Just One Frustrating Day

I have always found Bad Day at Black Rock to be a frustrating, annoying movie, even though that didn’t keep me from sitting through it a number of times.

And whenever I have a frustrating, annoying day around here, I simply call it a bad day at Black Rock and try to leave it at that.

First, though: I finally remembered to put up that photo gallery of Villa Monte Malbe in Perugia, Italy, where the writer’s retreat will be held (hopefully every year). It’s down there on the right hand side. Click on any photo and it becomes a gallery.

Even though it sleeps 60, and has 30 guestrooms with 30 private baths, I am only going to accept a maximum of 20 writers, and probably closer to 15.  Since the retreat will also yield a publication of work that’s written during the retreat, I have to actually meet one-on-one with all the writers several times throughout the week, and then edit everyone after they go home.

And I was thinking I’d like to have a life in addition to doing all that… so, 20 is the max.

I’ve been waiting here at my desk for 2 hours for a phone call from Sandra. She texted: I’ll be home soon, can you chat?

That was the above-mentioned 2 hours ago. However, I know it will be a very interesting chat, so I’m waiting…

I’m also waiting to hear from the director of the play, but he’s incommunicado right now over something that is of great interest to me, so I am trying to be patient there, too.

However, I didn’t get much done on the novel today, so of course, I’m frustrated and annoyed with myself. And when I can’t get other people to distract me (i.e., on the phone), it’s even more frustrating!

And then after mentioning in my earlier post today, that I listened to Tom Petty’s song “Dreamville” about 30 times in a row last night, and loving every spellbinding, beautiful moment of it, as well as the night itself; I played the song again once today while fixing my dinner and broke into tears again.

What the heck is up with that?

I don’t know. Sometimes, I just give up trying to figure out anything.

Anyway, peruse the photos. The retreat is going to focus on sensual/sexual/erotic writing; poetry, prose, memoir, fiction, nonfiction, etc. (Is there an “etc.” or did I just cover all the bases?)

If you are familiar with my book Stirring Up A Storm: Tales of the Sensual, the Sexual, and the Erotic, it’s going to be along those lines, except for men & women, both. Not just women writers.

Plus, it’s still a year away.

Okay, people. I am going to try to see if I can salvage the night here somehow. I refuse to go to bed frustrated. Well, that sounded a little weird, but I trust that you know what I meant.

Buonanotte!!

Baci. See ya!

Summer Can Officially Begin

It only took about 5 hours, but I got it all done.

The mayor came by and posed for pictures on my leafless front walk and, frankly, the whole village was astir. They had forgotten what my sidewalk actually looked like under all those piles of dead leaves. They decided to take some of those photos of the mayor on my leafless front walk and seal it in a time capsule that they then buried on the grounds behind the old abandoned elementary school.

Just kidding, of course. But it sure does look a lot nicer out there. And the statue of St. Francis looks delighted to be surrounded by blossoms again.

And it didn’t rain again until long after dark.

In fact, it was the most perfect evening.

A couple weeks ago, I posted the cover art for one of my books-in-progress, Girl in the Night: Erotic Love Letters to the Muse. The original photo for the cover was taken from my bedroom window at night – the window right across from my bed.

The view from my bed at night.

The photo was taken in late fall, just as a train was arriving. Since it was fall, though, it doesn’t capture how it feels to be hidden behind all of those amazing green leaves that are out there now, but you get the idea, I hope.

The streets are usually just incredibly quiet in the evening. Except when suddenly a freight train goes barreling past with its whistle screaming. (My whole house shakes then. It can be kind of frightening but I still just love that train.)

And I also just love to lie across my bed in the dark and listen to music and stare out my open window at that view. It’s kind of ancient, you know? The village is nearly 200 years old, and it’s surrounded by old burial grounds that are a couple thousand years old. From before the Native Indians were even here. There’s a feeling, a spirit, that comes through my open windows at night that is palpable. It really is.

It’s sort of an erotic feeling, but then, apparently everything in the known universe is erotic to me.  (And I’m guessing that the unknown universe — once I get to know that, too — is going to feel off the charts for me.)

Yes, it’s safe to say that God, Himself, is erotic to me. It started when I was a little girl.  He was all I had, really. I knew I had “real” parents out in the world somewhere, and I missed them terribly. Throughout my whole childhood.  And in their absence, the feeling I clung to instead was God.  He became everything to me, and, to my mind, everything I felt or thought about was just naturally part of Him.

Anyway. I digress.

Last evening was just beautiful. While I was working on that new teaching material on my guitar, and marveling at how ethereal those new Black Diamond strings sounded, it made me think of Tom Petty’s song, “Dreamville,” and I got sort of dreamy myself.

I eventually put the guitar down and called it a night, even though it was still light out. It’s at that point in the year where it stays light out now until about 9:30pm. I laid across my bed, stared out at those empty streets that are so oddly filled to overflowingwith life. And I streamed “Dreamville” repeatedly until, yes, long after dark.

As I was listening, it occurred to me that it was the last time Tom Petty had that “young Tom Petty” quality to his voice. Even though he was already 52 when he wrote that song, and on the rest of the songs on that album (The Last DJ) he has his older Tom Petty voice. For some reason, his youth is captured once again in that specific song. And it never was again.  I’m guessing it’s because the song is such an exquisite song about his childhood.

I was just in a trance, you know? For a couple of hours. Life just felt so intensely beautiful: the here & now; whatever’s coming; and all the beauty that came and passed. All of it together – I could feel it in the night outside my window. And I was so grateful for all of it. Even the “Tom Petty being dead now” stuff – I was just grateful last night that he had lived.

Shortly after I fell asleep, the rains came like crazy. Thunder, lightning, the works. It woke me, of course. I had all the windows in the house still wide open and I just didn’t care to get up and close any of them.  It was just too perfect, being alive in all of that “God-stuff.” So wild & joyful.

Okay. It’s sunny here right now, but more rain is heading our way.  (Oh, somebody took the most amazing photo of Nick Cave in the Netherlands last night. They posted it in black & white but it was still incredible. He was just standing there, listening, looking up at a guy who was asking him a question. It was kind of frustrating that I could only view it on my phone, because it was really a stunning shot.)

I’m guessing I’m just  going to hang out all day at the desk and work on Blessed By Light, especially since I now might need to have it done & off by July… But I don’t want to stress.  I just want to let life come, however it chooses to come. Thanks for visiting, gang. Have a terrific Tuesday, wherever it finds you! I love you guys. See ya.

“Dreamville”

Goin’ down to Lillian’s music store
To buy a black diamond string
Gonna wind it up on my guitar
Gonna make that silver sing

Like it was Dreamville
A long time ago
A million miles away
All the trees were green
In Dreamville

I keep wakin’ up all by myself
With a bluejay in my brain
Flappin’ his wings, makin’ me sing
It was just about to rain

Like it was Dreamville
Where I was born
Light years from here
And the air smelled good
In Dreamville

Like it was Dreamville
A long time ago
Light years from here
And the trees were green
In Dreamville

Ridin’ with my mamma
To Glen Springs Pool
The water was cold
My lips were blue
There was rock and roll
Across the dial
When I think of her
It makes me smile

Like it was Dreamville
A long time ago
A million miles away
All the trees were green
In Dreamville, in Dreamville

Yeah it was Dreamville
A long time ago
Light years from here
And the air smelled good
In Dreamville, in Dreamville

c – 2002 Tom Petty

It’s Just that Kind of Morning Around Here!!

