Posts Tagged ‘Soul Coughing’

Friday’s Class

September 2, 2016

Fuck Friday’s class.

Fuck reading for Friday’s class.

Fuck caring where Friday’s class is on campus.

Fuck Friday.

heh

Oh.

Fuck me.

Friday is tomorrow, is like in less than an hour and I’m wide awake.

Because.

I slept eleven hours last night.

ELEVEN.

Holy cats man.

I can’t remember the last time I slept eleven hours, without being intoxicated into doing so by way of a super bad hang over.

I mean.

Really.

The grey foggy morning helped.

The ringer turned off on my phone definitely helped.

The lack of sleep from being at Burning Man, the absolute clincher.

I have no recollection of what I blogged about last night, in fact, amazed that I blogged at all.

I woke up pretty groggy and pretty much ready to go back to bed after relieving the bladder.

I glanced with little care at my phone to see what time it was.

11:15 a.m.

Oh shit.

Getting up.

Getting up now.

Not that I couldn’t have slept longer, but it’s not the best idea for me to ruin my sleep pattern by staying in bed that late, I would have shot myself if I had slept past noon.

Again.

Not because I had anything pressing to do today.

Except get to the Mike Doughty Living Room Show that I just got back from attending.

So good.

I laughed a lot, clapped a lot, sang under my breath to the songs a lot, he was recording the show and since it was so small it felt utterly inappropriate to sing along to the music, even though I found myself mouthing along silently to many of the songs.

I also found myself in tears twice.

First, when he did an acoustic version of Sweet Dreams of Wichita.

Oh God.

That song, it still slays me.

I can still be transported right back to the house on Franklin Street where I lived with an ex-boyfriend and two other guys, two cats and a small hydroponic pot farm growing in the hall closet.  I can feel the wood floor underneath my feet, the summer night warmth on my body, and suddenly being transported by the music to another place, swaying in front of the double tape cassette of the boom box on the table in the living room.

I remember that was the year I got turned on to Jeff Buckley and to Soul Coughing, both of whom I got to see in concert.

Funny that.

Doughty talked about Jeff helping him move into a place in New York and eating a bucket of KFC in a U-haul at the show in regards to a question that was asked from the audience.

He, Mike, had a clear plastic jar that you could scribble down a question on a post it note and he would answer.

I asked what was a favorite line of poetry.

He recited the first bit of Xanadu by Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

Fucking swoon.

It was a great show.

I was able to chat with him afterward, we have some mutual friends, and I was shy as a kitten and perhaps, well, perhaps social anxiety is the best for me.

Even should I have wanted to have said what I wished I could have said, I really couldn’t have said more.

He did sign a birthday card for my friend who was at the show and, a friend who might be a bigger fan than I.

Might.

It felt good though.

So good.

All the things, the way the Universe connects, these places and parts of me, these heart shaped words pressing agains the back of my throat with a longing wild and slow burning to be seen.

And I was.

I feel that.

And I didn’t need an autograph for me, but one of my friends did buy me a poster as a thank you for getting the tickets to the show, so I got the signature.

It may be the only autographed thing I have.

It is enough to have the music autographed on my soul.

Stitched into the memories and the placing of who I am in this world.

Time stamped on my heart.

True Dreams of Wichita is not about Kansas for me.

It is about Iowa and it is also about running away from home when I was young and stupid and naive, God damn, so naive, but gratefully so, had I not been, I would not have had all those adventures.

And mis-adventures.

So many experiences and stories.

The soundtrack came with the music after.

I had never heard the sound track to my story until then.

There are memoirs I have written, years ago now, and they have these sound tracks.

The music that was there for me to lean into and the music that was on the stereo, the cd player, the record machine, the tape cassettes, the sound track to my young, raw life.

It is a good one.

And I realized.

Yes.

I will re-write some of the memoir, I will tighten it up, and I will also screen play it.

And some day, far, far, far away, but someday, because I can, because I will, because I manifest, I will have Doughty’s music be the soundtrack to the film.

Even if it’s small and indie, because the material is not mainstream.

But.

It will happen.

I had hoped, fantasized, come on, let’s be real, to kiss him, to linger at his knee, to look into his musician’s eyes and make woo woo faces.

Of course.

Real life being, well, real.

That did not happen.

But I saw an artist.

I was inspired.

I was moved.

And I got a hug.

“We meet at last,” he said with a smile.

I am seen.

I am recognized.

That, well, in my tiny, wee little way, was very special.

Thanks Mike.

Thank you for the music, for the memories, for the joy of seeing how far I have come from being that scared nineteen year old girl on the run from all the horrors of life, horrors I was so used to that I didn’t even know they were terrifying.

I got through, in no small part, by listening to you.

So.

To get to say thank you to an artist who has meant so much in my life felt very special, unique, privileged and it was just a plain honor to bear witness to the artistry of the man.

Especially with my friends.

Life is so good.

School starts tomorrow.

And though I will be sleepy.

I will be there.

Happy and replete with the soundtrack of wistful longing embossed upon my dreams.

Thanks again, Mike Doughty.

It was awesome.

Seriously.

 

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Scheduling

July 7, 2016

Jesus.

I looked over the next few weeks on the work calendar and just about threw up.

First day of school?

What?

No.

NOOOOOOO.

I’m still on summer break.

And yet.

There it was the first weekend of school on the books.

The mom was working on the boys school schedule, which reminded me, need to ask off for September 1st, must to go see Mike Doughty with my peoples.

I don’t have to have the whole day off, but I do need to be done with work by 6p.m.

“Mike Doughty, from Soul Coughing?!” The dad asked.

“Yup, he’s doing a Living Room tour and for one day will be in San Francisco and I managed to get tickets from myself and some friends,” I replied.

“He’s great!” The dad said, “wow, you might even get to meet him and talk.”

Yeah.

I would like that.

Amongst other things, heh.

But.

In the request for the day to be an “early” day for me, when the boys are in school I don’t start until 1p.m. and the boys will be starting school that week, so it made me realize that I also needed to tell the parents that I will be in school that Friday too.

It’s happening fast.

The summer has been fun, but I’m not ready to think yet, quite, about school.

