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Rock N Roll Suicide

It was the night of the residency party. Six months ago, it was the night Huck and I finally consummated our flirtation. I was looking forward to going, mostly because I had more friends in the program this time around. Also because it was happening at the Culver Hotel, a very old and classic hotel in the center of a modernized shopping district. As far as I am concerned, it is the only classy thing about Culver City.

Exterior-Culver_Hotel-

I was still shaking off brunch with Huck. When we first saw each other, the morning after a public, drunk blow-out in the parking lot, I said, “Well, obviously you are in love with me. But we don’t need to speak of it.” He smiled, shaking his head. Though Huck may not be in love with me, I do believe his feelings are stronger for me than he admits. He thinks he is maintaining power. I think he is just a scared.

As we were walking back from lunch, he pulled something out of his pocket. “I have your hair in my pocket. I don’t know how it got there but it is definitely your hair.” In the moment, I was touched he was carrying it around in his pocket. Chemistry and friendship is a powerful cocktail. If I was going to honor my boyfriend, I knew I couldn’t be alone and drink with Huck anymore. I didn’t intend to sleep with him. I didn’t intend to kiss him. I just felt myself laughing, smiling, caring about my puffy eyes more than usual. I was always wondering if he would show up around the corner, humming that song … “See the way he walks down the street … watch the way he shuffles his feet …”

I would like to think of myself as a good girlfriend. I would like to think I had the best of intentions. We were playing with fire.

***

We texted that night. Was he coming to the party? Why did I have to care if he was coming? I was with Cat, another poet, much older and very sophisticated (someone who made me feel beautiful and funny) and a handful of others who collected in the lobby. The older poet, who we called The Silver Fox, bought my first drink. Vodka martini. It was brought to me in a shaker, and not having any experience with such a high-end presentation, I spilled it all over myself and the floor. The waitress accommodated me with another drink. I have been humiliated in public so many times, it doesn’t even phase me anymore. The burn on my lips was the first delicious welcome into the evening, and I forgot about the vodka wet on my pants and shirt.

dirty_vodka_martini

The party was upstairs. I hadn’t been up there before, well yes, once for a photo shoot with Lana but the pictures were lost before I could ever save them. Now there were students collecting in clumps around the corners. I have socialized with all kinds of awkward people before: prisoners, prostitutes, actors, comedians. Nothing is more awkward than trying to socialize with writers. We all prefer hiding behind our computers and books because it gives us proper preparation with what to say. The hard covers give us a special shield to protect us from insult and rejection, and if it penetrates, we can just cower down and cry with no one able to see.

Huck was up there with a few other classmen who were graduating. Some were cold to me, others were decent if I was sitting next to him, and some suddenly tried to be kind. I just needed to plug in my charger and heard Huck call out a joke about my exposed ass crack . I stood up and pulled up my pants. “Well … why are you looking?” I said in a voice, other than my own.

Another vodka martini found its way to me, compliments of The Silver Fox. He had won me over one late evening at the Roosterfish when all the Queers cleared after drinking their beers. “We would have had a great love affair if we met twenty years ago and were around the same age,” he said.

I smiled. Poets always know what to say to me. “Your hair is beautiful. It frames your face perfectly. But your eyebrows are your best feature, and you play with them when you are nervous,” he said. I don’t see the face men see when I look in the mirror. I see an awkward girl with a round face that doesn’t understand make-up. Shapeless with wrinkles now forming around the mouth and eyes. Odd eyes, like quarter moon windows. Eyebrows that don’t know how to be manicured. A smile that diminishes the upper half of my face when I smile.  I grew up believing I was ugly. For two years as a teenager, my acne was so grotesque I broke a hallway mirror and kicked a hole in the wall from disgust. Once, someone asked my boyfriend how he could stand to look at me. Now, I am qualified as a flirt, sometimes a slut or a deviant. Someone troubled or unfaithful. I am really just a little girl who wants to believe she is pretty too. I like myself best through other people’s eyes, that is why probably I never like being alone.

Me on Set for BH Cop Pilot

I was always aware of Huck in the room, but I made my respective circles. My comfort zone was to stick by the gays, but knowing I was already unpopular with some, especially the faculty, I tried putting myself out there, sipping on the olive juice and vodka for courage. Huck couldn’t help it, and ducked around the room, suddenly pulling up a chair across from me. I smiled under the rim of my glass.

This semester, there were a handful of women who were pregnant. We were all talking about how odd it was. I can’t think of a worse time to have a child than in the middle of a rigorous and time consuming creative writing program. New mothers were everywhere, the one in my class skipped this residency because motherhood was too demanding.

“I wonder about names,” a young woman said. Female writers brightened with all the names we store away for our favorite characters, those kept safe in books on the shelf and those who have yet to be printed.

Huck was sitting across from me. “How about Huck?” I said. Now, audience, you must know by now that Huck is an alias for the real poet. He, of course, knew his alias already having read my blogs for the last 6 months and kicked his head back with a smile. The girls were none the wiser.

“Huck . .. I like that. And it is never used,” they said.

I made my way to George, sitting by the window. He was talking about Miguel, the Hispanic teacher who I had my first interest in last residency, and how he was flirting with a new student.  It irked me. Though Miguel didn’t outright reject me, he never looked me in the eyes when we spoke and wouldn’t hang out with me when I came back to LA. It is juvenile and nonsense, but that is the psychosis of a a rejection phobic. If you don’t laugh at my joke, you have rejected me.The conversation stalled and Huck found his way in the sliver of a seat between George and myself. We got on the topic of the night before, and how I got drunk in his hotel room. Everyone thought we fucked. There was more innocence at play than everyone really could understand.

I laughed at Huck. Loud. Big mouth. Hair down. He called me Julia Roberts. I thanked him. George said he didn’t think it was a compliment.

“So she is laying there, with my cock in her hand and she said, ‘I would never sleep with you … you disgust me …,” Huck said. I laughed again.

George shot up from his seat. “You two need to fuck,” and then he walked away.

“But you didn’t hear the rest of the story …,” Huck said.

I put my arm around Huck and kissed him hard on the cheek. I think that is what happened. I don’t remember the taste of his skin or any drizzle of romance. I only remember he leaned back laughing. He looked happy. His drink tipped back and all of a sudden we felt easy, like we did the first time in June. Easier than last June. There was just the case of the man I loved, walking my dogs, waiting, hoping I wouldn’t be unfaithful. I took another drink.

On the other side of the bar, champagne glasses were being filled. A good foot of the bar was covered in glass and bubbles. “Who is this for?” I asked the bartender. He was an actor, I could tell.

“They are for all of you,” he said.

Self-filling-Champagne-Glasses

I grabbed a glass in each hand, and walked away sipping the first one before starting on the second. Huck watched me over his shoulder, laughing. His smile is gorgeous. I wondered if tough guys always had pretty smiles. When I look for pictures of Jim Morrison (on lonely nights), once in awhile I stumble on a photo of his smile and it makes my fingertips cold and my ears warm. A man’s smile can paralyze me. I wonder why they keep it such a secret?

Jim Smiles

After both glasses were drained, I returned for two more, and slowed down a bit. My intention was to give Huck space at the party. To really give all conversations a chance, but he kept hanging around me. It wasn’t unwelcomed. I thought he liked me. I felt like I had a hook in him, no matter how temporary, and I enjoyed dragging him around with me for the night. Outside we had a cigarette and spoke about something mild and general.  I can’t recall it now. I just liked that we were outside, sitting on a bench together alone. Buzzed but not drunk. Happy but not touching. I didn’t have to touch him, I knew we were in the same moment.

One of the upper classmates came out to talk to us. It was the first time he acknowledged me all semester, I assumed the friends in his circle had opinions about me and Huck and me. I wanted to be rude, but I never can be when someone is nice to me. It was a pleasant, casual conversation. I liked that he saw I was with Huck and that we were civil with each other. It gave the whole sordid affair a dignity.

***

As the party broke up, and I always feel like parties break up too soon, Cat and I jumped in the Silver Fox’s car to go sing karaoke at the Tattle Tale Room, the bar where Huck and I first met last June. Half of my favorite people were there. A female poet who read a translated poem earlier in the day that took my breath away. The non-fiction writer who lives in Paris, wears her hair short and speaks her mind with such confidence, it demands respect. Her manuscript was flawless. A few people in my class. The Silver Fox. Huck slid into the back booth where we met.

“She turned to her left, and there he was,” he said. He was referencing a line from my blog, describing the first time I met him.

“I turned to my left and there he was,” I said, jerking my head to the left, laughing. I did it two or three times. No one was in on the joke. “It is our anniversary. Six months ago, at the school party …” I said.

“That’s right,” he said. Maybe he knew, maybe he didn’t know. It was innocent. I wasn’t trying to stir things, they were already stirred. I just appreciated the synchronicity of it all. The same bar where we met. The same booth. The same night.

We took turns on karaoke, turning off the locals, as usual. I selected my Rolling Stones song for the residency: “Start Me Up”. Now, there are theories on why I obsess over which Stones songs at what moments of life. The truth is there are original videos out there I discover, and they click in my obsession, and I watch Mick … I watch Mick … and I step inside the song. At home, I dance like him to feel it and I feel alive.

Start Me Up

So when I had the microphone in hand, and the guitar kicked in, I felt the white pants, the purple v-neck, the improvised shoulders and arms of a British rock star who belonged to another generation.

“If you start me up”

“If you start me up,

I’ll never stop.”

I tried to climb onto a nearby table, but it rocked and the couple sitting there laughed, leveled and invited me back on their table top with their spilled drinks. I shook my hand and continued singing. In karaoke, people rarely notice how bad my singing is because I perform. I never feel better. Music gives me superpowers. It is my most loved drug.

The Parisian writer came up and wiggled next to me with her mouth open. Truckers stopped talking and stared at me. Mimicking Mick, and I assume most people don’t recognize the original dance moves from the original 1981 video, made me sexy. My father never liked Mick Jagger. “He thinks he is doing Elvis,” he said. “It looks ridiculous.”

