Tag Archives: cats

The Thrill of All This Fucked-Up-Ness!!

I don’t know, but when I need to feel sort of “at peace” with where I am in life, vintage illustrations really do it for me. They calm me down. I like to ponder them.

They instantly propel me into thoughts of: Wow, remember when life in America was like this? So much simpler…everyone was happy

I know. Life was never like this. I mean, look at the size of that trailer, for one thing. The only way that many Americans, from 3 generations no less, would be happy living in a trailer that size would be if all of them were on prescription medication, 24/7.

But it’s fun to dream, right?

I mean, I’m really happy with my house — I love my house. It’s the first real home, emotionally, that I’ve ever had. And I love this town. I love being in the middle of peaceful nowhere.

However, if you’ve been reading this blog for any amount of time, you can readily see that a really long line of fucked-up-ness is trailing after me. And through relentless trial & error (i.e., living my life), it became apparent that things go better for me when I’m left alone.

And, of course, being left alone is often really lonely. But at the same time, when I’m hanging out alone not attempting suicide, I get a lot more done.

But, man. What a lot of fucked-up adults in that apartment complex, right? And nobody leaving me alone for a minute. The only people leaving me alone were my parents. They had no clue what was happening to me in that apartment complex. My mom would put in appearances in order to be really abusive and frightening, but otherwise, she was off in the world, finding herself. Like every other divorced woman of that era, it seems. And by then, my dad didn’t  live in the same town as us anymore.

But I don’t think he would have given a shit anyway. Nothing really registered with him when it came to me. His whole life was consumed with hating my mother. That’s all he could see back then.

He would come to town once a month to take me out, and in order to piss off my mother, he would take me to these really violent, inappropriate movies for a young girl to see. Things like Walking Tall and Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia. It wasn’t just that these movies were extremely violent, they had violence against women in them that was horrifying to me. I was traumatized by those movies because I absolutely did not know how to process that type of violence against women. It was all new to me and just terrifying. I would come home from those movies, and just hide in my room for hours.

But all my dad cared about was how pissed off my mom would be when she’d find out which movie he’d taken me to this time. And when the sexual assaults started to actually happen to me (in that same horrible apartment complex) my dad was the last person it would have occurred to me to go to for help. I didn’t go to anybody, actually.  I couldn’t figure out who on Earth would care.

After Greg died and the actual rapes began happening — I was just a dead girl walking, really.

Yesterday, after I posted about the sleeping pill problem and the mental hospital, I remembered how, once I was finally released several months later, I went back to my room at home and everything in there was exactly as I had left it when they’d scurried me away. Nothing had been touched. Flushing all those pills down the toilet was completely unnecessary (although it was a good thing that I’d done it, because I didn’t have them waiting for me when I got out).

But yesterday, that just seemed so sad to me. If it had been my kid — or anyone at all that I loved or cared about — I would have gone through every single thing in that room; trying to figure out who that person really was, what had gone so wrong that she would try to kill herself.

I had journals in there, too. Things were written down. Nobody bothered to look. For my mother, it was like: close the door; she’s someone else’s problem now.

The thing that would just enrage me, even at that young age, was that I had been taken away from my “real” mother only to be put into all of that. Even though, at that time, I didn’t know my mother had only been 13 when I was born, what I was told was that she “loved me but wasn’t able to take care of me” so she had to give me up.

I guarantee you, all I heard in that explanation was that my real mother loved me…

(And many years later, when I finally found her, it was the very first thing that I discovered that was absolutely true: She loved me more than life itself, really.)

Well.

Yesterday also yielded some really cool new pages in the play. It took several hours for them to finally come out of me. It was one of those days where I would sit at the desk, agonize, clutch my hair a bit. Get up, walk around the room. Sit back down at the desk.

I fumbled with that unlit Pall Mall I always have at my desk now. And I kept looking at it, wondering: if I lit it and smoked it, would the words finally come? (I didn’t light it. I never do.)

And then, all of the sudden, around 3pm, it all began tumbling out. Some of it, I’d had no clue I was getting ready to write! Some of it was disturbing, yet I still knew it was good. And I wondered, where the heck did that come from?

The process of writing can just be so strange. You wait for it and wait for it, and when it comes out, you look at it and go: wow, who the heck are you?

The main segment I wrote yesterday (something I knew I was going to write, it just took me forever to find my way into it) involves Helen going back 10 years or so in her mind and spending time with her adult grandson before he dies, and then she goes back another 25 years and goes fishing with that same grandson as a little boy but her adult grandson, now dead, comes back as a ghost and is fishing with them and they’re all having a great time fishing at the river even though Helen and the young grandson can’t see the ghost, and then the entire cast of characters — because we’re still in Helen’s dream, where she’s alive inside one of her own paintings and all the people she loves who have died are alive again in the painting  — all those characters sing a really jubilant & rambunctious version of the old slave spiritual, “Down By the Riverside.”