I’m brimming with way too many feelings today, gang!

The good news, though, is that we have a wonderful little reprieve here in the weather! It’s not going to rain again until later this evening. So I awoke to a glorious spring day!

However, I overslept, and woke to that glorious spring day a couple of hours later than I would have preferred, so I feel like half my day’s gone.

I was lazy again yesterday and didn’t do yoga, even though my body was starting to scream for it. Instead, I opted for the shortcut and decided to take Ibuprofen, and I forgot that those pills make me super sleepy. So I overslept today because I was lazy yesterday and so I awoke not super happy with myself for some of those choices I made yesterday, however…

We’re not gonna look back, are we? No! We’re moving ahead!

We have many little flowers to plant today in the pretty sunshine!!!

But this means that I have to go into my barn to get my flower boxes out, and I now have Virginia creeper growing all over that fucking barn door. So I have to deal with that today, too, without winding up in the Emergency Room because of exposure to Virginia creeper, which I am deathly allergic too. We’ll see how that goes.

This whole “Virginia creeper on the fucking barn door” thing makes me so angry.  I’m just so fed up with that gigantic fallen oak tree out there by my barn that still hasn’t been hauled away.

I cannot tell you how many people have promised to come out here with a chainsaw and a truck and haul that enormous dead tree away.  The tree fell over a few years before I even bought this house.  The fallen tree is the reason why I need a new roof on my barn. And everyone I’ve talked to since even before buying the house who  has promised to come take care of hauling that dead tree away has not done it.

It makes it really difficult to get in and out of the barn, or to deal with trying to replace the roof. And worse yet, that old dead oak tree positively loves Virginia creeper. It’s a veritable Virginia creeper magnet.

The tree is actually in segments, but each segment is about as big as a house. So it’s in a massive pile. It’s hard enough to maneuver around it when it’s not covered in Virginia creeper. However, it is indeed covered in Virginia creeper. Already. And it’s still only May.

So I look out my kitchen window, at the glorious spring morning, several hours later than I had hoped to be looking out at it because I was lazy yesterday, and I know I want to get my flower boxes out of that barn that I can readily see from my kitchen window and then I see all that fucking Virginia creeper all over my barn door, and I just get so fucking frustrated with all of humanity for LYING to me all the time!!

Come get this fucking tree already, you know??

And then yesterday evening, two separate things happened, both indirectly relating to my play Tell My Bones that could cause me to be in rehearsals for it as early as July.

Which, on the one hand, seems like a good thing! But I’m trying to finish writing this novel! I seriously want it done and off to the publisher before I have to focus on Tell My Bones.

And if we’re going to be getting this far ahead of schedule on the rehearsals, does this mean that in September, when I’ll be merrily following Nick Cave hither and yon all over Manhattan, that I will actually already be up to my eyeballs in the staged readings that will need 200 million % of my concentration??!! Please don’t tell me this!

And then Peitor texts me, bright & early. He’s now sequestered in that amazing little Airbnb on the English Channel! He has texted charming photos!! With stunning vistas! When can we get some work done on the scripts??!!

It all makes me just want to lean over and smack my forehead repeatedly on my desk and I’ve only been awake for an hour and a half!

Image result for Charlie Brown smacking his head on his desk

And there you have it. My morning thus far.

So.

People in Amsterdam prefer not to post to Instagram in English. So I can’t guarantee you that everyone loved the Conversation with Nick Cave that happened there last night, but the photos have all the earmarks of people loving it.

He might have actually sang T.Rex’s Cosmic Dancer last night! But don’t quote me on that. The bunch of words that came before “T.Rex’s Cosmic Dancer” and the bunch of words that came after it in the Instagram post, were in a language I don’t understand.  So they might have actually said, “I was so angry when he didn’t sing T.Rex’s Cosmic Dancer, that I left in a huff and will never go see him again.”

However, I’m guessing probably not.

The only thing that I saw posted in English was somebody saying that “God was in the house”.

[UPDATE: In a weird twist, I see that Nick Cave’s Red Hand Files newsletter today deals with God’s voice! I haven’t read it yet, though…]

This is of course a play on words, because Nick Cave wrote a truly amazing song called, “God is in the House.” And a lot of people also literally call Nick Cave, “God.”

I am indeed one of those people who thinks that the song “God is in the House,” is a real jaw-dropping song, no matter how many times I hear it. However, I am not one of those people who thinks Nick Cave is God.

I don’t even know what that word “God” means anymore, you know? I truly don’t.  I did when I was a little girl. God was everything to me and I clung to Him and He somehow managed to help me survive years of terrifying abuse. And certainly during the first suicide attempt when I was 14, when people were fighting to save my life, He told me – maybe not in words but in a language I definitely understood was coming from God – to go back down there and stick it out, because it was eventually gonna end well. That it was gonna be worth it and I was gonna want to be there for that.

I don’t really know that God anymore. That voice is sort of distant to me, now.  I hear God now as a sort of continually creating energy, that is always delivering more, more, more, and then still more, and more and more.  As in: Here, this is Life, and I have a limitless supply of it. Make of it what you will.

I am willing to grant Nick Cave a lowercase “g,” you know? “Little god” among half-formed men. But, frankly, the words I would rather use to describe him are so much more magnificent than that because he is human. And seeing him in all of his humanness only heightens how extraordinary he actually is. To call him God, misses all of that, but to call him a “man” brings everything remarkable about him into tight focus.

For me, anyway.

Okay. I really, really gotta get going here, gang. The many tiny flowers await me!! And many dead leaves are begging to be raked and put into those handy dead-leaf bags! And patio furniture wants to be hosed down. And citronella candles want to be placed merrily about! So I’m gonna get started on that.

I leave you with breakfast-listening music from this morning. I went back to Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers’ Nobody’s Children.  All the sort of naughty little songs that make me feel frisky!! Thanks for visiting. I love you guys! See ya!

WAYS TO BE WICKED

Honey tell me why you smile
When you see me hurt so bad
Tell me what I did to you babe
That could make you act like that
Yes I’ve been your fool before babe
And I probably will again
She ain’t afraid to let me have it
You ain’t afraid to stick it in
Yeah you know so many ways to be wicked
But you don’t know one little thing about love

Yeah I can take a little pain
I could hold it pretty well
I can watch your little eyes light up
When you’re walkin’ me through hell
Yes I’ve been your fool before, babe
And I probably will again
She ain’t afraid to let me have it
You ain’t afraid to stick it in

Yeah you know so many ways to be wicked

But you don’t know one little thing about love

Yeah those cobra eyes
Light with a smile
You take pride
In that devil down inside

I can take a little pain
I can hold it pretty well
I can watch your little eyes light up
When you’re walkin’ me through hell
Yeah I’ve been your fool before babe
And I probably will again
No you ain’t afraid to let me have it
Honey you ain’t afraid to stick it in

You know so many ways to be wicked
But you don’t know one little thing about love

You know so many ways to be wicked
But you don’t know one little thing about love

c- 1985 Tom Petty & Mike Campbell

And Then The Rains Came!

For some reason, I had no clue that it was supposed to rain for about 5 days straight and that the holiday weekend was going to be a bit of a washout.

As I was lying in bed this morning,  staring out at my tree and the general “weather” beyond it, I was thinking about my mind and how curiously it works.  For instance, I knew right away that there was going to be a Conversation with Nick Cave tonight in the Netherlands. And tomorrow night, too. And I realized that I basically know where he’s going to be on any given evening for the rest of the fucking year, but I have no clue what the weather is going to be just on the other side of these windows, ever.

