Saturday, October 31, 2015

Lonely

I think I've gone about as far as I can go sans human companionship. I'm not that interesting any more. Since childhood, given my extreme emotional -- and sometimes physical -- isolation, I've usually been able to find something to be intellectually/artistically interested in. And gotten genuine pleasure from that. (I wasn't the most popular girl in school, but I got lots of attention for winning academic awards, ranging from the school spelling bee in 6th grade through high school subject awards to a statewide editorial writing award as a senior.)

I fell in serious love for the first time my senior year of high school, though in '83 I honestly didn't know that this was love -- we were both girls, but all I knew about "gay" was the two lady coaches we students made light fun of and my male manager at Kmart, where I worked, whom we employees made light fun of.

When Ginny, my high-school love, abandoned me emotionally my very first year of college, I was lost for about 5 years after. All of my previous precocious high school academic accomplishments were forgotten. I went to dorm parties and went out to clubs a lot, got drunk a lot, did Ecstasy (still legal in '83-'84) a lot; tried pot and cocaine for the first time, did these sporadically (pot made me paranoid, loved cocaine). I had people, and one dorm-mate in particular, to party with, but I didn't feel close to them at all, except when we were out partying. Often, the one girl that I hung out with the most, when we'd go out, ended up with some guy that she'd go off to have sex with...many a time I was left stranded at a club or in an apartment talking to the guy's friend...It was depressing as hell.

After about 5 years, in early '88, finally met a true friend at the university library where I worked. She and her sister and boyfriend had all come to college the year before. We all started hanging out as a group at home, going to clubs as a group. "Clubbing" was different this time. It was fun. We would go see bands we liked. We'd talk up a storm the whole time. I felt close to them. This all "went wrong" when they left school to go home to their mom in Ft. Worth, who was dying of cancer. At the beginning of that summer, they came to visit me in Austin, I went to visit them in Ft. Worth... I fell in love with the twin of my friend. I moved to live with them that August. Their mom died at the end of September '88. Much trauma.

I moved back to Austin by myself in early '89. I met my first lover, a 36-year-old longtime denizen of the club scene, a former convict (bank robbery when she was 19).

My friends moved back to Austin that fall. We all were friends again; they were my "group" again, while I lived with my lover and then stopped living with her.

By 1994, my first lover and I had been broken up for 3 years, and the twins had married and moved away. I moved to San Francisco for a grad writing program. (My initial friend and I were still close; she flew out for a visit in SF.)

Once I returned from San Francisco is when I consider the true Wasteland to have started. 1995 to 2000 were truly Lost Years. I had no one at all in my life. Was clubbing 4 or 5 nights a week. Working at the same library where I'd worked years earlier. Contacting my first lover. (A big thrill came one night when she called me...turned out she wanted money: remember when she paid for my car battery back in '91?)

2000, I found a rental house that I liked a lot, and finally had an editing job that I liked. My cat Gracie found me. My mother got me my first computer, and I got online for the first time, where I first discovered the "Joan Crawford community." Having a computer and the accompanying companionship, however electronic, enabled me to stop going out clubbing constantly. I'd previously been doing so because I was extremely bored and lonely. Websites offered some kind of communication. I was completely over my first lover.

From 2000 to 2007, stayed in the same house, started my "The Best of Everything: A Joan Crawford Encyclopedia" website, worked for the same publishing company. Had a few friends that I went out to clubs with occasionally, and to holiday parties, but had no real friends. Had an online relationship with someone who claimed to be a bi woman but who turned out to be transgendered. The "trans" part wasn't the emotional shocker; it was that this person had claimed to have had an abortion, had claimed her mother was a suicide, had claimed she was British and living in Norway with a sugar daddy...As it turned out, she was a 40-something pre-op trans living with her (alive) parents in Norway who was coming on to teenagers online!

By '07, was feeling my oats and decided to move to New York City. Blah-blah-blah. That's all been documented here. Loved the city. Couldn't find regular work. Gracie died while I was there. Got over the tranny while I was there, only to get emotionally involved online with someone from a poetry class back in the '80s...

