Tag Archives: Sandra Caldwell

Yesterday’s Gone & Today is Officially Underway!

You know, I’ve heard from houseguests that my guest room was really comfortable and last night I experienced it for myself!

I got into the bed and it was, like, man — this bed is more comfortable than mine is! And then I had the best night’s sleep I had in ages. It’s a really nice room. It just has great vibes.

Yes, I got lost going to pick up my mom yesterday.  A 2-hour trip going there turned into 3 1/2 hours, and included a visit from the Sheriff as I waited there alone at the side of the road in the middle of all those cornfields. Had to get out of the car, show my ID and everything.

My mom spent nearly an hour trying to find me. Eventually we did manage to meet up in a gas station in a little town called Clarksburg…🥺

What should have been a 4-hour trip total, wound up being an 8 hour trip. Plus I got to see my younger brother for the first time in a few years.  No one made fun of me for getting so fucking lost, though…

Yeah, so that was fun. Now I have to turn around and drive 10 hours today. But the weather is really just gorgeous so it should be a really nice drive.

My Nick Cave tickets are actually now in my handbag. So there is a really excellent chance the tickets will make it to NYC with me!

All righty, gang! I’m outta here. Gonna meditate. Have a little coffee. Load up the car and then scoot. Thanks for visiting!! I love you guys. See ya!

(oh, and I’m posting from my phone now so the photos are probably enormous…)

Most comfy room in the house, it turns out!!

Me, A Grown Up!

All right, well. I got the new car.

No CD player. It’s all about streaming.

What the fuck? Do they not know how many CDs I still own? And even though I do stream a ton of music, there are hundreds of  CDs that I don’t have in any sort of streaming version, including some Nick Cave stuff and several early Tom Petty CDs. I’m not sure how they think I’m going to be able to pull out of my driveway without certain songs on certain days.

I don’t actually have a driveway, but still. The thought of ripping CDs onto my laptop then transferring them to my phone– I am not a Geek. I am a crazed, lunatic writer. I do not have time to do stuff like that anymore.

That pissed me off so much that I almost got right back out of the car and said, “Take this back, please, and give me the old Honda Fit.” This grown-up business really sucks.

But here is the car I got. This is not the actual car. I don’t have a showroom to park it in. But I am too lazy to go downstairs right now and photograph the actual car. But it looks just like this, so don’t worry.

2019 Molten Lava Pearl Honda Civic LX 4 Door Automatic (CVT) 2.0L I4 DOHC 16V i-VTEC Engine FWD

It does weird things like drives for you automatically for 10 seconds. It has a radar up front that automatically applies your brakes if someone ahead of you puts on their brakes. It keeps pace with the car in front you: if that car speeds up or slows down, you do, too. It has automatic lights so that you can blind people with your brights at night without meaning to — or you can drive in complete darkness, if you prefer to not blind people. (That seems to be my option: blind others or drive in total darkness.)

The other thing it does, which totally cracks me up because I love language: if you inch outside of your lane at either side, an orange warning comes on in front of you that reads: Lane Departure.

That word “departure” is what cracks me up. Who thought of that? They probably thought “watch what you’re doing, asshole” was too offensive to the driver, or that “put your fucking phone down & pay attention, you’re driving!” was too long to cram into that little orange space.

But the thing that disappoints me the most about the Civic is that it does indeed go really fast, but it is a more solid vehicle than the Fit so you do not feel like you’re going really fast. There is no soaring sort of thrill. So what is the point of going really fast? I might as well just go the fucking speed limit, you know? And save on gas and stuff like that.

They are forcing me to grow up. And I do not appreciate it. However, it is mine for the next 3 years.

As I was leaving the Honda dealership in the new car yesterday, across the street was a used car lot and right out there in front was a used Hellcat. It was in a bright metallic lime green color, not my favorite. But still. I looked at that car as I drove away and my heart sank… (Those Hellcats go from 0 to 210 mph in about 3 seconds. I realize there’s no earthly reason to do that if you’re not drag racing, but still. It just made me feel so sad.)

Anyway. So now I look like a grown up when I’m in my perfectly grown up car. (I’m not one, but no one will know that.)

Okay, well. Sandra and I actually spoke on the phone for 4 seconds yesterday. I was in the Honda dealership when she finally called me and I couldn’t talk. So now we are playing phone tag. A step up from texting…

The play rewrites are, of course, not finished. I’m getting stressed and depressed and all that stuff that I do so well. But I decided late last night  to do some radical segment-intending, 24/7, for the next several days and pull myself past this. I usually only do segment-intending when I’m getting ready to get into the car. I have two profound needs whenever I’m driving. The main one is to not kill any animals out here in the middle of nowhere where there are so many scurrying about, and the other is to not wreck the car, since I am only borrowing it for 3 years and then giving it back.

For me, my segment-intending always includes giving appreciation to St. Francis (animals) and St. Christopher (the car). And then of course to Christ because he’s that thing in my life that tries to keep me from generally going insane.  But segment-intending doesn’t really involve saints unless you’re me and your mind chooses to do weird shit like that.

But segment-intending works extremely well. So I decided to break the day/night into 5-hour segments, so every 5 hours, I visualize the next 5 hours going really smoothly and me not stressing out — staying calm, happy, even.

So far, it is working great. It really is. I’m in my second segment right now and not freaking out about anything at all, and only thinking of death as a viable solution in the most meager, fleeting sort of way. (Just kidding about that.)

And I slept like a rock for 5 hours last night, woke up and wasn’t worried about anything at all. I feel like I have this sort of mental protective force-field all around me, keeping out the garbage thoughts, and helping me just stay calm. It really is interesting, how my mind can actually feel it — feel protected, I mean. From my own thoughts.

However, on that note, my mind will feel even better when I finish the rewrites on the play so I better get started here. (Oh, I’ll mention here that it looks like all those additional Conversations with Nick Cave for January 2020 that went on sale yesterday sold out in, like, 4 minutes. I think this means that he is never going to stop conversing. This is not a judgement at all, but an observation.)

Okay!! I leave you with this song I used to really just love. It was breakfast-listening music today and I hadn’t heard it in years. I still loved it.  It is such a soaring song. “The Whole of the Moon,” from The Waterboys album, This is the Sea (1985). Enjoy. Have a super Saturday, wherever you are in the world, gang. Thanks for visiting. I love you guys. See ya!

