Tag Archives: In the Shadow of Narcissa

Hotels Are Better…

There’s nothing at all wrong with this Airbnb. As Midtown Manhattan apartments go, it’s totally okay. But hotels are 100 million percent better.

For instance, another guest is here and sharing the bathroom with me. I don’t know who it is, but it showered during the night and used my one and only towel!! Now I can’t shower again until the magic towel fairy mysteriously shows up from wherever she actually lives and brings me a fresh one.

I would rather remain my own unshowered person indefinitely than use a damp towel after some total stranger in NYC used it.

But other than that, it’s a perfectly serviceable room. The bed isn’t terrible but it’s incredibly noisy right outside the window, so I only slept 3 hours.  I have nothing to do today but write and have lunch with Wayne, so I’m guessing I can just nap off and on all day if I want to.

NYC has gotten so crowded and so congested with traffic that it’s really just a pain in the ass kind of city now, with no charm, no character. All the things I used to love about it are gone, but it’s still fun to visit for brief little periods.

And I’m thinking that the plays will bring me back to NYC more and more, so I’ll deal with it. But seriously, it isn’t even the tourist season right now and it’s just wall to wall people.

I’m not sure yet how much of that meeting that I had yesterday is suitable for posting to the blog. I guess right now, the only thing I can say about it is that it was nothing like what I was expecting— in essence, the director hit the ground running, in terms of the things that will be coming quickly into place to begin getting the show off the ground. It was the start of a dream coming true, gang.

In the cab ride after the meeting, Sandra said, “Do you know how lucky you are? To have someone doing all this for your play?”

Yes, I do know. But it’s not luck. It’s a lot of prayer and it’s several years of paying really close attention to everything imaginable. 3 and a 1/2 years ago, I first saw a play he directed and I knew he was the director I wanted to work on Tell My Bones, which I hadn’t even adapted satisfactorily yet. Then it was all about connecting with him on social media; talking to him during the intermissions of every other play I saw that he directed.. Saying hello to him every single time I ever saw him anywhere, even though I knew he didn’t know me. Interrupting him at dinner once to tell him I was a writer. Then getting to know his significant other, meeting him for cocktails in NYC  and in Ohio , when the director was too busy. Then telling the significant other that Sandra and  I had a play I wanted the director to direct and, after he googled both me and Sandra, he said, “I’ll talk to him.” Finally, 3 years on, I emailed the director my script so that he could read it on an airplane because it was the only free moment he had….

I don’t really think of that as luck. It’s 3 and a 1/2 years of just staying incredibly focused. And also spending an enormous amount of time writing and rewriting and rewriting that play. But that aside — wow, gang. I could not be happier. We haven’t even raised one dime yet in production costs and yet he already has his game plan in place to get the play off the ground. By the time I came home from seeing Nick Cave last night,  I saw on my phone that the director was already beginning the social media campaign.

And that said!!

Wow, Nick Cave, gang. I am so glad I get the chance to see him again on Monday. It was so wonderful and the time just flew.  I will be up in the balcony on Monday so it won’t be the same but at least I’ll be there.  The venue last night was really just a fantastic place to see him In.  Sort of small. Great acoustics. Really comfortable. The reason why my 4th row Orchestra seat became the 7th row, is because 3 rows of seats were set up in the orchestra pit, since there was no orchestra last night. But it was still a great seat — and it wasn’t over to the side; it was dead center.

Anyway, it was just perfect. A totally perfect night. And his fans are really interesting people. I’m not saying that to flatter myself. But they really do seem to be a whole different type of person. A lot of foreigners were there. Really different fans, overall, from the old days. Still there’s also something about some of the old days that I kind of miss.

But I’m just so glad I got to go. I just love him so much.

Okay. At some point within the next 30 days, Edge of Humanity Magazine will publish my new installment of In the Shadow of Narcissa. I’ll keep you posted! And any day now, that excerpt of my new novel, Blessed By Light, will appear in the Exterminating Angel Press Magazine, so I’ll keep you posted about that, too.

And now I will scoot! I’m leaving you with a shot of my Airbnb room at dawn — my carry-on exploded. And then I did take one photo at Lincoln Center last night before the show started.

Have a wonderful (Nick Cave’s birthday) Sunday, wherever you are in the world! Thanks for visiting, gang. I love you guys. See ya!

Dawn in the Airbnb. My little world exploded.
    Waiting for Nick Cave at Lincoln Center

A Big Money Pow Wow Kind of Day!

Yes, Sandra and I have done nothing but discuss this theater stuff.   To say that it’s weighing on me now is a slight understatement.

We’re taking the train into the city later this morning. Then I’m gonna check into my Airbnb. She’s going to drop her stuff off at her pied a terre. Then we go across town to meet with the director.

The front porch here is so inviting. It has wicker rocking chairs. I actually fell asleep for a few minutes while rocking yesterday in the sun, listening to the peace & quiet.

But then Sandra came out to the porch and we began discussing the play again, and my peace sort of fled me. She says, “ I want to hear what the director thinks, but I’m thinking we’re looking at a 2 million dollar budget for this play now.”

I just sort of looked at her.

I can’t really get my mind around that kind of a budget, but I’m inclined to believe her. The rewrites have been that drastic.

I can’t process it anymore. Of course, we’ll hear what the director is thinking about it, as well. But all I can do, really, is just focus on writing the best play I can and then not think one step beyond that. Just let life happen. Allow the Universe to work those miracles it is so famous for.

Several photos on Instagram this morning from Nick Cave’s Conversation in DC last night. Looks like it went splendidly!! I of course will not even be bringing my phone to Lincoln Center tonight.  I never take photos of events even when I’m allowed to. I just sort of like to be present and not even think about my phone. Tonight’s show is where I have the really good seat — 4th row of the Orchestra, over to the left.

Even while I have collected photos and micro clips on Instagram of every single one of these Conversations since the tour started in Australia in January, I’m oddly feeling like I have no idea what to expect.  The only thing I feel certain of is that the time will fly and I will wish that, instead, time would stop and it would go on forever.


Okay, so I wrote a new segment for In the Shadow of Narcissa yesterday. I think I still might tweak it a tiny bit. But you can find the segment at the link to the site that’s somewhere here in the blog. I’m on my phone now so I can’t really see the navigation. But the link is here somewhere.

Tomorrow, Sunday, I will likely spend the day in my room at the Airbnb working on rewrites of the play. Sandra and I might meet up with Wayne somewhere (my ex who is also a long time friend of Sandra’s). I’m not positive about that. I’m kind of keeping tomorrow open because Monday I’m sort of booked solid before the Conversation at Town Hall at 8pm, and I want to relax a little. I think. I guess we’ll see how it all pans out.

Okay. Yes, I’m in a bit of a weird mood, stemming from this colossal budget thing that I managed to create. No one but me seems at all disturbed by this so I’m trying to just let it go and chill, you know? I guess, like everything, we’ll just see.

I leave you with a shot of the quiet empty kitchen from just before I began to blog— when I grabbed another cup of coffee.  I get up so early, as you know. Not a soul around here is awake until hours after I get up.

Well, okay.

Thanks for visiting, gang!! Have a super Saturday, wherever you are in the world! I love you guys! See ya!

Early morning in the kitchen in Rhinebeck!


All Is Decidedly Well!

[UPDATE:  In the Shadow of Narcissa has updated. You can read it here! Thanks!]

(Now, back to the blog!)

Three nights in a row now, I have slept really great. No anxiety at all, even though all my challenges remain the same and, now that I’m here in Rhinebeck, focusing on both plays with Sandra, new challenges are arising. But that sense that everything will unfold however it needs to unfold is really pronounced.

So I’m good.

I can’t believe that the Conversations with Nick Cave resume tonight in DC. It seems like it came so fucking fast. Then tomorrow night, I see him in the city— and then again on Monday.

I’m doing that thing again — dragging my feet, trying to slow it all down, because it will be over in a heartbeat and life will just go on!

No!! How can that be??

When Sandra asked me who I was seeing in the city, and I said “Nick Cave,” she said, “but who are you seeing on Monday then?”

”Nick Cave.”

”Oh, then who are you seeing at Lincoln Center?”

”Nick Cave.”

”Wait— you’re seeing that dude twice?”


“You must like him a lot.”

”I do.”

”Who is he?”

