Tag Archives: marilyn jaye lewis

Much Better Morning – If You Don’t Look at My Hair!

Yesterday ended up going okay.

All my little claims were staked and my lines were drawn and everyone stayed on their respective sides of them, and basically said, “Oops, sorry, Marilyn.”

So far so good. I only had to send off 3 letters.  And writing letters is better. It gives me that time to really, really choose my words carefully.  So that by the time a couple of the phone calls started to come in, all I had to do was “be nice.”

I was then able to focus on the always unwelcome fact that my current laptop is lurching into the sunset. (Yesterday was just one of those days on all fronts.)

Rather than hedge my bets, as I have sometimes done with laptops in the past, I decided to just get out in front of disaster and stop it from arriving and I ordered a new laptop yesterday, too.

(I’m one of those people who sometimes likes to see just how long I can go before the laptop completely implodes. I guess because I want to see just how much stress I can endure before my brains start springing out from the sides of my head – you know, when the laptop finally locks up for good and you can’t access anything and you’re in the middle of writing a novel or something and you neglected to put the file back into the dropbox or anywhere else where you can actually get at it ever again and so then you call The Boyfriend (if you have one of those in your life at that particular fleeting moment) and you shriek at him over the phone, loudly and in a wholly unattractive register, “My laptop just died!! What the FUCK am I gonna do??!! My novel is in there!!!” and then he, who is way too calm and maybe even just drinking a pleasant cup of coffee or something,  says something stupidly calmly, like, “I’ve been telling you for weeks that you’d better get a new one.” Or some such scenario as that. I’m avoiding that this time.)

The heady days of my fearless youth, you know?

I’m still fearless when it comes to LOVE, baby, but in every other area of my life, I pretty much hedge my bets now.

Okay!

Yes, I did wake up in a really wonderful mood, even though I slept a little bit later than I would have preferred. The sun was already coming up and it enabled me to see myself quite clearly in the mirror when I got out of the bed. And my hair actually made me gasp.

I mean, it really looked that horrible; I gasped out loud. Like, what the hell? It seems to me that I had really great dreams last night. I really did. Vivid and beautiful and sort of flowing. And there was lots of music in the dreams, too. I was really happy in my dreams, and I don’t recall thrashing wildly about. So I’m not understanding the hair at all.

And I hate thinking (or in this case, knowing) that I look horrible because I am still vane (a lapsed narcissist, in fact; ready to rejoin the movement at a moment’s notice) and want to feel like a viable option to anyone, anywhere, regardless of the fact that I live alone now in the middle of fucking nowhere.

Peitor is still en route from somewhere to somewhere – I think he’s finally en route to Los Angeles from Manhattan. But he has been gone now for several weeks, so our usual Saturday-work-over-the-phone-on-the-video-scripts is not gonna happen, and so I am free to just wash my hair and work on the novel.

And it is a stunning day here, gang. Just amazingly beautiful (as I will be, too, once I tackle this hair).

I had no breakfast-listening music today, because I was in a sort of euphoria over just how lovely the morning was and I didn’t want any sounds around me but the birds singing.  (And the quiet perk of the electric percolator,  assuring me that the gentle thunder of the gods was on its way to me – to my delicate veins, my tenderly beating heart – momentarily. Meaning, you know – the coffee’s almost ready.)

But the music from last night… For some weird and inexplicable reason, the sole gas station here in the village, which usually has very expensive gas prices because we are captive here in the middle of nowhere; for some weird reason, they were giving away gas for cheap last night.

So I filled up the gas tank on the Honda Fit and then drove around the dark valley for a little while, and going not my customary 95 mph, but more like 50 mph, because in the pitch dark of the valley, there are  scurrying animals galore.

And this is what I was listening to, really, really loudly.

I just love this song, gang. I love this whole album.  (Oh, this is that album that also has that song “God is in the House,” on it – the very same song that people all over Europe this past month were using as a sort of metaphor for Nick Cave’s, well, Divine heritage? Is that the best way to say that he’s God and that God is he?) (PS: I was glad to see that both of his Conversations in NYC in September have finally sold out!)

Anyway. Thanks for visiting!! Have a terrific Saturday, wherever you are in the world. I love you guys. See ya!

“Oh My Lord”

I thought I’d take a walk today
It’s a mistake I sometimes make
My children lay asleep in bed
My wife lay wide-awake
I kissed her softly on the brow
I tried not to make a sound
But with stony eyes she looked at me
And gently squeezed my hand
Call it a premonition, call it a crazy vision
Call it intuition, something learned from mother
But when she looked up at me, I could clearly see
The Sword of Damocles hanging directly above her
Oh Lord Oh my Lord
Oh Lord
How have I offended thee?
Wrap your tender arms around me
Oh Lord Oh Lord
Oh My LordThey called at me through the fence
They were not making any sense
They claimed that I had lost the plot
Kept saying that I was not
The man I used to be
They held their babes aloft
Threw marsh mellows at the Security
And said that I’d grown soft
Call it intuition, call it a creeping suspicion,
But their words of derision meant they hardly knew me
For even I could see in the way they stared at me
The Spear of Destiny sticking right through me
Oh Lord Oh my lord
Oh Lord
How have I offended thee?
Wrap your tender arms round me
Oh Lord Oh lord
Oh My Lord