“No, no!” I said. “It’s a broken doll kind of thing. No one else can do it. It’s new.” Well, it is new to me. I just discovered the Stones roughly 10 years ago, after my sister dragged me to see a tribute band perform. The music sunk in, deep. And swinging my hips, throwing up my awkward, long arms and tilting my head back with my off-key voice made me right for 3 minutes and 40 seconds. Mick made different sexy. Now I could be sexy, too.

Me and the Stones

We all performed songs. The Silver Fox and I did “Baby, It’s Cold Outside”. Someone in my class did “American Pie”. Huck did “Rock n Roll Suicide” by Bowie. Writers might be awkward, but they have great taste in music. I video-ed Huck on my phone.

“Oh no love! You’re not alone,

You’re watching yourself but you’re too unfair,

You got your head all tangled up but if I could only,

Make you care.

Oh no love! you’re not alone.

No matter what or who you’ve been,

No matter when or where you’ve seen,

All the knives seem to lacerate your brain,

I’ve had my share, I’ll help you with the pain,

You’re not alone.”

Huck didn’t sing last semester. I think he is too shy, or was too shy. The more we cheered him on, the more he got into the song, kicking his head back and smiling.

“Lets turn on and be not alone (wonderful),

Gimme your hands cause you’re wonderful (wonderful),

Gimme your hands cause you’re wonderful (wonderful),

Oh gimme your hands.”

“My hand?” I asked, reaching out my hand from behind my phone. He put his fingers through mine and sang for a line or two before letting go. We laughed. It was a good time.

Afterward, he sat down and spoke to Cat. He sat down and spoke to the Parisian writer who told him he wasn’t invited to poetry readings because she doesn’t care for misogynists. I saw them talking and laughing, hands thrown in the air and lightly dropping on the shoulder. He was making friends. Even though he was a class ahead of me, I was helping him get to know everyone. That made me happy.

My next song was “I’ve Been Down So Long” by The Doors. It was a personal joke for me, and me alone. The karaoke guy handed me the microphone, “This time, don’t scream into the microphone. It breaks the levels.”

“Of course not, that was my Mick Jagger. Now I am doing Jim Morrison. He doesn’t scream,” I said, dismissive. He handed me the microphone. “Pffft … obviously,” I said, like a drunk bitch.

“Well, I’ve been down so very damn long,

That it looks like up to me.

Yeah, why don’t one you people,

C’mon and set me free.”

Off the LA Woman album, the song has a bluesy feel to it, and with that raspy, angry poet.  I got down on my knees and rocked back and forth on my knee caps. I could feel everyone going about their business, but a few people walked up to me, looked down on me and I kept singing my blues.

“Baby, baby, baby,

Won’t you get down on your knees ….

C’mon little darlin’,

C’mon and give your love to me, oh yeah.”

That bar is a dump, but it sure has a fucking fantastic karaoke selection.

As midnight spun round, and beers were drained, it was time to leave. It always takes someone else to tell me when. Singing classic rock, dancing to classic rock, that is when I am most alive. That is when my spirit has a real voice. This blog … well it is clunky, rough. It doesn’t slide through me like the music. Other people’s words put to harmony can work through me like water. This blog, it is smoke, crawling through my throat on shoes made of sandpaper. Writing lights a match in my lungs I can’t release until I exhale. Music is more pleasant.

Top-Classic-Rock-Songs

The night had to end. Everyone left and I waited to pay the bill at the bar. Female bartenders always seem more exhausted than men. I tip the same. I turned around and saw Huck had walked back into the bar. He grabbed the back of my head and kissed me hard on the lips. It almost felt like he bit my lower lip. It stung.

“Happy anniversary,” I slurred. He pecked me again on the lips, this time I leaned in a little but it was still hard and brief. Then he left.

***

I got into the car full of writing students. “Where is Huck?” someone asked.

“He wanted to walk back,” someone else said. It was about a mile back to his hotel.

“Why?” someone asked but the car was overtaken by more chatter. Another writing student had gotten in an argument with a local who had a knife on him. The police were called. We drove out.

Back at the Venice house, I danced in and threw myself on the first bed I saw. A beautiful, mixed race, writing student had her papers spread out. Her final presentation was in the morning.

“Do you know how beautiful your freckles are?” I said, with her papers screaming underneath me. “Each… little … one.”

She was patient with me. “I am working right now. Can you give me this time to prepare?” she asked behind tired eyes, a little smile and heavy glasses.

“You are my little flower. My precious, little flower,” I said. She smiled.

I crawled into Cat’s room, straddled her and spanked her. She screamed and laughed. “Buy me dinner first,” she said … or something like that. I steam rolled her.

The Silver Fox called me to the couch and laid me down. “Follow my breathing. Do you hear it? Just follow my breath. In and out,” he whispered. I slipped away into darkness and let go of the music.

original-let_go_cover

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“With Hunger at Her Heels, Freedom In Her Eyes” . . . She Made Her Paris Goodbyes

My mother emailed me, “Take care and enjoy Paris.  It’s a big city with lots of diversity.  Try to get to Notre Dame.  It isn’t as beautiful as the churches in Italy but still worth seeing.

She can be such a snob. My parents never have much good to say about France. The more I grow up, the more I see how little of them I find in myself.

Someone else had crunched their nose up at my mention of Versailles and said “It’s a bit dry for my taste.” When you repeat these little snarky remarks to a Parisian, they burst into laughter. To turn your nose up to France is absolutely moronic. There is a reason the French are snotty, because they earned it!

From Père Lachaise, I took the Metro to Notre Dame. I had 10Euroes left, which didn’t leave me enough to eat and pay for the transit to the airport. I still had a $20 American dollar tucked away in my wallet from my Mom.  So, I took the Metro back to the heart of Paris and grabbed myself some kind of delightful blueberry cheesecake bar for a couple Euroes that filled my stomach before I could finish it.

There was a long line into the Notre Dame Cathedral, so I rushed underground to use the toilet beforehand. There was a line and a few older women managing the toilets. That’s right, they were managing the toilets.  Both looked like they had grown up, there, underground with the moldy tile and dripping plumbing- one obese, the other tiny. Neither smiled. They directed men to one end and women to the other, guess who had the wait line? One woman after another had trouble locking the stall, wandered around for the ideal porcelain toilet, while the rest of us had to wait behind a bar, with full bladders and money in hand. It cost 50Cents or so to use the facilities.

After clenching my abdomen and wasting time in a basement under Paris, I finally had my turn to use the toilet, it was surprisingly clean (cleaner than LA toilets), I locked the unlockable stall, finished and tipped the two women. That made me the hero, all of a sudden, their faces brightened to reveal missing teeth, they clucked goodbyes and nodded in thanks.

Above ground, I got in line for Notre Dame, mass was about to start. Admission was free and the line moved fast as I shuffled in through the teardrop opening into the cathedral. It was dark and smelled of incense. The organ music was shaking the walls and the line of tourists was pushed around the center, away from the pews and churchgoers.

The day filtered through stained glass windows. The sculptures of saints stood still as everyone walked by to gawk at them. The place was heavy with history, and you could feel it pulling you into the floorboards.

I stopped at Joan d’Arc’s statue, she was surrounded by candles and I read the plaque:


St. Joan of Arc (1412-1431)
Born in Lorraine, burned alive in Rouen as a heretic and a witch. The decision to rehabilitate her reputation was made in this Cathedral.

Good old Joan, at 16 years-old she was granted leadership of the French army under Divine instruction. The King only allowed it after all other attempts to protect France against the English and Burgundians failed. Joan was tested on all accounts of morality in her life and background (I take that to mean that she was not allowed to lead the army until they made sure she was a physical virgin).  When they verified her “purity”, she took back one French fortress after another, suffered injury to her neck by arrow, ignored the War councils orders- since she wasn’t invited to their meetings anyway and continued to recapture many parts of France despite a head injury from a cannon ball and a leg injury by cross bow.

The English came to a truce, but shortly thereafter it ended, Joan was on horse again, leading the troops to defend her country against the Burgundians and English armies. When she was captured, pulled off her horse, refusing to surrender, the French Royal family did not offer money for her ransom.

She tried to escape, jumping 70 feet out of a tower onto dry ground, but, in the end, it was the English who paid for her, not the French. They initiated a trial, accusing her of heresy; the typical bullshit with no legal aid, no French partisans at court for trial and then forced her to sign away her rights in the face of immediate execution. While imprisoned, they tried to molest her, rape her- maybe they did. I can only assume they did.

They forced her to wear a dress, later stripped off of her during an “attempted” assault. They finally allowed her to wear men’s clothing to deter further sexual abuse in the hopes she wouldn’t be found in her cell completely naked . . . again. That must of been a ray of sunshine before finding out you had to be burned to death at the stake.

After the first burning, they made sure everyone saw her remains before burning her two more times, this way everyone present could verify that she did not escape and no one could collect anything left of her. Then, her ashes were dumped in the Seine. So she has no grave, but she still runs through France.

What is it about man? They find something truly spectacular, truly marvelous and inexplicably phenomenal, and all they can do is capture it and kill it. They refuse to learn from it. And they refuse to love it. Maybe that is how they love, by stealing its physical body and collecting its soul. They conquer and destroy. Bravo.

***

I sat down next to Joan, and said hello. The church wanted $5Euroes to light a candle for a prayer. Growing up Catholic, we were accustomed to that small section in the church,  lighting a candle and praying in distress or worry. I slid in a 50Cents piece, just so it looked like I was dropping something in before grabbing a candle and lighting it. I prayed to Joan to protect my dogs and cat, all the animals I loved, all the ones I lost, and to ask that there be as little less suffering in my future, because I am not sure my heart can take it.