Today, in 2015, I've been back in Austin since 2010. Had my 4-year-stretch of the one-room apartment and the temp secretary jobs. I now have a nice, "appropriate" job as an academic editor that I like a lot but that still leaves me living in an apartment around screaming kids, and slackers hanging around in stairwells, and roofs that cave in when it rains. I make in the 40s per year, yet still can't afford my own car, much less my own home. I've got a Master's degree. But even after finding a decent job I like a lot, I'm still forced to live around a bunch of haphazard people.

This isn't an "Adventure" any more. I'm 50. I've given it my best shot for a long time now. Really nothing to show for it. No love. Now that I have a little bit of extra money to spend, I'd kind of like to go DO SOMETHING with SOMEONE! :)


Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Fleetwood Mac - Songbird (Rumours Outtake)

And the songbirds are singing
Like they know the score...
 

Fleetwood Mac - Go Your Own Way

Loving you
Isn't the right thing to do
How can I ever change things
That I feel
 
If I could
Baby I'd give you my world
How can I
When you won't take it from me...
 
 

Monday, October 26, 2015

Who'll Stop the Rain?

Rain Repair: What started out Friday eve as a ceiling drip with a 6 x 6 puddle on the floor beneath it requiring only a bucket and towels as a stop-gap measure turned into a massive ceiling-and-floor renovation of my apartment by Saturday. Why? Because the idiot responding to my emergency call on Friday (after the first rain deluge had passed) said, "Oh, we can't do anything about the roof while it's still wet outside." Overnight, another wave of rain came in and flooded my apartment through the leaky roof, severely damaging the ceiling and floors. Luckily for me, nothing but my carpet was damaged. But because the rental company wasn't proactive, they've now got thousands of dollars of damages/repairs. Wonder if they learned anything...



Saturday, October 24, 2015

Fleetwood Mac/Stevie Nicks: Rhiannon Live 1976

Good lord, I'm turning into a Stevie Nicks fan, 40 years later. "Landslide" was too great (see my October 17 entry). That song was literally in my head at about 20 different times today. I don't think that has EVER happened with any song before. Maybe 3, 4, 5... but 20? So I had to listen to "Fleetwood Mac" and "Rumours" tonight (which I never owned at the time, by the way, just bought online within the last 6 months or so). "Rhiannon" is from '75's "Fleetwood Mac" album. I heard this song constantly on the radio when I was a kid just learning to listen to the radio and pick out favorites, and I hated it. Thought it was generic and boring. Hated the hippie sound/feel/vibe, never listened to the lyrics. Tonight, though, in awe of "Landslide," took out the CD sleeve, read the lyrics for all of the songs as I listened (like I used to when I was a kid)... Stevie Nicks is a poet. "Rhiannon" is a really good song. And this is a really good, intense live version of her singing it.
 
She is like a cat in the dark
And then she is the darkness
She rules her life like a fine skylark
And when the sky is starless...
 

Friday, October 23, 2015

Were You Alone?

This is the type of thing that Hillary Clinton was being asked all day today during the televised Benghazi Hearings. I started laughing before Hillary did.
 
 

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

A Box Full of Darkness

I've had my moments (ha! try weeks, months, years!) of darkness, but they've usually been situationally generated: unrequited love, inability to find work, etc. Sometimes, of course, an extended "situation" has led to deeper malaise -- such as my ongoing coming to terms with the fact that, at 50, at least two-thirds of my life is over and that I'm going to die -- but for the most part, I don't psychically live in a deep, dark pit of hopelessness and sorrow. One reason, I think, is that I have a pretty active and curious mind. I can often find SOMETHING to be interested in looking at or learning about; I can often get excited or inspired by SOMETHING, whether a song or a book or a political candidate or a really great pair of shoes or a raccoon peering in my window, what-have-you. Because I have this capacity, I am, however, often incapable of understanding that not everyone else does have it. I have been "shocked" time and time again over the years when confronted straight on by people who are TRULY dark and enamored of hopelessness. Part of me is constantly thinking, "Oh, they don't REALLY mean it" or "Oh, I can help 'snap them out of it' with my pure-of-heart Leo-ness." Ha!

Darkness is often celebrated in the arts, and I'm attracted to darkness in the arts because it seems "profound," deep. Plath's poems, Van Gogh's art, movies like "The Wall" or "Blue Velvet" or "Brazil." But by the time the depth of suffering has been translated to something palatable for mass consumption, it's been much watered down. It's relatively easy to relate to when compared to the initial impetus for the artistic shaping. I have not been thinking of the impetus, of the state of mind or very BEING of the creator, just of the result that they're able to wrest into a shape for their audience.