Are you following that? Do you see why maybe a lit cigarette could help?

But I got through it!! And I was really happy with the results. (And the director texted this morning that he “loved, loved, loved it.”)

So! Onward, right, gang??

All right.

Another bright spot I want to mention before I close this today. For 2 mornings in a row, 2 of my rescued feral cats — Huckleberry and Doris — have let me (very briefly) pet them!

This is the first time I’ve been able to touch them since Daddycakes died. It made me really happy.

Okay. I’ll leave you with this. For some reason, I just love listening to all these little kids singing the old slave songs. I like it much better than the adult choirs, because the adults just get complicated and fussy. All right. I love you guys. Thanks for visiting. See ya!

Cats Are So Good At Acting Like They Can’t Understand You!

Yes, once again, I have subtly left the vacuum cleaner in the middle of the family room, hoping that the cats would take the hint and vacuum the darn house, but they just walk right past it. Not only as if they don’t see it, but as if they don’t even comprehend what it’s for.

It just gets me so mad. One of these days, I’m just going to fucking break down and do it myself!

Anyway…

Yes, the dust and the cat hair (and the Marilyn hair) gathers all over the house (it makes me insane because I am a little bit of a cleaning freak, truth be told), but I got some amazing writing done on the play yesterday, gang. And you can only do so much, you know?

ME (drumming my fingers on my desk, thinking): Hmmm. Decisions, decisions. Do I want a Pulitzer Prize or a clean house?

I really was just so happy yesterday.  I somehow managed to capture one of those complicated dream-painting scenes from the Tell My Bones screenplay and translate it for the stage.  (Meaning that one of Helen’s most popular paintings comes to life while she’s dreaming and she then uses the setting of her painting to interact with all the people in her life who have died.) It’s very easy to do on film, but I wasn’t sure how best to achieve it for the stage without having some sort of huge budget, a la “Sunday in the Park with George.”  Especially since there are just so many of Helen’s paintings setting the scenes in this play. You don’t want to just focus hugely on one thing and then not bring the rest of the play up to that scope. (i.e., a Broadway Musical budget.)

Plus, I was able to use the setting of the painting coming to life to sort of jettison a bunch of narrative monologue type stuff and really cut to the chase and then move forward to the next segment. (And underlying the whole “painting coming to life” scene, is the cast singing, in a really ghost-like, ethereal way, the old  slave spiritual, “Didn’t My Lord Deliver Daniel?” )

We’ll see what the director thinks. I’m guessing it still needs tweaking but overall, I am just so happy. I’m going to work on it some more today because our meeting has been switched to next Tuesday.

I’m not sure what’s up in Melbourne. So far no reviews in the online newspapers in Australia re: the Nick Cave & Warren Ellis events going on with the symphony there. But I did see that more Bad Seeds are supposed to be involved (?) on Saturday night (which for all I know is right now, since I have no clue what day or time it is in Australia!!) so perhaps that is what everyone is waiting for? I actually do not know. Anyway.  No reviews yet. And I had to un-follow  #nickcave on Instagram because way, way, WAY too much insane stuff gets into my Instagram feed with that hashtag. Most of it is actually quite interesting, and mostly from Europe, but I don’t have time to scroll through all that insanity because it only makes me want to stop and ponder!!!

Eventually, we will find out everything about everything. I feel confident about that.

Okay. I gotta scoot, gang. I once again slept in a little bit today because my bed was just so darn comfortable — it got back down into the 60s Fahrenheit during the night. And my bed, and all the open windows — it was just too beautiful. Eros was everywhere! But now I gotta get going here.

Thanks for visiting. I leave you with this — a young girl choir in Mississippi, singing “Didn’t My Lord Deliver Daniel?” For some reason, this is my favorite version on YouTube. It is so uncomplicated but full of enthusiasm. Okay, I love you guys! Have a terrific Friday!! See ya!

Just the Kind of Cat I Like!!

Yes, I like my kitties intense, gang. Cigarette-smoking, beer-drinking cats, with those ice blue eyes that have all sorts of unsettling stuff written all over them.  [If you’re reading this on my web page and not on your phone, the word cut off at the bottom, up there,  is ‘intense.’ — Ed.]

I forgot to mention that, yesterday, I bought my cats some organic catnip. Now that Daddycakes is no longer with us (sadly), I realized that I can have catnip in the house again. Back when I had 2 male cats, the cat fights were off the charts when the catnip came out, so I had to stop buying it. But last night, boy, were there some stoned kitties around here.

The cats have tons of toys, but only a couple of them are the kind that you can stick catnip in. Here is their favorite:

Favorite catnip toy! A soaking, slobbery mess right now…

Okay.