And it’s always right there on my phone, too, you know: Here’s the weather!! This is what it’s gonna be!! Look over here!! Here we are!! We’re telling you everything you need to know about planning your holiday weekend!!

Plus, when I drove into town the other day to buy food — that absolutely gorgeous spring day — I was right next to the place where I buy all my plants and gardening stuff and plant food and everything. It was all right there. On that gorgeous spring day. I was looking right at it. And I even saw that everything was on sale.

But I thought: No! I must return to my desk and stare at my laptop screen!!

And so I assured all those lovely little flowers: “Don’t worry! I’ll be back! When the sky is black and the rains come! In the lightning and torrential downpour! In the high winds! Then and only then will I return!”

I can still plant my flowers, because I don’t plant them in the ground; I plant them in flower boxes and put them out on my porches all summer. But I’m sure as heck not gonna rake leaves in the rain. I can’t even be bothered to do it in the best of weather…

And even I can see that this stupid dead leaf thing is getting ridiculous.

I want my house to look pretty; I really do. And I hate to resort to just asking the lawn care guys to do it, because I know I’m perfectly capable of raking a bunch of (practically weightless when they’re dry) dead leaves.  And what I cannot do is manage the backyard. It’s way too big and it’s full of Virginia creeper, which I’m deathly allergic to.

I guess we’ll just see how everything plays out.  There is only so much I’m willing to worry about on any given day, you know? And those darn leaves are just not gonna be one of those things.

The things I am willing to worry about are:

A.) the Black Diamond guitar strings did indeed arrive. They are on top of my dresser along with the little pair of wire clippers, and the guitar is right here in my room, too. The only thing missing from that tableau is me, changing the fucking strings. I’ve somehow decided that I don’t have time to do this. What an erroneous, weird thing to think.

B.) I realized I’ve only done yoga maybe 5 times this whole month and that’s not a good thing; my joints start to scream at me. I have to stop just constantly, constantly, constantly sitting at my desk. I have to figure out how to finish writing this novel before August and still have some sort of quality of life here.

Those are the 2 things I’m willing to worry at least a little bit about.  Because, honestly, my life is just really wonderful these days.

[UPDATE: Several hours later. Consider it strung! ]

My 1984 Ovation Sunburst Balladeer.

Okay! I think I’m gonna go hang out on the bed for a little bit and watch it rain and just drink my coffee. And just sort of get ready for a wonderful rainy day.

(And I’m gonna be very curious to see those Instagram photos out of the Netherlands tonight. You know, has Nick Cave gone through some sort of epiphany that has completely altered him? Or was it just something about Luxembourg itself?  Obviously I don’t know, but he did look transformed. Really. I’m not exaggerating (for a change). He looked like 20 years of worry or something had melted off of him.  He just seemed so different. And not only how he looked, but also that part where he had that guy from the audience sit next to him on the piano bench – he looked really happy there. And then he also sat down right at the edge of the stage at one point. Yes – in that same suit that I refuse to fixate on anymore. He sat down on the edge of the stage and was just talking to the people who were sitting right there in front of him. Then he seems to have gone right  down among them to give someone specific a hug. Indeed, the wonderful people in Luxembourg gave me a ton of cool photos to ponder, that’s for sure.)

All right, then. I leave you with my breakfast-listening music from this morning. I’ve been thinking a lot about my family since yesterday’s post – that particular part of my birth family came here from Germany in the mid-1700s and settled in Kentucky. They actually settled specific parts of eastern Kentucky. They were well-known pioneers who worked alongside Daniel Boone to settle Kentucky. They are in the history books.

And even though I love NYC – just adore it – it wasn’t until I moved out here to the middle of absolute nowhere, to the wilds of Muskingum County, that I finally felt like I was home. Okay. Thanks for visiting! I love you guys. See ya.

Decoration Day

When I was growing up, Memorial Day was more commonly called “Decoration Day,” because you went to the cemetery and decorated the graves of those in your family who had died in a war.

That photo above there is of my birth father, on leave from the Navy in 1965. He’s the one in the glasses, smoking a cigarette.

He didn’t die in a war. He died at 53, from cancer caused by Agent Orange, which he was exposed to repeatedly in Vietnam.

He was in the Navy for 20 years, from the time he was 17, and he was an active SEAL for most of that time.  He spent a lot of time in Vietnam and had some very serious drug and alcohol problems because of everything that happened to him there.  (Meaning, he eventually had a hard time coping with all the people he had killed, and he felt that he had killed them, basically, for no reason at all.)

He’s 20 years old in that photo.  I was 5 by then and living in Cleveland. He didn’t know I even existed until I was 28 years old.  It’s sufficient to say that he was really angry, just heartbroken, that no one had told him that I had ever even been born.  He didn’t find out about me until I was completely grown. It killed him that he had totally missed my childhood.

However. In an interesting twist of fate…

When he first got into the Navy, when he was still in his late teens, my dad was stationed in the Philippines and one day,  outside a bar that was frequented by American sailors, he found a tiny baby girl in a trash can – still alive. She’d been abandoned. He took the baby to an old, retired prostitute and he sent that woman money every month, to take care of the baby. And he did that until the “baby” was 18 years old. He knew that the little girl had survived, but after she turned 18, he didn’t keep in touch with that old woman anymore and did not know what became of the girl.

Even though my dad was only 15 when I was born, he was already in jail in Ross County, doing 6 months for stealing from a store. When he got out, he went to North Carolina to live with his older sister, my Aunt Jo, pictured there above, sitting in the doorway of her trailer home. She helped my dad get his criminal record cleared so that he could join the Navy when he was 17.

My Uncle Ralph is playing the guitar in that photo. My dad also played guitar and sang and wrote songs. But my Uncle Ralph became professional at it, went to Nashville and worked steadily with Tammy Wynette and George Jones, and a bunch of other really famous Country & Western greats. He eventually had his own band and had a couple of hits on the Country charts.

My Uncle Ralph is the only one in my dad’s family who’s still alive.  Here’s a photo of my grandpa (my dad’s dad) and my Aunt Bobby Jean and my Uncle Earl. This is back when they all still lived in eastern Kentucky, in the early 1940s, before my dad or my Uncle Ralph were born. They’re all dead now.

My grandpa is the one in the overalls. They’re all sitting on the bumper of his old truck.

My grandpa was a horse trainer and a farmer, and he also played guitar and sang and hung out in bars and got really drunk. He died young from liver problems.

Here is a photo of my great grandpa. He’s the one standing on the top right. He is with all of his brothers – my great-uncles. My great-grandpa, Ashbel, was an Attorney General for the State of Kentucky. I don’t know if he played guitar or sang, but he definitely did not hang out in bars and get drunk…

My great-grandpa and his brothers, in Kentucky.

And here is my great-great-grandpa.  He was a Kentucky State Senator. Kentucky was a split State, meaning that some of the State fought on the side of the Union, and some on the side of the Confederates during the Civil War. My great-great-grandpa was a Confederate, an absolute Rebel, through and through.

My great-great-grandpa

He died in the Battle of Cynthiana, during the Civil War, and this is a postcard of the monument that honors the soldiers who fell in that battle. His grave is marked by one of those little white gravestones in that circle. He’s actually buried there.