I walked around the tourists with video cameras, documenting every step in front of me, as if they would ever watch it again. Can you imagine them, on their couches in their living room,“Hey Mom, forget ‘American Idol’, let’s relive our walking tour through Notre Dame.”

The saddest part is they were never present to feel the place; the small blades of light finding their way through the windows and roof, the sound of the priest during mass, first the words low from his mouth then again, as they echoed off the back walls, the idea that people throughout all of history, the wars and the disease, fled to this little church for protection. Napoleon crowned himself Emperor right there, right where I was looking.

Sitting down, Mass continued. I wanted to step out of the constant stream of videotaping tourists. Families from all around the world kept crowding around, trying to get the best angle with their camera. They always tried to push as close to the actual Mass as possible, but people in uniform were stationed there to protect the real churchgoers and keep the tourists back.


I got tired of hearing the volunteers shuffle through languages until one was found that both parties could understand, just to explain common sense and decency- so I left.

I walked down the Seine, the opposite way of the Eiffel tower, to see what was down there. Texting with our liaison from the Cannes Film Festival, a resident of Paris, he invited me to a party later that night and offered to help me get on the right train to the right airport.

All I wanted to do was get lost, and I did. I walked off the cream and blueberries and cheese, stopping to look at random art along the way. Sculptures were left along the Seine for no other reason than existing. I loved that.

I crossed a restaurant where a Chef was arguing with a patron. As they pulled her away, she spit at him and he charged her, in furious French. People pulled both of them away and I thought, “God, I love this place.”

Then, I saw a sign: “Bastille” and an arrow pointing to the other side of the Seine.

That was the landmark I was offered at Père Lachaise to help lead me to Jim Morrison’s final flat in Paris. Out loud, I said, “Are you kidding me?”

I shrugged my shoulders and said, “Alright. There is the sign, let’s do this.”

Walking back over the Seine, the street vendors thinned out. The carts with French pastries, the magazine stands, the tourists all slowly disappeared and were replaced with fruit markets and school children. I wasn’t sure where I was going, occasionally there would be a sign and I would follow it, cross through an alley and feel lost just before finding another sign.

Eventually, I ended up at Rue Beautreillis, which was a very short street, just enough for the restaurant on one side and the residential building on the other. I stopped, looked up and said, “Ok, Jim, I saw it.” He wasn’t there either.


Plugging in my ear buds in, I turned on “The Doors” and picked up the pace to walk back towards the hostel to retrieve my luggage.

There was no rush, the day was set aside for me to wander. I felt happy, skipping along the bridges, listening to the music I remembered word for word, feeling the breeze pick up off the water and tickle the sweat down the back of my neck, and under the wire of my bra.


I stopped to rest my feet at the Jardin des Plantes, the botanical garden. I wanted to smoke a cigarette, but I was completely broke.

Getting back on my feet, I wandered some more and stumbled upon a small garden dedicated to Louis Armstrong.

It was small, just a little park you could see all the way through while passing by. It still felt like it was for me.


I walked through and down, trying to find the maps to make my way back to the hostel. My phone would ping with texts from my Paris contact, who wanted to know when I would be in his part of Paris (I didn’t know), Aldrich, who wanted to know when I would be able to call him that day (I didn’t know) and Gade, my French stranger who kept pressing me to cancel my flight and stay with him in a flat in Paris for a few weeks. Damn it. Just not possible.

As I turned back around, trying to reorient myself to this part of town, I got a little frustrated. I had to keep deleting texts to get more since my phone memory was quickly used up with questions I couldn’t answer.

A large drunk tourist crept up behind me, and just as I felt his hand reach for me, a few of his buddies swept up between us saying, “Whoa whoa whoa, no!” leading him off.

***

When I made it back to the hostel, I opened the luggage closet to see a pile of bags just thrown on top of the each other, taller than all of me. Complaining to myself, I opened the door and threw out one piece of luggage at a time, to dig out my one bag, on the floor and under a shelf. Baby powder spilled all over everyone’s bags.

A tall, handsome Australian approached me, “Need some help?”

I said, “Yes, they just made a garbage pile out of everyone’s luggage. Unbelievable! There are empty spots on these shelves, I mean, look at this bag, for instance, THIS could fit right HERE!”

He lifted the heavier bags over me and said, “Well, just so you know, mine is on the shelf in there.”

I said, “Well, of course, you seem like a nice, young man. Of course yours in on the shelf.”

He smiled at me. Covered in baby powder and sweat, I looked down to blush, everything was too God damn tempting for me here. How the hell was I going to leave? I knew back in the States, men wouldn’t look at me that way anymore.

I knew all the freedom I felt to drift, and consume, and adore would be shadowed with obligations, parents and money. I get it, that’s life. The difference was, in France I was standing inside of myself. Back in the States, I would have to keep one foot outside of my mind, just so I could navigate back into a life of some kind.

Grabbing my bag, the Australian released me back on the streets of Paris so I could get on a Metro to the Arts et Métiers. My bag was enormous, and there were a lot of stairs up and down the Metro. At first, I had trouble, but as I dragged my luggage, I always felt the end lift in the air like it had wings, just before turning around and finding a strange man walking up the stairs with me, my bag in hand. That happened about four times before I got to my destination.

I was to go to a woman’s flat who was throwing the party tonight, drop off my bag and meet my Paris Liaison for dinner. I walked around in a broad circle, maybe twice, before finding the right Rue to cross down. Then I had to climb 7 flights of stairs with my enormous bag. That . . . sucked.

The girl opened the door for me, she was a cross-eyed Romanian, shorter than me and very curt. She took my bag into her bedroom and said she was getting ready for the party. I thanked her profusely and then asked if I could sit down, she gave a quick nod and then hid in her bedroom from me.

It was only a two bedroom apartment, so that was awkward. I texted the liaison, who said that the Romanian was texting him from her bedroom and needed me to leave so she could prepare for the party. Nice.

So I left my bag there, and flew on foot down the road to find his apartment. Let’s call him Jacques. I wanted to try and find it with as little instruction as possible, and Jacques played the game with me, only answering “hot” and “cold” to landmarks I stumbled upon.

The neighborhood I walked into was suddenly black, as in the people were black. All this time, I hadn’t really seen many black French folk, but here, all of a sudden, I was glaringly white. It also seemed like a poorer neighborhood. There was garbage on the ground and the buildings were falling apart. Bed sheets as curtains. Crowded. Loud. I wondered why blacks were poor here too. Were they rich anywhere?


Turning around through the music and trampling of people on the street, I was stopped by three, tall, handsome black men. They asked me a question, and I said, “Parle vu Anglais? Je suis American.”

One of them was smiling and pushed his friends back, “Yes, yes, yes. I speak English. You are lost?”

I showed them the map and where I needed to be, and repeated the words the Romanian repeated to me before closing her door on me. The three men argued about the best way to go, and then all decided, together, that I needed to backtrack a bit and turn right, then left. I lifted my eyes to remember that as I nodded.

The young man who was the most eager to speak among them said, “You are in luck. I specialize in teaching American women French. I can teach you.”

I smiled and said, “I understand.” And chuckled a little. “Compris.”

He said, “Give a kiss, please. As payment.”

I didn’t have time for my “Cultural Differences” speech so I said, “OK, on the cheek though.”
Leaning in, I made that noise, “MMMMMMMWAH!” and quickly made my exit. They all cheered goodbye and I thought, “Well, this is a friendly neighborhood.”


Between two tall buildings, I wandered and realized I was there but was never given a building number or apartment number. A woman stopped to ask if I needed help, and all I said was, “Do you know Jacques?”

She shrugged her shoulders and I said, “Its ok. He will find me.”

And he did, I stepped inside a door and climbed a narrow staircase to Jacques apartment. He is short, maybe 5’5, small in all his features but his prominent nose. In a utilitarian brown vest, he has black hair and skinny legs. I always thought if you were to draw a Frenchman as a cartoon, Jacques would be the perfect model.

In his forties, there is something attractive about him. A childlike spirit, an unapologetic artist and an odd genius. Sometimes, you are attracted to someone because you think you have uncovered a secret. They are sexy because they are different- then you realize they are in on the secret and so are most other people around you. And sometimes, only sometimes, that obliterates the attraction. That was the case with Jacques, and I also think, at times, that is the case with me. You aren’t so offbeat anymore, when people realize you are the only one on-beat.

In his apartment, there were stacks of books, videotapes, DVDs and computer parts practically falling off the shelves, and continued in piles on the floor. Thank you notes were taped to the wall. Little stuffed animals were pushed into an odd corner here or there. He was in a one room studio, and on his futon sat one of our students from Cannes; a pretty Chinese girl who was studying film in Los Angeles.

I knew she was staying with him, but it seemed awkward in this one room, filled with stuff and only one futon to share.

I made jokes about wanting to hold his hand in Cannes, but he was not the vulnerable artist-nerd everyone assumed. He knew what he was doing, and I wondered if it was entirely appropriate to be with such a young, female student in such a small living space.

Who am I to talk about what’s appropriate or not? In France, everyone has permission to do whatever the hell they wanted to do. That’s why I loved it.

After greeting both of them, I asked if it was cramped. He said, “Oh, I have a room across the hall, too.”

A beautiful French woman stopped in to say hello.

Jacques, “Are you going to the party tonight?”

Gorgeous French woman, “I don’t know yet.”

Jacques, “Do you want to join us for dinner?”

French woman, “I don’t know, I might stay in and cook something.”

Jacques, “What are you going to cook?”

French woman, “I don’t really know yet.”

Jacques, “Ok, well text me when you know.”

She unleashed some kind of magical smile that stopped time before disappearing across the hall again.

Jacques said, “She doesn’t like to make up her mind.”

Me, “Oh that’s alright.” And I sat on the floor and stretched out my legs. “She lives across the hall.” I meant to say, “With you?”

He nodded slightly and said, “Would you like some tea?”

Me, “I would love some. I really love this place it reminds me of my place . . . before . . .”