Well. This morning had all the earmarks of a perfect morning. I’m hoping the whole day will follow suit.  I haven’t actually looked into my astrology forecast or anything, but it just feels like something huge is either shifting or has shifted in my inner world.

I don’t just feel “happy;” I feel like I’m beginning to understand my life in cosmic proportions.

I don’t think it stems from drinking about 2 ounces of kombucha yesterday (see last night’s post). Seriously, though, I do think that my buying all that stuff yesterday was part of some sort of underlying shift that’s going on.

I also started a new yoga routine a couple of nights ago. (No, not kundalini or tantric.  Honestly, if I included sex in every area of my life where I wished to include it, I would get absolutely nothing done.) (Plus, you know, making some sort of meditative practice to open my sexual energy — Jesus Christ. That would be sort of scary. It’s not like I’ve ever made a habit of blocking it.)

But I did change my yoga routine and it was noticeably effective. And by “effective,” I’m not sure what I really mean; just that my mind was different after I did that.

And now wanting all this new food (mostly beverages, apparently) in my life… I don’t know.

When I woke up this morning, I thought fleetingly about that older guy again, from when I was 14, but my thoughts immediately progressed to realizing that 45 summers ago was also when Greg died (on August 27th). I mean, I knew that, but I hadn’t yet affixed that number to it.

And, as an aside, it could very well be that I forgot about that older guy until now, because Greg’s death obliterated everything else in my world.  I know the older guy was around for the whole summer, even though I didn’t want to have sex with him anymore, but I think that once his brother was out of prison, they all got construction jobs somewhere else and moved away.

But I was thinking this morning about Greg. Not really able to process what being dead for 45 years means when he was only 15 when he died. I’ve been to his grave a few times since moving back to Ohio.  It’s about an hour’s drive from where I am now. I’m not sure if I’ll go visit this month or not. The last time I went, I saw that his dad had died now, too. There was a space between him and his dad and this morning, I was wondering if his mom is going to be buried between her husband and her son. And then I wondered, at what point would I visit his grave and then find his mom there, also?

It is just so weird how life just goes on. I don’t even try to process it because I just can’t.  I examine everything, you know; I ponder. I can’t ever seem to stop doing that, but it’s more to look at how certain people or situations made me behave. How they made me feel, which made me behave a certain way.

And then, you live long enough, and you realize that nothing really mattered that much, or as much as you thought it did, because Time passed and everything changed, and then changed again, and then changed again. So I think the story that gets told is who we are from moment to moment. No one experience, no matter how life-changing or life-shattering at the time, is ever the definitive moment; it never truly defines who you are, even though it feels like it does. Eventually, if you live long enough, a deluge of Time passes and all sorts of defining experiences come and go.

I’ve also noticed that when people lose either their spouses or their long-time companions, it can wildly change who they become in life. I’ve seen that happen to quite a few of the men in my family, in very different ways. But the unifying thing underlying it was that the “other” died and it was clear that the man had sort of put his life on hold throughout the whole relationship, and that the death of the partner led to almost overwhelming freedom.

It can be hard for a family to see that, you know? I, being who I always am — a huge believer in emotional freedom — have always supported the men’s choices and usually got everyone else in the family pissed off at me.

My biological grandmother (my birth mom’s mom) was always at odds with me. I knew her for about 30 years before she died, and through most of that time, she wasn’t speaking to me for one reason or another.

The worst event was when my aunt died (her sister).

My uncle  — that aunt’s husband –had always been so incredibly kind to me. Just off-the-charts kind.  In the early days of knowing my birth mom, it was very hard for me to deal with the fact that she refused to tell me (or anyone, ever) who my dad was. I really, really, really wanted to know.

My uncle took me aside late one summer night, and said, “I wish I could help you. I honestly don’t know who your dad is. If I knew, I’d tell you in a heartbeat, no matter who got upset with me.”

And then after my aunt died, my uncle called me on the phone to tell me a little story.

It turned out, he’d had an illegitimate daughter of his own before he’d married my aunt. He knew he was the girl’s father, and he tried to have a relationship with the girl, but my aunt refused to allow it. So he lived there in the same town with the girl as she grew up.

The girl knew “that’s my father,” and he knew “that’s my daughter,” but they weren’t allowed to even speak to each other or my aunt would have a fit. And when she’d married my uncle, she was a widow with 2 young kids — her husband was a race car driver who got killed in a drag race crash. And my uncle raised my aunt’s 2 kids, and she deprived him of ever being able to know his own daughter.

When my aunt died, the girl — then in her early 40s — read about it in the newspaper and straight away, she finally went to visit her dad, you know? All above board and out in the open. “Ding-dong, the witch is dead,” right?

Wow, was the family up in arms that she did that. And it was even worse to them that my uncle welcomed his daughter with more than open arms:  He bought a brand new Cadillac, let his diabetes go, and had a love affair, right out in the open, with his daughter.