Aaaarrrggggh!!!! Oh well. Clearly not every American is oblivious to Nick Cave because all the Conversations are sold out…

Sandra and I had a long discussion last evening re: Tell My Bones and I went over the director’s notes with her, even though I haven’t done the rewrites yet. She was very insightful and enthusiastic. Today, we’re going to go over the whole play, scene by scene, which will likely help me facilitate the rewrites.

I’m feeling extremely good about everything because Sandra’s response to this new version is very, very encouraging.

I have a feeling I’ll be spending most of my time at the Airbnb writing. Both on Tell My Bones and on a new segment for In the Shadow of Narcissa. I’m planning to spend Monday with Valerie. But other than that, I think I’ll just be hanging out by myself, writing.

Yesterday, Sandra and I went and had lunch at this place I really like because it has great vegetarian options. And in there, I swear to you — I’m not lying about this — one of the guys who works there, who looked to be in his late teens, early 20s tops, came on to me!! I was completely taken aback by this because I was in one of those intense moods where I wasn’t even smiling. At first I thought maybe he was attracted to my Tom Petty tee shirt. But, no, it seemed that he was actually attracted to ME! And I was, like, WOW.  Now that is interesting, right? It’s like they get younger and younger.

Is it because I’m getting more and more immature?!!

When I woke up this morning, at 5:45 am, my brain was reciting various odd stanzas from Whitman’s “I Sing the Body Electric.”  I hadn’t thought of that poem in years. This is that area of the country, where he lived, roamed, thrived, wrote. Really, when you get to the East Coast you can feel the ghosts of all those sensibilities— writers and thinkers who settled here, drew in the Nature that was all around here back then, and then created from that intake. Rhinebeck is just one of those places that retains its history. It’s part of daily life. It’s the reason why I love it so much — but it does come with a huge price tag. It’s really expensive to live out here.

New Yorkers do that to a place: they buy a summer home somewhere up the Hudson, then decide it’s so nice, let’s make it year round. Then everyone catches on and does the same thing, and in a heartbeat, the price of everything goes through the roof and city people are all over the place.

Okay! Well, I hope things are good in your part of the world, gang. I’m gonna grab some more coffee and hang out and think about life until Sandra emerges from the boudoir. I leave you with a shot looking down in the neighbors yard at 6:30 am this morning.

Thanks for visiting! I love you guys. See ya.

Looking down at the neighbor’s yard in Rhinebeck 6:30 am


I Wish I Could Just Hire Somebody to Be Me! Indefinitely!

Life does indeed go on, doesn’t it, gang?

I have to leave here in a couple hours to go get my mom. She lives on my sister’s farm a couple of hours from here. Both of my sisters actually live on the farm, in different houses, and now my mom is retired and lives there, too. (She was a waitress and a cook.)

I haven’t been out to the farm in probably 25 years. My one sister actually grew up on that farm, then inherited it, then invited my other sister to come live out there with her.

That one sister who now owns the farm is not the sister that I get along with, hence, I never go out to that farm. That sister is 2 years younger than me, but she acts like she’s about 20 years older than I am. Not that she’s bossy or anything, but apparently she also thinks that I am still 12 years old and it frustrates the heck out of her and so she has little patience with me whenever I’m in the same room with her.

My other sister and I are extremely close. She’s 8 years younger than me and also treats me like I’m 12 years old, but in a really, really nice way. For instance, she just this second texted me, saying, I left you gas money on the kitchen table. Drive safe. I just love that!! Because, honestly, I am only just barely able to take care of myself. It’s a wonder that anyone allowed me to have such a grown up thing as a house… let alone this intensely grown-up car.

I was talking on the phone with Valerie out in Brooklyn yesterday, because I had gotten extremely depressed. And I was lamenting having to do all this driving by myself, and even though I’ve made this drive to NY from here I don’t know how many times, I am now suddenly feeling overwhelmed by all the driving ahead of me. Especially the 2 hour drive from here up to northern Ohio, where I then cross over into Pennsylvania — those 2 hours have a lot of confusing highway changes, and now that I have no CD player in my car, I have to listen to all my music on my phone.

She reminded me that I have a grown-up car now and that it has a really good navigation system. I totally forgot!!  (This is one of the many reasons why I need a keeper, 24/7.) So now, I have the navigation system; that cruise control thing that slows down & speeds up depending on the car in front of me; it brakes by itself; it stays in the lane; and it drives by itself for 10 seconds — so, basically, I can just hang out in the backseat, chew gum and play records! Yay!

I wish.

Yesterday evening, I ran into this elderly man (I’ve posted about him on the blog before – his wife recently died from Alzheimer’s and I had told him he could move in with me if he wanted to, and even though I could tell by his expression that he really, really wanted to, he refused to reply. ) Anyway. I saw him yesterday.  He said, “You always look so happy!” (Which is just bizarre, since I’m always in the throes of some sort of suicidal swoon, but that’s not the point…) For some reason, I told him I was going to NYC and I told him about the progress with the 2 plays with Sandra.

I usually do not talk about my private life — ever. I just don’t talk about it or myself. I smile. I’m friendly, but I am usually an absolute closed steel door. Thanks to google, as soon as neighbors find out I’m a writer, they google me, and it is usually not too long before people start asking me to come over and have sex with them, their girlfriends, with everybody.  (I’m not kidding. I’m actually serious.) Flattering as it may well be, I always politely decline. And then move farther away…

Anyway, for some reason, I told this man about the plays, and of course he didn’t know I was a writer. And it turns out he’s from NYC, too, and moved away shortly after 9/11. Too weird, right? Another New Yorker. (My friend Kara, whom I’ve gotten so close with over the last several months, was also born and raised in NY and I didn’t know this until well after we initially met.)

I guess we have these inner homing devices, or something.  Psychically picking up on this signal from “home.”

I am really digressing here, sorry. My point is that this man wants to introduce me to a female friend of his who also writes. And then he said that she now writes full time and added, “well, of course, she has a husband who takes care of her.” And then he back-pedaled and added, “not that that’s a bad thing.”

Just a really interesting piece of dialogue there, you know? Mostly, he was flattering me, implying that I do what I want and take care of myself, without relying on a man.  I think I said something like, “oh, I see.”

But I was thinking how this idea that I “take care of myself” is just so loosely defined. It’s just funny, people thinking that I do what I want and I take care of myself, as if I wouldn’t trade that for anything in the world, assuming I could actually get along indefinitely with some guy I was in love with???  And then I immediately thought about the endless drive ahead of me, and then the drive back. And always traveling everywhere alone. Always working, always writing. Always, always. Alone. It just got a little depressing.

And I got nothing done on In the Shadow of Narcissa because nothing productive would come to me yesterday. But I might actually write while I’m away. Like, on paper — the old-fashioned way. I will be posting to the blog, though, but from my phone, so it won’t be my usual stuff, but I’m still gonna post!

Okay. I gotta scoot. Gotta leave here in a bit and go make the trek out to the farm to get my mom… Have a terrific Tuesday, wherever you are in the world and whatever you’re doing!! Thanks for visiting, gang. I love you guys! See ya!

(A great favorite from my wee bonny girlhood!! Who knew that the only man I would wind up getting along with indefinitely would be Jesus??!!) (See ya!!!) 🙂

The REAL Thrill of it All! Revealed!!

Yesterday morning, I wound up getting another one of those annoying eye migraines, so rather than pretend it would either go away by itself or simply never materialize into the full-blown headache, I took Ibuprofen the moment I saw the bright shapes in my left eye. And then I set aside any hopes of doing any sort of writing yesterday at all.

Instead — I cleaned!! Yay.

I caught the headache before it had a chance to really blossom into anything too painful. I went from minor headache into complete exhaustion, and just skipped the middle part. So that was sort of good.

And I finally got the house clean.  I even did a lot more dusting than I thought I was going to do, so I felt really good about that, too.

Today is all about washing the hair, painting the toenails (winter, spring, summer, fall, it is always Sally Hansen’s Flashy Fuschia; for some reason, it is the only color I like), doing yoga and then working on a new segment of In the Shadow of Narcissa.

I’m still not 100% certain what that segment is going to be about. I keep coming back to the idea of my name — my adoptive name, that is. When I was born, my birth mom named me Dory. I had that name for a few weeks, and then I was put out for adoption, and my adoptive parents (my dad, specifically) named me Marilyn.

My adoptive brother’s name was Adam and when he was about 4, he learned how to write his name, and so I wanted to learn how to write my name, too.