Now I’m at the hairdressers
People watch me as they move past
A guy wearing plastic antlers
Presses his bum against the glass
Now I’m down on my hands and knees
And it’s so fucking hot!
Someone cries, “What are you looking for?”
I scream, “The plot, the plot!”
I grab my telephone, I call my wife at home
She screams, “Leave us alone!” I say, “Hey, it’s only me”
The hairdresser with his scissors, he holds up the mirror
I look back and shiver; I can’t even believe what I can see

Be mindful of the prayers you send
Pray hard but pray with care
For the tears that you are crying now
Are just your answered prayers
The ladders of life that we scale merrily
Move mysteriously around
So that when you think you’re climbing up, man
In fact you’re climbing down
Into the hollows of glamour, where with spikes and hammer
With telescopic camera, they chose to turn the screw
Oh I hate them, Ma! Oh I hate them, Pa!
Oh I hate them all for what they went and done to you
Oh Lord Oh my Lord
Oh Lord
How have I offended thee?
Wrap your tender arms round me
Oh Lord Oh Lord
Oh My Lord

c- 2001 Nick Cave

I Have Nothing to Say

What a morning.

And it started last evening, with emails and texts arriving from  various corners of the globe, informing me that life was not perfect.

They didn’t say it in so many words. They didn’t say, “Dear Marilyn, We just wanted to let you know that life is not perfect.”

No, it was that other way the Universe has of telling you things.  Business stuff, impinging on my rights to various things. And I hate that.

I’m willing to look the other way over certain things, or let certain things slide, but please, please, please don’t make me have to be a Bitch. I so hate that.

And my first thought upon retiring last night was: I’m just going to assume I’ve misinterpreted things and I’m going to send off calm & succinct emails & texts and I’m going to go to sleep and then wake-up to a world that is back on track and not backing me into a corner in any way…

And in the morning, of course, it was clear that I hadn’t misinterpreted anything at all. And that people are attempting to walk on me in tiny little baby steps that will eventually grow… And that just being friendly is probably not gonna work.

And it’s coming from all sides — areas in my life that are unrelated to other areas, you know? I think that sometimes the Universe just decides to throw a bunch of stuff in your lap just to see how you’re going to choose to react to it. Just to see; just to watch.

I’m up to my eyeballs in projects I need to focus on. I need to approach them from a really peaceful place, with 100% of my attention.

And I really just hate being a Bitch.

And this isn’t about the “f” word.  It’s about this other vocabulary I have, absolutely profanity-free, that just floors people, you know? It devastates people. Words can be really damaging, and can change how people see me for the rest of their lives. (Meaning: Someone you can’t walk on but also someone who is nowhere near as “nice” as she looks.)

But way down there at the bottom line of who I am, my words are the only real weapon I have for protecting myself: This is the reason why what you’re trying to do to me sucks. And then words can come out that would absolutely astound you with their clarity and their precision and their quiet intensity.

And I really hate when those words start getting riled up inside. I hate when I can feel them forming into sentences at the far edges of my mind.  I do everything I can to try to soothe those little words. Keep them free of sentence structures that could be deadly.

Mostly I just wanna be nice.  I really, really wanna be nice. I want to be left alone as much as possible and I wanna be nice. I do everything in my power to at least appear nice. Even though I am painfully aware that I have a vocabulary that hovers like a protective field in front of me; that’s primed to spring like an invisible steel leg hold trap.

We’re just gonna see how that goes, I guess. I’m trying to be negotiable, but most of my “niceness” quota got used up last night. So far it’s been a super intense morning.

I leave you with Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, 1987.

Yes. Quit Jammin’ Me.

A Quick Howdy!

I’ve spent the morning thus far bestowing my heady thoughts and lofty opinions onto someone other than you, and that cut way into my allotted blogging time for today, so I’m gonna be quick.

Mostly, I wanted to point out something about the whole blogging culture on WordPress. For a lot of people, WordPress is an offshoot of some form of social media. I’ve noticed that a lot of the bloggers I interact with at whatever level, are very interested in getting “likes” and “followers.”  And, as loyal readers of my own lofty blog are well aware by now, I have never been about that.  I’m about writing because I go crazy if I don’t.

I love it if you “like” me. And if you choose to follow me, that’s great, but I always prefer readers over followers, and I don’t really understand that whole culture of “liking” and “following.”  I’ve had my “online journal/blog” for 22 years now. It was a whole different culture when I started out and I’ve sort of remained back in that Dark Age because I was always so happy there!

My long-winded point, though, is that most of my readers do not visit my blog through any type of social media. And I’ve noticed that WordPress has it set up so that you can’t actually contact me through my blog if you don’t have your own WordPress site, which, of course, seems to me to be a little invasive and unfair. So, last night, I added a “contact me” thingie up there at the top of my page – in the header area.

I toyed with the idea of adding the built-in WordPress “Contact” form but that looked way too off-putting and formal, so it’s just an email address link. But it’s there!

Okay!

The lights never did go out last night. The tornado siren went off, though. Briefly, thank god. If you don’t live in an area of the world where you have tornadoes, when a siren goes off, you’re supposed to go down into your basement.

Well, my basement is unfinished and is 118 years old. It’s not the creepiest basement ever, but it’s high on the list of creepy basements and I’m definitely not gonna go down there if the lights go out.  So I just sat on the couch in my family room – cats scampering hither & yon because that siren is LOUD – and I just sort of hoped that the tornado would not materialize.

It didn’t. So I then spent the rest of the evening working on my Italian lessons. And then called it a (rainy) night!