Back then, cars didn’t always have that arm rest in the middle of the front seat, and when they’d drive around town in that new Cadillac, my uncle and his grown daughter would sit right up close together while he drove, like they were lovers, and it pissed the whole town off.

And I was the only one who was okay with that. I just thought that was the fucking coolest thing. My aunt deprived those two of everything that could have been normal between them for their whole lives. And so it was all coming out in the wash. (At the time, I was still a singer-songwriter in NYC and I wrote a song about it: “In this car of my old man’s/we run as fast as the racing wind…”)

My grandmother, of course, stopped speaking to me because I was “on my uncle’s side.” But my uncle would call me on the phone to talk to me about how he’d felt about everything — for all those years. How much he loved his daughter. How it killed him to never be able to even wish her a Merry Christmas or a Happy Birthday, or to even be allowed to acknowledge her when he saw her in the supermarket, where she worked when she was in her teens.

Eventually my uncle landed in the hospital because he let his diabetes go, and then he died soon after. But one time when he called me from his hospital bed, he said: “My daughter has something very important she wants to tell you.” So he put her on the phone with me.

At that point, I was still in my 20s, so she was a lot older than I was. And I knew that she and my uncle weren’t just having a love affair — I knew they were incestuous, too. They were doing it. And it did not bother me one bit. To me, they were adults, making their own choices. And so she gets on the phone with me, while she’s literally lying on the hospital bed next to my uncle — her dad — and what does she tell me? She told me who my father was.

She was a little older than my mom, but they’d gone to the same school when my mom got pregnant with me, and for all those years, she knew who “the father of Cherie’s baby” was. And that night, when she told me who he was, was the first time she learned that I was that baby.

If you remember a night about 30 years ago, when it felt like the planets stopped revolving in their orbits for a moment and the stars sort of exploded — that would have been the night she told me that over the phone: Who my father was. At last. He had a name. He existed. The name I had waited a lifetime to hear – I now knew it.

That alone, helped my uncle die happy, because he really, really did want me to know who my dad was. He thought that it wasn’t fair of my mother to have never told the guy that he was a dad, that he had a daughter in the world.

So anyway. Death creates peculiar and unexpected stories, even though the heartbreak that comes along with it is real. I’ll decide in a few weeks if I want to go back to visit Greg’s grave.  Part of it is that I just feel he is so long gone from that grave, you know? 45 years, people. And he was only 15 when they put him in there, and in life, he was always up and out and looking for trouble. I’m guessing that death didn’t change him much.

Okay. This morning, appropriately enough, the music was all about Joni Mitchell singing “Both Sides Now.” However, I actually like Neil Diamond’s version better. So I’m gonna leave you once again with a song from Rainbow.

Thanks for visiting, gang. I gotta get back to the rewrites on the play. (Oh, and Nick Cave sent out a new Red Hand Files newsletter so I gotta go read that!!!) I love you guys. See ya.

BOTH SIDES NOW”

Bows and flows of angel hair
And ice cream castles in the air
And feather canyons everywhere
I’ve looked at clouds that way

But now they only block the sun
They rain and snow on everyone
So many things I would have done
But clouds got in my way

I’ve looked at clouds from both sides now
From up and down, and still somehow
It’s cloud illusions I recall
I really don’t know clouds at all

Moons and Junes and Ferris wheels
The dizzy dancing way you feel
As every fairy tale comes real
I’ve looked at love that way

But now it’s just another show
You leave ’em laughing when you go
And if you care, don’t let them know
Don’t give yourself away

I’ve looked at love from both sides now
From give and take, and still somehow
It’s love’s illusions I recall
I really don’t know love at all

Tears and fears and feeling proud
To say “I love you” right out loud
Dreams and schemes and circus crowds
I’ve looked at life that way

But now old friends are acting strange
They shake their heads, they say I’ve changed
Well something’s lost, but something’s gained
In living every day

I’ve looked at life from both sides now
From win and lose and still somehow
It’s life’s illusions I recall
I really don’t know life at all

I’ve looked at life from both sides now
From up and down and still somehow
It’s life’s illusions I recall
I really don’t know life at all

c- 1967 Joni Mitchell

Just a Hodge-Podge of Summer!

Sorry it’s taken me so long to post today. I had a strange morning, which stemmed from a terrible car accident I saw early last evening.

Well, I didn’t see the accident. I was stuck in  traffic and the accident was directly in front of me, after it had happened, as they removed the victims from the wrecks and then had to have a helicopter arrive and air-vac a small, unconscious child to the hospital an hour away, in the city. Never a good sign. So heartbreaking.

The whole thing was just horrible. And for some reason, the saints & angels decided I should have a front row seat for that, for over an hour.