“The Whole Of The Moon”

I pictured a rainbow
You held it in your hands
I had flashes
But you saw the plan
I wandered out in the world for years
While you just stayed in your room
I saw the crescent
You saw the whole of the moon
The whole of the moonYou were there at the turnstiles
With the wind at your heels
You stretched for the stars
And you know how it feels
To reach too high
Too far
Too soon
You saw the whole of the moon

I was grounded
While you filled the skies
I was dumbfounded by truths
You cut through lies
I saw the rain-dirty valley
You saw Brigadoon
I saw the crescent
You saw the whole of the moon

I spoke about wings
You just flew
I wondered, I guessed and I tried
You just knew
I sighed
But you swooned
I saw the crescent
You saw the whole of the moon
The whole of the moon

With a torch in your pocket
And the wind at your heels
You climbed on the ladder
And you know how it feels
To get too high
Too far
Too soon
You saw the whole of the moon
The whole of the moon

Unicorns and cannonballs
Palaces and piers
Trumpets, towers, and tenements
Wide oceans full of tears
Flags, rags, ferry boats
Scimitars and scarves
Every precious dream and vision
Underneath the stars

Yes, you climbed on the ladder
With the wind in your sails
You came like a comet
Blazing your trail
Too high
Too far
Too soon
You saw the whole of the moon

c – 1985 Mike Scott

È meravigliosa!

Yes!!! It’s wonderful!!!

I finally made it to the end of the most important segment of the play last night. And I could not be more delighted — even though it’s a death scene, it goes to a tragic place. But it is relived within a dream, so it doesn’t have the same kind of sadness to it that it would have had in “real-time.”

And there is a sense of jubilation woven all around the tragedy, creating absolute (controlled) chaos. Helen is in agonizing despair, crying out Psalm 22, while the choir is in this jubilant refrain of Didn’t My Lord Deliver Daniel?, as Helen’s grandson, who has waited all his life to get a job on the railroad, finally gets that job up in Louisville, and then gets crushed by a train — but he goes gloriously to the sweet hereafter in all that joyous singing, while Helen’s heart breaks into a million pieces.

And all of it takes place within Helen’s dream where she is inside one of her paintings and the ghosts of her family come “alive” again.

I have been struggling with that whole section — 16 pages — for a couple of weeks now. It felt so amazing to finally finish it last night.

As usual, the Muse was working overtime and I could not have felt more appreciative.

Well, I did indeed make the 100 mile trek to get the less-than-10 minute interview for the TSA Precheck yesterday. And yes, I did manage to get a wee bit lost and my iPhone maps decided to stop speaking to me, only wanting to show me images while I was trying to drive, lost, on a strange  freeway. Through some miracle of divine guidance, I finally found the darn place and made it right on time for my interview. But, man, what a lot of driving, a lot of gasoline, and then the “check oil” light came on halfway home… all that for a 10-minute interview.

So I called my sales rep at Honda when I got home, and I will leave it to him to let me know if I should come in and trade in the car for a new lease right now. I am so close to being at my maximum allowed mileage on the current lease, and now I need an oil change…

Plus, yesterday, I was trying to book my flight to NY — I want to fly into Stewart International because I’ll primarily be staying in Rhinebeck with Sandra, and as you can guess, there are no flights that come anywhere close to being a direct flight between here and a small airport like that one.

I have a variety of layover choices in Philadelphia, that range from 2 hours to about 8 hours. I’m not exaggerating.  I could make about 7 commuter train trips between Philadelphia and NYC in that 8-hour layover. A direct flight between here and Stewart International would be 1 hour.  But since there is no such thing as a direct flight between here and there, the minimum travel time is 6 hours, including me having to leave by 4:15am to make the one-hour drive to the airport to catch the first flight out at 6am.

And all of that would cost me 25,000 frequent flyer miles!!!!! (Round trip). I’m, like, you’re kidding, right? I can go to fucking Alaska for that. So now, if I do lease a new car right away, I think I’m gonna go ahead and drive again. It’s a 10-hour drive. And I can leave at whatever time in the morning I want to. But I can’t do it if I don’t have the new car yet, because I’m too close to going over my max miles.

So we’ll see what the rep says when he calls me back today.

Meanwhile, I am at last nearing the end of the play.  I have one final section to revise. Between 15-20 more pages, tops. And I don’t have the luxury of it taking me an additional 2 weeks, so I’m hoping to have the rewrites finished here momentarily!! (Or, you know, maybe a week. That still gets the play to NYC a week before I get there.)

A quick update re: the sudden hashtag keanu situation in my Instagram feed — I’m actually finding it kind of soothing. Having my Instagram feed positively inundated with harmless photos of Keanu, night & day. It helps neutralize the somewhat emotional knee-jerk responses that I have to a lot of the other things/people I’m following. So I think I’m gonna keep it. A sort of social-media therapy: hashtag keanu; a new route to bliss.

You know, for many years, I was very good friends with a journalist who wrote primarily for Rolling Stone, the New York Times, etc. — big media outlets. And he interviewed a ton of movie stars in his career (he’s now a talking-head on a sports show). And the only movie star that he had nice things to say about was Keanu. He genuinely liked him.

I met Keanu at a party once in NYC, a million years ago, and I won’t say I actually liked him. He did something that insulted me — he looked down the front of my little black dress. I know it was very funny when they did that to the stepmom in Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, but I had spent a fortune on that little black cocktail dress I was wearing, and I was in the process of being stood-up by my date because he was stuck in a midtown recording studio and was not going to make it to the party.

And it wasn’t just Keanu who was coming onto me that night while I wore that dress; a number of men were. And some were very nice & polite about it. But when the one guy you’ve gone to all that trouble for, doesn’t show up, then it doesn’t matter if you end up being the tallest, prettiest gal in the room; you just don’t give a fuck, you know?

I’m sure that on any other evening, any other night, any other year, Keanu is indeed very likable.

All righty!! I’m gonna get started here. I leave you with the song I was listening to this morning — another little love letter to the Muse!! I used to just love this song when I was 7 years old. Really, gang. I played this record all the time and sang along to it, too! I woke up at 4am today, thinking about this song for the first time in decades. And so of course I found it on Youtube.  I sang along to it as the cats ate their breakfasts and they seemed to enjoy it. Purrrhaps you will, too! Thanks for visiting, gang! I love you guys. See ya!