You can imagine how appalled I was to discover that I had this truly laborious name. It kind of wasn’t fair. Not only did my brother’s name have only 4 letters, but also, 2 of those letters were the same! Although one was upper case and one was lower case, but still!! My name had 7 letters, none of which were the same.

I can remember clearly, sitting at the breakfast counter in the kitchen and my mom spelling out my name for me on a piece of paper. Then it was up to me to try to figure out how to duplicate all the letters by myself.

I have no memory of whether or not I was able to do that. I’m guessing, not. Because I was a very slow learner in that regard. I was 6 before I learned how to read and write. (Although I was 4 when I learned the Hebrew alphabet, so that’s sort of strange.)

But my mind just definitely wanted to do whatever it wanted to do and I only learned certain things when I was literally forced to learn something in school. It’s not that I didn’t enjoy learning how to read and write, once I was seriously focused on the task. It’s just that, what I preferred doing — endlessly — was listening to either Julie Andrews or Mary Martin sing.

And I do not exaggerate when I say that I never got tired of that.

We had a reasonably nice record player in the playroom and since my dad had been an accountant for Columbia Records in Cleveland, he would bring home a lot of records. I will never forget the day that he brought home the Original Broadway Cast recording of My Fair Lady, starring Julie Andrews and Rex Harrison.

He came into the playroom and put the record on the record player for me and said, “I think you’re really going to like this.” And then I sat in my favorite rocking chair, rocking away while listening to all those songs from My Fair Lady and, boy, was my dad correct! I fucking loved that thing. Oh my god.  For a really long time, I never stopped playing it.

It’s funny, in retrospect, to think of me being 4 and knowing all the words to all the songs in My Fair Lady because they’re pretty sophisticated songs. Of course, I had no idea what the songs were about because I didn’t know the story. I only knew the songs. My favorites were “I Could Have Danced All Night” and “On the Street Where You Live.” I would sit in that rocking chair (which was huge, actually. It was for adults. It wasn’t a little kid’s rocking chair.  It was upholstered in white leather and it had very modern lines. Not sure that is was really Danish Modern, but most of my parents’ furniture at that time was Danish Modern.) Anyway, I’d sit in this huge rocking chair, rock furiously away and sing along to all the songs.

At some point, Julie Andrews in Mary Poppins and Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music came along, too — my god, I just loved her. (And, yes! I follow her on Instagram!) Somewhere in all that, my mom also bought me the Original Broadway Cast recording of Peter Pan, starring Mary Martin and for awhile, that was  my favorite.

As you can guess, I loved Broadway musicals. That whole style of songwriting and singing. And when I was old enough to start going to see movies, my grandma took me to a lot of musicals. My grandpa had died right before I was adopted, but he had owned the neighborhood movie theater as well as a drive-in movie theater, out of town a ways. Even though the neighborhood theater was now run by other people, my grandma would still take me there a lot. (My dad and my uncle continued to run the drive-in, though, for a couple of decades after my grandpa died.)

I will NEVER forget when my grandma took me to see The King and I. It had been re-released in theaters for some reason, when I was 4.  It starred Deborah Kerr and Yul Brynner. I was watching the movie and really loving it, you know. And then halfway through the movie, the bad slave girl gets a whipping from Yul Brynner! He has her top ripped open, and then has her thrown down to the floor by two slave guys, and then he prepares to whip her (sort of) bare back — WOW. It was the most exciting thing I had ever seen in my life! I couldn’t believe my eyes. It was the first time that I was responding sexually to anything, ever. Sadly, though, right at the moment when the slave girl is going to get her whipping from the stupefyingly masculine king for being so bad, my grandma scooped me up out of my seat and whisked me right out of the theater!

I’m so serious. I was, like, “No, Grandma!! I want to see that!” And my grandma said I was too young to see it. We got right in the car and drove home. And so it was years and years and years later before I ever saw the ending to The King and I.

(This is the only still I could find of that scene. But trust me, on the big screen, it was overwhelming to a little 4-year-old white girl in Cleveland  — and in the very best way!!)

Anyway. My point is that, when things had my attention, they had my complete attention. And I simply wasn’t interested in learning how to read and write until I was forced to really focus on it in school, in the first grade. So I’m guessing, that’s when I really learned how to write my long, laborious, complicated name.

Okay! On that delightful note, I’m gonna go wash my hair, paint my toenails, get started on In the Shadow of Narcissa… have a great Monday, wherever you are in the world!!

Thanks for visiting, gang. I leave you with the obvious — “My Lord and Master” from The King and I! Yippee ki yi yay!

All righty. I love you, guys! See ya!

Excerpt #3: Girl in the Night: Erotic Love Letters to the Muse

(The following is Letter #3 from Girl in the Night: Erotic Love Letters to the Muse. It contains sexually graphic content and will not be suitable for all readers. Approx. 9 pages. Thanks!!!)


Alone on a train to Baltimore in broad daylight. A beautiful autumn afternoon. The sunny miles hurtle past outside the window. On the train, I’m thinking about Edgar Allan Poe’s mysterious demise – why Baltimore? And why did he die in obscurity – he was famous.

I’m heading to a hotel on the waterfront where I’ve booked a suite.

It’s another gal in television; yet another executive in TV. I would say that I attract them like flies, but you know what that would be saying about me, and, frankly, I smell a lot prettier than that: aside from daily bathing, I always wear Coco by Chanel. But they do have an uncanny way of honing in on me, these TV gals.

Again, this one’s older than me but for a complete change of pace, she’s submissive. Or so she says. She’s looking to get spanked; to be forced outside of her executive comfort zone with old-fashioned OTKs; panties pulled down. In a room in a hotel in Baltimore – a town she chose, that’s far from anybody she knows. It’s imperative to her that no one finds out about these longings of hers, her need to get spanked.

She’s just lost her beloved dog. Had to have it put down. She’s grieving. And worse, she’s had “female trouble” recently and had to have surgery. She’s at odds with herself, at who she’s becoming; who she is now that half of her female organs are gone. I feel like this can’t be good – we should wait. But we’re going through with it because she’s so horny; she’s so insistent. She’s gotta get spanked or she’s gonna die.

I check into my suite and then wait for her down in the lobby. We’ve never met in person; just online and over the phone. She began emailing me after she’d read one of my erotic novellas – the one where the ex-nun relentlessly thrashes the panty-less submissive girl. She wants to be lovers with me and I’m okay with that, but I’m worried that she’s in a bad place in her head right now and won’t really be up for the kind of sex she’s thinking about.

We should wait, I say. So that you know for sure what you want. I know how to spank a submissive because I am one. It seems harmless but it can go down some dark paths. All that humiliation, building and barreling toward the orgasm, but then what? The hormones level off and it’s just humiliation: A humiliated girl with her panties down.

No, she says over the anonymous phone. She whispers it, really. She’s playing me. I can’t wait.

When she shows up in the lobby of the Marriott, it’s so obvious that she’s a Top. An absolute Top. And there aren’t many gals more submissive than I am; I was born to serve the Top. What the hell – right? She lied.

*          *          *

I wear the ubiquitous little black sheath everywhere I go. It’s chic and hits right at the knee. And I always wear black leather Italian pumps with impossibly pointed toes and spiked but low heels – c’est la mode. I’m still a brunette; poker-straight brown hair that hits just below my shoulders.  Especially when I wear my sunglasses, I look like the flipside of Jackie O – like Jackie in Wonderland.

Me, at 40. I’m just tired. So tired of everything. Worn out and uncertain of what life’s really supposed to mean anymore and finally realizing that I never knew.

I’ve just curated two back-to-back international erotic art exhibits in New York City and co-edited what immediately becomes a top-selling international erotic art book to go along with them. Wrote and sold a ton of solicited erotic short stories in the space of a few months – one that then gets picked up for an Italian translation, a couple for French translations, and one for translation into Japanese. I don’t work with an agent or a lawyer; I do everything myself. I don’t know how to not do everything myself. I’m a multi-media producer, too, and I oversee 4 massive erotic multi-media websites, 24/7. The lines of my world are blurring at warp speed as my professional life now spills into the worlds of hardcore pornographers and the Italian Mob. I’m learning things I never wanted to know; seeing things I try not to look at.

I’m still married but you would never ever guess it by observing me when I’m not at home. I’m spread so thin that my mind is unraveling; one doctor thinks that, based on my symptoms, I might have MS; another one thinks it’s just stress. Oddly enough, sex is my only respite from all the sex-related things I oversee all day and now I see that I have to try to top a Top for the first time in my life or any hope of sex in Baltimore will be a bust.