I have been thinking about this for the past several days in particular because of the recent gossip news about Lamar Odom, estranged husband of Khloe Kardashian, being found comatose after days of partying at a brothel. Their union and, later, troubles had been well-documented via "Keeping Up With the Kardashians": Most seemed to agree that it was a love match, even if Odom didn't act like it; although Odom eventually left KK to pursue drugs and whores, and Khloe was the one who filed divorce papers, she still expressed publicly that if it were up to her, she would still be with him. Then came the overdose, and she immediately flew to his side... "How Romantic," a part of me thought. "True love." I thought Odom's behavior over the past couple of years has been reprehensible, and yet I also semi-hoped that he would "snap out of it" and go back to the woman who loved him.

Well, as it turns out, Odom has the same birthday as someone I've been in love with for almost exactly 7 years now (Scorpios). Someone whose darkness I have been enmeshed in for 7 years, and whom I've been making mental excuses for. There is a connection between us, but she will not acknowledge it. She will be incommunicado for months, then suddenly "turn up." She's in AA and doesn't drink or do street drugs, but she's on quite the cocktail of psychiatric prescribed drugs, and has childhood and sexual addiction problems and a cloud of darkness that are similar to Odom's. And, like Khloe, I range in reaction to this person from "fuck you" to true worry about her well-being. Also like Khloe, I have made sincere efforts to help this person function in the day-to-day world: in my case, helping her with her resume, job leads, etc., and making it known that she would never be homeless as long as I myself have a place to live. Sometimes she has listened (a bit), sometimes she has cruelly said things like, "Get a life."

Sans any dramatic overdose or turning-up-on-my-doorstep on her part, there ain't gonna be a reunion, although my Romantic soul might have secretly wished for one. My words/thoughts/feelings don't reach her. What the whole Odom situation reminded me of was that there are people who simply don't want to be helped. There is a true darkness that they carry with them, and silly little things like "love" or "heartfelt wishes" don't mean anything. It's rays of light being sucked into a black hole. And for the person constantly sending out said "rays of light" and receiving not only no energy in return, but also a mega-dose of profound Nothingness, which is, I think, close to Evil... It's disheartening personally at first, but then the realization:

The sheep has stopped crying.
All morning in her wire-mesh compound
On the lawn, she has been crying
For her vanished lamb...

...It was not
That he could not thrive, he was born
With everything but the will --
That can be deformed, just like a limb.
Death was more interesting to him.
Life could not get his attention.

(Ted Hughes, 1974, from "Sheep")

And then today, I found this, by accident, on an acquaintance's Facebook page, from the poet Mary Oliver. Her words, too, are a gift. I have not wasted 7 years of my life. I have, instead, learned something true (however disturbing) about the soul of a person. I learned something profound.


Sunday, October 18, 2015

My Favorite Months in This Order

October (weather and Halloween)
November (weather and holidays)
December (holidays)
August (birthday and promised end of summer)
April (beautiful weather)
March (circa the 15th, spring buds)
September (end of summer, and football season)
January (I like cold weather)
February (I like cold weather)
July (end of dramatic Texas spring weather with humidity and storms that scare me and make my hair look like shit; just hard-core hot and sunny)

Have never liked at all:
May
June

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Fleetwood Mac - Landslide

I used to hate Fleetwood Mac. This is all I used to hear on the radio as a teen in the late '70s, and it was nothing that meant anything to me then.
 
This Fleetwood Mac song from 1975 is meaningful to me now, though, in 2015. Not on purpose. I just heard it by accident this evening and started crying.

One of the reasons I was crying so hard is that back in high school, Ginny liked Stevie Nicks and Rickie Lee Jones and Heart... She was in to a female groove, which I didn't understand then. I was busy, in 1983, listening to decidedly non-groovy post-Beatles John Lennon and U2. I made her listen to 1972 Lennon and 1983 U2, which she did because she liked me. All intellect and no groove: my ongoing problem. I never, my senior year of high school and the summer after, stopped to sit with her and listen to HER music.
 