“Call Me”

If you’re feeling sad and lonely
There’s a service I can render
Tell the one who loves you only
I can be so warm and tender
Call me
Don’t be afraid, you can call me
Maybe it’s late, but just call me
Tell me, and I’ll be around

When it seems your friends desert you
There’s somebody thinking of you
I’m the one who’ll never hurt you
Maybe that’s because I love you

Call me
Don’t be afraid, you can call me
Maybe it’s late, but just call me
Tell me, and I’ll be around

Now don’t forget me
‘Cause if you let me
I will always stay by you
You’ve got to trust me
That’s how it must be
There’s so much that I can do

If you call I’ll be right with you
You and I should be together
Take this love I long to give you
I’ll be at your side forever

Call me
Please, call me
Call me
Tell me, and I’ll be around

Call me
Don’t be afraid, you can call me
Maybe it’s late, but just call me

c – 1965 Tony Hatch

Dicey, Indeed!

Let’s say that yesterday was Keanu Reeves’ 55th birthday. And that you saw some mention of it in your Instagram feed, so you rashly decided to start following #keanureeves.

Wow, you know what happens then? Your Instagram feed gets positively inundated with photos of Keanu, at every stage of his professional life, from every film, every magazine, every TV talk show appearance, every moment he was out on some street within the range of some photographer’s lens.

I’m now getting photo after photo after photo of Keanu. What’s nice about that, though, is that it doesn’t require me to think at all. I don’t even have to hit the “like” button either. I can just sort of scroll away, into oblivion, not thinking, not liking or unliking, just staring.

I enjoy not thinking. I so rarely get the chance.

I might actually unfollow everybody else in order to just have an endless stream of photos of Keanu that don’t require me to do any thinking at all.

We’ll see.

Here’s something that is getting to me, though. I think that the closer we get to the anniversary of Tom Petty’s death (which came really close to his birthday, too, regrettably), Dana is posting stuff that is really hard for me to take. Just personal, simple stuff. I’m never gonna unfollow her, that’s for certain. But last night, when I went to sleep, the final post I saw in my feed was of him in bed with his dog and his cat, talking to them, some movie playing in the background. You couldn’t see him — just the dog and the cat, but you could hear him. It made me sad because not only was it just so simple, but he apparently died in that bed. Even though the paramedics got his heart going again, his brain never came back and so he “technically” died at the hospital. Still, you know. He was in that bed.

Then first thing this morning at 5:30am, for some reason, the very moment my eyes opened, I checked my Instagram feed and I don’t usually do that first thing. I’m usually awake for hours before I do that. But right there in front of me, was another 40-second clip of him in bed with his dog, and he was playing a harmonica — the really high-pitched notes– to make his dog go a little nutty. It was cute, of course. But it broke my heart. Because I ponder all of it: the bedroom, the drapes, the choice of colors in there, the books on the shelves, the furnishings, the man alive in the bed loving his dog, the wife he loved right next to him, filming it with her phone, again the TV on in the background  — everything.

I don’t really know what to do with that information, you know? Because he’s dead now, and when he was alive, I don’t think he wanted a bunch of strangers to see that private stuff. But now, I guess it doesn’t really matter what he would have wanted back then. And I can’t not ponder it. But there is no sort of answer to be gotten from it or anything.

All right.

Well, today is all about getting myself out the door soon because I have my interview for the TSA Precheck and I have to drive 100 miles. I’m not even exaggerating; such is the price one pays when one lives in the middle of nowhere. I’m hoping it gets processed before I have to go to New York City, which is right around the corner.

I finally heard from Sandra this morning! Meaning that she finally texted me, at dawn. We haven’t discussed anything yet re: Tell My Bones rewrites, or even the other play we’re working on re: Toronto. But at least I finally heard from her. I know the trip will go well. I just know it. There are nothing but loose ends, but it’ll all work out.

There’s a new Red Hand Files newsletter from Nick Cave today, really beautiful, about forgiveness. You can check it out at the link there, if you want to.

And now I gotta scoot. Thanks for visiting, gang. I leave you with a shot of my kitchen table from last night. As you can see, I’m a little behind on my MOJO Magazines. However, my table looks really good compared to how it looked before I actually cleared most of the junk off! (I know…)

And here’s what I was playing on the little jukebox. Enjoy! I love you guys. See ya.

“Hungry Heart”

Got a wife and kids in Baltimore, Jack
I went out for a ride and I never went back
Like a river that don’t know where it’s flowing
I took a wrong turn and I just kept going

[Chorus:]
Everybody’s got a hungry heart
Everybody’s got a hungry heart
Lay down your money and you play your part
Everybody’s got a hungry heart

I met her in a Kingstown bar
We fell in love. I knew it had to end
We took what we had and we ripped it apart
Now here I am down in Kingstown again

[Chorus]

Everybody needs a place to rest
Everybody wants to have a home
Don’t make no difference what nobody says
Ain’t nobody like to be alone

[Chorus]

c – 1980 Bruce Springsteen

Where Does it Go?

Man, I woke up this morning finally feeling defeated.

For the third morning in a row, the house was really cold and I had to face the fact that I needed to close some of my windows.

It just doesn’t seem fair. It’s still only August and it feels like the whole Universe is trying to tell me that the summer is over. How did it slip through my fingers like that? It makes me so incredibly sad.

And I texted Sandra, finally, because I needed to face the fact that I have to talk on the phone with her as soon as she’s back in New York and discuss these many revisions I’m doing to Tell My Bones and just see what she has to say about it, and I am well aware that this could drastically change the scope of my entire trip to NYC in a few weeks. (Plus, I have to get a new car and I should probably do that before I go to NYC. Just all this major stress stuff.)

The director should be emailing me this morning about my most recent pages, and hopefully have some suggestions about how I can best proceed out of the morass I’m currently in with the script.  So I know that will help combat my feelings of defeat. Plus, the guy I was giving piano lessons to — he actually put his house up for sale many weeks ago, and he has finally moved to a new house and is unpacking so, soon, the piano lessons will resume and that will make me feel happy.

However, these things won’t make the summer last longer.

During breakfast, I kept thinking about this time last year, and how incredible it was. I suddenly began writing Blessed By Light, a novel unlike anything I’d ever written and my life began to get magical. And also during the last 2 weeks of August last year, my house was filled with all those amazing furnace repair guys. They were updating all the ducts and upgrading my furnace and they were just such amazingly cool, good-looking Hillbilly-Deluxe hippie guys — I loved having them here, even though I was trying to write a new novel the whole time.

But it had felt like fucking summer still, you know? Last year, the summer lasted all summer.

I just can’t get used to how quickly time flies, the older I get. It’s the only thing about getting older that I can’t handle so well.