Naturally, it stuck with me. I really don’t think anyone survived that accident. It felt like all the emergency vehicles were just a last resort. Both cars were destroyed.

And I had Neil Young’s Harvest on the car’s CD player because of yesterday’s post. “The Needle & the Damage Done” was playing over and over as I sat there, stuck in my car, watching the horrible stuff unfolding —  until I realized it was playing over and over, and I had to just sort of shut everything off. It was too much.

And of course, stuck in the traffic there with me were trucks and cars galore, with inner tubes, canoes, and kayaks strapped to them, heading to (or from) the truly beautiful Black Hand Gorge, a few miles from here (pictured below).

Image result for black hand gorge ohio

Image result for black hand gorge ohio

Well, on a brighter note.

Even while I don’t actually believe in the church as a structure anymore, I do believe in Saints & Angels and miracles of all kinds. And I always pray to St. Francis and St. Christopher, and to Jesus, whenever I get into my car because there are a whole heck of a lot of animals around here, especially at night, and I seriously do not want to ever kill one of them.

And I have miraculously avoided killing all sorts of animals, gang. From stray cats, to groundhogs, to deer, to tiny little field mice, darting across the road.

However, the other night was the strangest thing.  I was on the back road not far from my house (imagine the scene below, well after dark, there is a road in there). (I told you I lived in the middle of nowhere – this is what it looks like as soon as you leave the village where my house is):

Image result for raiders road muskingum county ohio

Anyway. Driving at night. Twisty-turny. Then the tall cornfields, and who should come scurrying out of the cornfield, right into the road, but one of those raccoon cubs!

I slammed on my brakes, and I swerved to miss it, and I swear that my car lifted up off the road — like it feels when you hydroplane in water,  but the road was completely dry. And then my car sort of gently landed a few feet ahead of where I’d started out.

I was not dreaming this. It was the most amazing sensation. And of course the little raccoon scurried away unharmed. I could not get over it. I tell you, there are the most amazing spirits in Muskingum County, especially right around where I live.

Anyway. While I’m at it. Here is the 2nd Street Grill in my little village. This is a block away from me. It is only open for breakfast, weekdays. It is directly next door to the police station — that little brick building to the side there, is the police station. (It really is like living in Mayberry…)

Related image

And directly across the street from this establishment, is a sort of very old Town Hall, with an old gazebo out front and everything. It’s on a nice, really big corner, with trees and the original brick sidewalks, grass growing up through the cracks. The Volunteer Fire Department is directly behind it.

I was thinking we could get a grand piano put in the Town Hall and Nick Cave could come and have one of his Conversations there — just like he’ll be doing at Town Hall in New York. I feel confident that all 14 of the people who live here would attend. If only out of sheer bewildered curiosity. And out of politeness — because people here are super polite, I’m serious — the people would ask him questions, and I feel thoroughly positive they would be unlike the questions he usually gets, because, you know, nobody at all would know who he was. And then, and only then, if the 14 people left the event thinking that Nick Cave was God, well, then and only then, would I be forced to believe it. Finally.

Okay! So! Here is my little cat, Francis (named after F. Scott Fitzgerald even though she’s a girl cat). You can’t tell how tiny she is by this photo, but I usually call her Peanut because she is just super tiny. She is also super MEAN. You cannot get anywhere near this little cat.

Francis, aka Peanut. Excuse the dust on the dresser. This is in the guest room. If you were ever coming to actually visit me, I would dust it!!

And here is my enormous hydrangea, right outside of my kitchen porch. I love this thing!! It has grown like crazy this summer. I actually hug this big bush whenever I pass it on my way to the car because it makes me so happy and the flowers are so soft and fluffy.

The hydrangea! Photo taken just a few moments ago!!

And here is St. Francis himself!! Guardian of raccoons and impatiens. This is on my front porch. The windows look into my dining room. You can see that my front porch is practically right on the sidewalk. The huge maple tree is directly across the sidewalk from the porch. (All of this stuff is 118 years old.)

Look carefully in the corner of the far window…

Yes!! My one remaining male cat — Weenie. Watching me water the flowers and take photos!

Weenie, watching me from the dining room!

And then this was too cute!! When I went back inside, he was still in the dining room, looking out the window.

Weenie in the dining room, looking out!

Okay, gang! Enough. Unless you wanted to see a picture of me taken at Girl Scout sleep-away camp, when I was 9! If so, here it is!! (If you don’t wish to see it, scroll down really fast…)

Marilyn Jaye Lewis at Girl Scout Sleep -Away camp!! Age 9!!

All righty, gang!! I’m gonna close up shop here and enjoy a peaceful, easy evening for a change.

Thanks for visiting! I love you guys. See ya. (I leave you with the sexiest summer love song, ever.) (I bet this guy would even bring a gal a cup of coffee in the morning! He seems confident enough, right?)

