October 29th, 2012
London, beloved city where today I make my restless home – it’s a unique place for sure. There was a slight burst of sun today, breaking through the thick clouds, hope for the weary and vitamin D deprived. I walk quickly, through the ever wet and steamy streets of Soho, feeling werewolf but looking more tourist.
No one looks you in the face here, as we are centimeters apart, each trying to hold our own, in the cold. The freeze gets in your bones, and it could last a lifetime. You could be lonely here in a crowd. If I lived here always, and no one ever met my gaze, I could see myself dying young.
I had thought this was the quintessential city of cold shoulders and constant turning away, all through my youthful visits, when I carried a backpack on a frame, before turning it in for my fine Apsinal handbag when I reached 40.
This was before I knew how to pick the locks of this mysterious place. If you look in their eyes first, if you risk the tiniest bit of your heart, if you ask for directions or for a moment of someone’s time, the Londoner will immediately come to your aid. The frost melts in a but a moment, their hearts shine on you like the hot glow of a towel rail. Their helpful answers are peppered with “love” and “darling” and “poppet”. If you are lost, the Londoner will walk you to the nearest tube station and find the right train. Your drinks will be bought, your coat and hat hung up by the door, your foreign sadness illuminated by the humanizing touch of understanding.
The Londoner will light you up and not slight you up and I never realized it until now that I am almost old: the deep enduring truth is that the coldest places are actually, secretly, quietly, the warmest.
I love London.
October 25th, 2012
Insomnia is going to drive me insane, or it may be the reason I am almost there already. My vision blurs, I can’t remember anything, there’s nothing I would rather do that lay down and close my eyes but when I do that, sleep doesn’t come. It’s that I am just stuck staring at the inside of my eyelids, waiting waiting and waiting.
When I was younger this never happened. I would fall asleep just by positioning my head in a certain way. Like a dog, I was out in seconds. Sleep was an escape from the world, and now I feel trapped. It’s terrible, but it’s also amazing when I do finally get to sleep, sometimes 3-4 days later. The entire structure of my awareness topples. It’s like a backwards Nestea plunge, although not into a cool, brown pool of iced tea, but into the warm bath of sleep. Dreams are colorful and hypnotic and they include sex with rock stars and really cute shoes and songs and jokes that beg to be written.
I awake so refreshed and illuminated that I bounce out of the bed like a superball. The swirl of life in me is freshly stirred and I can face just about anything. But now, with the curse of jetlag upon me, I have depleted all of myself. My hands shake and everything seems dismal and threatening. Food tastes ugly, if that could be imagined. All invitations want to be declined upon receipt. There’s nothing that pulls me down more than the intangible prison of consciousness. I know I should meditate, or never work or read in bed. Yes hot milk is a good idea and that lavender smells good but I also know full well I am incapable of certain types of self care, and this dumb affliction, for now, keeps me up at night, all night.
October 24th, 2012
British food is my ruin – it is that good. I don’t know why there has been a long standing idea that British cuisine is not sophisticated and delicious. It’s so goddamnned good and it’s my favorite. All the expressions of it are amazing, from the simple pub fare like cheese and pickle sandwiches and salt and vinegar crisps to the curries to the pasties to the shortbread to the fish and fucking chips.
I got in late last night from Germany just as the kitchen to the Groucho Club was about to end their service and put in and order for their divine fish and chips just barely in time. I felt bad that I had to keep the kitchen open later but there’s some times in your eating life where the only thing that will solve your late night problems is a hot, crispy fried piece of fish and a big pile of chips.
I will smother the whole gorgeous thing in malt vinegar and then put the tartar sauce on that and then put the green pea stuff on that – oh god I don’t care if it will stay in my system forever. I can almost see it on my body after I have eaten it and I honestly don’t care. It’s worth it. The fat and carbs complete me.
Of course the club here serves the fancy variety, without the newspaper wrapper – but I miss that part. I like to see newsprint on my food. I guess it’s that little bit of bitter truth that makes it real and worth it.
October 22nd, 2012
Paris is a magical city, which has more to do with the people and all the parts that make up a land. It’s less the buildings than what houses them, what happens in them, what is said, what is done, what is eaten, what is seen and worn. I’d live here if I could, and perhaps that day will come sooner than later. The France of my dreams isn’t Versailles, but the one from Bunuel films, or the Red/White/Blue series. My fantasia of myself as an expatriate has me looking like Catherine Deneuve or Juliet Binoche, but without the prostitution and the grief.