After breakfast, I did my meditation but it didn’t help. My thoughts wound up drifting right back to the weather. You know, I look at the weather forecast for the upcoming week and it will be, like, the most perfect weather imaginable: 80s Fahrenheit in the daytime and down to the upper 50s at night. Perfect weather. My absolute favorite kind of weather. Why am I so depressed about it? It’s all about my windows: I just hate having to close my windows because that just makes me feel like it’s Fall. It’s hard to believe that closing some of my windows could make me feel this depressed.

I finally gave up trying to meditate because it clearly wasn’t happening today. I laid in bed for awhile, just thinking about feeling so defeated.  Why does my brain suddenly take these hard detours down paths that aren’t good for me to think about? It doesn’t help anything.

And then I suddenly remembered that tomorrow is the anniversary of Greg’s death. It could be that that’s what is underlying all this. I remembered what the weather was like that week he died. So hot, so sunny. Back then, no one went back to school until early September, so it was still very much “summer.”  I remembered going to the corn festival the night after Greg died — a sort of County Fair — and how intensely difficult that was for me to process; all that frivolity and yet Greg was dead. I remembered going to the funeral home, too, and not expecting it to be an open casket since he had been killed in an accident. But the damage had been done to the back of his head, so his parents had an open casket viewing. And when I walked into that funeral home and unexpectedly saw him there, I wanted to die myself and the hardest part was knowing that I wouldn’t. And the funeral itself was on the most beautiful sunny, hot summer day.

Jesus Christ. 45 years ago. I don’t understand where that time went. As I was lying in bed, I was thinking about some of my friends from that era, and most of the girls I knew back then are all grandmothers now. And I still feel 12. I don’t understand that. I don’t know why I can’t grow up, like everybody else did. It made me feel really, really sad this morning. I got older, but I didn’t grow up.

Anyway. Hopefully, as the day goes on, I will feel better about everything. Nick Cave is in Helsinki tonight so there should be stuff on Instagram. I always love that. A couple of people have posted from there already. Currently, some one has posted that he/she is absolutely thrilled about tonight. I don’t know the gender of Finnish names, but whoever it is, this person is extremely happy and is on a train heading there as I type!

So, well, life goes on.

Have a good Monday, wherever you are in the world. Thanks for visiting. I love you guys. See ya.

What A Difference 20 Million Hours of Sleep Makes!

Or, in my case, 8 !!

Yes, I actually slept 8 hours and I never do that. I feel like a functioning human being again.

Let me explain something about Eros, gang. Loyal readers of this lofty blog are no doubt aware that I essentially went kicking & screaming into my career.  By age 12, I knew that I wanted to be a writer. I was thinking I was going to be a songwriter, but I was already writing short stories. Really strange short stories.

Luckily, it was the 1970s (yes! the 1970s were actually good for some things!), and I had really amazing teachers at school. They were open-minded and excited about change and about passing that on to us, the students.  So I got “A”s on stories that would have probably gotten me expelled in other political eras (which came both before and after the 1970s.)

I wasn’t trying to upset people, or anything. And I didn’t know that I was writing anything that might upset anyone. I was just writing the stories that were in my head. And the stories weren’t always school assignments; I would just write stories.

One afternoon, when I was 13, but we were already living in that awful apartment complex that I’ve written about recently, I was home alone, sitting at the kitchen table, writing a story about two grown men who were lovers. Not exactly a topic I knew anything about, but for some reason, the story was coming out of me. I remember this so vividly. I was writing about how one of the characters knew his own body so well, knew what he liked to feel sexually, that it made it effortless for him to make love to another man’s body.

I was writing that when my mom came home and walked into the kitchen. She said, “What are you writing?” ME: “A story about two men who are in love with each other.”

She stared at me, really strangely, and said, “What do you mean, ‘in love’?” And I said that they make love to each other.

She actually sat right down at the kitchen table and said, “Can I read that?” I was very excited because she was actually taking an interest in me and not just exploding at me in her usual awful, horrible way.

So I let her read the story thus far, and at that point, it ended at the aforementioned spot. After she read it, she just sort of stared at it and then she looked at me. And she said, “I never really thought about it like this. I think maybe you could be right. What made you think of this?”

ME: “I don’t know. I’m just writing what’s in my head.” And she was so incredibly nice about it — I can’t stress enough how unusual that was for her. However, she said, “Honey, I wouldn’t show this story to anybody. You might upset people.”

Culturally, of course, we’re talking only 4 years after the Stonewall Riots and gays were barely tolerated, not that I knew anything about that yet. But my mom saying that to me was the first time I learned that things I wrote could maybe upset people.

When I was 14, a story I wrote for English class was about a transvestite fashion model who lived in NYC (I was always writing about only the things I knew first hand!) and how it was a secret — everyone thought the model was a woman, including the readers of my story, until the scene where the model gets out of her shower and sees her actual body in the mirror — the body of a man — and how it devastates her to have this body and so she takes sleeping pills in order to get through the night.

I got an “A++++” on that story. No one ever even talked about transvestites back then, least of all in the Middle-of-Nowhere Ohio. There wasn’t even Cable TV yet, no MTV, no nothing. And it’s not like I had some fresh-from-college, starry-eyed English teacher. She was a black woman in her mid-60s, close to retiring. When she handed me back my paper, she just looked at me and said, “What on Earth made you think of this?”

I honestly didn’t know, but I do think that it’s extremely interesting that during that same time-period, Sandra (the transgender actress I now write plays for in NYC), was, in real life, becoming a successful fashion model in Montreal and no one knew that she was actually a man. Everyone assumed she was a physical woman. Until she got arrested & deported for an expired work visa — then a handful of people found out and Sandra was devastated. It wasn’t too long after that, that she got her surgery. Still, it’s ironic, isn’t it? I didn’t meet her until years later.

Anyway, I’m digressing. But by my late teens, my short stories were getting blatantly erotic and I didn’t know what to do about it. I could not stop it from happening. The only way to stop it was to simply not write them. I was taking a short story writing class that I had to drop out of because the stories my brain insisted on writing were really embarrassing to me.

It took me a long time to come to terms with my stories. It really did. For a long time, I would write the stories, because I physically had to write them; they needed to come out of me. It would make me crazy to try to block them. The words would literally come into my head and just hang around in there until I put them down on paper. So I would write them to ease the pressure, but then tear them up and throw them away. It wasn’t until my friend Valerie began to seriously encourage me, that I began not tearing up the stories and, instead, sending them out for possible publication.  (This was in the late 1980s and there were so many avenues for publication back then. It was an amazing era for literary erotica in the US and the UK.)