I had a moment of mild panic, really, mild when I look at it, that I wouldn’t have enough money in my savings to buy books before the financial aid disbursement happens.

Fact is.

I haven’t received my awards letter for the fall semester.

I have no clue what I am getting in the way of aid.

I got what I needed last year, but I also made less money that year.

I made more money, almost double, at least on the books, for the this past year and I am hoping, hoping, hoping, that I will get the financial aid I need to pay for the next year of school.

I still have a scholarship disbursement, but I will have to cover the other $20,0o0 for the year after the scholarship is applied.

The cost of the program is about $30,000 per year.

And, um, yeah, I live in San Francisco, like you know, the most expensive fucking place to live in the U.S.

Then.

I snuffed the thought.

Fuck that.

I will be taken care of.

If I don’t get the financial aid the money will come from somewhere else.

I didn’t get straight A’s for my first year of graduate school to be dropped on my second year ass.

I worked hard.

Hella hard.

Now.

I want to be able to play the rest of the summer and not be concerned about finances and school and books and stuff.

It will all come when it’s supposed to.

“Do you have any more travel plans for the summer,” my friend asked me last night after I told him about my adventures in New Orleans.

I don’t know.

There is still a very tender part of me that wants so to go to Burning Man, that I can’t quite picture not going, but I have no idea what that would look like anyhow.

Where would I get a ticket, who would I camp with, how would I get there?

I would go.

I want to go.

I could go early.

It’s so obscured right now in my head, I can’t see it and it might be the first time I haven’t, hmm, you know, that’s not true, I didn’t know how I was going to go when I was in Paris, and yet I went, I can’t always see how it plays out, but somehow or other I have always ended up on playa.

One of my ladies that I work with doing the deal got a ticket and got off from work.

The glee and excitement in her voice, she’s a virgin burner, when she left me the message on the phone was almost unbearable to hear.

I do believe, though, that I am not going to be heart broken with whatever happens that week.

I’ll be ok, the plans, God’s plans, are always better than mine.

I can’t manipulate Burning Man into happening.

If it were to happen, it’s got to be simple and clean and easy, the best things are the simplest.

If it were complicated it wouldn’t work, it never does.

If it’s meant to be, I can’t fuck it up.

If it’s not, I can’t manipulate it into happening.

Just like I realized today when I wanted to bring up that first weekend of school, not just from the standpoint of hey, employers, I’m going to be in class Friday the 2nd of September, but oh yeah, um, remember when you said we would revisit my employment for the fall when the boys are in their next year of school.

What about that?

But I didn’t.

I realized that I don’t need to.

I am being taken care of.

“You write down everything you do for them and present them with it when your contract is up and point out the things that you do that are part of your contract and also what you do that is not on the contract, and let them see it, you don’t even need to ask for a raise, or mention money, you just present your list to them,” a friend told me the other day when we were talking about self-employment and what that looks like moving forward with contracts and negotiations.

September will also mark 2 years for me with the family.

Not that I will be gunning for a raise, but that I want to know if they will be needing me for the next school year.

I can’t see that they won’t, I do so much for them as a whole, not just the boys, but the whole family, the household in its entirety.

But I know that if they don’t want me moving forward.

Well.

Someone else will.

I’m taken care of.

I always have been.

I always will.

As long as I keep in fit spiritual condition.

I’ll be just fine.

More than fine.

Better than fine.

Happy.

Fucking joyous.

And.

Free.

Free.

Free.

One of Those Weeks

June 24, 2016

And I just don’t care.

Things spill.

Pink hair dye in my purse.

Blueberries in my basket tonight, all over my liner bag on the back of my scooter, splashed blueberry juice all over my pink riding jacket.

Ugh.

Who cares?

I don’t.

I don’t give a fig.

I’m having a great fucking day.

Heh.

I just scored four tickets to Mike Doughty’s September 1st Living Room Tour here in San Francisco.

One night.

Someone’s living room.

27 people?

30 people?

Intimate like.

I messaged my three people who are Doughty fans and said, “save the date bitches.”

I don’t even give a fig that it’s the day before my first day of classes.

Fuck it.

I’ll be a little tired.

But I will be happy.

Oh so very happy.

Live music, getting to hear someone who I really like and respect, musically and from my own private personal view, we have a few things in common, a few friends, it feels special.

I’m really grateful and I didn’t blink at dropping the money on the tickets.

I love my people and I am super psyched to get to share the experience with them.

Now.

Not one of the bastards has responded to the wildly ecstatic message I just sent them, but I ain’t worried.

If, for some reason, any or all of them can’t go.

I am sure I will find three other Mike Doughty fans that would love to go.

I can actually think of a few that I should probably message and say, hey, there was 27 tickets available when I bought my four, which means 23 are left, and um, in San Francisco, that’s not going to last long.

I just had this pricking in my thumbs.

My blueberry stained thumbs.

To go check the website and see if the tickets were up.

And voila!

They were.

I whipped out the wallet.

Didn’t think twice.

The only thought I had was keeping it to myself until tomorrow when I see my ladybug at the cafe to do the deal, but I didn’t think I could keep it under my hat for that long.

I am not the best at keeping a surprise.

I mean.

I can.

I suppose I could have written this blog about how despite prepping for the poetry podcast yesterday and feeling really excited about it, that the recording was cancelled.

I suppose.

I mean.

That was what I was going to write about.

Also that I didn’t find myself all that wrapped up in that either.

I was like.

Cool.

God’s got better plans for my time that day.

Yoga.

Doing the deal.

Sex.

Heh.

Who knows.

All three.

Although not all three at the same time.

Ok.

Anyway.

That signals to me that I am in a good place in my life in general, that when something unexpected happens, getting this cancellation, I can look at it and say, well, something else is supposed to happen and here’s to knowing that what ever that thing is, it’s the thing that is supposed to happen.

Just like getting blueberry juice on everything, I mean, shit everywhere, I didn’t really get upset, just pulled the stuff that needed cleaning and tossed it into the wash.

Came inside my little studio.

Hopped on line.

And, ayup, bought tickets to see a small, intimate little show of one of my favorite artists.