He said, “Before what?”

I said, “Before I lost all my money and had to move out.”

Taking out my camera phone, I tried to grab a few pictures. I thought about asking and then remembered him filming me on the bus in Cannes without permission. I turned and caught him with a camera in my face, then smiled. He stole my smile.

Putting down my camera phone I said, “Eugh, there isn’t enough light. I guess I will just have to remember it.”

He said, “Yes, its like me, small and full of surprises.”

I asked, “Where do I buy the ticket for the train to the airport?”

He said, “I already bought one for you.” He slid it over his desk with my cup of tea. That was kind.

The three of us walked to a nearby soup kitchen, and we each ordered a bowl. It was a small restaurant with seats at a counter that bordered the mirrored walls like a bar, and a few small tables in the center of the room. You couldn’t push your chair out without hitting another one. My soup was lentil, handed to me in a wood bowl with pieces of pita and silverware on the shelf by my knees, below the bar. I could see through the mirrors on the wall, the handsome, Middle-Eastern soup chef watching me. We made eye contact through the wall and I smiled. He was around my age, large but in a way that suited him.

I like it when men enjoy watching me eat. I like men who cook food and then watch me eat it. MMMMM!

Jacques asked about my life, so I took him backward, and ended my story 6 months before, when my roommate hung himself in our bathroom.

I always like to tell that story with a little comedy, just because I can’t stand the heavy concern everyone offers me, with the hand on the shoulder, the gazing into my eyes followed by, “If you ever need to talk about it . . .”

Jacques took the hook and laughed along, occasionally nursing the Chinese student who couldn’t finish her soup because of a stomach ache.

I asked if it was my story that bothered her, she said, “No, its Paris. It doesn’t agree with me.”

Me, “Impossible. Paris agrees with everybody.”

She said, “Not me.”

Jacques doted over her as I moaned in delight over my lentils. I took pieces of bread to mop up anything remaining of the soup before dumping it in the bussing station at the bar. They both looked up at me, and I said, “Frankly, that was delicious.” They smiled.

We got up to leave. The chef smiled and walked us out of the restaurant. I allowed one last sultry stare before stepping into the cool night street.

The Student went back to Jacques’ apartment, too ill to attend the party. I wasn’t really looking forward to going to a party where the hostess hated me, but there I was. Unfortunately for her, I had to defecate in her toilet and do something about my body odor since the hot Paris day worked out every drop of water I had. So I shuffled through her perfumes and tried to disguise as much of myself as possible. She was waiting for me outside the bathroom door, cold and concerned.

I smiled and walked back into the party. There were a number of Romanians all sharing a drink called Țuică, which was a clear alcoholic beverage they made and stored in used glass bottles. Almost everyone who wasn’t Romanian passed on drinking it, but Jacques said I should try it.

The hostess said, “Its very strong. Very strong and very bitter.”


One Romanian said, “You should drink it. Its very cheap. Our mothers and fathers say it cures all things, cold, fever, flu, if you need to sleep, if you need to wake up, this fix everything.”

I said, “Ok.” Who am I to pass up on Țuică? So as everyone in the room stared at me, I took a drink. No one said a word. I swallowed and then said, “Not bad.”

Jacques laughed. “She liked it.”

I said, “I just thought it would taste like gasoline but its not bad at all.” I sucked it off my lips, “Not bitter at all.”

As the night went on, another mysterious bottle would be passed my way, and I was prodded into drinking it. I took a shot or two, buzzing ever so slightly from it. I knew I had to sleep in the airport tonight, so maybe it would help.

A beautiful Romanian girl chatted with me, she said she moved to Paris to pursue art, but the town was too expensive, and she wasn’t sure it was worth it. She preferred the cinema community in Transylvania, where everything is smaller, the films were more charming, and there was a greater sense of community.

I said, “I wish I could move to Paris, but I have three dogs.”

She said, “You should try it, bring them.”

Me, “I will look in to it when I go back home. I am starting writing school.”

She said, “And you are actress, too?”

I smiled and nodded, “Yes.”

She said, “I can see it in you. You have the stars in your eyes. Very special.”

That was one of the best things anyone has ever said to me.

The last metro was leaving at midnight, so when I realized how late it was, I bustled to get out of there. When the hostess realized I was leaving, she was suddenly warm and kissed me goodbye.

Jacques asked which airline I was leaving for. I told him I forgot. I didn’t even think about checking in on-line when I was at his place near a computer. I hadn’t bothered to prepare to leave at all, partly because the idea was so unpleasant.

He laughed.

I said, “It always works out. I wing everything.”

We got to the right metro stop for the airport and he said, “Call me or text me if you need help. I will be up.”

I hugged him a big thank you and rushed down to the train. I went the wrong way, and in four minutes, missed my train.

I texted him, “Fuck, I think I just missed it.”

That was the last train for the night.

He told me where to catch a bus, so I ran over, with my huge luggage and waited for the bus. I already used my metro ticket for the train that I missed, so I wasn’t sure if they would take it after the machine punched it. If they didn’t, I was fucked. I had only $5Euroes left and that wouldn’t be enough for a new ticket.

I was stressed out, it was midnight, and my right eye was infected. I don’t know why, it was burning red.  Aldrich kept texting, “I am tired, when can I say goodbye to you.”

I said, “Almost to the airport. Please wait for me.”

On the bus, I acted like I didn’t know how to use the ticket machine, so an attendant accepted my validated ticket.

Collapsing on a dark seat on a nearly empty bus, two young American couples crashed near me. They were young and loud.

Girl, “That wasn’t so bad. We missed the show but getting drunk under the Eiffel Tower was pretty good, too.”

Boy, “Well, it was so awesome seeing Kanye up there on stage. He totally killed that show. I think he even made eye contact with me once.”

Girl, “COOL!”

I rolled my eyes and popped in my ear buds for more Doors to flood out my reality:

Wild Child,
Full of grace.
Savior of the human race, your cool face . . .
Natural child, terrible child,
Not your mother’s or your father’s child,
You’re our child. Screamin’ wild.

It was over a half an hour before the bus sadly dropped us at the first terminal. The airport was dark and nearly abandoned. I saw KLM, and remembered that was my airline.

I texted Jacques to tell him I made it safe, and thank him again.

A few of us drifted around the glass doors, tugging on one or two that were locked. The two young American boys started getting restless, “Whoa, this is NOT cool.”

I walked further down a little, making eye contact with the Egyptian janitor. I smiled. He quietly indicated the open door, and it easily opened for me. Everyone followed me in, and we all dispersed in an empty airport.


Everything was closed until morning, so it was kind of like camping. You had to find a spot that looked hidden away but exposed enough that you wouldn’t be raped or killed quietly, and get as comfortable as possible.

My eye was really infected now, so I took out my contact lens, used the bathroom and called Aldrich.

He was very groggy. I said, “How far away is this airport from Paris? It took forever to get here.’

Yawning, he said, “Very far.”

I said, “Oh look! A flight to Toulouse! Tomorrow at 7am.”

He laughed, lightly.

Me, “I don’t see my flight up here. Can you look up my flight number?”

I gave him my gmail account details, and through labored English he said, “13,267 unread . . . emails.”

Me, “Yeah, I hold on to things.”

Aldrich, “13,267?”

Me, “Yes, yes, yes, look under my folder, Paris Cannes Trip? What is my flight number?”

He found it for me, as I settled into a seat across from the metal detector. I tried to lay everything out so my legs, waist and head could all line up comfortably, but gave up and crunched my body to fit in the seat.

We chatted on the phone until he stopped answering my questions, and all I could hear was the even breathing of a sleeping boy.

I listened for a little longer, knowing I would never hear him again, and I hung up.

My head grew heavy too, I took out Abe’s ipod and popped on “Fight Club” until I drifted off to sleep.


In a few hours, I woke up to say goodbye. I was cold, grouchy, my feet were throbbing, and there was no free coffee in sight. I avoided everyone until I was in my seat and asleep again.


I woke up in Amsterdam . . .

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Père Lachaise: Finding my Dead, Rock Star Boyfriend

My last morning in Paris.

I took the metro down to Père Lachaise. It was late in the morning, but my flight didn’t leave until early the next morning. I planned on spending the night in the airport, not only to save a hostel fee but also because the metro wasn’t up and going until early in the morning, and it would be bad to miss my flight- though I thought about it.

I threw my luggage into the storage closet at the hostel, and took off on foot with the iPod Abe gave me and a few Euroes, enough for a bite to eat and a handful of metro trips.


When I arrived to the Cemetery, I used a map my sister printed out for me with circled people, or resting places, of interest. There really was only one person I was there to see. Jim.

It is a morbid pursuit to visit the graves of those among the dead who inspire you. There were three graves I put on my short list when I was 20: Ella Fitzgerald, Jim Morrison and James Baldwin. It hasn’t really changed in almost 15 years.


In 2002, I visited the grave of Ella Fitzgerald with my fiance at the time. It was a little anti-climatic. She was in a the Sunset Memorial Garden Mausoleum in Inglewood. Surrounded by marble walls and a few drifting strangers, I found her in a drawer on a wall. I brought a flower for her and took a moment to tell her how her music carried me. In my big move from home, Washington state to Orange County, she was all I played.

Somewhere behind that wall, whatever was left of the greatest voice on the planet, was rotting, legless, inside a tomb.

“Man, woman, or child, Ella is the greatest.” -Bing Crosby

The deeper question is, if we have spirits, would she hear my prayer to her, and if she did, would it matter? Does it need to matter to her? I never knew her. I never felt her, embraced her, spoke to her. She was just a voice I found on a soundtrack once, and it led to one CD then another, then three more, then everything I could find.

I want to say there was a great satisfaction in finding her and speaking to her flesh, suspended three feet off the ground. I can’t say there was. We are always looking to connect to greatness, whether it be to acknowledge it changed us for the better or to become a part of it ourselves.