It wasn’t until 1994, though, when my best friend Paul began dying from AIDS (it took him about 5 years to die), he told me that I really needed to follow my heart — in every area of my life. (For one thing, he didn’t think I should have married Wayne. He thought Wayne was too conventional for me. It took me forever to see that Paul was right.) But Paul encouraged me to really make a commitment to my fiction writing. And so I did. I gave up the songwriting and focused exclusively on my fiction, even though it terrified me to do that because I knew that it was, for the most part, socially unacceptable to do that — to put all of my focus into writing what other people called porn.

But five years later, when Paul was suffering from severe dementia and could no longer talk, could barely communicate, I flew in from NYC to visit him at the nursing home and I was able to tell him that Neptune & Surf had been published (it had taken me 4 years to write it) — and, for the type of book it was, it was really greeted with high acclaim. And by then, I already knew that a French translation of it would be coming out in Paris the following year.

He really was my dearest, dearest friend; he stood by me in everything. And even though he was so far gone at that point, he had tears in his eyes when I was telling him all this about Neptune & Surf. I knew he understood what I had said. I was pushing him in his wheelchair out in the back garden, so that he could smoke a cigarette (he never forgot how to smoke, even though his muscles would often forget how to swallow and he was always in danger of choking to death whenever he ate or drank anything.) Anyway. He was so happy for me and I knew it and he died a couple months later.

So, you know, by now I have become completely accepting of the fact that for whatever reason, Eros chose me as one of its vehicles for getting itself into the world. And even though I write other stuff, too, I still work really hard at trying to be the best vehicle for Eros that I can be, in terms of the English language. I find so much of what gets into the world today to be really boring, crude, and unimaginative. I know it’s about money now, about making a huge profit, and that for serious erotic art (writing, painting, film) to make its way into the public consciousness today, it requires Herculean determination on the parts of whoever’s creating it.

So, I’m sort of used to living in a world where Eros is inside me and not outside of me anymore. So when it does come at me from somewhere outside of me and hits me between the eyes — wow. For me, it’s like getting hit head-on by the most wonderfully devastating car. It felt immobilizing, in the best possible way. For about 24 hours, I could not think straight.

But I guess I finally slept it off. Or something. I expect to have better luck with the play today.

I do want to mention, not to leave you on a down note, but these fires going on in the Amazon forests. Oh my god. It is just devastating to see. The poor animals, as well as everything and everyone else. It rips my heart to pieces. I don’t know what to do besides pray. I always want to rescue every singe animal from peril, and of course that is impossible.

Okay. Oh, and I want to say that my dear friend Kara, whom I’ve really only known for a very short while, told me yesterday out of the blue that she’d read Neptune & Surf and that it was wonderful. Gosh, that made me feel so happy. No one I personally know has any reason to buy the book anymore, it’s been out for 20 years now. It just made me so happy to hear that. That book was my first baby; it learned how to walk and how to go out into the world.

So, on that note, I’m gonna close and, as usual, get to work!! Thanks for visiting. I leave you with the wonderful song that was going through my head when I woke-up this morning and was so in love with my Muse!! Enjoy it. I love you guys. See ya.

“Good Vibrations”

I-I love the colorful clothes she wears
And the way the sunlight plays upon her hair
I hear the sound of a gentle word
On the wind that lifts her perfume through the air

I’m pickin’ up good vibrations
She’s giving me excitations (Oom bop bop)
I’m pickin’ up good vibrations (Good vibrations, oom bop bop)
She’s giving me excitations (Excitations, oom bop bop)
Good, good, good, good vibrations (Oom bop bop)
She’s giving me excitations (Excitations, oom bop bop)
Good, good, good, good vibrations (Oom bop bop)
She’s giving me excitations (Excitations)

Close my eyes, she’s somehow closer now
Softly smile, I know she must be kind
When I look in her eyes
She goes with me to a blossom world

I’m pickin’ up good vibrations
She’s giving me excitations (Oom bop bop)
I’m pickin’ up good vibrations (Good vibrations, oom bop bop)
She’s giving me excitations (Excitations, oom bop bop)
Good, good, good, good vibrations (Oom bop bop)
She’s giving me excitations (Excitations, oom bop bop)
Good, good, good, good vibrations (Oom bop bop)
She’s giving me excitations (Excitations)

(Ahh)
(Ah, my my, what elation)
I don’t know where but she sends me there
(Oh, my my, what a sensation)
(Oh, my my, what elation)
(Oh, my my, what)

Gotta keep those lovin’ good vibrations a-happenin’ with her
Gotta keep those lovin’ good vibrations a-happenin’ with her
Gotta keep those lovin’ good vibrations a-happenin’

(Ahh)

Good, good, good, good vibrations (Oom bop bop)
(I’m pickin’ up good vibrations) (Oom bop bop)
She’s giving me excitations (Excitations, oom bop bop)
Good, good, good, good vibrations

Na na na na na, na na na
Na na na na na, na na na (Bop bop-bop-bop-bop, bop)
Do do do do do, do do do (Bop bop-bop-bop-bop, bop)
Do do do do do, do do do (Bop bop-bop-bop-bop, bop)

c – 1967 Brian Wilson, Mike Love, Tony Asher

An Ode to Sylvia & A Bunch of Other Stuff!

Somewhere in this house, I believe I still have a copy of Sylvia Plath’s Journals. I’m not up to the task of finding it right now, because I just have way too many books.  And once I start going through all my bookshelves, then that’s it. I get pulled in for hours.

However. Many years ago — 30 or so — I read Sylvia Plath’s Journals (that’s Sylvia, pictured up there, at the time documented in her journals). I recall vividly one entry where she was newly married and really happy. It was summertime and a heatwave had broken and the weather had gotten so cool that she had to put on a sweater. And she wrote so touchingly about the beauty of wearing a sweater in cool weather.  Unexpected changes, mid-season.

Today, it has actually gotten so cool that I’m wearing my flannel robe over my summer PJs! And so I’m thinking about “sweater weather” and of Sylvia Plath, and the simple beauty that lives eternally through her, in spite of what she’d sadly hoped to obliterate about herself.

And on a very different note…

From the window near my desk right now, I can see down into the stretch of yard between my house and the neighbor’s house.  The guy there (the drummer) is out there right this minute, mowing the grass. (This is a process that takes maybe 8 minutes because he has a tiny yard — large house but a tiny yard. ) Anyway, I see that since yesterday morning, he has completely shaved his head and shaved off all his facial hair, of which he had plenty.