Luckiest girl in the world.

And.

Tomorrow’s Friday.

Yes.

Plus.

I’m listening to the Cars greatest hits and that puts me in a good mood too.

I mean.

That synthesizer.

So good.

You’d think that I would want to listen to Mike Doughty’s Stellar Motel, but this is what called and when I feel a call, I got to go with it.

“What is this,” my lover asked (which one, wouldn’t you like to know).

“Wooden Heart, Listener,” I replied.

I love the album, but have found that nope, not everybody does.

In fact, the disdain for which someone says something about the music I’m wanting to listen to can be off putting.

“What is this shit?” An ex-boyfriend, “can you change this?”

I might.

But I might have to dump you first.

I was listening to a jazz mix which had some old Soul Coughing songs from Ruby Vroom on it.

You know that band Mike Doughty was the lead singer for, the band my long time boyfriend took me to see at the Eagle’s Ballroom, the album that gave me goosebumps when I first heard it and I resonated so hard to it that I still can tell you all the sense memories that I get stirred up even writing about it.

Yeah.

That relationship didn’t last long.

“Do you like this,” I asked my lover, the asker of the Wooden Heart album, “do you want to listen to something else?”

“Anything but this,” he replied.

Fucker.

So I put on Thomas Dolby’s The Golden Age of Wireless.

Take that.

Ah music.

How I love thee.

I remember when I first came out to San Francisco and was reading through an SF Weekly and all the music shows that were listed and I was just like a little gluttonous piggie in heaven.

I probably do not take advantage as much as I thought I would.

But.

I still love a live show and I was telling a date last weekend about a pen ultimate San Francisco night I had with a friend many years back where we went to see Tron at the Castro Theater, then hopped on his scooter and burned rubber to get to the Fillmore and we rocked out like maniacs to Gary Numan.

So close I could see how angry the lead guitarist was, and jaded.

So close I could see the black eyeliner on Numan blurring underneath his eyes.

Magic.

Goldfrapp that same year on her tour for Supernature.

God damn that was a good show.

I really must be on a synthesizer kick, now that I am thinking of it.

Heh.

And I still haven’t heard back from any of my friends.

Oh.

Ha!

I just remembered one of them is out of town camping, well, hopefully he’ll be happy when he returns from being off the grid to the knowledge of another good show that we get to go to.

As for me.

Whelp.

I got the weekend relatively free.

What’s happening my people?

Let’s.

Shake it up.

Shake it up/make a scene.

That’s right, I said
Dance all night
Go go go
Dance all night
Get real low
Go all night
Get real hot
Well, shake it up now, all you’ve got.
Shall we?

Pulled That Trigger

June 11, 2016

Holy shit.

I can’t believe I did it.

Especially when I looked at the cost of flying there.

Fuck.

But.

Fuck it.

I want to go and I decided.

And I registered.

Yes.

I am going to be out of town Fourth of July weekend again.

Last year I was in Atlanta.

This year.

NEW ORLEANS!

Woot! Woot!

Heh.

I am a little excited.

I found out the family I am working for will be at Carmel Valley Ranch down the coast for the holiday weekend and I’ll have that Friday-Monday off from work.

Then, tonight, I heard an announcement about he “Road to Detroit.”

What?

My ears perked right up.

I plan on being in Detroit for the big one in 2020.

Yeah.

I like to make the plans.

But Atlanta was so amazing, I committed then and there to go to the next one.

Well.

Wouldn’t you know?

They’ve decided to build some enthusiasm for the big one in 2020 by doing smaller regional events and the first one, this year, is in New Orleans.

My whole body broke out in goosebumps.

I have been thinking non-stop, every day since Saturday, about going to New Orleans.

In fact.

I started writing it down in my morning pages, I am a world traveler, I am going to New Orleans for Jazz Fest.

But.

l have to say, when I listened to my heart, my gut, my interior, Jazz Fest seemed just too far off, so the other day I just started writing I am going to New Orleans.

Then.

Tonight.

The announcement, the see me after for more information.

I registered.

Fuck, it was only $10 to register!

The Atlanta convention was $100.

Granted, money well fucking spent, but still.

Anyway.

I talked to the dude and forked over my ten bucks and did a happy dance and rode my scooter home with a wild silly grin slapped on my face.

Until I started looking at tickets to fly there.

Holy shit.

That’s a lot.

Then again.

It’s going to be a lot no matter where I go.

I had reached out to my friend in Wisconsin and not gotten back from her and the tickets to Minneapolis/St. Paul were about the same as New Orleans.

And well.

Fuck.

I owe myself an amends to go back to New Orleans and do it right.

I have only been one other time.

I was only there a night.

I was busy running away from home with my not so secret crush, as it would later turn out, at the age of 19, having just dropped out of college, blew that full ride good.

Seriously.

Fucked myself out of a full ride to university.

I just had to get the fuck out of Dodge, or Madison as the case may be.

It was a huge geographic.

I had no idea where I was going to end up.

Homestead Florida.

Never heard of it?

Don’t worry, you don’t want to know.

Along the way there, so many adventures.

My we were so young.

He was 17 and I had just turned 19.

We had very little money.

He had a Datsun 280 Z.

It was maroon.

It had bucket seats and a tape deck.

We listened to Jethro Tull and Steve Miller and The Eagles and anything Southern rock we could.

We smoke a lot of cigarettes.

A lot.

We camped out.

But in New Orleans.

We stayed in a cheap motel on the very edges of town and decided the next day to stop and go through the down town area.

We were so young and naive and broke.

We parked in a parking garage and I remember my friend climbing out of the car, my soon to be lover but never truly boyfriend, I got scooped by the older guy in Florida who you know did some minor hot point hits for the Mafia and was 28 to my 19 and introduced me to smoking crack cocaine and I was his old lady, but I digress, and his curly, unruly hair barely held down under the sailor’s hat he had bought at Sacred Feather on State Street in Madison–a Greek sailor captain’s hat in dark navy blue.

I remember the first time I heard “True Dreams of Wichita” off Soul Coughing’s album Ruby Vroom, I felt like my heart was going to blow out of itself.