*          *          *

Baltimore has a very dicey reputation and, based strictly on its lovely, sunny waterfront, I don’t think it deserves it. I think Baltimore is pretty cool.

We’re outside on some patio thing on the water because she’s hungry and wants to eat before dinner. That strikes me as a little weird, but whatever she wants.  She’s already topping me through her language – her tone of voice, her choice of words. She’s annoying me. She doesn’t shut up. She’s pushing all my submissive buttons – or at least she’s trying to. I’m smoking a cigarette, to keep my mouth busy, to say nothing. Every inhale gives me time to erect a mini mental barricade against her dominant nature.

*          *          *

Why did she have to lie, I wonder? Now she’s got me off-balance.

Feeling off-balance is not erotic.

I make up my mind to submit. It’s all I really know how to do.

*          *          *

Since we’ve never actually met before, she’s booked a room of her own. Just in case we don’t get along. But she didn’t get a suite, just a regular room, several stories down from mine. And she needs a special cardkey and passcode to use the private elevator to get to my suite. So I have to go down to her floor and get her, to escort her up.

Just another sign that the whole damn weekend is gonna get complicated. I’ve brought along all the de rigueur black underwear that she insisted I bring. The black seamed stockings that must be rolled up meticulously or the seams will be crooked; the black waist-cincher with no less than 30 tiny hooks & eyes down the back; the steam-punk black garter belt with 5 additional hooks & eyes and 8 shiny metal clasps to hold up the stockings; the black push-up bra – 4 more hooks & eyes; and finally, the 4-inch spiked leather high heels with the open toes and the ankle straps – the shoes alone scream nothing but sex. And maybe like I’m even for hire. How am I supposed to wear that in an elevator? I can’t. So this means I’ll have to change any time she needs to fetch something from her room, and that kind of underwear, well, you don’t just throw it on & off.

“Why didn’t you get a suite?” I asked her. “You knew I was getting one.”

“I’m not as extravagant as you are.” Her tone already implies that she wants to spank me for spending too much money – money that’s not even hers.

“It’s not extravagant. It’s the fucking Marriott – in Baltimore.”

“Don’t use that tone with me.”

Oh, crap.

“This is not going on my expense account,” she continues sharply.  “I don’t want anyone tracing this trip.”

“All right,” I say just as sharply. It’s not going on my expense account, either – because it doesn’t exist. I just pay for what I want and then look for ways to deduct it from my taxes, but pointing that out to her would only sound petulant.

I call room service and order dinner. I charge everything to my room. Because I’m extravagant, I guess, and I need to be spanked.

*          *          *

I have a non-smoking suite. While we wait the interminable hour for dinner to be delivered, I sit in the open window, still dressed in normal clothes, and I smoke. The wine won’t arrive until the dinner does. I’m not sure I can last an hour with her and no alcohol.

The sun is going down. It looks beautiful out – an autumn evening on the water.

Suddenly, she’s standing next to me and all she’s wearing is a pair of panties. She’s got the prettiest tits I’ve seen in a long time. Even though we’re now both framed in the open window, easy to see if anyone happens to look, I pull her right up next to me and kiss her breasts, suck on her nipples, worship those gorgeous tits.

She finally stops being so mean. I’m instantly wet. Her tits are truly that spectacular.

*          *          *

She seems to like being on public display – which I guess is why she needed to come all the way to Baltimore; so that no one she knew would see her naked in an open window at the Marriott. I, however, am not an exhibitionist. But she insists that I strip out of my clothes, too, so that we can sit in the window and make-out. “It’ll be fun.”

The thing I hate about being a born submissive, is that the word “no” is way, way, way down at the bottom of the list of words I know how to say.

She further insists I undress while remaining seated in the open window, but I don’t want to do that. It feels awkward. “Come on,” she says. “No one’s looking.”

I look down below us and see that, for at least this very moment, she’s right. Not a soul is around.

She takes my cigarette and holds it for me but has the lit side aimed inside the room. It could set off the smoke alarm.

“Don’t do that,” I say. “This is my room. I’m the one who’ll get kicked out for smoking.”

“Take off your clothes and you can have your cigarette back.”

I get undressed while seated in the open window. I keep my panties on, though.

“Uh-uh,” she says. “Those, too.”

“But you’ve got your panties on.”

“So what?” she says, holding the lit cigarette well inside the room. “I don’t smoke. And I’ve got my own room.”

The implication is plain enough: She’s topping me and I have to do what she says or she’s likely to hold the lit cigarette right under the smoke detector. So my panties come off, too, and I get my cigarette back. We sit together and kiss in the open window for a mere moment; I’m pissed-off at her again.

“You’re being a baby, you know that?” she says.

“I didn’t come her to be topped by you.”

“I know,” she says.

“You said you were a sub and wanted me to top you. I can’t top you if you don’t back down.”

She takes back what’s left of my cigarette and smokes it. “You just have to try harder. I’m not good at this.”

“I thought you didn’t smoke?”

Why is she so full of lies?

*          *          *

A lot of my readers write to me.  A seemingly disproportionate number of them are in prison. They don’t write because they get off on me sexually; they write because something in the stories connects to their humanness. The sexuality in my characters usually comes from the heart – that confused place where the simple quality of being human is inexplicable: the human being behaves and its behavior cannot be easily explained. The prisoners who write to me have their own sexualities under a microscope, either because they are deprived of the companionship of sex, or because they are being constantly raped.

It all torments me because I understand the men so well, their human needs, their confusion and desires, and yet there isn’t a thing I can do about their awful predicaments.

In the bathroom at my suite in the Marriott, I get into the complicated black underwear.  It’s been over an hour and room service has still not arrived, so we’ve started on the minibar and have undertaken something that sort of resembles sex, although sex with her is awkward as hell. The moment I try to move into a dominant headspace with her, she flips back into being the Top and metaphorically slaps me down.

Naked and on my knees on the plushily-carpeted floor, while she is naked and towering above me, I worship her clit with my mouth until she’s on the brink of coming. From that angle, her tits look even more spectacular. I could do that all weekend, frankly – worship her clit and those tits, and try like hell to disregard her intense personality.  But she still insists that it’s not what she wants – me being submissive with her on top.

She wants to submit. She wants to be punished. She wants to have fun.

She decides that all the black underwear might help her role play. So I’m in the bathroom, putting on the underwear, thinking of a prisoner who had recently written to me, and wondering why it is that my books seem to be so readily available in prison libraries while only one public library in all of the United States carries one copy of one of my books.

Who am I? Besides lonely. And overworked.

I look at myself in the bathroom mirror and have to confess that, at age 40, I’m really stunning, especially in all that black underwear. And in those high heels, I’m 6-feet, two-inches tall. But I am a seriously underappreciated writer. I get similar advances to midlist writers at impressive mainstream publishing houses, but my books sell out of their print-runs and earn back their advances; I can live off of my royalties. A whole lot of mainstream writers cannot say that.

Still, it’s only acceptable to appreciate me in certain dangerous places, like in prisons or on the old Lower East Side, or in dark areas of the human mind. Who do I get to write to who is ever going to understand the complicated humanness of my own sexuality, the often-tormenting contents of my own mind?

Not that TV Executive waiting for me to come out of the bathroom, that’s for sure.

Not my husband, either. With a stern face he’d told me that he hoped I would have a nice trip; that I’d get what I was looking for. Christ, really? Even I know that what I’m looking for is not in Baltimore.

It sounds adolescent to say it, but nobody understands me. Nobody has ever understood me – only you, and I can’t even prove that you do.

*          *          *

In the bathroom, dressed in a way that feels thoroughly un-dressed, I’m ready to go back into the fray of what I’d been hoping was going to be some really fun sex in Baltimore. I think about Edgar Allan Poe again, and I realize a short story about his own deep agony is taking shape in my mind – how it might have felt to him to fall in love with a 13-year-old girl, his cousin, no less, and to love her so deeply that he married her.

And if that wasn’t bad enough, 3 years later, that wife – his very reason for living – died.

Where did he go for comfort? His private letters reveal the answer: opium, cocaine, booze. Nobody understood him. Or so he insisted. Of course, I understand him – one hundred and fifty years too late.

*          *          *

Jesus Christ. The very moment I walk out of the bathroom, comes the long-awaited knock on the door. “Room service!”