The Battle of Cynthiana War Memorial, Cynthiana, Kentucky

They were the nicest family, ever. And once they found out about me, they never once treated me like I was illegitimate or anything. They were all singers, songwriters, guitar players. My dad, in particular, thought I was a great songwriter and wanted me to leave NYC and go to Nashville, where I had family in the music business. But I didn’t. I certainly had a TON of country influences in my songs, but my songs were still more folk than country.

My name was Dory when I was born, btw.

My adoptive family changed my name to “Marilyn Joy.” (Even though my legal name is now regarded as Marilyn Jaye, it’s actually Marilyn Joy.)

So that’s that, as they say.

In an unrelated topic….

I don’t know what it is about Luxembourg, but, man, does that seem like it was a great show last night. I’m so serious. And, as you know, I have seen every single photo from the Conversations with Nick Cave that have been taken this year & posted to Instagram, and the photos on Instagram from the show last night are remarkably different.

You can feel it coming through the photos, you can hear it in Nick Cave’s voice in the (really short!!) video clips posted there, too.

I don’t know what happened there last night, what the difference was, but it seems like it was magical. Honestly. I’m not just saying that. The best photos so far definitely came from Luxembourg last night.

Oh, and at one point a guy from the audience was actually sharing the piano bench with him! Sitting next to Nick Cave, while he was singing “Papa Won’t Leave You, Henry.” (Which sounded really great with just him and the piano.)

Loyal readers of this lofty blog no doubt recall that the seat I was hoping to get at the show in Town Hall in NYC was “next to him on the piano bench” but I was truly just joking.  So when I saw that photo last night, I was sort of alarmed, you know? I had no idea that kind of thing really happened.

Anyway. It was just amazing, palpable. It has to have been just an incredible show.

Okay, let’s get that holiday happening here, gang! (You’re probably completely astounded to learn that I will spend most of my holiday at my desk, writing! But eventually, I’ll go out and buy all the flowers, soil, etc., wash down the patio furniture that’s out on the porch, and get that all happening. And, yes, I will finally rake up all those darn dead leaves from the fall…) (I’m sure all my neighbors will be glued to their windows, saying: “Come look! She’s finally fucking doing it!!”)

If you live in the United States, have a great holiday. Otherwise, have a wonderful Saturday, wherever you are in the world. I did not listen to any music during breakfast today, for some reason. I guess I was just digging the bird songs! But thanks for visiting. I love you guys. See ya.

PS: A happy belated birthday to Bob Dylan. He turned 117 years old yesterday. Something like that… He’s pictured here with Tom Petty in the mid-1980s, from that period when Tom and the Heartbreakers agreed to be his backup band and go on tour with him.

Of course, I adore Bob Dylan. And have since I was a young girl, just learning how to play guitar and to write songs. And he was one of the main reasons I wound up going to Greenwich Village and being a folk singer. But I loved him even more when I read his statement to the press after Tom died: “It’s shocking , crushing news. I thought the world of Tom. He was a great performer, full of the light, a friend, and I’ll never forget him.” Okay, gang. See ya.

Tom Petty & Bob Dylan, late 1980s.

Lucky Lady, Indeed!

Wow, you know, except for the fact that she slept in some sort of fur stole (yes, I know – it’s a bed jacket), I wouldn’t mind being this lucky lady! Red roses while you’re still in bed?! That’s gotta be awesome.

For some reason, I have been fixating on long-stemmed red roses a lot lately. I have no idea why.

I love flowers. Plenty of men have given me flowers over the years. And my 2nd husband was amazing about that – he brought me flowers all the time.  I’ve even received a lot of roses, but never long-stemmed red ones.

And I’ve gotten it in my head now that I really want these.  I really do. And I don’t want to buy them for myself, or anything. Sometimes even I get really tired of being so capable.  But apparently I don’t inspire this kind of idea in men.

I’m not sure what kinds of ideas I inspire in men. I’m not being coy there, either.  I mean, obviously, I know some of the ideas but except for that cute electrician back in the fall – the one who was 20 years younger than me and who was thoughtful enough to assure me that I didn’t look nearly as old as I was – men don’t follow up on what they’re clearly thinking about.

And as far as that electrician – if he hadn’t shown me photos on his phone of his infant daughter and her mom only moments before hitting on me, I might have been more inclined to pursue it.

But I still think it comes down to this overwhelming (and often annoying) sort of personality that I have, plus I don’t know how to be coy. I just don’t know how to do that. I’m usually very upfront. I say what I mean, or I don’t say anything at all. And I think it throws people.

A really nice man I know, that I know is very attracted to me – a lot older than me, very wealthy, his wife recently died after a very long illness. He asked me recently how I liked living out in the country and I told him that it was fantastic. So quiet. So peaceful. And he then said that maybe he should try it; that maybe he should move out to the country and live with me.

I told him, point blank: “You can move in with me. I’ve got plenty of room. You want to?”

And I was totally serious. I don’t believe he would want to live with me, or want to stay if he did move in. I’m unbelievably intensely intense. Not many people in their right minds have pursued that idea of living with me. Nevertheless,  I was serious.

And the look on his face. It was like deep in the recesses of his brain, the gates of heaven swung open. Clearly, he couldn’t believe his ears. I know he was thinking that he really, really wanted to do that. To live with me.

And I waited for his answer, but I’m not gonna ask twice, you know? It would look like I’m begging and I just don’t do that.

Well, I’ve got a list of men that I’m willing to beg, but it’s a really short list.

Anyway. The man  was just tongue-tied.  And I know he thought I was teasing him, but I actually wasn’t. I was deadly serious, but he was completely thrown by it and wouldn’t answer so I sort of said, “Okay. See ya.”

I think I have a sort of weird approach to relationships that, for some reason, confuses people when I think I’m being totally upfront.  Or it makes them see me in that self-sufficient way that plagues me – a way that doesn’t inspire a dozen long-stemmed red roses, that’s for sure.

Even though the years are rapidly gaining on me – they are barreling at me now at quite a clip – I’m not officially dead yet, so I’m hopeful that there’s still some sort of amazing future ahead of me where some sort of amazing guy finally decides to buy me long-stemmed red roses. We’ll find out.

On a thoroughly unrelated note…

I awoke at 4:06am today because Peitor texted me from England. My ringer was off, but I think I awoke because I felt him psychically or something. (I had texted him last night, knowing full well it was the middle of the night in London, so then he texted me back, knowing full well it was the  middle of the night in Crazeysburg.)

Anyway, I was awake then. And the very first bird of the morning began to sing. It was another one of those amazing mornings, where all the windows were open and this light breeze was filling the whole house. The only sound in the world was that one bird singing.  One of the cats was sitting in one of the windows, listening to it.  I think it was Doris, but it was too dark to really see her.

And once again, I was absolutely filled with Eros, you know? It was incredible. It’s happening every morning now. I laid there and tried to sort of study that feeling, because, for the most part, my body and my mind were really quiet. I had just woken up. It was like my body wasn’t even really there yet; it was as if I consisted of this wave of Eros and nothing else.

It felt like there was a sort of cord, or current of erotic energy running between my mind and, well, that whole area between my legs. It was quite pronounced, this current of energy.  And I thought it was so interesting, that it wasn’t just down there in that one place. It was definitely flowing between my mind and between my legs.