Okay, thanks for visiting, gang. I really gotta scoot. It’s uncanny how, after the meeting I had on Tuesday, everything, energy-wise, is shifting into the realm of Tell My Bones. I really, really gotta start paying attention to that play really, really soon. So I’ve got to get Blessed By Light finished.

I hope you have a great day out there, wherever you are in the world!! I love you guys. See ya!

(PS: There was no breakfast-listening music this morning as I was instead reading an interview with KD Lang in a recent issue of Mojo. But I leave you with this bouncy little gem, one of my favorite songs of hers from Absolute Torch & Twang, “Luck In My Eyes”. Okay! See ya!)

“Luck In My Eyes”

I can feel a mountain rain
that’ll wash away
and shine again
empty my pockets
that were weighing me down
sift through my soul
to see what’s lost and found
gonna walk away from trouble
with my head held high
then look closely you’ll see
luck in my eyes

I can hear a howling wind
that sweeps away
the pain that’s been
take all my sorrow
and I’ll cast away
the worries tomorrow
that I had today
gonna walk away from trouble
with my head held high
then look closely you’ll see
luck in my eyes

all my troubles, all my troubles, gone
with luck in my eyes
all my worry’s all my worry’s, gone

c- 1989 K.D. LANG, BEN MINK

Another Magical Night Approaches Crazeysburg!

It was a really productive day. I finished Chapter 22 in Blessed By Light, and now Chapter 23 awaits.

I’m not sure where it’s going to go but I know I only have about 20-40 more pages left to write. And probably closer to the “20” side of things.

It makes me sad because I have really loved writing this novel.  I know it needs to end and I need to move on and give my play, Tell My Bones,  110% of my attention, but I’m still a little sad.

Okay. Onward. I’m gonna do yoga, then study my Italian and probably practice on the guitar until the sun goes down. Another storm is fast approaching and the lights keep threatening to go out.

Here are the final pages of Chapter 22/d. Diamonds in the Fire. Approx. 3 pages.

Have a great evening, gang. I love you! See ya!

Excerpted from Blessed By Light, Chapter 22/d. Diamonds in the Fire. These are the final pages of this section. This is still during the night that they're trying to have sex for the first time after his heart attack and after his best friend, George, was killed. 

✽✽✽

No, just turn over. Come on. I’ll do the work now. You’ve gotta be worn out, girl.

Don’t you worry too much about me.

When I’m with you like this I stop listening to my heartbeat, stop wondering if this is the moment when it will stop for good. Because all of life and everything I’ve lived and felt and put out into the world and received from the world and felt overwhelmed by and grabbed by the horns and got to the helm of and learned how to manage, to ride, to flow with, to orchestrate and to sort of control –

All of those people.

Thousands of people.

My ego just rises to the rafters. Or flies out into the night.

So many people.

Singing the songs.

Songs I wrote while closed up in some room, thinking too much, working it out on my guitar. Making it rhyme.

All of that was underscored by a beating heart that I never once noticed, never once heard or consciously listened to; and I’m gonna trust that heartbeat now; that it’ll keep on beating until it knows its rhythm has come full circle and is finally done.

What’s done is done for a reason, honey.

I know for sure about that now.

I’m not gonna walk on eggshells around my own heartbeat, especially when I have you underneath me like this, taking in all this love.

It still feels so good, you know? Being inside a girl. My dick, a slave to your pussy, honey.

Forever and always. It just feels so good.

What is it about that rhythm? The sex rhythm. It just takes over my dick. And you meet me every time, with every thrust – with so much abandon. What is that rhythm, honey?

The heart beats. Our sex beats. My music beats. Like the waves pound that shore. Rhythm everywhere.

Why is that and where does it come from? And, honey, where is it gonna lead to when I leave here? Someplace incredible, I bet.

I think George will tell me about it. Some night when I’m alone in the kitchen.

He already knows. Isn’t that something to think about?

He already knows.

What sex is meant to be – before we got here, what was it? And after we’ve gone, what does that rhythm turn out to be? It’s gotta mean something big, don’t you think? Sex has got to mean something more than just bringing more people here – babies, I mean.

It feels too good.

Why does it feel so good if it isn’t meant to be pointing us in the direction of something so much more?

What is it that’s really happening when I’m inside you like this and your pussy just feels so goddamned good?

Christ.
Oh. Fuck. Just like that.

✽✽✽

That kind of thing. That’s what I’m talking about. Where did you learn to do that?

Or are girls just born knowing?

✽✽✽

Here comes that rain. Listen to it, honey. Isn’t it the prettiest sound? It’s comforting when it sounds just like this and the wind dies down and the thunder’s done.

Have you ever been somewhere where there was a tin roof and the rain came?

My grandma had a house like that. Almost a shack, really – now that I think about it. But she was real happy there. And we’d always go over and see her, stay overnight; me, my little brother, and then my sister, when she came along.

My grandma spoiled us something fierce. She was sweet and she was fine. She’d let us stay up so late. She didn’t have TV. She taught us how to sing songs. “She’ll Be Comin’ ‘Round the Mountain” - oh we just loved that one. Sang the heck out of it, me and my little brother. She told us stories, too – claimed they were true. About the family. In the real old days. My mama told me later that the stories were a little bit “enhanced” but that, for the most part, they were true.

And we didn’t know that Grandma was sort of poor; that she didn’t have much. We didn’t notice any of that. We always just had so much fun.

But she had a little house with an old tin roof and when the rain came we were all in there together – me, my brother, my sister, my grandma; safe, happy. My drunk old man far, far away somewhere, keeping his belt on for a change, or at least not using it on us.