She pulls on her dress; I go for the complimentary spa robe hanging on the back of the bathroom door. Oddly, though, what it conceals makes what’s left that much more revealing. I answer the door in the white terry cloth robe, in black seamed stockings and 4-inch-spiked-heel fetish shoes.

The young man who wheels in the room service cart discreetly takes in the scene; not only what we’re half-wearing, but we’ve also got scarves draped over the lamps – ambiance galore – and his face brightens. Even though he’s clearly half my age, he looks at me – specifically – like he just might possibly desire me. Immediately, I want to kick her out and ask him to stay. He seems lots less complicated.

Instead, I focus on signing my name to the room charge and trying to calculate the tip. “Ooh, you can’t have that,” he suddenly says.

I turn to look at what he’s pointing at and see that, unbeknownst to me, she’s brought along a little candle and has lit it – a fire hazard. In my suite. What the hell is her deal?

*          *          *

She didn’t like her dinner at all. She preferred mine and ate half of it. At that point, I didn’t even care. I was still in the fucking black underwear. I didn’t feel like eating dinner. I’d come to Baltimore to have sex and I wasn’t getting any.

“Come on,” I said, pouring her some more wine and pulling her away from the food. “What’s going on with you? Why did we come here?”

This is not a woman who is ever going to be put over anybody’s knee. She’s sort of un-spankable. Or at least it wouldn’t be very erotic. Her mind just won’t let her go there.

I suggest the strap-on. I’ve brought it along because she insisted on that, too. I’ve got fake dicks in my suitcase, in a couple of shapes and sizes.

She doesn’t want that, either, now. She explains that the surgery has left her too tight for intercourse. It’s just too painful.

Great. Okey-doke. “What would you really like to do?” I ask her. “Just tell me. You wanna top me, you can. We can go all out. I don’t mind. I just need to know what you want.”

It turns out that what she wants is to get dressed and go down to her room, alone.

*          *          *

At 3 a.m. my phone rings. I’ve been asleep for hours. I’m naked, sleeping alone, in a king-sized hotel room bed.

“Come get me,” she says plaintively.

“Where are you?”

“I’m in the lobby. They won’t let me come up; you have to come down and get me.”

Oh my god.

“I want to be with you,” she quietly whines. “I don’t want to be alone.”

She sounds like a whole different woman now – in fact, she sounds like a helpless girl.

I get out of bed, get dressed, go out into the blindingly bright hallway, go down to the lobby and get her.

Back in my room, naked in the big bed in the dark, she’s clinging to me. She’s all over me. She wraps herself around me like a little child.

“Come on,” she begs me, softly. “Do something. Help me.”

Now she sounds more like who she’d been over the telephone, when we were first planning the trip to Baltimore.

I’m not going to spank her. It just doesn’t appeal to me. She’s put me through the wringer.  I’m not sure if I even like her.

Please, she’s whispering. Come on.

Her fingers are down between my legs. She’s found my clit, but I’m not aroused.

She pushes back the blankets, practically forces my legs apart and plants herself between them – her mouth on my clit now, instead. But it feels violating. She’s done nothing but fuck with my head. For hours, already. I’m worn out by her. Plus, I’d been sound asleep before she called me.

Don’t, I whisper back, gently pushing her head away.

Then what? she wants to know. Do something. I really want you to top me. Come on. You know how to do everything. Do something to me.

She’s lying next to me again as she whispers, trying to cuddle. I feel sort of heartless, but I’ve spent a lot of money; I’ve come all the way to Baltimore, and all she’s done is wasted my time. I could have stayed home and slept alone in a bed for free – my husband hasn’t slept in the same bed with me for nearly a year.

I don’t know what you want, I say quietly. I really don’t.

I want to submit – to something. She’s still whispering; wanting no one but me to hear her. I want to give up. Control, I mean. What do you like to do when you want to give up control?

I know exactly what I like to do. But I don’t want to rape her, even if we’d just be playing. I don’t want to force her to do anything, even if it’s just a scene. I don’t want to hurt her, or break her spirit. I just want to overwhelm her.

I look her in the face. It’s dark in the room but she can see my eyes. I say quietly: Get out from under the covers and lie down on your belly. And don’t move. Just lay there until I come back. She does it.

I go into the bathroom and strap on a fake dick. I choose one that will be memorable but not too challenging, and then I slide a lubed condom onto it.

I leave the bathroom light on and the bathroom door open. Then I find her panties that are in a little heap on the floor by the side of the bed.

I kneel down in front of her. She can easily see me now in the light spilling out from the bathroom. Don’t make a sound, I whisper to her, okay? This is my room and I don’t want to be asked to leave itDo you hear me?

She answers yes.

If you start making too much noise, I’m gonna stuff your panties into your mouth – do you understand what I mean?

She sees that I’m holding her panties. She says, yes, that she knows what I mean.

I’m not so sure she really does know. Girls who aren’t born to it, to be truly overwhelmed; to submit, to surrender, to go for it – sometimes those girls panic at a fraction of what I’m willing to endure. I whisper: Tell me what I mean. I want us to be clear, okay?

If I make a sound, you’re going to stuff my panties into my mouth.

She looks adorable when she says that. Why couldn’t she have been like this all evening? We could have had so much fun.

I add, you know this cock is going in your ass, right?

She looks at me, blankly. “No, I didn’t know.”

“You want it, though, right?”

*          *          *

I check out of the Marriott early. And I take an early train out of Baltimore. Again, it’s a beautiful autumn day. I’m leaving early because there’s nothing left to say. Nothing more I want to do. I got her where she needed to go.

And I played fair. I gave her every opportunity to say no.  I put it in her ass slowly, letting her accommodate it, but once we were in, I didn’t let go. I held her, impaled on that cock, all the way up, until she was begging me to fuck her with it – to really just fuck her.

She had never had it in the ass before. And she was well into her 40s. I find that kind of thing astonishing. I first had anal sex at 14. And I loved it even then. In fact, I liked it lots better than the regular way. Accommodating it is the hard part – opening up for it – and then the rest is pure ecstasy.

In my opinion, anyway.

She seemed to agree.

Before long, she was up on all fours, doing most of the work herself. Pounding herself onto it, her asshole really open; just taking it with ease. And I barely had to hold onto her. It was easy to reach under and find her clit. And when that happened, boy. She did that dog-thing that looks so hot. She went down to her elbows and her ass arched way up – she stopped moving then; she was just rigid; taking a serious pounding with that fake dick; her clit mashed down on my fingertips; beckoning an explosive orgasm. I could see everything she had – the cock up her ass and her pussy wide open – and it looked so fucking hot. I fucked her as hard as I could.

But when she came, she went right back to being her complicated self. I could not figure out who she was. And I knew that now that she’d gotten what she’d wanted, it was okay for me to go home.

*          *          *

I’m thinking about Edgar Allan Poe again as the train leaves Baltimore. In fact, the words are already coming; I know a story is talking to me. At some deep level, he’s going to lend me his words, show me pictures for me to capture, put onto paper, share with the world. That world who only ever wants to be with me in private, in secret, in the hidden places.

Everyone will think I wrote the story. But he and I will know what really happened. Muses are like that. They ride in on that energy and free you from everything ordinary, from words that barely suffice and replace them with splendor; muses move through you with glorious precision and give the world something higher to reach for, even when it’s locked in some sort of prison.

It doesn’t matter that I got used in Baltimore. I found a story there, needing to be understood. And that was me; I was the one who helped it break free.

© – 2019 Marilyn Jaye Lewis
Girl in the Night: Erotic Love Letters to the Muse

All the Sweet Things A Girl Remembers

I didn’t make much headway in “Baltimore” yesterday (Letter #3 in Girl in the Night: Erotic Love Letters to the Muse) because, frankly, I was absolutely exhausted.

I had the file open on the laptop all day, while my actual body was mostly collapsed on the bed all day! And I did do a little bit of laundry, but not much.

Today, I feel totally revived, though, and will work on “Baltimore”.

And yesterday afternoon, the first responses to the newly revised script for Tell My Bones came in and I could not have been happier with the comments. In all honesty, it made my day.  I feel like I achieved on paper what I was trying to accomplish, and I couldn’t have done it without the director’s complete emotional involvement and his really targeted notes. I know that whoever goes to see this play will not forget Helen LaFrance, her art or her life, ever.

So I’m taking some time here to just be really happy — before all the actual business part of it begins.