Whoever Ella Fitzgerald was on this planet, during that time, she is gone now.

In “Midnight to Paris”, Woody Allen creates the ultimate fantasy scenario of a writer going back in time to meet artists he loved in Paris. He brushes elbows with greatness, but the most influential person he meets is his muse, a beautiful woman who mingled with artists, was the lover to many, but is otherwise anonymous in the folds of history. She herself doesn’t exist in his time, and he has to let her go in the shadowed corridors of time.


When you commune with the dead, you have to rely on faith and mysticism.

As much as I love Ella, my love affair with her is only half in time as the one I carry with Jim.

The moment I saw him on television at 12, he ignited a kind of fascination. When I was 14, I listened to a whole album of “The Doors” for the first time while laying on my parents living room floor, wasting time to avoid a block party. When I listened to “The End” for the first time, my eyes were closed and my head was spinning on our off-white carpet in a sterile, manufactured home in Vancouver, Washington.

When the last chord erupted and the tape popped off the play button with a plastic ‘clack’, I opened my eyes and knew the music got inside of me in a way nothing had before. Few things reach you on a holy plane, some people might describe their relationship with Jesus or the birth of a child. When I fall in love, and a boy buzzes around my mind, violently fluttering in memories despite any reason or restraint, I say to myself, “The boy got inside of me.”

When I was 14, there on my parents’ floor, Jim got inside of me. And unlike the boys I have fallen in and out of love with over the years, there he remains.

(I always love finding images of him smiling, it is a beautiful smile, isn’t it?)

I give myself breaks from the music, to keep sane. I force myself to go on fasts and sometimes fall in love with other music, like the Rolling Stones, Guns N’ Roses, Janis Joplin, Nirvana, Bob Dylan or Fiona Apple. Like a jealous lover, in a bar or on the radio, Jim will find me again to remind me of our commitment. And I fall all over again.

In the last 20 years, for a girl who drifted from her family and can’t hold on to a lover, his voice has grown to become the most familiar, over any anyone else in the flesh.

“Music is your only friend, until the end.”

So I pranced into the cemetery with a map in hand. My family warned me that his grave was difficult to find, so when I walked in, I said aloud, “Ok, Jim, guide me.”

Père Lachaise is a very old cemetery, and has walls built around it, enclosing all the stones and bodies in a sacred circle. Tall stones, flat stones, grandiose tombs, spectacular sculptures, names worn down by time and weather with fresh and dying flowers, they all reach above the ground like a hand grasping for life.

In a matter of minutes, I knew I was close to him. Searching for people, I saw a few heads gathered together over a few tombs to my right- so I headed over and immediately saw him. The bust was stolen, I am told. Now, the poor dead guy in the small tomb next to him has to take the brunt of it, advertising handwritten love notes to Jim and Doors song lyrics.


People crowded around a waist high fence that blocked him from us. They took pictures, smiling at the camera, holding a lighter or posing like they are on the face of a postcard. I found that to be somewhat nauseating. That is a dead person, not a landmark.

His grave had a few flowers, a porcelain angel on top, laying on its belly, with its face in its hands. It seemed bare compared to the photos on the internet.

Jim’s dad engraved a stone that reads: “ΚΑΤΑ ΤΟΝ ΔΑΙΜΟΝΑ ΕΑΥΤΟY or “true to his own spirit”.


People stood around, chatted in various languages, drifted in and out. I waited. I was going to climb that fence and give him my present; a brief love note folded over two flowers I plucked from the heart of Paris.

A guy stood off to the side, we spoke a little.

I said, “This is a little disappointing. I was hoping to have a personal moment.”

He said, “I know . . . I came from his apartment in Paris. It’s not far from here, you know where Beautreillis is?”

I said, “I think so, its a stop on the metro, right?”

He said, “Yeah, just get off there. Its on Rue Beautreillis (he took out his iPhone and showed me a photo)”

“Here is his window where he died. And (scrolling) here is the pub across the street. Once you see that, you know you are there.”

I thought about it, but was not sure I needed to go there.

He said goodbye, and I moved around the front of the gate to sit down on a swollen tree root reaching under the foot of the fence. The tree was proudly bound in more notes for Jim, pictures glued on of his face, more song lyrics. I pulled out the iPod and played “The Severed Garden”. Then I just sat there.


I wondered where Pam Courson was. Turns out, she is still buried in Santa Ana because no one worked hard enough on getting the right paperwork filed to transport her body back to her lover. Assholes.

As people left, more people came. There was never a moment alone, and I grew irritated.

An American guy with carob skin and a baseball hat stood in front of me, looked down and smiled, “Are you listening to Jim?”

I forced a smile and nodded.

He pulled out a beer and popped it open. He took two swigs and then offered it down to me. I nodded and took two swigs myself.

“The End” came on.

I handed the beer back to him and said, “This is a bummer, man. I can’t be alone with my dead boyfriend. I have a note to give him.”

He said, “Yeah, lots of people. You are going to have to hop the fence.”

I said, “I know, I was waiting, but there is always someone here.”

He shrugged his shoulders. His girlfriend was standing behind us, obviously not a fan.

After a few minutes, he shook my hand and left.

“LA Woman” came on.

I sat there and waited longer.

My heart was beating. A little golf cart with the groundskeepers whizzed by. Could they arrest me for jumping the fence? People must do it all the time. I wished I had woken up earlier so I could have been there and talked to him.

Several people drifted away, and all that was left was a young Russian couple. So I slowly hoisted my foot up and stepped over the fence with ease. My legs are so long, it was no obstacle. I felt the couple staring at me as I dropped my note on the bed in front of his tombstone, I kissed my hand and laid it on the cold stone, then stepped back over and walked away.

I won’t say that I felt Jim. I wish I could say I did. He wasn’t there.

“L’America” came on.

The song starts with Jim hissing like a lizard and then has a great chord progression that sweeps up your heart and brings it to a march. I know it well, and started dancing . . . in a cemetery.

I skipped over the cobble stone and winding curbs, singing.

♫♪ C’mon people, don’t ya look so down
You know the rain man’s comin’ ta town
Change the weather, change your luck
And then he’ll teach ya how ta…find yourself
L’America ♫♪

A few people looked at me strangely, but I couldn’t stop my feet from hopping and jumping up and down the narrow walkways. Whatever life stirred among the empty bodies of all those artists shook from the ground, through my tattered feet and up my legs. I spun towards the end of the song, losing my breath, “♫♪ L’America L’America L’America L’America L’America L’America ♫♪”.

I let the playlist Abe created for me play on, and kept my headphones in, only taking them out for the occasional tourist looking for Jim’s grave. I directed them, and danced on.

The sky was overcast, but it was warm. Everyone there fought through English to help each other find someone they were looking for, or act as a guide. We were all there for the same reason, and over us a blanket of respect, all the mourners and fans, one in the same really.

The next grave on my list was Chopin. It was hard finding him, since he was on the cusp of a complicated round-about. When I was near, I saw more people crowded around, and a stone filled with fresh flowers. A woman sat next to him, holding her head in her hands. My father told me he receives fresh flowers on his grave everyday.


I walked up to the stone and whispered, “Thank you.”

Then, I danced on.

I skipped around the edge of the cemetery, and after someone volunteered to help me, I found Oscar Wilde. His tomb was elaborate, white with a winged, Egyptian creature overhead. Around it was a tall glass wall with lipstick kisses and cute, witty messages all over it. You see all those kisses, and smile. How wonderful to be a writer, a gay male writer, and have millions of kisses from women all over the world and time pressed forever on your final pillow.

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A few people had a band-aid stuck to the wall with a message drawn on the fleshy plastic. My mother packed a handful of band-aids in my bag, so I pulled out one, wrote a profession of love, put on a thick coat of lipstick and kissed it.  (I wasn’t compelled to kiss a dirty glass wall in the middle of Paris) I stuck the band-aid on the wall, leaned back and smiled.

(not featured below for anonymity)


A Russian looked at my purple socks in leopard skin converse and said, in broken English, “Nice shoes.”

I said, “Thanks!”

“Crawling King” came on.

Looking for a few other writers, I grew exhausted. Walking on the cobble stone, you constantly correct your footing, so my ankles ached. I tried to stay on the smooth upside of the curbs, railing the pathway. It was getting to be the middle of the day, and the free bread roll I was given for breakfast was burning into ash. I gave up looking for Proust and Moliere.

On my way backward, I found Gertrude Stein. No one was there.

I sat down next to her to rest my feet. Little notes, some dusty and deteriorating, others fresh from someone’s notebook, were folded around her headstone and weighted down by pebbles. I took out my notebook and stared at a blank page.


Looking up at her I said, “If I were to write something, it would feel a bit forced. Maybe its better that I just sit here for a while.”

And with Gertrude Stein, I felt something. There was a warmth, comfort, encouragement. I put my hand on the stone, and through the cool, polished stone, I felt her say, “Keep writing.” I smiled and felt my eyes fill with saltwater, the saltwater saved for Jim.

The artist I was most unfamiliar with, was the one who offered an appearance.

A couple saw me and walked towards me. The woman said, “Oh, Gertrude Stein.” I got up to leave, but felt grateful, and I hope she felt it, too.

“Roadhouse Blues” came on.

I danced back to Jim’s grave to say goodbye. People were crowded around, someone teetering atop someone else’s gravestone to get a better look. Another person was climbing back over the fence after dropping off a small bottle of whiskey. It is truly amazing that these artists always had someone visiting them at every minute of the day. What influence to reach all these people, many, if not all, were born after their death.

I checked to see if my note was still there. It was. No stone was weighing it down, and the wind was picking up, so it could blow away at any moment. Maybe a stranger would find it and read it, wondering where or to whom it belongs. What if it rained and destroyed it? Does someone come by and pick up all the notes, and if so, what do they do with them? Do they read them?

I knew Robby and Ray (of the Doors) were coming by in July to visit him on the anniversary of his death. Maybe they collect the notes and read them.