A man walked up to me and said, “you are very beautiful…” not really wanting anything but to tell me this was true. It was as if he was informing me that something had fallen from my bag, or that I had a post it on my back. My beauty was simply a fact that was to be relayed, not a bargaining chip, not a thread to be pulled that would come undone and fray all my life. He was merely pointing it out, before he marched up the boulevard, swinging his long, black umbrella in the night mist.
October 15th, 2012
I cannot deal with it when people cannot stop talking. I am shy beyond reason, and almost can never muster up even a word unless I absolutely have to. Doing comedy doesn’t really count as conversation. I’ve already thought it through – I know what I am going to say. I try to go for the absolute minimum amount of words to relay the maximum amount of information. I don’t want to waste anyone’s time and I don’t want to talk more than is necessary.
I met a man who seemed interesting – until he opened his mouth. He wouldn’t shut up. And he kept going. Time slowed down. The seconds dragged. It was boring and monotonous but also incredibly inappropriate – telling me things I didn’t want to hear, and moreover shouldn’t have heard. Family secrets and sexual indiscretion is my trademark, yet I am uncomfortable with others revealing too much. I know it’s not fair, but I can’t help how I feel. I am prudish in ways I don’t care to admit, and I keep to myself in a way I wish would be reciprocated.
This guy wasn’t into that. He wasn’t into give and take. He took the floor and then wouldn’t wouldn’t wouldn’t stop. He went on and on and didn’t seem to notice that I was tuning him out, fading away, diminishing and depleting. I felt as if I was steadily losing air, like an inner tube with a pinhole puncture. My heartbeat started to slow down and dark circles appeared under my eyes. It was beyond boredom. It was like a creeping death, surrounding me and suffocating me. His words and his voice were like weapons, bludgeoning me into oblivion. He went on and on and I felt like I was doomed.
He was vaguely aware of it, and kept saying “you can just tell me to shut up….hee… hee….” and I would have if he hadn’t utterly depleted my strength. The more he talked the less I could respond. Every time he told me to tell him to shut up, the more he talked. He spoke of all his ruined relationships, bad boyfriends and relatives – the unspeakable (yet spoken over and over) cruelty of those who were supposed to love him, but my heart went out to the villains in his endless stories – I could see how he abused others with his small talk. His incessant need for chatter was nothing short of a nightmare.
When he finally left me alone I heard his voice in my head, shattering my peace with musings about shows and films and bands and books and foods and fashions and fads and fabrics and festivals and countries and all things he felt didn’t live up to the hype and albums that he listened to from beginning to end, never song by song, never skipping, hearing them not piecemeal but whole, as the artist had intended him to hear. I was surprised he ever heard anything beyond his own voice. I can still hear him and it is driving me crazy.
October 4th, 2012
Do you ever really think about the times when you are happy? I don’t. Happiness to me is just an unnoticed state of mind, something we drive through to get to lonely and miserable, or ecstatic. Happy is just kind of normal for me, and so I don’t even greet it with a smile. It’s something I take for granted like the sunrise. It’s light out, I am happy – these things don’t register.
I am guessing this is bad because whenever I am unhappy, then I search my mind and heart for memories and evidence of past happiness, and I cannot find it. I didn’t save anything because I didn’t care.
Well today, I am happy. And I did laundry, so everyone around me is happy.
October 1st, 2012
These tour days are so short. We drive to the city we are playing, our little band of sisters, be in Portsmouth, NH/Ridgefield, CT/Concord, NH/Portland, ME/Burlington, VT – this week is New England’s turn to be wherever, we get to the hotel for a 2 hour bout of fighting with the snooze buttons on our phones, we load into the venue, we eat a meal of varying quality and satisfaction and we do a show, sometimes 2, but this week, it’s just 1, which is enough really, I think.
There’s wine after, and then a very brief ideation of going out, having another drink somewhere, but almost 200% of the time this fizzles, and we are back in our cheapie motel beds within minutes.
For me there’s some futile moments online and on text, trying to retie some strings that have come undone on my long journey. Everyone’s got their ritual. Mine involves a too hot then too long bath and simultaneous painful construction of messages in my head that get sent and regretted right away. I think Selene watches tv. Sometimes I can hear pawn stars through the thin walls. I watch it in my mind also, with my bionic hearing.
I marvel that my iphone can be both a person I love and a person I hate. Suddenly, the blank face of it changes and the name of whoever spreads across it and this little piece of glass and intel metamorphoses into flesh and blood and voice. Call me sometime, if you think of me. It gets lonely out here without you.