It was nice. So safe. Just like how I feel here with you, right this red-hot minute, honey.

Where does it all go?

You gotta wonder.

✽✽✽

You are a greedy little thing tonight.

No, don’t stop – I was just teasing you. I can’t resist your mouth. I wouldn’t even wanna try. 

And if I can get it up again, nothing would make me happier. You know that.
   
Go on.
 
Leverage my flaw a little bit, honey. Let’s play the man and not the odds. See if we can’t turn this situation around.

✽✽✽

This is just like that dream. My god. Just like it.

Your mouth feels so 
soft
Whoa.
Whoa.
Who are you, honey, really? 
Who taught you to suck dick like this? Don’t tell me you were born knowing how to –
Oh Christ.
No no no no – No. Honey. Don’t. 
Don’t.
I wanna fuck you again. Come on. Get up here. 
Don’t!

Shit. 
Well, that was nice.

But you don’t play fair, you know that?
I love you, sweetie.
Just so much.
Wow. Look out there. The sun’s coming up.

© 2019 Marilyn Jaye Lewis

WTF??!! Life’s GOOD!!

You know, my coffee actually seems to taste better in my new coffee mug. It honestly does. (See last evening’s post for a full-color photo!!)

And I am not one to ever purchase black dishes of any sort. Not even a mere coffee mug.

I’m the kind of person who owns an unfathomable amount of fine porcelain china. Most of it imported from England. And if it isn’t white etched in 22k gold, then it is white and has delicate hand-painted flowers all over it.

I have porcelain dishes for every season and I never mix & match.

Example of ME in the old days, getting ready for a dinner party: “That’s not the bread plate that goes with those dishes – are you out of your fucking mind?! Yes, I know they look exactly the same!! But that one has two bands of gold and this one clearly has two bands of gold and a tiny band of laurel leaves between them!! Come on!!”

I’m exaggerating, but still. I am usually all about the dishes. It makes moving a colossal headache.  A couple years ago, when I was putting everything into storage, I went to the packing store to buy really sturdy packing boxes for good china, and the guy who was gathering all the boxes for me, really politely inquired: “How much good china do you have?”

I could see that he thought I was crazy so I lied and said I inherited it all.

And somewhere on Manhattan’s glorious Upper West Side was an ex-husband still reeling from the amount of dishes I was always carting into the house. “Marilyn, come on – there’s no more room; where are we going to put all this stuff?”

But the very polite guy at the packing store did give me pause: How much fine china do I have? Wow. Way too much.

And what was worse was that, while everything was in storage, I used one dinner plate, one bowl, one juice glass, one water glass and one coffee mug for nearly 2 years.

Uh-oh, I thought. This means I don’t actually need all that stuff. Could it possibly be that for once in his life, about this one specific thing having to do with me and my mental state, that my ex-husband was actually right?

I’m kidding. Of course he was constantly right about all my fucked-up weird shit. Both of my husbands were. It was a little uncanny how accurately they could pinpoint what was fucked-up and weird about me.

But the truth remains that I do have a lot of porcelain china and I love every single piece of it.  And yet, as a single woman who lives in the middle of nowhere and never leaves her desk that is tucked away in the far corner of an upstairs bedroom, I use none of it anymore.

And I have porcelain teacups galore, too. And porcelain teapots. And more types of tea than you can possibly imagine practically spilling from the cupboards above the stove.

I use none of that, either. Now, it’s all about the coffee. Just get it into me as quickly as possible because I have words to write and Pulitzer Prizes to win!

And up until yesterday, I was perfectly happy with my vintage Kellogg’s coffee mug depicting a smiling, carefree 5 year-old blue-eyed blonde girl swinging way high up on a swing, with a baby blue background and puffy white spring blossoms on it. I loved how you could readily see the happy little girl’s white underpants because she was wearing such a short little blue dress and swinging up so high and it always made me wonder: What pedophile designed this Kellogg’s packaging in 1952?

Back when all of America wasn’t trying to protect our children from everything on Earth that we can possibly imagine…

But for some reason, now I totally love my inexpensive black ceramic coffee mug that actually has the word FUCKING on it.

I’ll even go so far as to say it gives me a lot of joy.

And I don’t mean to disparage all those people (women, mostly) who take such issue with my using the “f” word all the time. And I don’t use it all the time.

If a cop stops me (which never happens), I’m not gonna say, “How the fuck are you, officer?”

Or if I’m helping a little old lady to cross the street (which I never do), I’m not gonna say, “How’s your fucking day going, ma’am?”

I am a little bit self-aware.

Back in the days before I was so self-aware, I was out walking in Stuyvesant Park with the writer Joe Queenan. His daughter (who has long-since graduated from Harvard) was 4 at the time  and skipping merrily out ahead of us. And I was saying something to Joe about “so & so being a fag,” and she came skipping merrily back to us and said, “Daddy, what’s a fag?”

It was astounding; the speed and the keenness of her sense of hearing.

He sighed and looked at me with disgust and said, “Thank you very much, Marilyn.”

I did find it extremely funny, but from that moment on, I have at least tried to be conscious of the words I’m using out loud.

But the “f” word clings to me, for some reason, and I just got tired of everybody getting so tired of hearing it, that, for the most part, I have given up censoring myself.

And so my new coffee mug absolutely delights me. And I hope that whoever designed it was a woman who uses the “f” word a lot.