Jim wasn’t there. So did it matter if he got my handwritten note, made on milled wood and carved on with ink? Probably not. Deep down inside, I want him to know how much he means to me. That is a mortal impediment, to need to communicate the self to the universe for acknowledgement. We are only ourselves, as one entity, for this one fleeting moment. Then we are absorbed into the unknown, marrying other energies or fragmenting into many more.

“WASP (Texas Radio and the Big Beat)” came on.

“Out here in the perimeter, there are no stars. Out here, we is stoned … immaculate.”

There are many of you out there who feel his poetry and lyricism are pedestrian,  because he is a rock star.

I can tell you as someone who learned all of his lyrics before college, there is profound reference to history and symbolism I realized only in my higher education, sitting in class, reading or hearing what he is actually singing about.

I know there are some who will say he is a self-destructive alcoholic, drug addict, and a womanizer. It took me a bottle of wine to write this blog, just so I could quiet voices.  Some from the animals being slaughtered for food, or in animal shelters, their pictures posted on my Facebook feed. Or to dampen the screams of those killed in a movie theater during the Batman shootings of Aurora, Colorado. Or to hide the images of the boy I love, now, halfway across the country, who is on a camping trip and undeniably having intercourse with any woman who tempts him. So I ask you, reader, how do you do anything while opening your mind without silencing those voices using a substance? I would love to know.

I don’t consider myself an addict because when I wake up, I might be able to forget about the world long enough to walk my dogs or serve plates of bland, expensive food to the wealthy, but not when I lift the window in my mind to write, the same window that lets the Muse whirl in with the world clutching on her coattails, I can’t screen any of it out. So maybe I relate to Jim.

I left him sleeping.

Once I wrote my little prayer, I had to let it go. That is the very nature of prayers anyway, you say it, lift it to the skies, and hope it’s heard.

My prayer, you may wonder, said:

“Jim, thank you for showing me the magic. Love . . .”

 

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Making Love to the Doors . . . Will Make You Crazy

The Doors (Ray Manzarek and Robby Krieger) were playing once again with Dave Brock on vocals on April 26th.

We were all running late that day. Abe bought tickets last minute but had to work  and I spent the afternoon with Jeph touring the LACMA museum.

Drifting through modern art, we sat in each other’s silences, talked about the Surrealist Women’s Exhibit.

And we spoke about little things. Jeph is my oldest friend in Los Angeles. Always sporting a Hawaiian shirt and an off-the-wall positive attitude, it’s easy to be his friend.

We walked along the tar pits and wandered in the museum like it was cavities of someone else’s mind.

 

Then I left him to rush over to Frank’s, where the dogs were, and get ready for the Doors show in Anaheim.

I was exhausted, and Frank trapped me in his living room with Stones music. He said, “You seem to be more into the Stones these days.”

I said, “No. I love dancing to the Stones, but once I start listening to Doors music, I obsess.”

No one really knows what to expect when you say something like that. Most of the time, people usually think I am exaggerating or being dramatic. I have had to ration Doors music earlier in my life, just to get on with things. I get stuck sometimes, listening to them. Trapped in a melody, trapped in time. It’s difficult to function, so often I avoid Doors music all together until everything around me has changed, and the routine shifts.

I wore a simple hippie t-shirt with birds and hearts, skinny jeans, and danced out the door as Frank tempted me with one last Stones song.

I made good time in traffic and arrived to Downtown Disney about an hour before they were scheduled to hit the stage.

I waited in line, looking for  Cece, the girl who hustled the last Doors show with me at the Whiskey in August. I didn’t see her or Abe anywhere. I also couldn’t get a signal to call or text anyone. If Abe could find me in Joshua Tree, he could find me here, right?

The line snaked around the entrance a few times, so I just got in line after will call and waited. Funny enough, the man in front of me was an American who lived in Paris, and the three men behind me were French. Charming, middle-aged and wonderfully flirtatious, they kept my attention on what museums to see, what to look for and what to eat.

When the line started moving, they bought me a drink, and soon I drifted away looking for my friends. I turned into CeCe and got an enormous hug. She and her boyfriend greeted me and we all went to the bathroom.

On the way out of the bathroom, I ran into Abe. We hugged and pecked- he swung around to the bathroom and returned for introductions. He always thinks people act weird around him. Its that high school reject in him I identify with, but he hasn’t yet learned from that life. Its pure perception.

We made our way to the bottom floor by the stage. It was incredibly crowded. Abe said, “It will take too long to get a beer down here, so I am going to go upstairs, ok?”

I held onto his hand and reluctantly let it go.

CeCe, her man and I got a spot at the end of the bar, on the far right of the stage. A young man of about 25 wavered back and forth, staring at me.

CeCe said, “I think you have a fan.”

I smiled and waved. He lazily opened his eyes a little and raised those plump lips into a bigger smile. He was handsome and very, very drunk.

I said, “It’s so easy to make new friends here.”

The lights went out and the music for Carmina Burana: Introduction burst from the speakers, which is odd since it is on the soundtrack for the film (I know no other affiliation) and I happen to know Ray Manzarek hated the Doors movie. Then “Roadhouse Blues” kicked in.

I frantically looked for Abe, pushing through so many people, their perfume and sweat rubbed off on me. I made my way all the way to the staircase to the upper level . . . no Abe.

The music . . .

The music was calling me.

I slid, and excused myself, and pushed, and wiggled my way back to the spot by the stage and danced.

This time, Dave Brock toned down his over-sexualized, bawdy Morrison impression and just sang the music with an occasional leap in the air.

I danced, and my drunk boy fan turned towards me and put his hand on his heart, stumbling back. I laughed. He was adorable, though totally gone.

We danced through “Break on Through” and then “When the Music’s Over”. At that point, despite knocking into me and another woman, he knocked into a short Hispanic man, forcing his drink to spill. The Hispanic man didn’t like that and Drunk boy’s friend intervened. Then security escorted him out.

That sucked.

I sang and danced.

I want to hear
I want to hear
The scream of the butterfly”

Then they did “Moonlight Drive” one of my favorites. This is where the group singing died out and only the hardcore fans kept singing along. Ray even sang “Horse Latitudes” which is an unusual track and even hard to listen to.

Next song was “Wild Child” from the Soft Parade album (considered their weakest album but I feel it is sorely underrated), then “Rock Me” . . . oh Rock Me . . . the song that might get me to close my eyes and make love to any man like he is Jim Morrison.

“My Eyes Have Seen You” from Strange Days . . . “Love Me Two Times” . . . then “Not to Touch the Earth” . . . . mmmm. What a great arrangement, even better than the Whiskey I think.

Was it around”Touch Me” that a group of three fat girls pushed me out of the way to dance next to the stage. I didn’t mind, I was deep in the music. My dancing was in the corner under a shadow, where only my friends and an older man in his 60s could really see me.

The girls noticed me, and one grabbed my arm and said, “I love you.”

I said, “Thank you.”

Then she pushed me up to the stage, she said, “You belong here, come here.”

I resisted at first, but knew in a matter of seconds, all these people would smell my BO. I was dancing so hard, no amount of perfume or deodorant could possibly mask the Minestrone-esque scent pouring out of my body.

So I got up near the corner of the stage and found myself next to the giant speaker on stage left.

“LA Woman” came on, a song a few close friends consider my mantra. It’s a tragic mantra, but if its Doors, I will take it.

The burn of the opening music shook the speaker, and I felt the sound move like wind against my body. I knew my hearing was going to take a hit standing next to this thing. The music seduced me. It was that point when there is nothing but a thin pair of cotton panties between you and a man. The point of no return.

I leaned up against the speaker and started rocking with the music. Security showed up, but politely wedged themselves between me and the audience.  They were going to let me stay there. I was propped up high enough that I was dancing just over everyone’s heads but also just below the stage, visible to Ray on keyboards.

Are you a lucky little lady in the City of Light
Or just another lost angel . . . City of Night
City of Night, City of Night, City of Night whoa, come on!

The music was pounding through my back and I braced myself against the speaker with one arm as I danced like a Go-Go dancer. I sang so hard my lungs scorched through the thumping of bass.

Everyone sang.

Drivin’ down your freeways
Midnight alleys roam
Cops in cars
in Topless Bars
Never saw a woman,
So alone . . . so alone . . .

 

Dave Brock groaned the lyrics and I watched his hair bounce. From a distance if I squint a little, he could pass for Jim.

The song slowed and throbbed against my butt, and I rubbed myself all over that speaker like a cat slithering on catnip.

I wouldn’t say that dancing is usually sexy for me, though that seems a ridiculous thing to say since you are moving your body to a beat. And I know when people see me dancing hard for 90 minutes or more, the thought occurs to them, “I wonder what she’s like in bed.”

The woman who tapped Abe’s shoulder at the Brixton during the Stones show said, “She is just getting started, you are in for a long night.”

I think it’s humorous. I don’t mind people commenting on my dancing since it does become such a spectacle. And little did she know that the one who can last a long time is Abe. So I won’t deny that my dancing always has a sexual element, despite my overall feeling that it is not overtly sexual.

The exception was this night, at the House of Blues.

That speaker was a hot bed of rhythm and heat.

It was making love to me, saying everything I knew by heart, everything I wanted to hear . . .

“If they say I never loved you . . .
You know they are a liar.”

Gently slapping my ass with building speed, air blowing on the back of my neck and through my hair I fought my reluctance to stop. I wanted to die there, and let the music shake me into smoking embers.

The band bowed off stage, at which point we all started screaming. My throat was dry and cracking.

“Ray? Robby? Please? Don’t stop. More!!!!!!”

They came back out, the lights and cheers from the crowd rose like it was all orchestrated from a hidden booth.

“Riders on the Storm” drizzled on through the speakers, like the mist before a storm. I rocked back and forth against the speaker and sang with Dave in that erotic whisper.