And the more I observed it, the more it sort of overtook me. It was so beautiful.  And I know for sure that I have never felt anything like it before.  And I do not know where this energy is coming from.  It just envelops me. I didn’t want to, you know, pursue it because I was still sleepy, plus I had all those cats in the room, looking at me. Even though it was still dark, they make me a little too paranoid for all-out erotic abandon. I’m not an exhibitionist, even when it’s just cats.

So I just laid there for close to an hour, in that swoon. And then it occurred to me that it’s almost time for all those Boys of Summer to return to the regional playhouse in town. Loyal readers of this lofty blog no doubt recall that last summer, wow, it was overwhelming. Those guys were so young, so beautiful, and so talented. And of course, they stick around all summer and it was pretty darned intense. The sexual energy.

The young women were very talented, too.  Very pretty. Very sort of dynamic. But with women, even though I’m attracted to them, when they’re younger than me, I feel very maternal.  Very protective. And I thought to myself this morning, Isn’t that odd? I mean, with actual children, regardless of their gender, I feel maternal and protective. But with guys, the minute they’re not children, man. Everything shifts. And it never shifts back.

I wonder why that is? It was all very curious indeed. But by then every bird in Muskingum County was awake and singing, so I knew it was time to get out of bed and start this magnificent day.

Okay!!

Nick Cave will be conversing with the lucky people in Luxembourg tonight!  Of course, it is sold out.

And you know, it’s curious, that everyone without fail says how wonderful these Conversations are; how beautiful, and meaningful, and awe-inspiring they are; how their lives have changed or are finally complete now (I’m not overstating it, either). But nobody ever really talks about what it is he says.

The only thing anyone has posted so far about anything he’s said (and I’m including the tours he did of Australia and New Zealand back in the winter) is that he doesn’t really like cereal. Someone posted that recently.

I do find that sort of interesting, you know.  I guess. But aside from wondering how it might feel to ask him, “What would you like for breakfast?” but only because that would likely mean that, well, he was right there; but aside from that, I have never actually wondered what he eats for breakfast.

But it’s kind of curious that no one ever really says what he talks about. They are all kind of too breathless to speak.

I find that amazing. I really do.

All right. Let’s get Friday happening here, gang.  If you’re Stateside, I hope you have a wonderful holiday weekend!! I’ll be buying and planting my flowers this weekend and I can’t wait. As you now know, I love flowers! If you live everywhere else in the world, have a great weekend. Thanks for visiting. I love you guys. See ya!

(Oops! Breakfast music today. I love this song!! Okay, see ya.)

You found me at some party
You thought I’d understand
You barreled over to me
With a drink in each hand
I respect your beliefs, girl,
And I consider you a friend,
But I’ve already been born once,
I don’t wanna to be born again.

Your knowledge is impressive
And your argument is good
But I am the resurrection, babe,
And you’re standing on my foot!

But my little boat is empty
It don’t go
And my oar is broken
It don’t row, row, row
But my little boat is empty
It don’t go
And my oar is broken
It don’t row, row, row
(Row!)

Your tiny little face
Keeps yapping in the gloom
Seven steps behind me
With your dustpan and broom.
I couldn’t help but imagine you
All postured and prone
But there’s a little guy on my shoulder
Says I should go home alone.
You keep leaning in on me
And you’re looking pretty pissed
That grave you’ve dug between your legs
Is hard to resist.

But my little boat is empty
It don’t go
And my oar is broken
It don’t row, row, row
But my little boat is empty
It don’t go
And my oar is broken
It don’t row, row, row

Give to God what belongs to God
And give the rest to me
Tell our gracious host to fuck himself
It’s time for us to leave.

But my little boat is empty
It don’t go
And my oar is broken
It don’t row, row, row
But my little boat is empty
It don’t go
And my oar is broken
It don’t row, row, row
Row…row…row…row…

c- 1997 Nick Cave

Buona giornata!

It was another one of those incredibly beautiful mornings around here, gang.

I awoke at 5am to that mighty chorus of Muskingum County birds!  All the windows were open, a warm breeze was filling the house. My bed was so incredibly comfortable, and I was, like, totally aroused. Like, for real.

I’m not gonna complain or anything. Because I’d rather spring from the depths of sleep totally ready to make love, than, you know, wake up and think, oh crap, it’s another day.

Still. I’m just not sure where that’s coming from and it’s happening a lot lately.  And it wasn’t because of my dream. I  remembered my dream and it was interesting & complex, but it certainly wasn’t anything that could be considered even remotely erotic.

So who knows. But it’s a wonderful way to wake up. And it’s happening a lot now.

It was a great day yesterday. I made good progress with Chapter 22 of Blessed By Light.  Made good progress in both the Italian lessons and learning the new guitar material, too.

Oh, and I stopped in at the hardware store in town and bought a small pair of wire cutters.  I guess I’m committed to becoming the Queen of Guitar String-Changers in Muskingum County now…

So it was just a really good day.

I guess loyal readers of this lofty blog know that I’m on Instagram. I actually joined Instagram when it very first launched, but I hate social media, so I never did anything with it. Until Sandra forced me to get active on Instagram for the sole reason that she didn’t want to.

She hates social media worse than I do.  But since I write for her and, in some ways, work for her,  I agreed to do it.  Mostly to promote her projects.  But once I really got on Instagram, I started to just love it.

So I’m on it a lot. But 95% of the people I’m following – I have no clue who they are. Not even the tiniest clue. I mostly follow painters, photographers, and musicians from all over the world.  And a lot of the people I follow are extremely famous, and yet I still have no clue who they are. I can tell by their photos that a heck of a lot of people in the world do know who they are, but not me.  But I still enjoy looking at their photos. Each photo is a little life story unto itself.

And when it comes to the 4% of people that I follow on Instagram who are famous and I do know who they are, well, as you know already, I get totally pulled in to their photos.  And some of those photos make me seriously ponder. Some times it’s what they’re not saying that just astounds me. And so I ponder.

I’m a top-notch ponderer.

Dana Petty (Tom’s widow) doesn’t post very often and when she does it’s usually short videos of butterflies in her garden or something like that. But this past week, she’s been posting more personal stuff about Tom and the past and the loss. And posting at weird times – like at 3am. And I could tell she was grieving. Plus she was having a birthday.

Yesterday, she posted a photo of herself and her immediate family, out to dinner in LA, celebrating her birthday. And she looked positively ethereal. Really just ageless and just so pretty.  All that long, straight  blonde hair. And she never seems to wear much make-up. She’s just this genuinely pretty woman, who looked about 17 on her birthday. Honestly.  So I wrote something to her about that.

And what she wrote back really gave me pause, you know?  It is so clear that none of this is easy for her, at all. That she’s trying really, really hard to just keep on “keeping on”.

Instagram can be just so revelatory in that way.

I follow his daughters, too.  From a distance. It makes me feel kind of creepy to do that. To “follow” people’s children.  I mean, they’re grown women, both artists, and both so much like they’re dad as far as they’re temperaments, and their politics. They’re outspoken and sort of iconoclastic.

But I try to stay clear of people’s kids. And famous people’s kids are all over Instagram. But something about it just strikes me as so strange. Inherited fame, I mean. And being on Instagram because of that.

One famous kid of a famous person that I absolutely adore is Theodora Richards. I truly adore her, but I still won’t follow her because I think it’s creepy. I follow her dad, of course, because I’ve been in love with Keith since I was 12 years old.

But Theodora is just like Keith. Like, seriously. She’s really pretty, but looks more like Keith than like Patti, and has this awesome mind of her own. She doesn’t seem to give much of a fuck about what anybody thinks about anything. Plus, she does stuff. Actual stuff. She doesn’t just “model” – Keith has a seriously huge contingent of models in his sphere.  Successful models. Super models, even.