Push out dead air from a parking garage
Where you stand with the keys and your cool hat of silence
Where you grip her love like a driver’s liscense

That.

That was what it was like.

Standing in the humid murk of New Orleans and we were running away and it was scary and romantic and full of bravado and more than a modicum of stupidity.

Young and dumb and so on fire for life.

And too stupid to admit how afraid I was.

So fucking scared.

It only got worse, but that day, wandering around New Orleans, the boys in the Quarter tap dancing with Coca Cola bottle caps on the soles of their shoes, no diamonds here, and my heart trilled in my chest when we walked down a windy little street and I saw a peek inside a courtyard.

The trellis heavy with flowers and the wrought iron gate, the quiet splash of water in a standing fountain and I felt something batter in my chest, a bird with a broken wing.

I want to live here.

I want to come here again.

I want to sip bowls of coffee with my bare feet on the patio cement.

I want creole food and The Meters and Clifton Chenier and Gumbo yaya and voodoo and heat and humidity, I want the hair lifted off the back of my neck and spit curls at the nape damp with heat and sweat and love and the miraculous.

I had no idea what I wanted.

But.

Oh.

I did so want.

We spent no money.

Except.

At at tobacco shop.

I bought one pack of fancy Nat Sherman silk cuts.

And he bought one really nice, for a couple of naive kids from the North, cigar.

We got lost on the way back to the motel.

Remember folks, I’m a bad navigator.

And we had the car literally, and I am not joking, shook down for the change in the console at a 7-11 we stopped at for directions.

It scared both of us.

But we got out and that was it.

My only visit to New Orleans.

I dare say.

This time will be a little different.

Though I hope for bowls of chicory coffee and jambalaya, shrimp creole, and dirty rice, Zydeco music, much doing the deal, and summer dresses and sandals to dance in.

I’m about over the foggy gloomy summer.

I’m going to New Orleans!

Happy.

Joyous.

Motherfucking.

Free.

Bitches.

 

Impromptu Dance Party

May 14, 2016

My date cancelled.

And then.

I got my period.

It’s a Friday night.

And.

I’m at home.

AND I DON’T GIVE ONE FINE FUCK!

I finished my Clinical Relationship paper.

It’s done!

Done!

Done!

Oh sweet Jesus, the relief.

Excuse me, I just had another impromptu dance party in my chair.

Happy, happy.

Joy, joy.

11 full pages.

APA format.

References, title page, all the things.

Proper like.

3,744 words.

Thank you.

Thank you very fucking much.

Lucky one.

I am two.

Lucky three, the one for me.

One, two, three I’m on my knees.

Oh my god.

I’m in tears.

This music.

I get high.

I was listening to Masters of Reality, Sunrise on the Surfer Bus, twenty years ago.

Twenty.

In that house on Franklin Street in Madison, my roommates were my boyfriend Justin–he and I shared the big back room–we had a couple of Bengal leopard cats and a tabby (Mia, Tiger, and Porkchop)–and a king size water bed (giggle), Matt, Justin’s best friend, and Naboja–the heroin junkie from Serbia.

God we were wild.

Pot growing in the closets, cats running ruckus throughout the house, Matt’s girlfriend and I were arch nemesis (why?  I have no idea, but something to do with drinking the last of my milk and leaving the empty container in the fridge), Justin playing chess and smoking bongs, Naboja running in and out of the house with nefarious friends and black tar (God I was naive).

Justin cheated on me twice in that house.

And I stayed for five years.

(five years of no writing, no poetry, no words, no journal entries, note to self you die when you aren’t writing)

Oof.

The things I put myself through not knowing there was a way out.

However.

It was not all bad, there was sweetness and light and just as I introduced him to classical music and Blues and jazz (he became a total jazz junkie) he introduced me to Soul Coughing and Jeff Buckley, we saw them both in concert together–Buckley touring for Grace at the Barrymore and Soul Coughing on tour for Ruby Vroom at the Eagles Ballroom.

He made me listen to Sleater Kinney–saw them too, at the Union South of all places on campus, tiny little space and they slayed it, fucking killed it dead on the floor revived the bitch, then killed it again.

We saw Annie DiFranco at the Civic Center.

I think Justin was the only man in the audience who was straight.

Although his hair was so long from behind he could have been a girl.

We saw Primus, fucking loved Les Claypool so hard; he turned me on to Sepultura, although I had to be in the mood, once in a while, well, I was.

We saw Beck, Morphine, Cake.

So much good music.

He found a stained glass artist at the Farmer’s Market one sunny Saturday morning, I had closed the Essen Haus the night before, a crazy German restaurant and brew hall I worked notoriously long hours for, and he’d bought a pair of earrings from her.

They were long, almost a tear drop shape, navy blue, with small striations of sky blue and robins egg blue and white at the tips.  I eventually found that artisan again and asked her to make me sets of those earrings.

I don’t have any of them anymore.

Maybe I should look her up again.

They were gorgeous in their simplicity and when I wore my hair up and the sun hit them.

Magic.

That was what there were to me that day.

Magic.

Sex and love and passion and music and youth and beauty.

God.

I was so beautiful

(and fat and ugly and ugly and fat and you better do something about that or you’re going to grow up and be alone forever)

I had no idea.

I woke up tangled in the sheets on the water bed, Porkchop meowing at me, rolled out of bed and took a shower, I smelled like beer and cigarettes and rinder rouladen gravy and weinerschnitzle and schnapps and dirty dirndl.

Justin was not there.

There was no note, it was late, afternoon already, past noon, past one, heading into the golden bright light bouncing off James Madison park and the lake and I supposed that Justin was out throwing a frisbee at the park with the guys.

I showered and enjoyed having the apartment to myself.

I put on my favorite A-line skirt and a leotard, navy blue, and dried my hair into its big mass of curls.

I went into our bedroom and turned on Masters of Reality and began dancing, barefoot, to When Jody Sings (how interesting! I just realized my professor’s name for the Clinical Relationship is “Jyoti” is it odd?  Is it God? Is it counter transference?  Read my paper and find out), the skirt a soft, small print, I mean tiny, it was such a tiny print you almost couldn’t tell it was a print, of navy, red, and green plaid (it had been a house dress of my mom’s that never quite fit me in the bodice, so I ripped off the top and reconstructed it as a skirt) flaring out around my calves.