I took my love and I took it down
Climbed a mountain and I turned around
And I saw my reflection in the snow covered hills
Till the landslide brought me down

Oh, mirror in the sky, what is love?
Can the child within my heart rise above?
And can I sail through the changing ocean tides
Can I handle the seasons of my life?

I don't know (I don't know)
Well, I've been afraid of changing
'Cause I've built my life around you
But time makes you bolder
Children get older, I'm getting older too
 
So, take this love, take it down
Oh, if you climb a mountain and you turn around
If you see my reflection in the snow covered hills
Well the landslide will bring you down

Friday, October 16, 2015

How fucking depressing IS this, Lamar Odom?

Number One, I'm just not a fan of the desert landscape. If I were going to go somewhere to die, I would NEVER pick any place in the desert. Ugh. I can't stress how much I HATE the desert landscape. Before I ever knew a thing about geology and the history of the planet, I FELT that the desert was only the leftovers from former oceans.
 
Number Two... All around are shitty billboards and shitty fences and shitty clapboard houses and shitty potted plants. My god. If I had $75,000 to spend over 4 or 5 days and wanted to die, I certainly wouldn't come to this landscape. (But then, Odom was from Queens...maybe this sparcity was exotic to him. Being from Texas, it's all too commonplace and ugly to me.)
 
Number Three:  The bedroom furniture, and the too-short comforter, at the so-called "VIP Suite" at the so-called "Love Ranch" looks like a set I just bought for $1000 last year at a consignment store on Burnet Road in Austin! Which is fine for a 50-year-old middle-class editor who is finally able to afford some substantial real-wood bedroom furniture, but... it's supposed to be "sexy" and "exotic" for a millionaire guy visiting a whorehouse?
 
Number Four: Ryder Cherry, the Girl in the Picture: You can't pick up someone like this for free at any local club?
 
 
 


 



 

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Last Day With Lennon

Yoko Ono, in 2010, on the last 2 days with her husband. The "seeing airwaves in the room" gave me goosebumps. Not goosebumps because I think Yoko Ono is in any way "spiritual" -- I don't; I think Ono was/is, for the most part, a huge hustler, a psychic, in tune only with vibes that she picked up on and how to ride them. I also believe that she saw these airwaves.

The last Sunday. I'm glad in a way that we didn't know that it was our last Sunday together, so we could have had a semblance of normalcy. But it turned out that it was not a normal Sunday at all. Something was starting to happen, like the dead silence before a tsunami. The air was getting tenser and tenser, dens­er and denser. Then, I distinctly saw airwaves in the room. It was wiggly lines, like on the heart monitor next to the hospital bed, just before it becomes a flat straight line. "John, are you all right?" I asked through the density. He just nodded and kept lis­tening to "Walking on Thin Ice," playing it loud. Walking on thin ice. Walking on thin ice .. . "John, John, arrre youuuu alllll riiight?" I heard my voice vibrating. I could not go near John, for some reason.


Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/features/johns-last-days-20101223#ixzz3oAUDh6Uj

John Lennon - Help Me to Help Myself

John Lennon's birthday was yesterday. I thought about it all day yesterday and yet chose not to go out of my way to acknowledge it yesterday. "I'm big now; childhood heroes aren't meaningful to me any more." This song breaks my heart.
 


Well, I tried so hard to stay alive
But the angel of destruction keeps on houndin' me all around
But I know in my heart
That we never really parted, oh no

They say the Lord helps those who help themselves
So I'm asking this question in the hope that you'll be kind
'Cause I know deep inside I was never satisfied, oh no

Lord, help me...

Sunday, October 04, 2015

OJ on the Run: The Bronco Chase

OJ Innocent verdict released October 3, 1995. Below is the Bronco "low-speed chase" and taped conversations from the car with Simpson and a detective from June 1994.
 
When I watched the chase on TV in the summer of '94, I was in Austin preparing to move to San Francisco for grad school that fall. When the verdict came down the next year, I was at a San Fran bus-stop on my way to campus when a carload of black people drove by, screaming "OJ! OJ!" Their joy over getting away with murder made me sick. (As did my father's own verdict: That Nicole Simpson had been "bought and paid for" -- that's something that you might, if you're a creep who doesn't like women, tell your buddies after a few beers. But something that you tell your own daughter when you're sober? That's my father, folks.)