I have nothing against models, you know. But they just don’t interest me.  I was a professional model in my late teens, before moving to New York, so I know that it’s hard work and hard to be a really good model.  You have to figure out how to become a complete blank so that whatever you’re wearing takes over you, and not the other way around. Designers don’t want your personality; they want their designs or their ideas to become your personality.

So if you have a lot of thoughts in your head that are of interest to you, you might not want to become a model.

This is an actual conversation I had with my agent – my last conversation with him – when I was a professional model. I was 19:

HIM (matter-of-factly): “No one gives a fuck what you think. You’re not being paid to think. You’re a piece of meat, and if that bothers you, then you’re in the wrong business and you better get out.”

ME: (Said nothing. Turned around. Left. Got out.)

The entire agency tried to apologize for him, and kept calling, wanting me to come back. But, honestly, I was a writer.  It just wasn’t for me.

Theodora Richards is not a good model, because her attitude and unruly personality take over everything in the picture. Even though all she’s doing is just standing there.  Her attitude is larger than life and it’s all you can see in the shot, and that’s definitely not what a designer wants. I’ve noticed, though, that when she does do some modeling, she’s always almost entirely naked, which I think is a really good indicator that she doesn’t give a fuck what other people might want her to wear.

Anyway, I love her! But I refuse to follow her on Instagram. She bleeds over sometimes into Keith’s feed, but that’s as far as I go.

Okay!! I leave you with 2 things today. Some of what I wrote yesterday in Blessed By Light. And then what I was listening to at breakfast today,  Good Good Day, by Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds.

So have a good, good day, wherever you are in the world! Thanks for visiting. I love you, guys! See ya.

[Excerpted from Chapter 22, Blessed By Light.  He's just survived a heart attack, his best friend has been killed, he's been forced to quit smoking after nearly 60 years of being a smoker, and now the press has found out who his new girlfriend is and where he's living. He's trying to stop taking it out on her and just make love.]

I love you, okay?

Let’s just start there. And then build on it, go places with it. Find a rhythm with our bodies that puts us in sync with ourselves and with everything that we call sacred in this world, this life, and what we’ve come to know about each other. And let’s make love.

It’s so fragile, honey; all of it. In a heartbeat, a gunshot, or a darting stray cat on the road, it’s all over.

And, yes, there’s the Light. And, yes, it blesses us, all of us, ultimately. I know this for sure. But here we are for now. Still among the living. Staking our claim in it, together. In life and in love.

Come here. Right now.

Lie on top of me. 

You look so beautiful when you’re naked.

✽✽✽

Who are we now? When I hold you in my arms like this, who are we? We were once naked strangers together, remember that, honey? It wasn’t so long ago, either.

Now I know every curve of you, every round or flat or secret place, and every sound you make that goes along with it, with touching you there.

I thank God that we are never again gonna be strangers to each other. We are eternally connected now. Here or in the hereafter, honey, there is always gonna be a part of you that belongs to me. You’re my girl.

And I’ll never forget that night when you were astride me, my arms full of you; your breasts pressing against my chest, and my cock all the way up in you. George was with us. But, for a change, he was the one sitting it out. He was right next to us on the bed, though.

But in that moment, you were all mine and I was all yours and you looked down into my face, your hair hanging loose, falling so soft all over me. Candle light dancing in the room.

And you said to me, so quietly that I almost didn’t hear you at first, “You’re mine,” you said. “Mine.”

And I could see in your eyes where you were speaking from – that fully aroused place.  I couldn’t have filled you up fuller if I tried. You were right down on me, taking every inch of me up inside you, which is usually not easy for you to do.

I was overwhelmed by you that night.

Your arms at either side of my head. You were completely surrounding me, and you kept whispering it right in my face. “Mine,” you said. “You’re mine.”

I didn’t know if George heard you. It didn’t matter. He probably did. But what I really heard, and maybe what he really heard, too, since he knew me so well for so long, was that you knew by then that, except for that wife I had loved more than life itself, there had been way too many girls.

All those years of me living my life without you in it.

Until that first night I saw you, when my heart was pulled right up into you from out of nowhere.

Honestly, I did not know I was gonna stay. I was taking each day as it came. I thought you were, too, but I really didn’t know and didn’t ask.

And then you said: Mine.

And I surrendered to you. Right then. To that word. I became yours. Although you didn’t know it for sure because I didn’t say it. But my heart surrendered to that sound: Mine.

And I thought to myself, Okay, baby. Forever, and always, and only.

You don’t ever talk about getting married. I don’t think you want that. I don’t know if I wanna take that road anymore, either. But I belong to you. I know that for sure.

And I know for sure that it’s what I want.

Move over, come on.

Lie back.

I wanna get on top of you, and get all the way in.

Honey, do that thing you do with your legs up over my shoulders.

I wanna listen to those cries you make, those tiny whimpering sounds that make you sound like such a grown up girl. I need to hear that right up close to my ear, honey. Right now.

Oh fuck.

I love it when you make that sound.

Hold on to me. This is where the rhythm comes in for real.

And I have never missed a beat.


Jesus Christ. Who the hell is at the front door?

✽✽✽

It’s my girls.

What are they doing here at this hour? Why the hell didn’t they call first? Or at least send me one of those angry-daughter texts that they’re both getting so damn good at.

Crap.

You just stay here. Let me find out what’s going on. The two of them together. It can’t be good. They’ve definitely come loaded for bear.

© - 2019 Marilyn Jaye Lewis

See the little cloud up in the sky
It’s a good good day today
See the little cloud pass on by
It’s a good good day today
Mary comes now, let Mary be
Can you see her down on the street?
Mary’s laughing ’cause Mary sees
That she’s a-wearin’ that dress for me

There can be times
Yeah… When all things come together
Yeah… Under a clear sky and you can believe
Yeah… You hold your breath for this moment
Yeah… But do not breathe for this day I know
Is a good day, yes I know
It’s a good day, yeah I know
Today…
Hear her feet skipping up the stairs
It’s a good good day today
She is the answer to all of my prayers
It’s a good good day today
Mary comes now, she don’t knock
‘Cause she’s runnin’ on her own little clock
Mary’s laughing ’cause Mary knows
That this day was made for us
And any fool knows… yeah
And any fool sees
That the future… yeah
Is a-down on its knees
But let ’em all cry, let ’em weep
Let those tears roll down their cheeks

‘Cause I can believe in the one
That is standing in front of me
Oh this day, don’t you know
Is a good day, yes I know
It’s a good day, I told you so
Today…
See her breasts how they rise and fall
It’s a good good day today
And she knows I’ve used that line before
It’s a good good day today
Mary’s laughing, she don’t mind
‘Cause she knows she’s one of a kind
Mary’s happy just to be
Standing next to me
And any fool knows
Yeah…
That the wind always blows
Something to someone
Yeah…
Once in a while, so let it rain, let it fall
Let the wind howl through your door
‘Cause right now for this moment
I’ll forever be
Standing next to her
On this day, which I know
Is a good day, yeah I know
Oh, it’s a good day, I told you so
Today…

c- Nick Cave

Watch Out! Here Comes Trouble!

I didn’t move much from the desk yesterday,  but oddly enough, instead of having more sentences in Chapter 22, I now have noticeably fewer.

It was just one of those days.