On other topics of interest…

I am on that border of getting overwhelmed so I am just trying to stay focused on one little word at a time, you know? I am going to finish writing Blessed By Light before I so much as look at Tell My Bones again. But I will finish the revisions on the script before rehearsals begin in late July.  I’m just simply going to do it.

And I am still learning a little more Italian every day, and I am going to keep learning this new approach to teaching music so that I can teach this guy how to play the piano while relying on his inner sense of music and not on reading music at all.

And I also really, really do want to thank readers again for their really kind & continuing feedback on Girl in the Night: Erotic Love Letters to the Muse, and I am going to finish writing that book, too, but not before Tell My Bones goes into rehearsals, that’s for sure. But it is next in line, after Blessed By Light.

All things above considered, I guess I just feel entitled to my “f” word these days. (Mostly in front of the cats, though. I stare at all the piles of manuscripts on my desk and spilling onto the floor and I see the calendar and I say: “FUCK!”)

Needless to say, I gotta get moving here today.

I leave you with this: my staring-out-the-open-window-listening music from last evening, as the sun was going down and I was thinking about Nick Cave, and love, and words, and my life. And about how words, really, have become all I have.

It’s another oldie from my bonny girlhood, but what a wonderful song!! I can’t even tell you how many times I listened to this record, all alone in my room, just wondering what it meant. The song – I mean. I had no clue yet what love was, or what relationships might even be, or how it was gonna feel to have to rely on words to stake my little claim in the world, you know? I think I was about 8 at the time…

Okay! Thanks for visiting, gang. I love you guys. See ya!

“Words”

Smile an everlasting smile
A smile could bring you near to me
Don’t ever let me find you gone
‘Cause that would bring a tear to me

This world has lost it’s glory
Let’s start a brand new story
Now my love
Right now, there’ll be
No other time and I can show you
How my love

Talk in everlasting words
And dedicate them all to me
And I will give you all my life
I’m here if you should call to me

You think that I don’t even mean
A single word I say
It’s only words, and words are all
I have to take your heart away

You think that I don’t even mean
A single word I say

It’s only words, and words are all
I have to take your heart away
It’s only words, and words are all
I have to take your heart away

c-1967 BARRY GIBB, ROBIN GIBB, MAURICE GIBB

Yes, Well, Update

Lunch was exceedingly interesting (see post from this morning).

Yes, rehearsals begin in late July. Yes, Florida is probably going to get bypassed entirely and Tell My Bones will go straight from staged readings in NYC & Rhinebeck,  to either Off-Broadway or Midtown Manhattan.

Yes, I need to finish revisions on the entire play before late July. Yes, I’m stressed. Yes, I want to finish Blessed By Light before that. Yes, I’m not sure how I’m gonna do that. But yes, I am going to try.

And most importantly – YES!! I have a new coffee mug!!

My new coffee mug!!

What Is It About Brides?!

I look good in the dress, you know.

I wear the wedding gown really well. But the moment it goes into storage…

Wow. I just don’t know what it is.

I’m bringing this up because yesterday was the 18th anniversary of Tom Petty’s marriage to Dana York and she posted video footage of their wedding on Instagram and those two looked happier than you can possibly imagine. (Second marriages for both of them.)

I was happier on my first wedding day than I was on my second, but that’s still not saying a whole bunch. (I guess it says that I can be persuaded to do just about anything – twice.)

I awoke at 3:46am today – yes, awash in those wonderful waves of Eros, yet again. But then the first thing I thought of was that video of Tom & Dana’s wedding and of how happy they were. And I began wondering what (if anything) was the matter with me.

I have just never been the kind of gal who thought much about the idea of getting married.  Partly because I was born in that part of the 20th Century where men still owned everything imaginable, and I thought of marriage as ownership. And I have never wanted to be owned. The thought of being an ornament on someone’s arm has always horrified me.

The other part was of course my sexuality. Even as a young teenager (when I started getting raped by guys from the outside world and then men from inside my loving home), I could already tell that my sexuality was more than most people could really deal with.

At least, in Ohio.

When I moved to NYC everything changed. It was so great, so liberating, in the truest sense of the word.  Because  NYC in the 1980s – well, my sexuality fit right in.  Everyone was off the charts. I think Manhattan was not only the casual sex capital of the world at that point, but also the extreme casual sex capital of the world.

Then, of course, most of the people I knew got AIDS and died. I was certainly spared in that regard, but it was just really stupid of me to think that I could squeeze myself down into something that could fit into a marriage.

I always wanted to have kids. Even back as a very little girl, I just assumed I was going to have a lot of children. I really, really wanted children. But I never really wanted to get married.

Instead, I got married twice and had no children.

The only marriage that ever truly appealed to me was the marriage between E.B. White and his wife, Katharine Sergeant Angell White.

E.B. White is probably my favorite essayist of all time. He also wrote children’s classics like Charlotte’s Web and Stuart Little, but his essays are literary gems that struck chords really deep in me and have stayed with me forever. (“Once More to the Lake” is probably everybody’s heartbreaking favorite, but I also really love his essay “Goodbye to 48th Street,” among many others.)

His wife was a legendary fiction editor for The New Yorker when that magazine was in its literary golden age.  They met, fell in love, she left her husband, they got married, moved to Maine and bought a farmhouse in the middle of nowhere. And then  seem to have done nothing but amazing things for each other’s literary lives.