I love a skirt that flares when I spin.

I danced in the sunlight streaming through the windows, singing the song and delighting in my own self.

Justin was standing in the door way.

Smitten.

The look on his face.

I won’t soon forget.

I can still see it twenty years ago like it was this morning.

“Did you find your gift?” He asked me, smiling, his head tilted, bright eyed (high, oh so high) and lit up.

I paused in my dance, flustered, but pleased that he’d seen me in a moment (a rare one at the time) when I felt truly myself, truly beautiful.

Oh do I ache for her.

(yes, I know, I’m emotional, I got my period, roll with it please)

He walked across the wood floor, that odd way he walked sometimes, high, on the balls of his feet like he was cantilevered forward always rushing off into the future where things were brighter, higher, more rare and real, and he took my hand and led me to the window.

“These,” he said pointing at the earrings.

I had not seen them.

Hanging from the window screen, blazing in the sunlight like the ocean at sunset tonight when I rode my scooter home, thank you God for letting me live in San Francisco and see the fire of the setting sun on the water, thank you, dancing alive and dappled with shade from the oak trees rustling in the breeze.

“Oh,” I said, softly startled, inordinately pleased.

“They are so beautiful,” I took them off the screen and put them in my ears.

“So are you,” he said and kissed me.

The afternoon melted into evening and I wore them that night to work, they matched my dirndl.

And oh.

How far this woman has come.

So very far, across the country, through valleys and peaks and the lowest lows.

My voice broke tonight.

Sitting in the front row, the low lights hiding my face, the sudden tears, but nothing could hide the break in my voice as I described how grateful I was to be there.

Sitting there in that chair there, still not done with my paper (had to do the references when I got home tonight), but almost, the writing was done all 3,744 words, and though I was tired, up at 7:30 a.m. to do the work before I went to work, I was so profoundly grateful.

Who knew I was going to be this woman?

When I scootered off after school on Saturday night I snuck through Minna Alley.

It’s a one way.

There were needles and shit and homeless people and tents and crates and a woman smoking crack out of a pipe, the scent sweet, rotten, rotting, aching with the need to fill that hole that just cannot get whole.

“I was that woman, twelve years ago, sitting on a piece of cardboard smoking from a crack pipe, and now, now, here I am riding my scooter, that I paid for in cash, brand new, riding home from the graduate school that I go to around the corner,” I paused, my heart broke open.

How lucky am I?

Luckiest girl in the fucking world.

And my paper’s done.

And my heart.

Well, once again, it is on my sleeve.

Exactly as it should be.

My love.

Exactly where it belongs.

Just there.

Love.

Just there.

 

 

Well, Your Man Won’t Dance

January 13, 2016

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.

 

Walk Away

March 26, 2015

Let him go.

Those were the words in my head when I saw my friend sitting outside the burrito joint on Judah and 44th smoking a cigarette.

He doesn’t see me.

Which doesn’t mean that he didn’t see me.

He did.

I saw him.

And we did the weird, uncomfortable, yet oddly enough, familiar dance of people who need to be in the same place at the same time who don’t have anything to say to each other.

Which says volumes.

It did not hurt as much as I thought it would.

I knew he’s been around and I know, know without a doubt, that he won’t have anything to do with me even if I did approach him.

Which I have been directed not to.

And if you know anything about me, have read even one of my blogs or seen me around the block, you know, that the one thing I do well is take a suggestion.

Leave him alone.

Walk away.

Let him go.

Surrender.

Again and again it comes down to surrender.

Gratitude as well.

I am grateful for the time I got to have my friend in my life, for the words and books, the conversations, the music, the poetry of our time together, the love, the in bed the out of bed, the growth and the loss.

And the grief and joy and weirdness that is life.

One day, I hope, I’ll run into him and the past will have passed and we will be able to smile at each other, have a hug, share a moment, maybe get a cup of coffee.

Or not.

It is not for me to decide.

I choose, respectfully, to move on and keep moving forward.

These dreams.

True dreams of Wichita.

….Where you stand with keys and your cool hat of silence, while you grip her love like a drivers liscence…

These dreams lead me forward.

I know, in my heart, of hearts, of hearts, that I am not alone and that my circles of friends and lovers and relationships and employers and family may change and melt and merge and coalesce in different ways.

I have loved so many people.

And so many of them are no longer in my life, my daily life, not because they have died, although a few have, but because life has happened and they moved on or I moved on.

Yet.

I get to still hold space for these people within me.

That is the fallacy of my thinking prior to having gone into recovery, that I would always have to hold so tight to anyone in my life, regardless of whether or not they were good for me to be holding tightly too.

I get to let go, softly, gently, even though I have not always done so gracefully or graciously, I get to let go even too, of that thought, that I have to move on in a certain way or manner.

I don’t have to do anything perfect.

The only thing I can do perfect is love all those in my heart and hold them, whether they know or not that they are held there.

In some ways I believe, a person is truly alone, there is no one who is ever going to know the exact depth and weight of my life or my soul or my heart, there are some that will get more inside my sphere and I will get to share with them to a greater degree than others, but on some levels, there is always this alone.

There is not, however, this loneliness.

I am not lonely.

Which is a lovely revelation to have.

I am never truly alone.

And it is not important that anyone other than myself know the inner workings of my heart.

It’s my heart.

I do hope that I can share some of it with you.

There is that.

That I can love you and that you will know it, even if we are not together.

Even when we used to be so close.

Where I does not exist, nor you, so close that your hand on my chest is my hand, so close that your eyes close as I fall asleep.

“Sit next to me Carmen,” he said in his sleepy cat voice, fresh-baked from his nap, small sweaty head imprint on his pillow. He rolled over in his ‘big boy’ bed and made room for me next to him and then tucked his Meow Meow under his arm.

“Sing me a song, Carmen,” he said, opening his raccoon fringed eyes, brown and soft and sweet, at me, before shuttering them down again, the weight of his eyelashes pulling his lids shut.