I stared at the manuscript. Read it. Re-read it. Re-read it, yet again and then still more. Stared at it some more, too. Wrote some stuff. Deleted it.  Wrote some other stuff. Deleted that, too.

And then realized that the sentence that had come before it was the real culprit and had to go. And then on & on, until I now have a 5-sentence opening paragraph left for Chapter 22 and that’s it.

10 hours at the desk yesterday yielded less than I’d started out with.

But the good news is that I didn’t fuck up the coffee today! It looks just like coffee’s supposed to look and tastes like coffee’s supposed to taste.  And I’m feeling really confident about the prospects for Chapter 22’s growth this morning. I know the Muse is hanging around. I can feel him.

I just have to make that 20-mile trek into town and buy food and then we’ll be good to go around here.

I had my first quiz in Italian last night! And I didn’t do so terrible!

I did okay, actually. But I think that, for now, most of my correct answers were just subconscious guesses based on the similarities between Italian and French and I know French pretty well. But it was only my first week.  And I have a year to learn Italian. Plus the app is still really fun. I still look forward to doing it every day and feel a little disappointed when the daily lesson is over. So that says a lot right there.

And I worked for a couple of hours on the guitar last night. I still have a lot of ground to cover in the new material before I can incorporate it in to teaching piano.  So I have to sort of absorb it at breakneck speed. But it really is fun.

Sadly, though, I have to confront the fact that I need new strings.  I have been playing guitar for [heavy sigh] 50 years. And I still hate changing the strings. I usually don’t ever pull the “helpless girl” card in any area of my life.  I take care of myself, come what may in this world.

However.

When it comes to changing my guitar strings, I go from this gal:

To this gal:

Image result for vintage illustrations of helpless little girl

And I live completely alone now in the middle of fucking nowhere. Who’s gonna help me change my guitar strings??!!

When I played professionally in NY,  my bands consisted almost exclusively of guys. And I don’t know what it is, but they seem to change guitar strings like they’re in a pit crew for NASCAR or something. They do it so fucking fast, it’s ridiculous.

I would always try to change my own strings, but they would have to just stand there and smoke, like, an entire pack of cigarettes and I’d still be trying to change the one string. Until, finally, one of them would just go insane and grab my guitar and say, “Oh, for Christ’s sake, just let me do that for you!”

And then the string would be changed, snipped, and in tune in a nanosecond.

So I got used to guys changing my guitar strings. Even though, in the rest of my world, I’m perfectly capable of, you know, doing stuff.

However, the time has come where I have had to face the fact that I really need new strings.  Since the guitar store is 20 miles away and (I’ve discovered) really easily avoided, I forced myself to order some Black Diamond silver strings online. They should arrive momentarily.

And if the UPS driver doesn’t happen to play guitar…

Well, all in all, this is going to be a really big year for me, all the way around!

All righty.

Well, I’m learning new stuff every day. And yesterday, I discovered that people in Copenhagen prefer not to post to Instagram in English. So I’m only making an educated guess when I say that they all seemed to love Nick Cave’s Conversation last night!

However, what they do do, is post photos in color! None of this artsy black & white stuff, like the diabolical Norwegians did.  So now I’ve discovered that the very same suit in all these different photos from last night – yes, from one concert – can look either olive green-ish, gray, or beige-ish/tan.

So, clearly, me and this obsession with Nick Cave’s oddly colorless suit, that I don’t even understand how it got started anymore. Well, clearly, since this tour is going to go on for most of the summer, and since I have a ton of fucking stuff in my brain already, I need to stop obsessing about his suit; stop pondering it so intensely on my phone and stop trying to figure out what color it actually is.

Clearly,  that way madness lies; let me shun that!!

Okay!! (Methinks I’m probably still gonna obsess about that darn suit, but we’ll just see.)

Meanwhile, gang, have a wonderful Wednesday, wherever you are in the world!! I leave you with this!! My breakfast-listening music from the past couple mornings. Johnny Cash singing The Long Black Veil. Thanks for visiting. I love you, guys! See ya!

What Could Possibly Go Wrong?!

Well, for starters:  the coffee. But I think that’s the only thing I’m gonna screw up today!

I think my mind was wandering when I was setting up the percolator last night because  the coffee came out looking almost like water this morning. Unfortunately, I slept in until 6:15am today, so rather than be patient and wait and make a whole new pot, I opted for those caffeine drops in a glass of water and off we go.

I am so sensitive to caffeine, though, that those drops will either make me hone in on my laptop for hours and write THE most amazing chapter in Blessed By Light today, or I’ll vacuum the entire house and then maybe go outside and rake leaves or something!

Yes, I know it’s the height of Spring! But a heck of a lot of dead fall leaves are still in my front yard and on my front porch and in heaps in my front garden and also strewn heavily about on my front sidewalk. And if you’re curious – yes! I am the only one on the whole block who still has dead leaves hanging around, and quite a prodigious amount, at that.

I do have lawn care guys all summer, but so far it’s only been one guy who’s come this month and he’s had his hands full just trying to contend with the staggering amount of weeds around here that we affectionately refer to as “my backyard.”

The other lawn care guy, who is of Native American ancestral heritage, has been in the wilds of incredibly beautiful Coshocton County at a Pow Wow (which I think means bonfires and a lot of drums and smoking a lot of weed, but I’m not 100% positive about that) and he won’t be coming around to help until next week – wherein, I imagine this place is going to start looking really nice because Memorial Day weekend is when I always plant all the flowers in the flower boxes and the outside of the house starts to look so pretty that all the neighbors overlook my absolute inability to give a fuck about raking my leaves in November when everybody else gets out there and does it.

(Another thing I refuse to do is shovel snow. And the minute it snows, all my neighbors are out there, dutifully shoveling their 2 feet of fucking sidewalk! But I refuse to be drawn in to their guilt trips because I have an enormous amount of sidewalk. Not just in front of my (dead-leaf-strewn) house, but I have a corner lot and the sidewalk along the side of my house goes clear past my barn to the alley in back.  In case you’re curious, that’s far. It’s just not fair. It’s way more work than any of my neighbors have to do so I just refuse to do it. I’ve noticed that the snow always eventually melts anyway.)

Yes, me. Homeowner extraordinaire!

Okay!

Well, yesterday was so cool! Not only am I making actual progress with my studies of Italian this time around, but in an effort to help the guy learn piano without  teaching him how to read music (which is something he doesn’t want to learn), I was investigating teaching methods that rely on improvisation and that dispense with music notes, theory & composition entirely.

(I’m glad I know how to read music. However, Music Theory & Composition, in case you were curious, gang, will just kill you. It will just turn you into a flat dead thing inside. It will pulverize your brain with a heavy wooden meat mallet and it will take a pair of wire cutters to your musical imagination and snip it right off. I took 2 grueling years of Theory & Composition many, many, many moons ago so I know whence I speak.)

But I found a teaching system that is just awesome, gang. I spent a few hours going over it last night. I only spent a handful of minutes (so far) going over the piano stuff, but the guitar stuff was  too cool. It is so different from anything I was ever taught by a bazillion guitar teachers when I was growing up and it was really interesting. I got my guitar out and was practicing that stuff for a couple of hours last night. It’s all just fret work, but it’s a whole different approach to it.

I spent enough time looking over the piano stuff to know that I am going to have a whole new way of relating to the piano, too, when all of this is said and done. So it was just really cool.