Ray introduced “Light my Fire” next and I curled my upper lip. Of course. Let’s do “Light My Fire” in case we didn’t hear it 4,000 times on the radio earlier that day.

It is my least favorite Doors song, but when it started, the lights turned orange and yellow and my experience took a new level.

At this point, I could see Ray smiling from afar as he pressed hard on the keyboard. I felt like the band knew I was there and enjoyed pushing and stroking the instruments as my body responded from 25 ft. away. It was like strings were tugging on my limbs and hips, and they were the puppeteers.

I anticipated the beat, but felt their breath move me from the speakers and gently push me to their cues.

Was Ray looking at me? Was he smiling at me?

The song went on for its extended length, Ray played the keyboard with his foot again and I was soaking wet all over the place. I mean . . . all over the place.

When they stopped, they bowed, and I screamed for them not to go. They didn’t look my direction.

Here, yeah, I almost started crying.

“Please? PLEASE! NOO!”

Robby handed out guitar picks to everyone in the front but completely avoided my wing of the stage. This I took very personally. WHAT THE FUCK?

The play lists were thrown out to the crowd, and people grabbed for them, tearing them apart.

The security guards who allowed me to dance against the stage, now wedged between me and my obsession.

I said, “What do I have to do to get back there? I really need to meet them.”

Security Guard, “Sorry, they told me no one can go back there.”

Me, “DON’T THEY KNOW WHO I AM!?”

The security guards chuckled a little.

Me, “Seriously, I will do anything to get back there. ANYTHING.”

A guy behind me said, “She will do anything.”

The Security Guard slowly shook his head as if to toss this around for a second.

Then I said, “I saw Axl Rose! They let me back to see him.”

They chuckled again.

Defeated, I shrunk a little and said, “Well, do you think they saw me, at least?”

Security Guard, “I am pretty sure everyone saw you. That’s why I asked to work this side .”

I put my hands on the barrier and jumped up and down, screaming Beatle-Mania again.

Someone handed me a ripped play list as a consolation prize. This crowd was generous with me.

I turned and pouted towards CeCe and her boyfriend, who were calmly waiting for me to run myself down. Another Security Guard approached and said, “The show is over, the doors are that way.”

CeCe said, “No, the Doors are that way.” She pointed towards the fallen curtain.

I leaned forward and said, “If the doors of perception were cleansed, everything would appear to man as it truly is . . . infinite.”

He smiled politely and once again, motioned to the doors.  I growled.

I left and walked out into the cool night air. Abe nowhere to be found. CeCe and I said our goodbyes and I headed back to my car to chain smoke my frustration away.

Once again, I needed more.

I called Abe, and there was no answer.

I was hot and tipsy (people bought me drinks) and I needed to collapse.

First, I thought about heading back to Frank’s where the dogs were, then I resolved to just go to Abe’s since it was only 10 minutes away. I pulled in and somehow saw him.

Me, “What the fuck?”

Abe, “They locked the downstairs so I couldn’t go back down. Good show though.”

That was a good reason.

I said, “Ok, I am coming down hard from this.”

So he led me back into his apartment, and his roommate was still up. I was panting and groaning for more music. It was a little over the top.

Abe put his hand on my back and pushed me passed his roommate, “We are going through a little Doors withdrawal.”

Abe and I showered to get the sweat off. I couldn’t stay in one spot for very long, so dried off, pacing back and forth in his room.

Abe, “Are you upset because Jim Morrison is dead? Thats what this is really about isn’t it?”

Me, “Of course I am upset he is dead. And the same strain of heroin killed Janis. NO ONE CARES!”

Abe downloaded all the Doors albums to his ipod and plugged in speakers so I could listen to it.

Moonlight Drive
People Are Strange
My Eyes Have Seen You

Then, “I Can’t See Your Face in my Mind” came on. A little B-side favorite of mine.

I got on my knees at the side of the bed and put my head between the speakers, then rubbed them over both my ears.

Insanity’s horse
Adorns the sky
Can’t seem to find the right lie

Carnival dogs
Consume the lines
Can’t see your face in my mind

Abe, “You need to take a walk and blow off whatever this is.”

I whined, “I need the music.”

Abe put it in a bag and we walked with the music as I skipped and complained about not being backstage.

I was manic and running out of cigarettes.

Abe, “Baby, its almost 3am. I have to go to sleep. What is going on with you?”

Me, “THIS IS my mental illness. Don’t you get it? This is my disease. Once I start with this music, I can’t stop.”

Abe, “Calm down.”

Me, “I am trying. I am annoyed by myself too. My brain won’t stop.”

We walked a bit more in the night, as his little ipod echoed the dead voice of someone who could never satisfy me.

Abe, “What can I do to get you to stop?”

Me, “Nothing. Nothing would satisfy me. Not if they played longer. Not if it was the real Doors concert. It all ends and my mind just keeps going.”

We were out of pot and there was nothing to calm me down. *Note to Self: Bring Valium next Doors concert

Around 4am, I stopped. My breath slowed. The music stopped.

At 6am, I had to be up for a morning show call. I felt like shit. Not to mention, I had to work later in the day at Doggie Daycare.

Abe texted me later that day: “My roommate says U were coked up last night? U did act like you were coming down. Did Frank give you coke?”

Me: “No. I had 4 beers and love the Doors. That’s all.”

“If I had coke, I would have shared some before fucking you. I thought you knew me better.”

Abe: “I said to him U weren’t and would have told me. But where did U get all that energy.”

Me: “I am crazy. I thought you knew.”

Abe: “Last night was a heavy dose of hyper something from U.”

Me: “I have a chemical imbalance.”

Abe: “Tell yr brain to fix it.”

Me: “I have come a long way. I used to be manic like that 70% of the time when I was 16-17. Its not so bad every once in a while for something I love so much.”

Abe: “But how did U talk to people acting strange like that? Its like U could do anything all of a sudden like U arent in control. Yr hot too.”

Me: “I was painfully shy and only close to a few people who thought I was bi-polar. Various theories about what medication to put me on and reactions to alcohol. I was just hyped up and bizarre. I forced myself to calm down, exercise, smoked weed and my brain chemicals balanced more.

I still have bouts of mania and depression, but only few and far between. Pot, sleep and exercise make all the difference. And escaping adolescence.

I do love the Doors WAY too much.”

Abe: “I believe U and cant believe it. :)”

 

I crawled into work again with sore hamstrings, but the only thing I could think about was, “What’s my next concert?”

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Run, Rabbit, Run. Dig that Hole. Forget the Sun.

 

After a day of sleeping and eating Thai Food, I had yet another day off. I knew I had to clean. Someone gave me some pills, as it was explained to me, half speed/half MDMA. I thought this would help me focus on organizing my space.

I was plowing through the Best Oscar nominees for Best Picture and had started “Tree of Life” the night before. The thing is, my computer is short on a little memory, so the picture and audio smear and stutter when I have too many applications going. You play a surrealist film by Terrence Malick when you are just half asleep, and you don’t know what the hell is going on.

Playing it again after taking a hybrid narcotic was . . . indescribably confusing and oddly fascinating.

Now, before the pill had sunk into the cushioned hull of my lower torso, I had realized someone who commented on my reused profile pic had since defriended me. When? I don’t know, but I liked her. I thought she was nice.

I shot her an email:

Me: Just noticed I am no longer a friend? I always accidentally offend people.

Sorry for whatever it was.

Her: Hey,

You didn’t do anything specific, its was more my trying not to offend you.

Me: Its hard to offend me . . . but we can keep it vague if you prefer.

Happy V Day

Her: I can be honest with you if you wish but I imagine you have heard it all before.

Huh. Well . . .

I wrote: Wow. That sounds . . . um, not friendly?

Gosh, its a shame, cause I really liked you. I guess I am just an asshole.

If you read my last post, you know I was already in a dark place about everything social and professional. Basically, anything that has to do with people. You know that knot that forms in your stomach, to help prepare you for a real punch to the gut? It was forming.

Luckily, something else was growing faster . . . the drug.

I laid down on my bed and watched as, from what I remember, a soul ascended from the Earth and spun back into the energy field of our universe.

I felt warm tears spring down my face, and I felt good. I felt right.

One pill makes you larger,
And one pill makes you small,
And the ones that mother gives you don’t do anything at all.

Go ask Alice, when she’s ten feet tall.

 

The video player indicated I was only halfway through the video, despite feeling like the entire day went by and this movie was never-ending.

The room looked dirty. Piles of clothes in opposite corners.

I looked at the keyboard. Was it really that dirty?

When logic and proportion,
Have fallen sloppy dead.

Another email from my defriend:

“;-) I’m not sure if its friendly or not.
You aren’t an asshole, there is just a little too much self imposed drama in your life and a lot of days it was taking all myself control not to tell you to knock it off and grow up. I didn’t think it was any of my business nor did I think it would make a bit of difference in your life but I also was having a hard time watching it without butting in so I defriended.

Thats all. I still read your blog sometimes and I do hope u get published someday….

So there it is…I’ve officially done what I was trying not to do, I hope you aren’t offended.”

Well . . . again, another person who has trouble tolerating me personally liked my blog. Jesus Christ, thank God for this thing or else my self-esteem would fall through the floor.

I wrote:
Not offended at all. I could use more friends like you, honestly.

Then I updated my status: “If I knew today was the day I would discover the origin of life and man vs. ego, I would have never sent that email this morning asking why someone defriended me.”

It was getting difficult to type.

I pinged back Abe:

Abe: So –can we have some time together today

Me: I need you here
right now
I took the pill
3:32 PM I AM ON SOME OTHER PLANET
please come here
now

Abe: just one

Me: that is all I need
I can not distinguish fantasy
from reality

Abe: come on

Me: I need a fucking cigarette
but I cannot drive
I am very happy
actually
but I am not at all in control
of anything
I need you
3:33 PM serious
ly
HURRY MAN

Abe: ok
relax

Me: Come to me
now

Abe: if thats possible

Me: I comandeth thee

Abe: come to me now?
haha

Me: NOW SHE SAYS

Abe: sexy

Me: I need you here now
seriously
like right now
3:34 PM I was hoping you got the psychic post it and were already here
I seriously need you
;like seriously

Abe: I got my car done

Me: I need your help
please come here now

Abe: I need you help with what?