I sang him a song.

My sweet boy.

I have so many songs to sing, but they all sort of come out sounding the same and that, too, I believe, is as it should be.

I don’t know how to change you, so I change me.

Sometimes the lyrics to the song will be different from what I think and I will forget the refrain or chorus, or make a jumble of the words, but the feelings remain the same.

Instead of sorrow I feel joy.

And perhaps it is tinged by a touch of sorrow, but the sadness makes the joy that much more bright and palpable.

When I think of all the people I have met in my life and all the people I have shared a moment with, or a year, or more. When I think of all the people who’s hands I have held or the hugs given and received, whether they are to be given or received again matters not, I have been given the gift and to ask for more is greedy.

Though, I suspect, I will be given more, I think my purpose is still evolving and I know that I have more in me to let out.

More heart to wear on my sleeve.

More love to give.

More love to receive.

 

Time after time you’ll hear me say that I’m so lucky to be loving you.

All Systems Go

July 24, 2014

Well, it’s on.

I got the heads up from my friend as I was editing my blog last night; the room-mate said cool, and he gave me the green light.

I think the exact words were, “book it bitch.”

Ah.

Friends.

I booked it.

Flying out of SFO to JFK on Thursday, September 4th at 4:37 p.m. returning JFK to SFO on Sunday, the 7th at 8:10 a.m.

We already have my first day pretty mapped out.

We’ll get up Friday morning, late morning I am supposing since my flight arrives at JFK at 1 a.m., walk to Manhattan and grab coffee and breakfast and head to the High Line, then Central Park, then the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

And that will take up most of the day.

Interspersed with food, hanging out, smack talking, and lots and lots of walking.

He asked how my ankle is and I don’t want to say it sucks, it hurts, it’s stiff, how can it still hurt this much, I don’t care for the whining, but by the end of today I was so ready to take off my shoe and throw down with some iced peas, I was near to tears.

I was also taken aback at how swollen it is again.

Seriously?

Come on.

Ugh.

I’m resting, I am going slow, I am taking it easy, but I am still working and going up and down steps and pushing a double stroller and it just takes time, so six more weeks of healing and I should be able to handle the mean streets of Manhattan.

I just got goosebumps saying that.

I do not know why it has taken me this long to do it, I suppose fear, but I’m ready and it seems all ready for me.

I have a dear friend who is going out there and will be a mere twenty-minute walk from where I am staying in Brooklyn, what are the odds?

Plus, a darling friend who I have known for 9 1/2 years, who lives there, but I have not seen much of outside of social media channels and a quick text or three around the same time each January.

We sort of share a special month anniversary you could say.

First thing out of his “mouth” when I texted that I was coming was, “do you need a place to stay?”

I mean, I always knew he probably meant that when he offered it to me the last time I saw him in San Francisco, he was with a gallery show, he’s making it as an artist, a fact that used to arouse jealousy and now just induces awe, go man go, make art and get your money!

He had said, we have a spare room, you can stay, you don’t have to pay anything, I’ll even show you around.

But I was afraid and never took him up on the offer.

Fear.

Such a silly emotion.

Necessary, I know, but often, in my case, overblown.

I also had a mad, mad, mad crush on him for the first year or so that he and I ran around the same circles, perhaps some of that still was in the mix.

None the less, thrilled to hear that he too is not that far away from where I will be staying and he offered to accompany me into Union Square, of all places, Saturday afternoon for a little get right with God.

I love that where ever I go, I am taken care of.

We’ll grab coffee before hand and catch up.

That’s all the planning I have.

My friend whom I am staying with said figure out what you want to do now since I am just coming in for such a short visit.

Aside from going to Central Park, seeing the High Line, and going to the Met, I couldn’t think of a lot else, just being in the city will be it for me, to get overwhelmed by it, absorbed by it, to see it, touch it, be in it.

I have a hankering to walk over the Brooklyn Bridge and to see the Williamsburg bridge, get my Soul Coughing reference on, I want to see the skyline at night, I don’t have much desire to shop (I’ll do what I always do, I’ll get a magnet from the museum store and a postcard and send the postcard to myself and I will get myself a cheap pair of earrings.  I almost always lose them, but while I have them, they will remind me every time of the experience.  To this day when I put on my little pink heart-shaped earrings I am reminded of Paris, of the brocante, flea market, of Square D’Anvers, of the foot of Sacre Couer.) but I will grab a few souvenirs.

I will act like I don’t care that I look like a tourist and I will take photographs with my camera.  I am will travel light, no reason to pack a huge bag or even my roll on.

I am going to go with two changes of clothes, a pair of Saucony’s, I’ll be walking and my ankle is not ready for sandals yet, damn it, my laptop, my camera, my phone, and a notebook.

Perhaps that is one other thing that I will get myself in New York–a notebook.  I do like having a notebook from the place I was visiting.

I have little journals, cloth bound, from Rome, I have numerous, at least seven, journals from Paris–all Claire Fontaine–and of course plenty of them from San Francisco.

I may not write as much, but I will try to absorb as much as I can, I don’t think I’ll sleep much either.

And, fingers crossed, I will have most of the playa scrubbed off me before I get on the plane.

I will have a day turn around from leaving Black Rock City to leaving San Francisco to New York.

I don’t know what to expect, except that I get to see two dear friends, and visit somewhere I have never been and be fucking jazzed that once again I leapt.

“It’s not a geographic,” I told her over coffee, “it’s a leap of faith.”

Thank God I can still take them with a shoddy ankle.

Look out below, I leaped again.

Top 40

December 18, 2013

Reasons why my life is awesome.

In no particular order and to celebrate the last few hours left in my day before I turn 41 years old.

1. Getting sober.

My sobriety is the best thing in my life, without it I have absolutely nothing.  I got sober nearly nine years ago and though there have been some true challenging times, I have never looked back, never thought what I had is better than what I have.

My only wish, every birthday wish, every eyelash plucked off my cheek, every new moon rise I see over my left shoulder, every pinch of salt I toss, every time the clock strikes 11:11, every time I soar through a yellow light, the wish is the same.