Between this new way of learning Italian and this new approach to music, it just shows you that if you live long enough, new things come into your consciousness that erase anything old that was really bad.

But the flip-side of that sentiment… I was also thinking a  lot last night about Nick the hit man for the Mob; still just thinking about all the probabilities and probable outcomes that I had never considered before. And up until last night, my conscience had taken solace in the fact that he would have been about 80 now anyway and I liked to imagine that he wasn’t even still alive.

Until I googled him.

Alas, he’s alive & well and still living in Manhattan. Shit, you know? That doesn’t help my conscience at all. That horrible last time I saw him, when he wanted to have “a little chat with me”, and he picked me up in a limo and we drove about half a block to an “Italian” restaurant in Midtown, mob guys everywhere. I was still just 20 years old and absolutely terrified and he, in essence, tore me a new one for killing his baby.

At the time, even though I was too scared to say anything, it made me angry because it was my baby, too, and it was not a decision I had really wanted to make. It was horrible. When I had come out of the anesthesia in the recovery room, there was a radio playing and – I kid you not – Queen was singing “Another One Bites the Dust.” And they were actually singing the chorus when I came out from under and heard it. I sobbed uncontrollably.  The irony was just so not funny.

I cried when they were putting me under and sobbed when I came out from it, because I really wanted my baby but I thought it was the right thing. I couldn’t in good conscience have a kid whose father was a paid killer, right?

And yet, when I was 28 and finally met my own real dad –  a man I absolutely worshiped… He’d been a Navy SEAL in Viet Nam from 1965 until 1975, when Saigon fell. And he killed more people in those ten years than you and I can possibly imagine. More than he even remembered. And he was paid to do that.

What is the real difference there?

But I totally adored him and he loved me like nobody’s business. More than anyone in my life had ever loved me.

And I deprived 2 people of that potential because I guess I thought I knew everything.

I’m not sure yet how to get my conscience to calm the fuck down, but life does indeed go on.

Okay. I’m gonna get started on the novel here now.  And then I’m gonna practice my Italian, then practice my guitar, and wait for the Instagram photos to come in from Copenhagen, where Nick Cave is having a Conversation tonight. And I’m just gonna let everything be all right. It was all such a long time ago.

Thanks for visiting, gang. I love you, See ya.

A Little Work Won’t Kill Ya!

One thing about Peitor is that once he’s in England , it’s really hard to get him to come home. He really loves it there.

He went there this weekend because of the death of his father-in-law, and we were supposed to do some work over the phone while he was on some sort of airport layover on Wednesday.

All of his plans have changed now, though, and he’s taken an Air BNB in a little town on the English Channel, where he’s planning to go and stay, alone, as soon as all the memorial/funeral things are over.   His husband will be flying back to Los Angeles on schedule, without him.

And so that is where Peitor will be when we, of course, work together over the phone  some time this week.

God forbid we miss an opportunity to work together over the phone.  In addition to the scripts we’re writing for Abstract Absurdity, he also has written a (really cool) book that I’ve been editing for him and we very often do that work over the phone, too.

I’ve done a lot of work with him over the phone, over the years, while he’s been in really gorgeous locations with stunning vistas.  He constantly texts me photos of where he’s calling from while we’re working together over the phone.

It’s really just so weird how much time we’ve spent working with each other over the phone… You’d think that he’d rather just sit there and enjoy the stunning vistas from time to time.

Not that there are stunning vistas at the Algonquin Hotel – it’s in Midtown Manhattan. Still, I’m not planning on working with anyone over the phone while I’m there.

(And in all seriousness, I’m really, really hoping, gang, that I’m going to somehow manage to take care of all the tech rehearsals & any needed re-writes for the play and still make it to both of those Nick Cave shows in NYC without inconveniencing anyone. It’s that show at Lincoln Center that will be the hardest one to manage, schedule-wise, and that’s the one I really don’t want to miss. Not just because I got a great seat; it looks like it’s the kind of theater where you can’t really get a bad seat. But I think the acoustics in that theater are going to be amazing and I just don’t want to miss it, but I also don’t want to seem like some sort of weirdly obsessive person, or anything. )

(YES, I KNOW! I am a weirdly obsessive person! Thank you very much for pointing that out! But I just don’t want people that I’m working with professionally to find that out right away. I want them to get a little deeper in before they find that out…)

But I digress. Parenthetically.

You know, Peitor and I have actually spent a lot of time together, in person, not working. And when we’re doing the “not working” thing, we’re usually laughing really hard. And he has this incredibly good memory, so, often he will text me photos of places in NYC or LA or Palm Springs, where at some point we were together, not working and laughing really hard.

Okay. So speaking of working…

No, I didn’t get any work done on the novel yesterday and I didn’t even try. I could tell my mood was not conducive to writing.

I did do a lot of crying yesterday, though. Throughout the day. I really think it had something to do with that full moon, because I would suddenly find myself thinking about really unexpected things and then just crying. You know, just really short sort of tear-bursts and then I’d stop, but the things I found myself thinking about hurt really deep.

For instance, loyal readers of this lofty blog will no doubt recall that last August, I wrote a post called Mob Guys, Part 1.  Wherein I talked about being 20 years old and moving to NYC and within about 17 seconds of moving there, getting pregnant. And really, really, really wanting that baby, but then finding out that the father (the 40-year-old man that really, really wanted to marry me) was a hit man for the Mob.

And I was so freaked out by this – that he killed people for a living – that I wound up becoming a killer, too, and killing a baby I really, really wanted. Which then enraged him because he really, really wanted that baby, too.

Yesterday, just sort of by chance, I saw this girl. She was wearing black Converse high-tops and a short black sundress. She was all legs. And had really long, straight brown hair. She couldn’t have been more than 17 years old. And there was just something about her that made me think that my kid would have been just like her.

And it started a whole ball of “what ifs?” rolling in my head. Would I have married my first husband if I’d had the baby? Probably not. Would I have eventually married Nick instead (the man in the Mob)? I doubt it, but he certainly would have stayed in my life. And I probably would have never moved away from NYC.

The “what ifs?” really escalated in my head; all the probabilities playing out in my mind. Probabilities that had never occurred to me before, even though I often think about that daughter I didn’t have & I miss her.

And it wasn’t so much the loss of her last night that really got to me, it was the sudden realization that Nick would have made a really great dad. I was completely certain of it, all of the sudden. And that thought had never once occurred to me  before.

As the decades unfolded for me in NYC, the Mob was in my life to varying degrees, over and over. And not to overlook the very real fact that some of those guys do kill people, they also have families that mean the world to them. It is part & parcel of who they are; their love for their families defines them.

When I was 20, and fresh from Ohio, and the Mafia was terrifying to me, I didn’t know any of that stuff. I made the decision based mostly on the fact that I knew I would be a terrible mother at that age. And also because I had been illegitimate when I was born and I hated that fact about me and I didn’t want to pass it along to my own kid. And then, overriding that, was my fear of the Mob.

So, last night, remembering how angry Nick was when he found out that I killed his baby – a baby he really, really, really wanted (I can’t stress that enough, unfortunately); and when it finally occurred to me: Oh, man, he would have made a great dad; he would have loved that kid to the moon and back.

Well, deciding to judge him when I was 20 years old, and deciding to play God, as it were,  without thinking of anybody, really, but myself – realizing all of that 38 years later; that was the hardest part of last night.

I don’t wish that kind of awakening on anybody, gang.

The world of author Marilyn Jaye Lewis