I’m hoping to finish “Baltimore” before I go get my mom, early next week. And I’m also hoping to get one more segment of In the Shadow of Narcissa written before that, too.  Of course, I will have some free time in that Airbnb to write, if I want to. I’m not sure what I’m going to really be doing all 3 of those days that I’ll be in the Airbnb — when I am not seeing/listening to Nick Cave converse with people at night. I know I’ll be having some sort of meetings re: the play, but certainly not on all 3 of the days, so we’ll see. I’m not planning on being too social, so only a couple of people know I’m even going to be in town (she says as she posts it to her fucking blog…).


Loyal readers of this lofty (fucking) blog will be happy to note that I have started a little pile of things that must accompany me on the trip and I managed to remember to put both tickets to see Nick Cave in that pile!! There is every indication that those tickets, that I’ve had for like 4 months already, will indeed make it with me to New York!! (Without me needing to actually staple them to my forehead.)

As my trip approaches, the very real drama of how my many intensely feral cats will deal with my going away again begins. Since we came to this house, they have gotten really weird about me going away. I’m hoping that had more to do with the previous cat sitter, and not with the actual cats. My mom is a huge lover of animals and has been around all kinds of animals her whole life — horses, donkeys, cows, pigs, dogs galore, and a ton of stray cats. So I’m hoping the cats will be cool with her energy being here.

When I went to LA for 5 days last December, the cats had an absolute field day pissing on my bed. It was absolutely unbelievable.  And I didn’t get home from the airport until about 3am that time, and to come in and find my bed like that — it was almost more than I could comprehend. It was saturated with cat piss. Pillows, bedspread, blankets, sheets — it soaked through two layers of foam mattress padding. It was just unreal.

Nothing says, “We are so fucking mad at you for leaving us with a stranger” than a queen-sized bed soaked in cat piss.

So I’m hoping for something less dramatic this time, even though I’ll actually be away for a longer time period. I’m putting my mom in my own bedroom, and letting the cats have the guestroom, which is where they like to sleep, so that they feel less disrupted.

I’m sort of hoping my mom doesn’t go through all my stuff but in all honesty, if she went away for a week and I was staying in her room, I’d probably go through all her stuff….

It’s not like she doesn’t already know I’m nuts so I guess it doesn’t really matter. She can go through my stuff if she feels like it.

Last night, I had the most amazing dream that Bunny, my sweet cat who died the morning after we moved to the rental house a couple years ago, had come back. I think she really was alive in my dream — meaning, she was there. She felt so real. God, it was so wonderful to hold her again.

She was such a sweet, compassionate cat. She started out as a semi-feral kitten. I got her and her brother, Buster, from a cat rescue in Times Square in NYC. They had been born behind a deli. Unlike these intensely feral cats I have now (I was supposed to only be fostering these ones I have now, but the cat rescue places got overloaded that year and so I wound up being their permanent home — and it’s not easy having a houseful of cats who won’t let you even touch them, and who run and hide whenever you walk into a room they’re in, and multiply that times 7 years already — it’s a wee bit alienating).

Anyway, Bunny became a really loving and demonstrative cat over time. I loved her so dearly. I woke from the dream feeling like I’ve somehow got to get her back. I miss her so much. But of course, it can’t happen. Still it was so wonderful to hang out with her in my dream.

Here’s some photos of her in the last house, before we got the rental. She moved 5 times with me, but the final move was so stressful on her that she suffered a heart attack.

Me and Bunny just chillin’ in my old bedroom in August 2013







Bunny taking a break from playing the piano in 2014







Bunny hanging with me on the couch, the first Christmas after her brother, Buster, died. (New Year’s Day 2014)








Moments later… (New Year’s Day 2014)









Okay, gang. On that note, I’m gonna scoot and get back to “Baltimore”!

I hope you have a terrific Thursday, wherever you are in the world! Thanks for visiting. I love you guys. See ya.

“She’s Got You”

I’ve got your picture that you gave to me
And it’s signed with love, just like it used to be
The only thing different, the only thing new
I’ve got your picture, she’s got you
I’ve got the records that we used to share
And they still sound the same as when you were here
The only thing different, the only thing new
I’ve got the records, she’s got you

I’ve got your memory or has it got me?
I really don’t know but I know it won’t let me be
I’ve got your class ring that proved you cared
And it still looks the same as when you gave it dear
The only thing different, the only thing new
I’ve got these little things, she’s got you

I’ve got your memory or has it got me?
I really don’t know but I know it won’t let me be
I’ve got your class ring that proved you cared
And it still looks the same as when you gave it dear
The only thing different, the only thing new
I’ve got these little things, she’s got you

c – 1961 Hank Cochran

And Away We Go!!

[First, here’s a quick update. I just saw some of the morning glories blooming outside my backdoor and could not resist posting them here!]

{Okay, back to the original post!!}

Yes, tomorrow morning, I’m trading in my beloved Honda Fit for a Honda Civic, and so I will drive to NY again and not fly.

As much as I don’t really feel like driving for 10 hours there and 10 hours back right now, I can’t grasp giving up 25,000 frequent flyer miles just to fly 500 miles and spend a minimum of 6 hours doing that. So I’ll just drive.

And don’t even speak to me about just buying a plane ticket. Those flights from here to that little airport in NY, 500 miles away, cost a fortune. I can of course fly direct to JFK or LaGuardia, and it’s faster and cheaper, but then I have to deal with getting to the train and taking that up to Rhinebeck. So, you know, it’s like, Jesus Christ, I’ll just get in my car and drive.

I was planning on leasing another Honda Fit because I really love that little car and it goes really fast. It just zips along. And you can park it anywhere because it’s really small. Plus it’s a hatchback that has back seats that fold down, so you can transport anything.

However, there is a sale right now on Honda Civics, and a Civic is cheaper than  a Fit right now, so I guess I’ll upgrade and become more like a respectable person. (For some reason, I feel like only grown-ups drive Honda Civics.) I guess we’ll see how it goes because that’s the car I’m getting. I realize that I do have to grow up at some point, but I wasn’t planning on doing that this year.


Another beautiful, beautiful morning here. I woke up and everything actually felt sacred. The peace and quiet of everything. Only one bird singing, and even the cicadas are dying off now. It was mostly just crickets. And it was really cool out — back down into the 50s again, which I wasn’t expecting, so when I went downstairs, all the windows were of course wide open, and the ceiling fans were whirring merrily away. It was fucking freezing! Those poor cats.

But, you know — they do have those handy fur coats…

However. The world felt sacred to me this morning, and I felt a little vulnerable within it. Like, I don’t really understand who I am anymore. I just don’t.

Yesterday was interesting. Wayne was back in NYC from his trip to Nepal, so we chatted on the phone for a while. His trip sounds like it was amazing, frankly. He was just tramping around — in the towns and in the foothills of the Himalayas, mounting 200-year-old staircases to get blessed by tiny living goddesses (meaning little 4-year-old girls); just doing whatever presented itself.

The thing with my song “Breaking Glass,” was an interesting story.  He did actually access the song through my Wikipedia page, and from there, through the Smithsonian website. He was specifically talking about me to some Nepali guy that he was tramping around with, and that sort of baffled me. But what baffled me more was when Wayne said, “I always really loved that song, ‘Breaking Glass’. It was one of my favorites of yours.”

I honestly did not know he even knew that song, let alone knew it well enough for him to have an opinion about it. Or to even talk about me to some stranger in Nepal. I don’t recall Wayne going to more than one of my gigs, even though we were married. I had the impression he didn’t care much about my music. So really, it was just baffling to me.

And then I mentioned to him that I would be in an airbnb for 3 nights in Manhattan because I was going to see Nick Cave. And then Wayne says,  “I remember you telling me about that first time you saw him, when all those people in the audience were only into murder.”

I was absolutely astounded by this. When would I have told him that? Not only was that show over 30 years ago, but it had happened several years before Wayne & I even met. Why did he even remember me saying something like that? (I mean, I was really upset by that first concert back then — 1988, I think. Because I thought Nick Cave was a genius; a really brilliant songwriter, even though his songs were really dark. But he wasn’t an actual murderer, he was a songwriter. And the audience behaved more like they found him to be a really gifted murderer. The whole fucking show truly upset me. Obviously enough to tell Wayne about it at some point, several years after it had happened, even though I have no memory of doing that.)


I honestly don’t think of Wayne as someone who even likes me very much, let alone as someone who ever listened to anything I ever said. And I feel like, you know, he stays in touch because he feels sorry for me, and doesn’t want me to accidentally set myself on fire or something. So the whole thing just threw me.