Isn’t it weird? It makes me wonder what it was about yesterday that made him decide to do that. I wonder if he’d been planning it for several days, or if it was just a whim?

Well, a couple of photos finally got into my Instagram feed early this morning from the concerts going on in Melbourne this weekend with Nick Cave & Warren Ellis. One was from Susie Cave, so that was sort of an “official” photo, but there was another one from the audience from Friday night, at the end of the concert, and then someone else posting that it was “powerful  & intense,” and then someone else posted saying it was a “healing experience” (no doubt!) — but neither of those people posted photos from the actual show.

It’s probably one of those things where people aren’t allowed to be documenting the concert with their phones, because there’s just been a huge dearth of anything coming out of Melbourne. (A “huge” dearth is kind of an interesting concept, isn’t it?) (Or perhaps people in Melbourne simply don’t own cell phones. That’s probably the more reasonable explanation…)

I also noticed that Sandra Caldwell, the actress I write the theater projects with/for in NYC, was a busy bee on Instagram up in Toronto yesterday, texting with someone that I don’t know, but she posted quite a few really stunning photos of herself from about 30 years ago.  Mostly she was wearing not much of anything at all in the way of clothing!! (She’s very good friends with my ex-husband, Wayne, and so she came to our wedding back in 1993 and she was, by far and away, the most stunning woman there, even though she was wearing clothes.)

When Sandra and I first met — when I was first engaged to Wayne, who was a professional actor back then — she was also engaged to be married and she gave me this really stunning ring. She didn’t want to just get rid of the ring because some important guy gave it to her but she didn’t feel it was appropriate to keep it since she was getting married to someone else. So she gave the ring to me.

The ring is not real, it’s Cubic Zirconia, but it looks like a real diamond ring — it has about 6 “diamonds” on it, in a gold setting. I rarely wear it because it’s so pretty and I don’t want to get it all fucked up, but when I do wear it, everyone thinks it’s real and their eyes pop out. I never dreamed back when she & I first met, that our relationship would be so instrumental for me as a writer. I think it’s kind of funny that, upon meeting me, she gave me a diamond ring! (You know, like we got engaged to a future destiny or something.)

I’m actually not very big on jewelry, and what jewelry I do wear is almost always sterling silver. I’m not sure why I like silver so much, but I have a ton of it. I also love pearls.  I have some beautiful pearls that I inherited. But almost all of my gold and diamonds (including my diamond engagement ring from Tiffany’s — Wayne & I actually got engaged inside Tiffany’s, in NYC, back in the fall of 1992; yes, the self-same Tiffany’s of Truman Capote’s “Breakfast at…” fame); I had to sell all of my valuable jewelry when my “dearly beloved” from about 12 years ago, gambled away my life savings (see some earlier post somewhere that details all that).

Oddly enough, the one ring I didn’t sell, which is not that valuable but it is gold and does have chips of diamonds and rubies on it — that one I didn’t sell because (unlike a fucking diamond ring from Tiffany’s for god’s sake!!) it holds sentimental value for me. It really, really does. And who gave it to me? The same fucking guy who gambled my world away…

Ah well. That’s just so me. (And, yes, in case you were going to point it out — I have had my head examined, thank you very much!) (And it didn’t reveal anything I didn’t already know.)

All righty!! My Internet has gone in and out all morning, so I’m going to post this right now, while I seem to actually have a connection. And I will get to work on the play. Have a really great Saturday, wherever you are in the world!! (Or I hope it was a good one, if it’s almost over!)

Thanks for visiting. And I leave you with the song I was actually listening to this morning, although I have no idea why it even came to me. I hadn’t thought of the song in decades. But I think it’s fitting for Sylvia Plath, and even for me in regards to my dearly beloved, who had the gambling addiction I didn’t know about, and who taught me all the gentle ins & outs of filing for a restraining order… (heavy sigh). Okay. I love you guys! See ya!!

“Drowning in the Sea of Love”

[Chorus]
I’ve been down one time
I’ve been down two times
But now I’m drowning, drowning in the sea of love

Let me tell ya all about it
I’ve been out here so very long, I’ve lost all my direction
Baby when you came my way I thought I’d found my protection
But a strong wind came into my life, surely took me by surprise
& I can’t seem to control these tears that’s falling from my eyes

Listen to me
Baby I depended on you, for a love & affection
But now you gone and deserted me, can’t you see that I’m in desperation
I’m in the middle of a bad love storm, ooh yeah I just can’t let it, boy I
Looked around and all I could see, was water coming over me

All I do is cry, all I do is walk around and cry
But right now I’m drowning, oh I’m drowning in the sea of love

But that’s alright, I don’t mind drowning for your love
That’s alright baby, hear me when I say it’s alright
You got the kind of love that make me feel alright
You got the kind of love baby that make me cry all night long
You got the kind of love baby make me do things I don’t wanna do
And it’s alright

c- 1971 Kenny Gamble & Leon Huff

Yeah, Baby! Drive Happy!!

Spent the wee bonny hours of this beautiful Friday morning at the Honda dealership!

My treasured Honda Fit was acting wonky during that intense heat wave over the weekend and so I had them look at it.  It was feeling like the floor board was gonna drop out of it and I would soon be driving like the Flintstones & the Rubbles:

Image result for fred flintstone car

I love my feet! I wasn’t looking forward to having to run real fast on the freeway…

But after they checked it out, it was a balance issue and Honda had 2 recommendations. There was a $460 difference.

  • I could either get 4 brand new tires.  (approx. $500)
  • I could just drive slower on the really hot days for the next few months, until my lease is up and I trade in my Honda Fit for a new one, and then just pay for the diagnostics they ran today. (approx. $40)

I thought about it and thought about it and thought about it — meaning for about a nanosecond.  Tossed them their 40 bucks and then toodled away! Going my usual 95 mph as soon as I was out of everyone’s field of vision.

But I’m thinking I might fly to NYC in September instead of putting all that wear & tear on the tires, even though I hate flying.  Because I’m guessing that when I do trade it in for a new lease, they’re gonna be inspecting those tires under a microscope (one of those giant tire-sized microscopes that you so often see). (I’m feeling like they’re gonna get $500 out of me somehow…)

Anyway! I’m feeling happy! I’d thought it was gonna be a strut issue of some kind and that can get stupidly expensive.

So!