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He was, of course, neurotic, and she was often the rudder keeping him pointed in the right direction.  But the part I always loved most about their marriage was that, in their house, they had offices across the hall from each other.  They’d each go into their offices in the morning, write all day, and then both emerge at 5 o’clock, have one martini and a cigarette, talk about what they’d written (or angst-ed over) and then have dinner together and go to bed. (Sadly, I don’t know what they did in bed, besides sleep, otherwise I would of course regale you with all those details here.)

To me, that has stuck with me as the idea of the most perfect (as well as unattainable) marriage.

Another “relationship” that has always really appealed to me was Lillian Hellman and Dashiell Hammett’s. But it seems to have involved tons more booze & cigarettes and a lot of shouting.  I’m not big on the shouting stuff.  And they did not get married, but stayed together for 30 years and wrote various masterpieces. And that appeals to me enormously.

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I guess you can see that I am all about the writing.

It’s not that I am not all about love, or not into love, or a disbeliever in love. Love is everything to me. But love is woven in there inextricably with my writing. I don’t know why I can’t separate it. And I guess it does make me very self-involved, although I don’t feel like I am. I feel like my love is enormous and spills over into everything, benefiting everyone – and yet, more importantly, love helps me write better. And that means everything to me and so I guess it makes me self-involved.

But it’s still all about love.

Loyal readers of this lofty blog are no doubt painfully aware that I am totally, 100%, thoroughly in love with my muse. He has changed my life – and so quickly, so unexpectedly. Came into my life on all cylinders, blasted open my writing and turned it completely around.

It’s not that he is my reason for being – the kind of thing that maybe people feel when they are wearing those beautiful clothes and having weddings; but he gives me clarity on my reason for being, which has wound up being the most amazing gift I could have ever hoped to receive.

Clarity on my reason for being.

I don’t know that I would have ever realized just how much I needed that if it hadn’t happened of its own accord.

You know, I watched that short video footage of Tom & Dana’s wedding on Instagram yesterday, over & over & over. And I was simply astounded by how happy they were. (Yes, I pondered it!)  And it wasn’t any kind of bullshit – those two were incredibly happy. You could just see it.  And I felt a little bit like a failure because I can only seem to feel that happy when I’m alone, finding the most perfect word.

So I don’t understand myself and my “alone-ness” any better than I ever did, but I still feel happier than I’ve ever been and just so blessed to have the most amazing muse.

It’s probably best to just not think about it too much. Because I think it’s going to end up being something good for the whole world; I really do.

Okay. I’ve got lunch today with the director of Tell My Bones at 12:30. So I’m gonna scoot now and try to get some writing done before that. I think today is going to be just another stunning day out there. I’m so looking forward to it.

I hope your Tuesday is just as splendid, wherever you are in the world.  I leave you with this, the song Tom Petty wrote for Dana, long before they were married, back when he was heading towards some real dark times, but (he has said repeatedly in interviews) he was already in love with her & waiting. Okay! Thanks for visiting! I love you guys, See ya.

 

I dreamed you
I saw your face
Cut my lifeline
Went floating through space
I saw an angel
I saw my fate
I can only thank God it was not too late

Over mountains
I floated away
‘Cross an ocean
I dreamed her name
I followed an angel
Down through the gates
I can only thank God it was not too late

Sing a little song of
Loneliness
Sing one to make me smile
Another round for everyone
I’m here for a little while

Now I’m walking
This street on my own
But she’s with me
Everywhere I go
Yeah, I found an angel
I found my place
I can only thank God it was not too late
I can only thank God it was not too late
I can only thank God it was not too late

c-1995 Tom Petty

Just A Swell Day On All Fronts!

First off, the weather has been fantastic today.

There’s a spot out on the highway where I can see all the way to Coshocton County  when the sky is clear, and today was one of those days. The sky was just so blue. And all the hills and trees for miles and miles were so green. It was breathtaking. And it was only about 72 degrees Fahrenheit, no humidity at all.

I was driving home from giving that piano lesson. And I have to say, this new teaching stuff I’ve been studying is really just amazing.

The guy I’m teaching has no musical training whatsoever – never, none – but he was grasping so many basic concepts so quickly because I now have this new language for explaining stuff.  It cuts right to the chase.

Toward the end of the lesson, I was talking about the black keys being half-steps, and then I pointed out how B & C are also a half-step, and I said, “Like in ‘Chopsticks’ – see?” And I played the beginning of “Chopsticks” and then hit a wrong note.

And he said, “That was wrong! What did you just play?”

And I showed him, and right away, he started trying to play “Chopsticks,” and even though he couldn’t find the right note to play, I could see his mind looking for that note – trying to hone in on where it could be and match the right key to the tone he was hearing in his head.

He was frustrated with himself, but I said, “No! This is exciting! You’re hearing the right note in your head. It’s in there and it wants to come out and you’re going to find that note.  This means you’re musical!”

I don’t think he believed me, but I definitely saw it happening. I saw his mind working and I knew for sure that he had music inside of him.  And it was exciting.  Even just “Chopsticks.” Not everyone can hear the right notes inside themselves.

On a  thoroughly unrelated topic, but equally exciting – almost.

I have a new Wrangler jeans jacket. And I just love it. It fits great and it is super soft. Already. Just so soft.

I was sitting out on my kitchen porch in my new little jacket because it was chilly out and this young woman I sort of know was coming over. She smokes so we hang out on my kitchen porch so that she can smoke.

She’s a really butch dyke kind of gal. She is definitely my type but she is way, way, way too young for me – over 20 years too young. I actually have no idea if she’s coming on to me these days, or what. But she’s chatting with me a lot more.