I’m so serious, people. Being married to me is the furthest thing from a picnic that you can possibly imagine. Basically, I want to have sex 15 times a day and then the moment that’s done, I need you to stop talking to me because I need to write. And then I have this really unattractive place where my voice goes if you’re really trying my patience.

That’s about it; the entirety of ‘me’.  Oh, and then the ‘f’ word nonstop.

I have two ex-husbands who are really kind to me. And I don’t understand why. I accept it because I love kindness. I try to be kind in return, because there’s a whole lot of stuff I do remember and I know darn well my marriages go so much better for the husband when I’m not actually in them. So yesterday just threw me. I was trying to remember who I really was.

I did a lot of work on those final pages of the play yesterday, but mostly what I came to was an understanding that a whole lot had to happen in a short space and it all had to be really moving; be tragic and then truly uplifting. So I’ve got my work cut out for me, but on we go.

And as soon as these pages are done, I will have some breathing room, finally. I can get back to In the Shadow of Narcissa, and Girl in the Night: Erotic Love Letters to the Muse. So I’m super excited. (Here’s something funny: I misspelled “erotic” there and so spell-check suggested “aortic.” I think that in this instance, considering my sense of Eros, my Muse, my mind — the words erotic and aortic are actually kind of interchangeable.)

Okay, gang! Have a thoroughly happy Thursday, wherever you are in the world! Thanks for visiting. I leave you with what was in my Instagram feed this morning. I’m guessing you can see why I prefer this to having to think about my actual life. Okay! I love you guys. See ya.

Good Morning, Little Glories!!

These are some of the (massive amounts) of morning glories that grow along the old fence just outside my backdoor.

I usually get out of bed when it’s still dark out, so I don’t get to see them blooming first thing. But today, I was having such engaging dreams, and the morning was so nice and cool and my bed felt so incredibly comfortable, that I slept in. The sun was shining like crazy by the time I decided I was at last awake.

And when I went down to put the coffee on and feed the many scampering cats, I looked out the kitchen window and there they were, vines full of flowers, blooming in all their glory. Some white, most of them purple.

I love morning glories but you gotta watch out for them. Like honeysuckle, they will spring up everywhere and entwine with other flowering plants and choke the heck out of them. And then when you spend all that time trying to untangle them from whatever beloved plant they are choking, you have to be sure you’ve ripped them out by their roots, because, if you don’t, soon enough, they’ll be back, whispering to you in all their glory: Alas, I’m still here… entwining, choking, entwining, choking until autumn finally arrives and everything dies anyway.

For some reason that I haven’t been able to discern yet, my  dreams this morning — which were really sort of liberating — caused me to wake up wanting to hear Neil Diamond’s version of Leonard Cohen’s song, “Suzanne”.

“Suzanne” was a huge hit on the radio when I was a little girl (1967), but it was sung, then, by Noel Harrison. For some reason, I always loved Neil Diamond’s version best, which he recorded several years later. I think because he has such a beautiful, clear voice.

I always loved the song, “Suzanne”.  It’s the kind of song a little girl like me would love. I had no clue at all what the song meant but it was filled with so much captivating imagery that I assumed it was cluing me in to secret and enigmatic things about “being a girl” that I would understand when I was a very much older girl.

Of course, the song is on Youtube, so I laid in bed and listened to it on my phone several times before actually getting up today. And the song is still beautiful, still enigmatic. Yet, even all these decades later — well, I understand Jesus better; he certainly became huge in my life, enough to send me to Divinity School and become a minister. But the other stuff about Suzanne, the “girl” stuff I assumed I would understand better when I got older; I do understand it, but the main thing I understand now is that I’m half-crazy and likely to remain so. Forever.

I’m okay with it.

The Neil Diamond album that “Suzanne” is on is called Rainbow. And it’s a really nice album. He sings  hit songs written by other songwriters, from 1969-1971. There are just some true gems on that album and he sings them really elegantly. (The track listing is at that link above.)

When I was 14, I played that album all the time, alone up in my room. All of those songs used to make me just wonder about life, you know?  In addition to “Suzanne,” I loved his version of Buffy St. Marie’s song, “Until It’s Time for You to Go.” And “If You Go Away,” by Rod McKuen and Jacques Brel.

I guess the late 60s-early 70s approach to love could be what caused me to have such a non-possessive approach to love, too. I have just never been truly jealous or possessive. When I’ve been in love with someone who wasn’t truly available, you know — that would hurt. But that thing I posted about yesterday, about how much it means to me that the person I’m involved with have a really active life of his or her own, away from me — maybe it all stems from those attitudes towards love that were fostered in the late 1960s.

I don’t really know. It’s a thought, anyway.

That same summer that I was 14, when I played that record all the time, I was of course in love with Greg, and we had a ton of sex ; that 14 & 15 year-old sex that is overwhelming and all-consuming but I certainly knew that there was more to sex than what was going on between him and me.  After my dad left us, we downsized considerably and moved into one of those trendy apartment complexes that were sort of notorious in the 1970s. Everyone there was having sex with everybody. All ages.

One evening by the swimming pool, I met an older guy. His mom, one of his brothers and his 16 -year-old sister-in-law had just moved there from Missouri. He was fresh out of prison. This was in the years when they sent you to prison for smoking pot. And he and one of his brothers had been sent to prison for that. His brother  (the one married to the 16 year-old) was still in and due to get out soon.

They were really nice people. A whole hippie family, even his mom. They got high, and the guys worked construction, and the 16  year-old wife was super nice, really intelligent and just seemed so grown up to me.  Of course, the guy wanted to have sex because he’d just gotten out of prison, right? I told him, upfront, that I was willing but that I was only 14, and that I didn’t think it was a really good idea. (I did not look 14, at all, so older guys (i.e., men) came on to me all the time in the 1970s.)

(I forgot to say that he and I were talking about this, about possibly having sex, with his whole family right there, getting high around the dining table, even his wonderful cool hippie mom. You know — the 1970s were just so different, gang. It was technically illegal to do sexual stuff with a minor, but nobody ever took it to the police or anything. We all did it — all my girlfriends. Sex with older guys. If/when our parents found out, they’d get angry and we’d get grounded for awhile and they’d yell at us and say “stop doing that with that guy!” but that was about it. Nobody ever got the law involved. Ever.)

But anyway. So, one of this guy’s brothers had a 16-year-old wife, so they could not care less that I was 14, because, honestly, there was just no way I looked or acted 14, and everybody just figured it was up to me to decide what I wanted to do. Even his mom said, “Honey, it’s up to you. If you want to, you want to. If you don’t, you don’t.”

He wasn’t unattractive or anything, but really I just felt sorry for him because he’d just gotten out of prison, and by age 14, I already knew that grown-up guys needed to have sex all the time. Just constantly. So I said I would think about it. And then the next night, a Saturday — my mom was off with her new boyfriend, doing her 1970s swinging divorced-thing that everyone was doing back then — I let the guy come up to my room; the room with all my rock & roll posters on the walls and my love beads hanging from the lamp, and all my poetry books and all my records and all my 14-year-old girl stuff.

I told him it was just gonna be that one time because he was too old for me and I was in love with my boyfriend, who was my age (and who, sadly, would be dead within just a few weeks).

The record we were listening to while we were smoking weed and having sex was Rainbow, by Neil Diamond.

And of course, I had forgotten all about that until this morning, when I was lying in bed, listening to Neil Diamond sing “Suzanne” and wondering about the half-crazy girl I had finally grown up to be! (The same one I already was when I was 14…)

I am just so totally okay with her being who she is — me.  Of course, I sure wish Greg hadn’t been killed, but it was my life.

On another note, you know how all the bloggers are up in arms about these nefarious sites in India now that are illegally mirroring other web sites? Well, mine is one of the sites being illegally scraped and re-blogged. But, honestly, what am I going to do about it? It’s the least of my problems. My books are being illegally downloaded, sold, re-published, all over the fucking world. I gave up trying to stay on top of it, as disheartening as it all is. But the blog? The only thing that truly bothers me is that I can’t access the back end of it and find out how many hits I’m getting….

Okay, gang. Gonna go wash my hair!! Have a super Sunday wherever you are in the world. Thanks for visiting. I leave you with the soundtrack of me at the glorious age of 14. Enjoy it. I did, all things considered…

I love you, guys. See ya!

