Well, Your Man Won’t Dance


But I will.

Oh.

My.

God.

Total nerdgasm.

I was meeting my person at Church Street Cafe this evening after work, grabbing a tea, just about to turn off my phone and I see a little notice on my Instagram feed.

Mike Doughty just liked your photo.

Followed by.

Mike Doughty is now following you.

What?!

Fuck me.

Wet panties.

Wet.

I am a dork.

I admit it.

I saw that man up front and personal when I was a wee lass, at the Eagles Ballroom in Milwaukee when Soul Coughing was on tour for Ruby Vroom.

I saw him solo at Cafe Montmartre in Madison and I talked to him, briefly about maybe booking a gig at the Angelic Brewing Company.

I remember one of my friends, a co-worker, was so in love with him and screamed out his name and belted out his lyrics, then in a hushed moment declared her unending love and the fact that she was high on mushrooms.

He heckled her so hard she left out of pure mortification.

I saw him back a couple of years ago at The Fillmore when he was playing the Ruby Vroom album pretty much solo and I just finished reading his memoir and like a dork, really thought hard about bringing it with and asking for an autograph.

I didn’t.

But.

I did get my own form of mortification.

I was right up front with my man Stark Raving Brad and our mutual friend Dirty was somewhere out there too with another friend, and I was bobbing along to a solo acoustic rendition of Janine when Doughty changed up the lyrics and said “Edna St. Vincent Millay” instead of the  radio announcer’s name and I whooped out acknowledgement.

He startled, obviously surprised that anyone got the reference.

Secret.

Shhh.

I won a gold medal at an 8th grade forensics meet in Wisconsin when I was at DeForest Middle school reciting a poem by Edna St. Vincent Millay.

She’s my kind of woman.

And Mike.

Well.

Gah.

He gave me a nod and a smile.

I wanted to sink below the floor.

Or give him a blow job.

Heh.

He got me through the sads in Paris I must have listened to Yes, And Also Yes until I knew every single song back and forth.

It was a part of my soundtrack.

It still is.

I have it on the stereo right now.

Just a little hero worship.

Or.

Maybe some day we’ll meet.

Love, love made them beautiful at last.

She doesn’t fall in love, she takes hostages.

Let me take you hostage, baby.

Your new song can be 27 Carmens.

Instead of 27 Jennifers.

Bwahahaha.

Oh.

Gack.

I think the closest I have ever gotten to being a douche, but I reframed was when I saw Pete Yorn in the hotel bar at the W down on Mission and 3rd.

I bought him a drink and sent it over to his table.

He had some tiny, skinny, glam doll draped over him and they were both slunk so low down in the chair you could barely tell it was him.

But it was.

I asked the waitress and she nodded.

“Send his next drink from me, but you don’t have to tell him, just a fan,” I said.

Then.

“I mean, I owe the man a few drinks when I think about all the sex I had to Music For The Morning After.”

Then I got good and wasted myself.

Not so much anymore.

The days were darker then.

Not so now.

“You’re on your watch tonight, aren’t you,” he said to me from the deep brown leather chair in the front window of the Church Street Cafe.

I am.

One hour and thirty minutes.

Unless I get some crazy hair up my ass and run over to the 7-11.

I’ll buy a bunch of PowerBall tickets, a bottle or fifteen and then go throw myself in the ocean because my life will effectively be over.

Nah.

I think I’ll stay in.

And do what I did last year.

Drink a cup of tea and say some prayers of grace and thanks and let the clock roll over to midnight and then get on my knees and cry a little out of gratitude.

You know.

No biggie.

Just eleven years of being happy, joyous, and free.

And.

Sometimes depressed, wrecked, ravished, ravaged, and lost.

But never fucked up like I used to be.

No.

Never.

Sometimes so overwhelmed with sorrow that I think I will break.

“Does it bother you that I talk so flippantly about him,” my person paused, looking at me with piercing eyes, gentle, but probing.

“No, it’s ok,” I said.

And it is.

I think he would be proud of me.

“You aren’t going to relapse,” he said, “please, that’s just not in your stars.”

Not so far.

Your love is ghost.

But I still remember the kiss you gave me on that night sitting in the front row at Our Lady of SafeWay on a Friday evening.

You wrapped your arm around my shoulder and pulled me close and kissed my forehead.

I won’t ever forget that kiss.

Or.

The glow of you that last night I saw you alive.

I will always remember.

My dark star.

My heart.

I know how proud you would be of me.

I know how proud you are of me.

I hope you and Bowie are out on the dance floor together.

Toasting our souls with ginger ale.

I heard you whisper, “be the ball, Martines,” to me the other day when I was re-arranging the postcards hanging from my mobile.

I was putting up one I had forgotten I had sent myself from Paris.

On Christmas day from the Pompidou, I ransacked the gift shop and bought a cloth sack, a notebook, two magnets–one of the Pompidou and one of a Mark Rothko I really liked–and postcards.

I had written myself a note, one of congratulations for having made it through a blue period, I think Christmas Eve was the only night I thought I might die of heart ache and sorrow, but I knew, from having walked through it before that I would again.

And.

I did.

And it was Christmas and I was high on art in the Pompidou.

I bought a blue on blue on blue postcard of dense indigo; a smash of rich monochrome, super saturated, intense color.

I got that postcard in the mail, read it, and spun the mobile, looking for a place to clip it.

And there it was.

My post card from Hallowell, Maine.

The one I sent myself the Christmas I went to Maine to stay with your family, their first Christmas without you.

I heard your voice, “be the ball, Martines.”

Yes.

I think I will.

Year eleven.

I hereby declare is the year of being the ball.

The belle of the ball.

The apple of your eye.

The ball to be watched.

The ball to be chased.

Because.

I’m done doing the pursuing.

I am enough.

He knew.

He knew so many years before I did.

Mike Doughty knows.

He liked my street art photos from the Marais.

He’s following me.

Who knows who else will.

This is my miracle year.

I just fucking know it.

Like the clarion ring of a soft finger stroking the string on the neck of a guitar.

It resounds within.

Clear as a bell.

These.

Natural harmonics.

This singing of the spheres.

The lightness in my heart.

This divine glow of love all around me.

All.

Around.

Me.

This.

Love.

 

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