Not please Santa/God/Universe bring me a boyfriend.

Please keep me sober today.

I could end the blog right there, but what fun would that be.

Besides I want to see what my top 40 are, I haven’t a clue!

2. Living in Paris

I leapt, I dreamed, I went after it.

It was terrifying and wonderful and surreal and I still don’t know what it all meant, but I did it and I am stupefied that I lived through it and am still getting to connect with people there.

3. Getting a bicycle.

“You really need to get a bike,” my friend Calvin said.

Yup.

He was totally correct.

And once I got a bike, I never went back.

It all started with a hybrid from Pedal Revolution that I got about seven years ago.  Then a boyfriend gave me a Pogliaghi one speed Italian Steel whip.  God that was glorious.  After I was hit by a car and the frame got bent I went to a friends bike for a while that was too big and shifted on the down tube, don’t even remember what kind of touring cycle it was.  Then the Felt 35, which I rode doing the…

4. AidsLifeCycle 2010

The training rides, the butt butter, the saddle sores, the sag car (which I only rode in once and not ever during the actual event–I rode every 569 miles of that bitch), the drag queens on Red Dress Day.  Meeting my friend Shannon and her, not then, but soon to be, husband Alex, the man who came up to me while I was dancing in my clipless SiDi shoes at a rest stop on day 6 and said, “I know you’re doing this for Shadrach, and we all love you for it.”

5. Shadrach

Whom I still remember like yesterday.  An unexpected friendship that keeps on giving, even six years after his death.

6. The Essen Haus.

God you were a bitch to work at, but man, did I make some amazing friends there–Shannon, Stephanie, Beth, and I have horrifying, funny, and tortuous stories to tell of the place.

7. The Angelic Brewing Company

Oh, man, six years of my life running that place, the list is too long to thank all the people who affect me and infected my heart, I still get love and messages from one of the bar backs and bouncers there on every birthday, she remembers and finds me and sends me an e-mail or text or phone call.

All the mischief and all the growth.

8. Getting my black belt in Shaolin Kemp Karate.

Hiya!

9. Growing up in Wisconsin.

Yeah, and aside from  a “healthy” love of fried cheese dipped in ranch sauce, I won’t ever forget the winters, the summers, the snow, the fall colors, the apple orchards, Devil’s Lake, Rock of Gibraltar berry picking, the Lake Wisconsin Ferry boat crossing with bags of popcorn from the roadside stands.

10. My family

Whom I love beyond words.

11. Travel

London, Paris, Rome, Reno, Boston, Washington DC, Chicago, Miami, LA, Vegas, Seattle, San Francisco, San Juan, Puerto Rico, Saint Germaine-en-Laye, Toulouse, France, and so many other places in between.

12. Being asked for my autograph after a performance of “In Our Own Words.”

13. Burning Man

Just go read the gazillion blogs I have written, you’ll get the picture.

14. Being a nanny

a. Reno

b. Juniper

c. Ellaven

d. Milo

e. Rylan

f. Jones

g. Alice

h. Eve

i. Colette

j. Storm

k. Max

l. Sonya

m. Kareena

All the bunnies, monkeys, and pumpkins I could possible squeeze, squish, and love on.

15. Bachelor of Arts, University of Wisconsin, Madison, 2002

16. Certificate of Achievement in Independent Studies for the University Book Store Award for manuscript of poems, Translucent, 2002.

17. Getting published in the Bastille Spoken Word Journal of Paris, Summer Issue 2013 for my short story “The Button Boy”.

18. Recording and performing with Sunshine Jones of Dubtribe–music and lyrics–While You Were Sleeping, on his album Belle Ame Electronique.

19. Blogging every day for the last four years, this post will be #1,086

20.  My photography blog http://www.whereintheworldisauntiebubba.wordpress.com and really embracing the camera, and all the 1,000s of photographs I have taken since I got it.

21. My friends

I am nowhere without you.

No fucking where.

22. Trying surfing, trampolining, yoga, and learning how to ride a fixed gear.

23. My fantastic, amazing, incredible Mission Bicycle, my brilliant Navy Blue, RAL 5011, with a topcoat of Rock Star Sparkle and a big Classic Purple B52 rear rim.

24. Working a year in a bike shop

25. Moving to San Francisco

26. My tattoos

27. Seeing music live–Jeff Buckley, Underworld, Soul Coughing, M. Doughty, Beck, Pete Yorn, Goldfrapp, and so many other amazing musicians and shows.

28. Getting pulled onstage at the Spear Head concert by Michael Franti and dancing with him to an entire song.

29. Doing spoken word in Paris, San Francisco, Berkeley, and Madison

30. Having a spoken word album–Milk–which I don’t know that but five people have listened to.

31. Writing morning pages, three pages, long hand, every day for the last five years.

32. Moving to San Francisco in 2002

33. Riding my bicycle to the top of Mt. Tam

34. Getting pulled into the dj booth New Years Eve 2003 to dance with Donald Glaude at 1015.

35. Quitting smoking.

Eight years now.  Holy shit.  Almost forgot about that one.

36. All the museums I have gotten to visit.

The Louvre, SF MOMA, the Palace of Fine Arts, The DeYoung, Musee D’Orsay, the Orangerie, the Dali Museum, The Rodin Museum, Musee Branly, Musee Monet Momarttan, the Legion, the Pompidou, Musee Carnvalet, the National Gallery in London, the Tate Modern, also in London.

37. All the astounding, amazing, incredible, and wonderful women I have gotten to work with over the last eight and a half years.

38. Going abstinent from sugar and flour.

Losing 100 lbs.

39. Writing the rough drafts to three books.

40. Being alive to see and touch and taste and dance and sing and love.

Oh love.

How I low thee, let me count the ways.

I love so god damn much.

My heart so full.

Happy to be here another day, getting to be here another day, living another day.

Graced with my amazing life.

Graced.

 

Music Is My Drug

November 7, 2013

And I got HIGHHHHHHHHHHH tonight.

Oh my.

Yes.

I had forgotten.

“It’s never too late to start your day over,” my darling friend said to me on the phone not even a few hours back.

I had just had a day.