Suzanne takes you down to her place by the river
You can hear the boats go by, you can spend the night forever
And you know that she’s half-crazy but that’s why you want to be there
And she feeds you tea and oranges that come all the way from China
And just when you want to tell her that you have no love to give her
Then she gets you on her wavelength
And she lets the river answer that you’ve always been her lover
And you want to travel with her, and you want to travel blind
And you know that she will trust you
For you’ve touched her perfect body with your mind
And Jesus was a sailor when he walked upon the water
And he spent a long time watching from his lonely wooden tower
And when he knew for certain only drowning men could see him
He said all men will be sailors then until the sea shall free them
But he himself was broken, long before the sky would open
Forsaken, almost human, he sank beneath your wisdom like a stone
And you want to travel with him, and you want to travel blind
And you think you maybe you’ll trust him
For he’s touched your perfect body with her mind
Now, Suzanne takes your hand and she leads you to the river
She’s wearing rags and feathers from Salvation Army counters
And the sun pours down like honey on our lady of the harbor
And she shows you where to look among the garbage and the flowers
There are heroes in the seaweed, there are children in the morning
They are leaning out for love and they will lean that way forever
While Suzanne holds her mirror
And you want to travel with her, and you want to travel blind
And you know that you can trust her
For she’s touched your perfect body with her mind
c – 1966 Leonard Cohen

You Do Indeed Turn Me On, Baby

Happy Saturday, gang. Wherever you are!

The photo above is a photo of Cleveland in 1960. A Rexall Drug Store. I don’t know this particular Rexall store but it’s what Cleveland neighborhoods looked like, in general, when I was born and then got adopted by a couple who lived up there.

(My birth parents were from southwestern, rural Ohio – a world that could not have been more different from Cleveland, especially back then. Cleveland was an intensely urban melting pot of European immigrants, with a lot of racial tensions between blacks & whites beginning to bubble up in the early 1960s. Cleveland was also hugely influenced by the Arts — museums, theater, music, movies.)

There is a new segment posted at In the Shadow of Narcissa, my memoir-in-progress about my early childhood, specifically about my being raised by an adoptive mother with a narcissist disorder (told from the perspective of me as a child). Hence, the Cleveland stuff here today.

I can’t linger too long on the blog today because I am indeed working over the phone with Peitor later this morning, getting back on track with our current project for Abstract Absurdity Productions, after a  3-week hiatus.

I’m exhausted today. I know it’s all entirely emotional stuff. So I’m hoping it will clear by the time Peitor calls me.

Part of it is a personal thing, a relationship thing from the past that popped up this week, making me have to look at stuff, to make choices, making me feel old.

Most of it, though, comes from writing the Narcissa segments. Even though each segment is very short, it takes a lot out of me. Such an intense focus on a period in my life that was both truly beautiful and truly awful.

(This was in the very early years of my life, before my mother sort of completely unraveled and life swung way out of balance and was simply truly awful, every day. I want the memoir to capture only those early years in Cleveland — the first 11 years of my life, when my mother progressively got worse. And, culturally, it coincided with the 60s itself unfolding, so all around us, the country was changing like crazy. And it certainly affected our home. I also know now that my dad was starting to have affairs. I did not know anything about this at that point in Cleveland, but my mother must have known, because it coincided with her starting to go just completely nuts and over-the-top enraged and unmanageable.)

Oddly enough, in a part of my childhood that extends beyond what I want to write about in Narcissa — when I was 12 and we were gone from Cleveland and I believe that my mother thought her marriage was back on track — at that point, the summer I was 12, I accidentally discovered that my dad was having an affair. I didn’t tell anyone. And to be honest, I was very, very happy for him. I still really liked my dad at that point, and I was glad for him that he had a way to be free of my mother.

The following summer, when I was 13, he came into my room one afternoon to tell me he was leaving us, that they were getting divorced. I told him I was really happy for him. He was stunned, you know? “You’re happy for me?” I didn’t tell him I knew he was having an affair, or that I knew her name was Linda and that she lived in Cincinnati and that I knew her home phone number… I said, “Yeah, you get to get out of here.”

At that point, we were upper middle class and had a really beautiful home — and every square inch of it was filled with a palpable aura of ugly, awful, nasty, mean, horribleness. It truly was. My mother was absolutely out of control.

My dad said later that, had he realized she had a mental illness, he would never have left us with her. But even at 13, I knew that when my dad left us, there would be no buffer at all between me and my mother, and I knew there was no direction left in that house but for me to go down, down, down. Which I, of course, did.

After my dad left, he became all about money. It was absolutely all he cared about — making millions, which he did. And if you didn’t care about his money — which I didn’t, I didn’t care about it at all — then he had no use for you, really.

I have nothing at all against money — even great big piles of money. I don’t see anything wrong with people being rich. I think money’s great. But it’s not what I live for and never has been.

For some reason, for me, it has always been about expressing myself.  I don’t know why it is so important to me to get certain things out of my head and onto paper — into the concrete physical reality. For me, it has always been imperative that I do this before I transition back over to the nonphysical “other” side.  To the point that, now, as I’m aging, I sort my many, many projects into mental stacks:

Will I be okay if I die and this project is not finished? Yes.  So then it goes to the back burner.

Will I be okay if I die and this project is not finished? No. So then I spend every waking hour trying to get it out of me and into the world.

I try to figure out how love figures into that, because I have always been that way about expressing myself — writing, specifically. To the point where it’s been impossible for me to sustain relationships if the person won’t give me just tons and tons of personal space. Quiet space.  Because I’ve got to write.

In New York City, that meant “give me a room I can go to that has a door I can close.” If you’ve ever lived in Manhattan, you know that a separate room with an actual door is not always an easy thing to get in a city apartment. For me, it was very Virginia Woolfe and A Room of One’s Own. A woman will thrive if she has a room of her own that she can go to and close the door.

Yet, I love people, dearly. I feel love intensely. If I love someone, there is no escaping it for me. It overwhelms me in the most beautiful ways. It makes life worth living. And I want all the sex stuff, too — the eroticism of it. And all the beauty of that.

But then it’s also me, saying: “Um, do you think you could go do something now? Because I gotta be alone here.” And that part rarely goes over very well.

For reasons related to the past relationship mentioned above, I got out Joni Mitchell’s Greatest Hits and was playing that in the kitchen yesterday. I’m not a huge Joni Mitchell fan, but I do love a lot of her stuff. And my favorite song of hers is “You Turn Me On, I’m A Radio.”

When it came on the CD player in the kitchen yesterday, it was clear that I still loved that song very much because I didn’t want to stop playing it. It was a hit when I was in Jr. High School, and even though I was too young to truly understand it– from my own experience — yet. I viscerally understood it. To me, it was the only love song that ever made sense.

I’m not talking about the sad love songs, when your heart is broken. I’m talking about a true love song — I love you, and this is why, and this is who I am.

“You Turn Me On, I’m A Radio” is saying: I love you, and I am so happy that you have a life of your own that you can really enjoy living and when you get that need to see me, baby, come on by. Meaning: give me a head’s up and I’ll stop writing & I’ll make time for you. Because I love you and I would like nothing better than to be with you. For a little while…

Okay, gang! I’m outta here!! Thanks for visiting. I love you. See ya!!

“You Turn Me On, I’m A Radio”

If you’re driving into town
With a dark cloud above you
Dial in the number
Who’s bound to love youOh honey you turn me on
I’m a radio
I’m a country station
I’m a little bit corny
I’m a wildwood flower
Waving for you
Broadcasting tower
Waving for you

And I’m sending you out
This signal here
I hope you can pick it up
Loud and clear
I know you don’t like weak women
You get bored so quick
And you don’t like strong women
‘Cause they’re hip to your tricks

It’s been dirty for dirty
Down the line
But you know
I come when you whistle
When you’re loving and kind

But if you’ve got too many doubts
If there’s no good reception for me
Then tune me out, ’cause honey
Who needs the static
It hurts the head
And you wind up cracking
And the day goes dismal

From “Breakfast Barney”
To the sign-off prayer
What a sorry face you get to wear
I’m going to tell you again now
If you’re still listening there

If you’re driving into town
With a dark cloud above you
Dial in the number
Who’s bound to love you

If you’re lying on the beach
With the transistor going
Kick off the sandflies honey
The love’s still flowing
If your head says forget it
But your heart’s still smoking
Call me at the station
The lines are open

©  1972 Joni Mitchell