“Peaceful Easy Feeling”

I like the way your sparkling earrings lay
Against your skin so brown.
And I wanna sleep with you in the desert tonight
With a billion stars all around.

‘Cause I got a peaceful easy feeling.
And I know you won’t let me down
‘Cause I’m already standing on the ground.

And I found out a long time ago
What a woman can do to your soul.
Oh, but she can’t take you anyway,
You don’t already know how to go.

And I got a peaceful easy feeling.
And I know you won’t let me down
‘Cause I’m already standing on the ground.

I get this feeling I may know you
As a lover and a friend.
But this voice keeps whispering in my other ear,
Tells me I may never see you again.

‘Cause I get a peaceful easy feeling.
And I know you won’t let me down
‘Cause I’m already standing
I’m already standing
Yes, I’m already standing on the ground

c – 1972 TEMPCHIN JACK

Ciao, Bella!

Well, the good news (sort of) is that my little cat, Daddycakes, hasn’t been gone for 2 months already; it’s only been six weeks.  So that sort of made me feel better. Perhaps time isn’t flying quite as quickly as it had seemed yesterday.

The other good news is that the headache is completely gone, finally, and it’s not supposed to rain at all today. My brain feels totally back to normal.

I awoke, though, to the eerie sight of a dense fog covering everything outside my window – for as far as the eye could see. It was too cool. It was almost 4am. Huckleberry was sitting in the window across from my bed – she also seemed quite taken with the fog. One lone bird was already singing in our maple tree – and Huckleberry, being a cat and not an actual berry, was quite taken with that, too.

AND I had once again awakened horny as heck  for some mysterious reason and so that, of course, excited me, too! Where is that coming from? I just don’t know!

AND there was already a text on my phone from Peitor! It was a photo of Mont Blanc. No, not the pen! The mountain! He’s in Switzerland and heading to Mont Blanc today.

I was, like – WTF?  Two days ago, I had awoken to this photo on my phone (a lovely boat outside his window in that Airbnb on the English Channel):

Yesterday, he was finally leaving the UK and I had texted him some work-related stuff, and asked him if he was stopping in Manhattan on his way back to LA.

And instead he texts me from Switzerland today at 4am (my time).

ME (texting at 4am, my time): Wow! I didn’t know you were going to Switzerland!!

HIM (texting right back): I didn’t either but I am having the best time!

And then nothing more… Silence. No further pings arising from the phone.

So I guess we’ll find out eventually how he suddenly wound up in Switzerland, heading for Mont Blanc, when he should have been heading for LA.

(Methinks he was in a train station and, loathe to return to Los Angeles – a city he has lived & worked in for 25 years and which he pretty much despises – saw a train heading somewhere completely other than the airport and decided he liked that idea a lot better and so, answered that clarion call of “All Aboard!!!”… But we shall see.)

Even though  I love their apartment in West Hollywood and would hate like hell to have to pay for an actual hotel in LA, I’ve been selfless enough to mention to him, you know,  that if he hates LA so much now, he should move.

And he always replies with something along the lines of: “I know you’re really happy out in that old house in the middle of nowhere, Marilyn, where it’s so quiet and nobody bothers you and there are only about 3 cars during “rush hour” and your muses are flying all over your room all the time and you’re doing your best writing ever. I’m sure that’s all really nice and that Tell My Bones will win some sort of Pulitzer Prize. However.  Some of us need to be near an airport.”

And of course he’s right about that. I’m near absolutely nothing. But I don’t mind getting into my little Honda Fit and just driving! (And driving and driving and driving… I’ve never done so much driving in my fucking life.)

And it never fails, when I go to the market and I stand there and I study my cart intently and I say to  myself: Think, Marilyn, think! Have you got absolutely everything that you need for the week because God knows you can’t possibly leave your desk again for the next 8 days…

And I study and I study, and I look and I look, and I peruse very carefully the items in my cart and with brave assuredness, I think: Yes! I am ready to checkout!

And then I am on the highway, racing 95 mph toward home, when I almost always realize that I’ve forgotten something. And so, you know, I have to go without it for a week because I am not going back. I am not that kind of gal; I do not “go back.” Plus, it’s really far.

And in Manhattan, of course, there was never such a thing as “forgetting” something at the store because you walked right past the corner bodega 1700 times a day.  If you “forget” something, you just go get it 13 seconds later.

Anyway. Okay.

People in Sweden are already posting to Instagram.  Showing where they are dining before going off merrily to have a Conversation with Nick Cave! So that seems like a good sign! (Of what, I’m not sure really. It just seems sort of good, you know?)

And I am going to get started here because the very real reality of my life is that I need to finish writing this novel. I need to seriously do this and stop staring all the time. So I’m gonna get started on that business of stopping all the staring.