Fuck my day.

Fuck starting it over.

I was starting it over from the minute my feet hit the floor.

Not the way I wanted to have my day.

No, you know I want sunbeams and moonbeams, at the same fucking time, don’t tell me it’s not possible, toss in some god damn unicorns, a couple of grandparents, early drop off time for the baby, nothing says disconcerting to getting to work not on time, but early (I like to wipe the sweat off my brow and drink some water and catch my fucking breath before I go and be all nannified and cheery and shit), and the baby is already there.

One baby is always already there, he lives there, but the other little boy I was doing the share with, came early.

I thought I was late and then looked at my watch, damn, I am early and I left the house thinking I was running behind.

The bicycle commute is getting faster and faster.

Although I don’t want to push it.

The morning traffic commute up Lincoln Avenue is no joke once you hit 20th.

I gently remind myself that at times, better to be a little late than a lot dead.

The baby was asleep, which is not an awful thing, but I usually have a routine and it was quickly being pushed aside.  The grandparents were doing what grandparents do, and they have every right too, but it does make it a challenge to juggle that in the mix as well.

Grandpa decided to take my charge out for a stroll and I was left with a few spare minutes to tidy, get ready, and yes, call those bastards at ACS Student Loan Services.

Customer Care Consultant my ass.

How about rude bitch in India.

I was nastily informed that even if I did dispute the charge, which my bank even said they would back, it wouldn’t matter because it would be thirty to forty-five days before it would be reverse.

And then, she haughtily informed me, “you would have another payment due, so why bother.”

UGH.

I hung up.

I cannot afford to lose my cool in front of my employers.

I don’t need the emotional repercussions to come back and bite me in the ass.

I need to stay cool for the babies and not be distracted.

I was distracted anyway and it colored the rest of my day dreary.

Oh, I tried.

I did.

I got out to the park, I had some reprieve there, the sun was gorgeous, the park was empty, school’s back in session, and it was dreamy to have a few moments to sit down while one little monkey kept busy with a shovel and pail and the other lay asleep on my chest in the carrier.

The sun was warm, the park was quiet, the babies content.

I could breathe and there was nothing wrong.

Sandbox

Sandbox

Blue Skies

Blue Skies

 

 

 

 

 

However, the brain has a way of creeping back in and mine was doing just that.

I made some phone calls, got some perspective, tried to stay upbeat, but I felt, on the verge all day.

Then I noticed a new drop camera in the living room.

Jesus people, you got three nanny cams now?

I startled to see it track my movement and just sighed.

Well, they got me on camera in tears.

What the fuck else is new.

I picked up the box in the kitchen and read a little on it and just about fainted when I saw the remote microphone and the, I don’t know tech speak, thing that does that spy like crap, and I just thought, great, and now I am fired.

Not because I am a bad nanny, no, just a tired nanny, frustrated with living fucking paycheck to paycheck.

I will have money coming in, just not today, just not from ACS, just not anything to cover the -$137.49 in my account.

Which feels like working a full fucking shift and not getting a thing.

But I was able, on the second phone call to ask that they at least apply it to this next months payment, so on one hand I got a pass this next month.

On the other, I aint’ got money to buy groceries.

Grateful that I made a big pot of soup this past Sunday and that the Fillmore gives out apples at the end of the show.

God.

The show.

THE SHOW!

Fan-fucking-tastic.

I know I am saying fuck a lot, by the way, I just don’t have a lot of juice left, should have been in bed already, need to get rest for the rest of the week, but can’t fathom not fucking writing about the show.

THE SHOW!

So good.

The Boots

The Boots

First off, yes, I was this close, I could have hopped up and touched him.

But I was already fan girl dorking out and trying to keep some composure, but dude, he just kept playing everything I needed to hear.

Sometimes an artist, without meaning to, I am sure, becomes a part of the sound track of your live and Mike Doughty has been such musician for me.

I am affected by the music, the show, the energy, the banter, the engaging with the audience, the outright musical genius of someone just getting all his ya yas out on stage.

I have no idea about what some of the instruments he was playing even were.

Nope.

But when he encored with Janine off the Ruby Vroom album and instead of saying “Al Roper says to me, dial, 1-900 J-A-N-I-N-E,’ as he falls asleep to the blue light of live at five, and Doughty put in Edna St. Vincent Millay, I whooped.

Then slapped my own hands over my mouth, nerd.

I am.

Millay was a poet that I revered in eighth grade and choose to perform a piece of hers in a forensics competition, I took home the Gold.

“Oh, I feel you, I do,” Doughty smiled at me appreciatively.

I could have died.

Oh, you, musical conduit of God, choose to beam love down on me for a moment.

Let me bask in your light.

God, music, love, sex, drugs, rapture, escape, losing myself in the bright lights, the blue and purple, the imperial violet of it all.

I danced.

I sang.

Oh.

Yeah, I shed a tear.

The music was important to me during a time of my life that was so in flux, sometimes still is, it became an anchor, a bookmark of those times, I can put that song there on and know exactly how I felt living in that upstairs apartment in Newton, Iowa.

It might be True Dreams of Wichita, but it evokes smoke-filled nights in bars, and corn fields rolling toward the horizon at sunset, and running away and love and loss and youth.

Oh, that patina of nostalgia, it wasn’t good, it was hard and ugly, but you put a sound track to that, Soul Coughing, and suddenly there is a glow of remembrance that is deeply moving.

So, too just to see how far I have gone since that 21-year-old girl listening to it the first time in the apartment on Gilman Street when I was first dating the man who turned me on to the album, that was a messy, ugly, awful, wonderful relationships, drugs, and sex and love and police, and late night beauty and ugly.

Sometimes the things that are the most beautiful are the ugliest too.

The music stamped me.

And I got to add another layer of experience over that melodic revery.

I got to be right up front with my good friend Stark Raving Brad and dance and laugh, and tell stories and hoot and holler.

Me and SRB

Me and SRB

It was so god damn cathartic.

My friend was right, it is never too late to restart your day.

I just did.

Mike Doughty

Mike Doughty

Mike Doughty

Mike Doughty, my hero

 

 

 

 


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