She asked me about the Writer’s Retreat thing in Italy and when that was happening, and I said, “Next year.” And she said, “Well, what is it that you’re doing later this year?”

And I said, “One of my plays – in New York.”

And she said, “I wanna go to New York. I want to see one of your plays. I’ve been saving my money. I wanna see what a hillbilly like you looks like when she’s in the big city.”

Hillbilly??!! Excuse me? I just said something like, ” Well, I’m sure it’ll be nice.” I still can’t quite figure out what’s going on there.

I was also wearing my aviator shades and she wanted to take my picture and I hate having my picture taken. I really, truly hate it.  And I told her no. But she said, “Come on.”

I finally said that if she could make me look like a sex kitten and not a hillbilly, then she could take my picture. So she gets her phone out and, you know: click/delete, click/delete, click/delete, and on and on. And finally she said, “Oh this one’s good.”

I said, “Do I look like a sex kitten?”

She said, “No, you look like a biker.”

Jesus Christ. Go home. Smoke on your own fucking porch.  But she is actually very personable and articulate. And she wanted to use my bathroom before she went home. So we went into my kitchen and I’d forgotten that I had been listening to T. Rex “Bang A Gong (Get It On)” – it was set on repeat on my little CD jukebox on my kitchen table. And it was still playing.

And she said, “What are you listening to?”

And I thought, Oh god, please don’t tell me that you have never, ever, ever, EVER even heard of this song.

But she had never, ever, ever, EVER even heard of that song.

And I said, “It was, like, the sexiest song to come out of 1971.” (She wasn’t born yet – not even close.)

And she wanted to know what the song was about but I said, “I’m not telling you. You’re way, way, way too young. ”

HER: “No, I wanna know what he’s saying.”

ME: “He’s talking about a girl who’s built like a car, with a hubcap diamond star halo.”

HER: “And that’s sexy? Really. ”

ME: “Yes, really. Go home.”

It was too funny. I felt 177 years old.

But after she left, and I went to teach the piano lesson, I put the CD on in my car and kept playing the song over & over. It’s quite hypnotic, and I actually hadn’t thought about the song in ages. It was only that mention of “Cosmic Dancer” at one of those Nick Cave Conversations in the Netherlands that made me think of it.

And I was listening to the lyrics and thinking how I never really understood that song at all. I still love it, but it kind of makes no sense whatsoever. And even though it is a sexy little song, if anyone who was even remotely interested in having sex with me for whatever reason, ever told me I was built like a car, with or without a hubcap diamond star halo, my answer would be no.

An unqualified no. Built like a car, indeed. It’s hard enough being a fucking hillbilly biker. Jesus Christ. (But a sexy song, nonetheless.)

Well you’re dirty and sweet
Clad in black
Don’t look back
And I love you
You’re dirty and sweet oh yeah
Well you’re slim and you’re weak
You’ve got the teeth
Of the Hydra upon you
You’re dirty sweet
And you’re my girl
Get It On
Bang a gong
Get It OnGet It On
Bang a gong
Get It On

Well you’re built like a car
You’ve got a hubcap
Diamond star halo
You’re built like a car
Oh yeah

You’re an untamed youth
That’s the truth
With your cloak full of eagles
You’re dirty sweet
And you’re my girl

Get It On
Bang a gong
Get It On

Get It On
Bang a gong
Get It On

Well you’re windy and wild
You’ve got the blues
In your shoes and your stockings
You’re windy and wild
Oh yeah

Well you’re built like a car
You’ve got a hubcap
Diamond star halo
You’re dirty sweet
And you’re my girl

Get It On
Bang a gong
Get It On

Get It On
Bang a gong
Get It On

Well you’re dirty and sweet
Clad in black
Don’t look back
And I love you
You’re dirty and sweet oh yeah

Well you dance when you walk
So let’s dance, take a chance
Understand me
You’re dirty sweet
And you’re my girl

Get It On
Bang a gong
Get It On

Get It On
Bang a gong
Get It On…

Take me
Meanwhile, I’m still thinking

C- 1971 Marc Bolan

Oh, People! This Astounding Voyage Continues!

Around 2am, the wind kicked up something fierce, so not only had it begun to rain again, but the wind was blowing rain in on my bed. Short of sleeping in some sort of  adventurous, seafaring schooner, having rain blown in on me while I sleep is not my idea of a nice night.

So I got up and closed most of the windows again, and missed the morning bird songs and overslept again.  Awoke at 6:30am to a bright, shiny bedroom.

And to two very intense texts on my phone.

Both texts had apparently been hanging there unanswered by the soundly-sleeping me for hours.

One was from Peitor. We had been texting before I went to sleep last night at around midnight, and I thought we were done texting and so I set down my phone and turned out the light. But it seems I was wrong. Because he texted something intense, unhappy and emotional (he’s in Italy right now, checking in on his elderly mother), and I left him hanging for over 6 hours! I felt terrible.

You know – lurch yourself from sleep, start typing: Oh god, I’m so sorry. I fell asleep!

And the other text was from a girlfriend that I am very close to and we had gotten into an intense conversation late last night, because (like Peitor) she is also going through some intense family stuff. And she looked so tired and so angry and so fed up last night, and  I just wanted to fix that.