I let the cats choose the breakfast-listening music today and they unanimously chose “More News from Nowhere” from Dig!!! Lazarus Dig!!! I thought that was pretty cool. So I leave you with that today.

(Even though the lyrics are amazing and I know every wonderful word by heart, I’m not going to post the lyrics here because they go on and on and on and on and on, and would probably end up spilling over into someone else’s blog and I wouldn’t want to get everybody all upset. So.)

Have a great Friday, wherever you are in the world, gang. Thanks for visiting. I love you, guys. See ya!

Legs to Die For!!

And in this humble instance, gang, I am talking about my own!!

Legs, that is.

If you’re on Instagram, like me, perhaps you are bombarded with ads for BetaBrand Dress Yoga Pants.  A couple months ago, I bought a pair of them, because I do yoga, and I also liked how the pants looked in the ad.

Gang, I would never do yoga in these pants! They are just too fucking sexy. They fit like a glove – if you wear gloves all over your legs, I guess. But, seriously, they fit like nobody’s business. I bought a specific style that they don’t seem to sell anymore but they really slide on like a second skin.

My legs are really long to begin with, but these yoga pants make my legs look about 12 feet long. And I bought the boot cut so that I could wear my new (vegan-friendly) cowboy boots with them, and those have a 3-inch stacked heel.  I am over 6 feet tall when I wear those boots. So the combined effect of the boots and the pants are just ridiculous. And I mean that in the best possible way. I look like nothing but long, skinny legs, towering over everybody.

Long story short, this is what I was wearing when I went to the Honda Dealership yesterday and it was un-fucking-believable. There are 2 female employees there and about 50 guys.  And I think every single one of those guys came into my field of vision yesterday.  And I’ve been going there twice a year for 3 years already. Never have I had such attentive service, even when I was there the first day, giving them thousands of dollars in cash. Good to know that long skinny legs still trump hard cold cash. (You know, I wonder, if I’d gone into that sales rep’s little office yesterday, closed the door, called him ‘honey’ and asked him real quietly if I could have some of my cold hard cash back – I wonder what he would have said??!! Perhaps something like, “I’ll try my best to arrange it” ??)

Anyway.

From there, it was off to that journey deeper into the country to go pick up the little clay imprint of Daddycakes’ paw from the vet. What an incredible drive it was.

It was drizzling rain, but still spring, you know, so all the trees everywhere were either in full blossom or that incredible shade of green. I decided to go the back route the whole way. It took me right through the town where the huge lake is, which, in summertime, is a town just insanely exploding with boats and flip-flops and cut-offs and muscle cars and booze and weed and music and hormones.

Yesterday it couldn’t have been more quiet, or more lovely in its springtime stuff and its drizzling rain. I didn’t see a single other person as I drove through the town.  All the little shops and cafes and bars and churches technically open for business, but not a soul was there. And once you drive through the town, it becomes just a winding road through empty cornfields and nothing but sky.

I was playing Jesus of the Moon again, over and over (see yesterday’s post) because the groove just fit. It was all too perfect. Even though the mission I was on was bittersweet – the last time I was out there at that vet’s office, Daddycakes was still alive, though barely. It was still just an awe-inspiring day.

And then I spent the evening working on Blessed By Light and got some really good writing done.

Today Is May 1st, which was not only Elvis’s Wedding Day but mine, as well!! In fact, we got married on May 1st in honor of Elvis and we went to Memphis on our honeymoon. That box of matches featured above is my treasured souvenir from Graceland – even though, by the time we got there that day, the last tour had already left and so we didn’t get to go inside. Got all the way to Graceland, finally, and stood in front of a locked gate!! But what a fine gate it was, gang.

Yes, 26 years ago today, I married my second husband. It lasted 14 years, although I physically left after 10. And even though loyal readers of this lofty blog no doubt recall that I was not any kind of a wife that you’d probably ever want to have, I did try to leave that marriage 3 times in those 10 years. I wasn’t oblivious to the fact that I had a personality that was way too large for that marriage and that i was driving both of us crazy. However, I was always persuaded to stay and to try to make it work. Until it was just way too apparent that to try to live like some sort of Upper West Side happy housewife was driving me out of my fucking mind…

But here’s how I looked on my wedding day, 26 years ago. Long before all the silver hair arrived!!

In honor of Elvis, Marilyn Jaye officially became Marilyn Jaye Lewis on May 1st, 1993!!

Okay, gang!! I’m gonna get back to work on the novel here. Drink a little more coffee, eat some chocolate. I hope you have a wonderful day, wherever you are in the world!!

As a memento of yesterday, I leave you with this heartbreaking song – one of my favorites of all time, when I want to have my heart broken a little bit! (Trust me, even though my marriages don’t work out, I’m still capable of loving with all my soul and missing all the ones who got away.) Okay. Thanks for visiting, gang. I love you! See ya!

