favorite writers (and men) of all time.

Okay. On that note. Let me get going here. I hope you’re having a great Sunday, wherever you are in the world. Thanks for visiting, gang. I leave you with absolutely nothing today because what have I been listening to? Yes, that’s right — IZ singing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” over and over and over. I think that makes about 3 or 4 days running, doesn’t it? I have probably listened to it about 800 times now. And I don’t seem to be getting tired of it yet. (Methinks I would like to get to that place over the rainbow, but I’m not entirely certain about that yet!!)

All righty. Enjoy your day. I love you guys. See ya.

Somewhere Over The Rainbow (Art Pepper) drawing / Ian Johnson