Yes! Even though I had begged her not to do it, Sandra did in fact take another role in a TV show up in Toronto. A 5-show arc. And so she texted that she “might have to switch up those rehearsal days”.

But’cha know… this meant I didn’t have to explain (yet) just how drastically I am re-writing the play, yet again.

The director texted me that since I am doing such intensive re-writes, we could all just wait and begin rehearsals in NYC in September.

So I texted Sandra and magnanimously said that whatever works best for her, works best for us! — “Oh, and I’m doing  a few more revisions. We can discuss it later.”

(Although, Sandra probably got my text and wondered, how come Marilyn’s being so calm about this and didn’t include a million exclamation points and tons of unhappy-looking emojis?)

Anyway!! I no longer have to do this massive amount of writing in 2 weeks. And the director wrote during the night saying that he loved the new opening pages and that I was a” beautiful and inspiring writer”.

And I said “thanks” and left out the part about how I had a beautiful & inspiring Muse. I decided to just take all the credit for the moment. (It was super early when his email arrived and the world  was still dark, I was still cozily in bed and I only had one eye open and I didn’t want to type some long, drawn-out reply about how amazing my Muse is… so “thanks” seemed sufficient for now.)

So now I have 6 weeks for re-writes instead of 2 and my life couldn’t be better!

However, because of my visit to Honda, which, like everything else around here, is 25 miles away, my morning is gone. So I gotta scoot, gang.

Have a great Friday, wherever you are in the world!! Thanks for visiting! (Oh, and, wow! thanks for all those visits to the In the Shadow of Narcissa site yesterday. I appreciate it. And I did get one inquiry about how to access the actual posts there — you have to click on the title. And the segments will be posting in reverse order.)

All righty! I love you guys. See ya!

“The Flintstones Theme Song”

Yabba-dabba-doo!

Flintstones, meet the Flintstones
They’re the modern Stone Age Family
From the town of Bedrock
They’re a page right out of history

Let’s ride with the family down the street
Through the courtesy of Fred’s two feet

When you’re with the Flintstones
Have a yabba-dabba-doo time
A dabba-doo time
We’ll have a gay old time

Flintstones, meet the Flintstones
They’re the modern Stone Age Family
From the town of Bedrock
They’re a page right out of history

Someday maybe Fred will win the fight
Then the cat will stay out for the night

When you’re with the Flintstones
Have a yabba-dabba-doo time
A dabba-doo time
We’ll have a gay old time

We’ll have a gay old time!
Yeah!

c – 1960 Hanna/ Curtin/ Barbera

Si!! Per due giorni non ho studiato italiano!!

Yes! That’s right!

This morning, I realized that I hadn’t studied my Italian lessons for the past 2 days. Which also means I missed my Sunday quiz!

Ack!! I’ve been so caught up in revisions of the play, as well as the profoundly intense heat wave, that everything else fell from my awareness.

I’m not gonna spend the rest of the summer giving you the weather report for around here, but I do want to at least say that it is an unbelievably beautiful day here, today. All the heat and thunderstorms are completely gone.  It is sunny and mild and supposed to stay that way all week. And by mild, I mean it’s going down into the high 50s Fahrenheit during the night! I feel transformed because of it.

I did not feel transformed yesterday, though.

I had a very challenging day with the revisions for Tell My Bones.

I was getting good work done. I liked what was coming, but it was painstakingly slow going. And I am still having trouble going back & forth between the new revisions for the overall play, and the staged reading version of the play , which is condensed and shorter, less music, etc.

And as I make the revisions to the overall play, I then have to go back to the staged reading version and make sure it gets updated. So the constant switching back & forth was extremely distracting.

After I was at it for 8 hours, the director of the play called to wish me a happy birthday and to confirm our lunch appointment for today — AND to say that he was reading the screenplay version of Tell My Bones and that it was incredibly wonderful and he told me all the reasons why he thought so and that he lamented that the play couldn’t capture a lot of that because they were two different media.

(The screenplay scored really well in several high-profile screenplay competitions the year I wrote it, and won Best Voice of Color at the Cleveland Independent Film Festival the following year.)

While we were talking, I was already so incredibly exhausted from laboring over the revisions of the play for 8 hours, that my “take away” from the phone call was that the play was nowhere near as good as the screenplay and so I had to start from scratch or something.

It blew my evening right out of the water, and not in a good way. I stayed at my desk for 3 more hours wondering, what am I supposed to do here? How do I turn this into the screenplay?

Loyal readers of this lofty blog no doubt recall that Sandra and I struggled with just that very thing for a couple of years before I came to the conclusion (with input from Peitor in Los Angeles) that I had to let go of the screenplay entirely, and approach the play from a whole new perspective. Because it wasn’t working for the stage.

Last night, though, I kept feeling that there must be a way to sort of layer aspects of the screenplay on top of the play…. and have a 90 minute full-cast dramatic screenplay magically become a 90 minute one-woman play with music.

I’m sure you can readily see that I was completely out of my mind.

Eventually I realized that I was starving and needed to eat dinner. So I finally closed the darn laptop and walked away.

This morning, though, I had an entirely fresh perspective on all of it. And I know something magical is going to transform or infuse the play with aspects of the screenplay. I don’t know yet what that is but I can feel it sort of hovering at the edges of my mind.

Even though this also means that at my meeting today, revisions to the script will not be finished. But it isn’t the end of the world. I still have  2 weeks before Sandra gets here to begin the initial rehearsals.

(Here’s something interesting that I just noticed: Whenever I need to type the word “being” it always comes out as “begin” and I have to fix it. But just there when I needed to type the word “begin” it came out as “being”! Clearly, I know how to type the word “being” so why can’t I just type it the right way when I need it??!!)

Anyway. Hey, thanks to new readers who are coming here through the post over at EdgeofHumanity.com yesterday. I appreciate it.

I thought it was kind of interesting that yesterday was my birthday and the first excerpt from my childhood memoir-in-progress, In the Shadow of Narcissa, went out on the EdgeofHumanity.com feed.  I don’t know why I wasn’t expecting that. I knew it was coming out this week, but I didn’t think it would be on Monday.

I have emotional issues with In the Shadow of Narcissa, only because it is very hard for me to write.  It’s hard for me to emotionally claim all the stuff I need to in order to write it. But I do feel 100% sure that I need to write it, so I’m not going to allow my emotions to get in the way of that.

Still, seeing something so personal to me arrive as another entity’s web update in my inbox, was startling. Partly, you know, I just want to remove myself from it. It’s the only way I can handle it, really.