I try so hard not to tell people how to live or what to think or what to do.  And I went through all that training in Divinity School on counseling people, and all of that, and I’ve counseled a lot of people. And I can be a remarkably effective counselor if I don’t actually know you and don’t have to get emotionally involved. I’m perfectly at ease with allowing you to find your own way in life and the “f” word does not come flying out of my mouth…

However. When it’s someone I actually know and care about, suddenly I can find myself saying things like: “You need to do such & such!!”, trying to tell her how to live her own life, in an escalating tone… because I am emotionally involved and I want my friends to be happy and I think that “being happy” means thinking the way I do.

Even though we ended it in a good place, I still felt bad about not giving her enough of her own space last night.  And then her text was there from during the night, continuing some of her thoughts from the conversation and I had to force myself (not even out of bed yet) to not let my mind go to that place where I am trying to fix her life for her – even though I know full well she is not asking me to do that.

And even though I didn’t go as far as the “f” word last night, I still felt like I had. Because I truly prefer to allow people to be themselves, and to have their own thoughts and approaches to the world; and yet sometimes I don’t choose to actually do that. I jump in there and try to “re-script” them in a rather emphatic tone.  And then I don’t feel very good about myself. I don’t want to simply paste my own perceptions of the world onto people, it dismisses the importance of how they feel about living their own lives.

And that was all, you know, before I even got out of bed this morning.  I was still just lying there, under the cuddly blanket and my 1700-thread-count Italian cotton sheets, my head surrounded by all my soft expensive pillows – and I was staring at the phone, feeling like a terrible friend.

So I guess maybe it’s going to be an interesting day.

The Conversations with Nick Cave are on hiatus for a couple of weeks. Well, at least the Conversations that have an uppercase “C”. The conversations with a lowercase “c” that he will undoubtedly be having over the next couple of weeks are apparently private and his website is not revealing where he is planning to spend those evenings.  This likely also means that no one will be posting photos of their lowercase “c” conversations with him to Instagram, so I will not be able to tell you what he is wearing. Or if any of those people he converses with in private call him God.

Yes, this means I will have to fixate on other things.

Like, for instance, my own life.

On Tuesday, I’m having lunch with the director of my play (Tell My Bones) so that I can discuss with him what Sandra said on the phone the other night. And move forward. Most likely at a pace I was not anticipating even a few weeks ago. We’ll see.

I still have some writing to do on that play. Revisions, I mean.  But I’m waiting for rehearsals to start before I actually do that. And the pressure on me feels intense because the cart is officially before the horse now – meaning that a bunch of publicity about this play got “out there”  in the world and on the Internet without me knowing it was going out there.

And now people all over the place are using my “award-winning script” as a way to try to drive up the value of Helen’s paintings.

When I first wrote the story about Helen, it was a TV movie script (and it is an award-wining script now and it did well in a lot of the top contests and at the Austin Film Festival). I was working for Gus Van Sant’s production company back then, working for his amazing dad, who was his business manager and who also managed Helen LaFrance’s career and that’s how I got exposed to her truly amazing paintings.

And I wanted to write about her specifically to expose more people to her incredible paintings.  To her life.  In my opinion, her paintings need to be hanging in everyone’s homes.

And so now, to find myself in this position where, you know, the play hasn’t even been mounted yet; you can’t actually go see it anywhere yet.  And total strangers all  over the world are taking it as a given that the play will be great and that it justifies their wanting to make more money off of Helen’s paintings right now

It’s not a bad position to be in, but I am under a lot of pressure here.

Which is also why I want the novel finished and off my desk, because I need to focus on Tell My Bones, even though I love this novel and I’ve loved every moment I’ve spent writing it. I don’t really want to rush through it. But I also don’t want it being shoved to the back burner again.  I had wanted it completed by Christmas and it is practically summer already.

So that’s that. My brain on a lovely Sunday morning.  Still in my PJs and already way too stressed…

I hope that you’re having a super-duper Sunday, though, wherever you are in the world.

I leave you with this. I was actually listening to this song again yesterday, because I came across something I’d written several years ago – about how it had felt to be 12 and to love this song and to listen to it late in the night on a tinny transistor radio, after sneaking out of my house and just walking the dark suburban streets by myself, listening to the local AM hit radio station, thinking it really was going to be incredible – being a powerful woman in the world, living my dreams, making them happen… (I leave it to you to decide to what degree that has worked out for me.)

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

“I Am Woman”

I am woman, hear me roar
In numbers too big to ignore
And I know too much to go back and pretend
‘Cause I’ve heard it all before
And I’ve been down there on the floor
No one’s ever going to keep me down again

Whoa, yes, I am wise
But it’s wisdom born of pain
Yes, I’ve paid the price
But look how much I gained

If I have to I can do anything
I am strong (strong)
I am invincible (invincible)
I am woman

You can bend but never break me
‘Cause it only serves to make me
More determined to achieve my final goal
And I’ll come back even stronger
Not a novice any longer
‘Cause you’ve deepened the conviction in my soul

Whoa, yes, I am wise
But it’s wisdom born of pain
Yes, I’ve paid the price
But look how much I gained

If I have to I can do anything
I am strong (strong)
I am invincible (invincible)
I am woman

I am woman, watch me grow
See me standing toe-to-toe
As I spread my loving arms across the land
But I’m still an embryo
With a long, long way to go
Until I make my brother understand

Whoa, yes, I am wise
But it’s wisdom born of pain
Yes, I’ve paid the price
But look how much I gained

If I have to I can face anything
I am strong (strong)
I am invincible (invincible)
I am woman

Oh, I am woman
I am invincible
I am strong
I am woman
I am invincible
I am strong
I am woman

c-1972 RAY BURTON, HELEN REDDY