Weepy Kind of Morning

I’m gonna leave here soon to make that drive farther out into the country to that veterinarian’s office. He made a little clay paw print of Daddycakes for me and it’s ready for me to pick up.

Daddycakes died over 2 weeks ago already, and his death was so slow and awful that all I felt for several days was just stress. Horrible stress. Even after he was euthanized, I just felt so much stress. When the stress finally subsided, I never went into any type of true grief mode. I had to focus on writing the novel because I need to have it off to a publisher before we start rehearsals for my play this summer, whenever Sandra arrives here from New York and says “let’s begin.”

And as an aside – it is always a huge question mark when Sandra will reply to texts. She’s a working actress and is always working. So I never know when she will find 4 seconds to reply. And the worst is when she suddenly decides to FaceTime me without any warning and I have to take the call because I need some sort of vital information from her but I haven’t washed my hair in, like, 17 days, or something horrible like that. (Please, people!! Don’t FaceTime me!!)

Anyway, on Sunday morning, at 5am, I was lying in my bed in the dark, thinking about life, and suddenly an eerie light filled one corner of my room. It was coming from my iPhone. So I looked at it and there was the text I needed from Sandra. Giving me the information the director had been waiting on for over a week.

I wanted to text right back, but I knew she was in her quiet place. She was probably downstairs in her great room, off the kitchen. The room is so tranquil and surrounded by huge windows, looking out at trees. She was probably the only one awake in the whole, quiet house, with the sun just barely coming up at the edge of the sky, and she was probably just sitting there, thinking about her own life and finally decided to text me. I wanted her to have that solitude for as long as possible.

Anyway.

So. This morning I woke up to a rainy little spring morning, birds singing, the cats playing merrily on the floor around my bed, wanting me to get up and feed them. And that’s when it finally struck me that I was going to make that journey this morning in the rain and all that is left of my wonderfully compassionate stray cat, Daddycakes, is a clay paw print.

It just felt sad.

And from there I have to go to the Honda dealership to get that required maintenance done on my leased car. That always takes hours.  I’m bringing along the script for Burn This by Lanford Wilson, because the play is in a revival now on Broadway and I want to refresh my memory.

I don’t understand why people decide to revive such iconic classics. I really don’t. I’m sure that whoever is in it currently does a great job but no one on Earth can be John Malkovich except John Malkovich. (I know, I know; theater is a living, evolving thing and doesn’t ever stop in time and many, many men have taken on the role since then, but still; when someone nails it so extraordinarily the first time, why permit it to live again? Let’s put it into a special vault in Heaven or something.)

One bright spot in the day, though, is that my Honda Fit’s lease is almost over. And I’m trying to figure out what I want to do next. And there are a couple of used Hellcat’s for sale at that particular Honda dealership that I can actually afford. (See my blog post, “To Heaven in a Hellcat”, that mentions my dream car here.) So I’m gonna try to figure out if I actually want to own my dream car, or if I’d rather go another 3 years without having to worry about any maintenance whatsoever and just lease another Honda Fit.

Either way, it’ll feel good to dream. My brain needs a break.

Then I’ll come home and work on Blessed By Light some more because Chapter 20 is almost done!

All right, gang. I hope you have a sweet and gentle day out there, wherever you are in the world! Thanks for visiting. Today I leave you with this. I think I played it about 40 times, repeatedly, as I was out driving around in the wilderness yesterday. Such a mesmerizing song. Okay. I love you, gang. See ya!

JESUS OF THE MOON

Stepped out of the St. James hotel
And I left you behind curled up like a child
A change is gonna come
And as the door whispered shut
I walked on down the high-windowed hall

You lay sleeping on the unmade bed
The weatherman on the television in the St. James hotel said

That the rains are gonna come
And I stepped out on the streets
All sparkling clean with the early morning dew

Maybe it was you or maybe it was me?
You came on like a punch in the heart
Lying there with the light on your hair
Like a Jesus of the moon
A Jesus of the planets and the stars

Well, I kept thinking about what the weatherman said
And if the voices of the living can be heard by the dead
Well, the day is gonna come when we find out
And in some kind of way I take a little comfort from that
Now and then

Cause people often talk about being scared of change
But for me I’m more afraid of things staying the same
Cause the game is never won
By standing in any one place
For too long

Maybe it was you or maybe it was me?
But there was a chord in you that I could not find to strike
You lying there with all the light in your hair
Like a Jesus of the moon
A Jesus of the planets and the stars

I see the many girls walking down the empty streets
Maybe once or twice one of them smiles at me
You can’t blame anyone for saying hello
I say hey
I say hello, I say hello

Will it be me or will it be you?
One must stay and one must depart
You lying there in the St. James hotel bed
Like a Jesus of the moon
A Jesus of the planets and the stars

I say hello… hello… hello…

c – 2008 Nick Cave