I appreciate so much that they are wiling to publish it over at Edge of Humanity, though, because I think it’s helping me stick with the process of writing it.

Okay, gang. I’m gonna get started around here now because I have to have that lunch meeting in a couple of hours. I hope you have a terrific Tuesday, wherever you are in the world!! I leave you with the breakfast listening music from today! “Opium Tea” from B-Sides & Rarities. A song with an hypnotic, groovy little groove to it. Thanks for visiting! I love you guys! See ya.

“Opium Tea”

Here I sleep the morning through
‘Til the wail of the call to prayer awakes me
And there is nothing at all to do
But rise and follow the day wherever it takes me

[Chorus]
I stand at the window and I look at the sea
And I am what I am and what will be will be
I stand at the window and I look at the sea
And I make me a pot of opium tea

Down at the port I watch the boats come in
Oh, watching the boats come in can do something to you
And the kids gather around with an outstretched hand
And I toss them a dirham or two

[Chorus]
Well, I wonder if my children are thinking of me
Cause I am what I am and what will be will be
I wonder if my kids are thinking of me
And I smile and I sip my opium tea

At night the sea lashes the rust-red ramparts
In the shapes of hooded men who pass me
And the mad moaning wind laughs and laughs and laughs and laughs
At the strange lot that fate has cast me

[Chorus]
The cats on the rampart sing merrily
That he is what he is and what will be will be
The cats on the rampart sing merrily
And I sit and I drink my opium tea

I’m a prisoner here, I can never go home
There is nothing here to win or lose
There are no choices need to be made at all
Not even the choice of having to choose

[Chorus]
I’m a prisoner yes, but I’m also free
Cause am what I am and what will be will be
I’m a prisoner here but I’m also free
And I smile and I sip my opium tea

c – 1996 Conway Savage & Nick Cave

A Truly Splendid Day!

I was speaking more about yesterday but I’m guessing that today will be splendid, too!

Splendidly hot, for one thing.

It’s going to go up to 95 degrees Fahrenheit today (again).  But I’ll tell you, having this entire house re-insulated last fall was a really great idea. So far, the house (my bedroom, specifically) is staying a whole lot more tolerable than it did last summer. So I’m finding myself reasonably complaint-free. Even though it does get pretty hot in here.

For instance, you would not want to undertake any sort of amorous adventures in here at night unless you were either in love beyond human imagining, or just stupefyingly horny. Because it does get pretty darn hot in here. (But so far, nothing close to last summer.)

(I am reminded, however, of a lyric from one of my favorite Nick Cave songs of all time, “Oh My Lord”: Now I’m down on my hands and knees/ And it’s so fucking hot!/ Someone screams “What are you looking for?”/ I scream, “The plot, the plot!” — That lyric comes to me repeatedly, throughout my lifetime, and also quite a lot while living here.)

Anyway.

But yesterday — wow. Sandra and I worked for a couple hours on some stuff we needed to clarify in the script (The Guide to Being Fabulous, the one-woman musical about Sandra’s incredible life). I haven’t really focused on any aspect of that script since last October, when Sandra and I finally finished our notes for the ending of the play (after about 5 years of re-writing the ending.)

In fact, here we are in a tavern in Rhinebeck NY, the moment we finished the notes. I posted the photo to our Instagram pages back in October. (We were just about to unleash another one of our laughing jags, where we would laugh uncontrollably for several minutes, until we were crying, and we’d inadvertently annoy anyone who was anywhere near us in the tiny but mightily wealthy village of Rhinebeck, NY.)

Sandra Caldwell, Rhinebeck, NY, October 2018

Anyway! Focusing again on that play just made both of us see it with fresh eyes again, and, gang, it is a really great play.  It’s upbeat, funny, deep, and awesome. And Sandra is a knock-out singer. Plus, she wrote all the songs herself and they are really, really killer. Very “Broadway” good, even though the play is premiering in Toronto, Canada.

It was so exciting for both of us yesterday, to see just how far we’ve come with this play. Sandra has had an incredible life.  I wish I could tell you about it because it would blow your mind. But you should come see the play…

And on the heels of that…. An important meeting in Toronto is looming large and it became horrifically apparent that I have waited too long to get the process of renewing my passport underway and so now I have to pay those ridiculously high fees to get the whole thing expedited. And I need to get it started, like, today, but I need to get the passport photo taken and, as is so very often the case with me, I need to wash my hair.

I am always in a perpetual state of needing to wash my hair.

I made the mistake last summer of renewing my driver’s license without washing my hair and now I have the most horrendous driver’s license photo known to man and I’m stuck with it for something like 4 years. (I’m toying with the idea of telling them I lost my license and need a new one. It’s really that bad. The photo looks like it’s my first day out of prison or something, plus I look about 75 years old.)

Anyway. My advice to you, gentle readers, is: Always wash your hair. And always renew your passport about 2 months before it expires.

That said, though.  Who has time to wash her hair? I need to focus on the revisions for Tell My Bones. And the pressure surrounding that play gets more and more intense every day, gang. People — even total strangers — have such high expectations for that play. So I need to get back to that again right now, before it gets too hot around here.

Have a fantastic Friday, wherever you are in the world, gang!! I’m gonna leave you with this, even though it’s not what I was listening to this morning. I was listening to nothing this morning, in fact. I was a bit brain dead this morning. I ate my breakfast and drank my coffee while staring blankly at the furry swirl of cats in the middle of the kitchen floor, scarfing down stinky fish gunk from cute little cat- shaped ceramic bowls.

And I also noticed, in my brain-dead stupor, that the kitchen table is a fucking mess. My CD player is one of those things that looks like a jukebox from a diner in the 1950s. It’s 2-feet tall. That, and the speakers for the iPad, takes up one end of the table. A ton of CDs are scattered everywhere. 3 issues of MOJO Magazine have landed on the table, unattended. Ditto, several issues of The Hollywood Reporter. Some early birthday cards that have arrived in the mail are propped up in the mess. And the companion hardcover coffee table book to Peter Bogdanovich’s 4-hour documentary on Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, Running Down a Dream,  takes up one whole corner of the table and Weenie, my last remaining male cat, has now ravenously chewed on one of the (until recently, pristine) book’s corners, proving that you shouldn’t leave a bunch of stuff all over your kitchen table unattended to for months.

I’m guessing, though, that I’ll probably do something unthinkable like wash my hair before I manage to clear off that table…

All right! So I’m leaving you with the aforementioned “Oh My Lord.” Thanks for visiting, gang!! 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 Lord

They 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