Me: my perception of reality
the walls are moving
I am hallucinating
and laughing
3:35 PM and I think I have tapped into a million answers
but I might just be losing my mind
the keyboard is floating

Abe: OK just chill

Me: Abe
here

Abe: dont go anywhere

Me: NOQ
NOW
I cant
I need help
come here
pleasure me
tell me this
I see things
this movie
like is it the computer or my mind

Abe: OKOK

Me: making this movie do this

3:36 PM Abe: write it down

Me: I cant see my hands

Abe: Im leaving soon

Me: they are vibrating

Abe: Do you have any food?

Me: no
cookikes
I have COOKIES
they are almost gone
I need a cigarette
COME HERE
I NEED YOU
COME
ABE
ME
TREE OF LIFE
\
3:37 PM Abe: You better chilli and not go baserko on me
Im about to drive throught a shit load of traffic

Me: hurry
3:38 PM I am breaking through
to another plane of thought
but I need American Spirits
I wont make it to the 711
I ham FUCKED
IIPPPPPPPPP

Abe: You are tweeked out– got that

Me: happy
come here
co,me now

Abe: Breath slower and chillax

Around this time, I walked out to smoke a cigarette to steady my mind. The steps were bright and crooked, just like my little apartment.

I climbed into my car, dug through and found a cigarette butt to use up.

Looking around, trash on the ground with 3 empty coffee cups, mail on my dash, clothes from a shoot in the back seat by the foot rest with chewed up tennis balls.

I laughed, “Is this your low? You are ridiculous! Who lives like this? A new low. Ok, why not?”

I went into the upper apartment to shower off the smell of smoke, and wondered if I should not trip where my roommate killed himself. The fact of the matter was, my toilet was in there, so it would have to do.

I stuck my key in the lock. The lock got large for me, so I would have better aim. When the key was inside, it shrunk again.

And if you go off chasing rabbits,
And you know you’re going to fall,
Tell em’ a hookah-smoking caterpillar,
Has given you the call.

Go ask Alice, when she was just small.

On the toilet, I sat across from a new roll of toilet paper that was fluctuating size as veins formed in the walls. There is a boombox Alan gave me with one CD inside of it, “Nirvana UnPlugged.” He gave it to me last August. I am still haven’t changed the CD since I am not sick of the album.

The grain of the cement in the walls surfaced out of the dull yellow paint, and I felt warm water all over my body.  I listened to Kurt Cobain sing and the accordion in “Jesus Doesn’t Want Me for a Sunbeam” crank notes out all over the bathroom, like the Earth was contracting and grinding.

The next track was a cover of David Bowie’s “The Man Who Sold the World”:

“I laughed and shook his hand, and made my way back home
I searched for a foreign land, for years and years I roamed
I gazed a gazeless stare, we walked a million hills
I must have died alone, a long long time ago

Who knows? not me
We never lost control
You’re face to face
With the Man who Sold the World.”

I thought about Kurt Cobain and what an icon he became. I thought about Jim Morrison, “This is the land of the Pharaoh died.”

Was the Pharaoh Kurt?

Egypt.

What about Egypt?

I could see it in my mind, as veins pulsed throughout the shower and the walls slowly, calmly convulsed.

We are from Egypt. There we understand it didn’t matter who you were. Celebrity is bullshit. We are all here to spark movement in the a dragon . . . in a beast. To promote the evolution of life. To enlighten.

I went back downstairs to my apartment and laid down on the bed. I could feel Egypt. The work, how hard we all worked there.

Then I thought, my dogs were there with me. We were all buried together and now they are here with me again, in the next life.

*Footnote: Throughout the history of Ancient Egypt, animals were highly respected. In no other culture have animals been as influential in so many aspects of life, nor has any culture depicted animals as often in their artwork or writing. Egyptians believed that animals were crucial to both physical and spiritual survival—vital to physical survival because they were a major source of food and to spiritual survival based on how well a person treated animals during their life on earth. The Egyptian religion taught of life after death. In order to determine a person’s admittance or denial to the afterlife, the gods would ask a series of judgment questions. One of these crucial questions would be whether they had mistreated any animals during their life on earth. Because of this religious belief, the killing of an animal was considered a serious crime punishable by death.

-“A Few Remarks upon the Religious Significance of Animals in Ancient Egypt by H. Velde

Where the hell was Abe?

I got up and looked out the window. Light kept chasing over my window, like headlights brighter than the sun.

 

My head pressed against the window glass, but it was open. There was no glass. There was a liquid film between me and the rest of the world, and I knew I couldn’t go out there.

Remember, what the dormouse said . . . Feed your head . . . Feed your head.

So I put the movie back on.

And waited.

The light went away, and the cars outside changed. One was there all day. A few left and new ones reappeared down my dirt road. The cool air played with the water in my hair.

My animals were gorgeous. They slept and listened for intruders.

Brad was spun out of gold thread.

Once upon a time there lived a miller who had a beautiful daughter. One day the miller had to visit the king’s castle. While he was there, he happened to meet the king face to face. The king stopped and spoke to the miller. Hoping to impress the king, the miller boldly told him that he had a daughter who could spin straw into gold.

“Oh,” said the king, “that is indeed a wonderful gift. Tomorrow you must bring your daughter to my castle, so she may spin some gold for me.”

Then the miller was sorry he had lied, but he had to do as the king ordered.

This particular king loved gold more than anything else, so he was very pleased at the prospect of turning straw into gold. He led the poor girl into one of the giant castle rooms. There, in the middle of the room, stood a spinning wheel, and near it was a great heap of straw.

The king turned to the miller’s daughter, and said, “There is your spinning wheel, and here is the straw. If you do not spin all of it into gold by morning, your head shall be cut off.” Then the king left the room and locked the door.

That’s a bummer.

Very clever to spin my little dog into gold and give him to a poor girl like me.

What?

Esther went to the window, and came back. Her cropped ears moved like triangles independent of her body. Her big Disney eyes watched me as she paraded back and forth. Triangle horse.

Abe arrived.

I said, “Thank God, I need a cigarette.”

He handed me one and I went outside. The sun was setting over the mountain across from my apartment. I smiled.

He said, “What’s going on?”

I said, “I am tripping BALLS, man!”

He said, “Did you eat anything today?”

I said, “No, but I have had 6 cups of coffee.”

He chuckled, “Great.”

Then I added, “I have been trying to talk myself into getting that box of cereal out of my car for the last 6 hours.”

He laughed, “Just calm down, alright. I brought some bread.”

I said, “I am calm. I am happy. I mean, I have so much to tell you. This day started with me sending off an email to this girl who defriended me. And I asked why.”

He groaned, “Awww.”

I said, “No, its ok. It really is. We only ever had this very awkward Thanksgiving dinner with her husband so it really doesn’t matter. But thats the point. None of that bullshit matters. And I can see it now. It doesn’t matter if people don’t like me.”

I forgot about the one other time we hung out, she and her friends met me for a pedicure and left before paying the bill. So I had to make the salon call her and tell her to come back, since I wasn’t going to pay for everyone’s pedicure. They said it was an accident, but it was a bizarre, and unforgettably awkward accident.

Abe, “I think people do like you, they just . . . don’t want to get caught up in the storm.”

I nodded.

I said, “Its ok. I am used to people avoiding me.”

Inside, I laid out on my bed. With all the dogs and my balance, I was having trouble not sliding off of my bed.

Abe pulled out the folding chair across from my bed and sat down.

He said, “When you were young, you were dealing with emotionally mature things around other people on a different level. So, you got on their nerves. No big deal.”

I nodded and slid off my bed. I laughed, and kept trying to get back on, but Maggie wouldn’t move.

I laughed, “I mean . . . this is ridiculous . . . living like this. I am on a pile all the time. Piles there, a pile in my car. I mean .  . . this really is a low for me.”

I slid off again and we both laughed until we couldn’t stop tears.

He said, “Its good to laugh with you. Release, that’s what it is.”

I climbed back on and slid back on the far corner of the bed, behind Maggie, Esther and Brad. All three of them stared at him.

Abe, “They are protecting you.”

I smiled.

Me, “Alan said Brad protects my sleeping body.”

Abe, “Good!”

I said, “I have discovered that we are from Egypt.”

He said, “What did you take?”

I said, “I was told it was half speed and half MDMA but . . . I am full on hallucinating, man. I mean, more than I ever did with LSD.”

He said, “I don’t like you taking drugs from people. You have to be careful.”

Me, “I know, but I trust this person.”

He cut a pill in half and swallowed. Then he combined the discarded half of fine white powder into another capsule. He forcefully reminded me not to forget which pill was disproportionately more than the others.

Me, “This is pretty strong, I am not sure you should take it.”

He shrugged.

I said, “I have been trying to watch this movie for the last 12 hours.”

He said, “You have been doing other things, that’s all. And pausing the movie.”

I said, “But I deliberately kept myself from pausing . . . I thought.”

I played “Tree of Life” and the characters sputtered across the screen and odd, distorted screaming bombarded the soundtrack.

Abe, “Turn it off! Turn it off!”

I did.

He was feeding the dogs bread.

Maggie’s face looked drawn, with her huge caramel eyes staring up at Abe and long stretches of drool falling from the corner of her mouth to the floor.

Abe fed her one piece after another, and we laughed at how desperate for food she looked. (please note: she is on a diet)

We laughed so hard, he ended up handing her the whole roll and said, “Just take it, Maggie, take it all.”

She did and we wiped tears from our eyes. The laughing was deliciously mad.

He laid down next to me. We lay next to each other as night quieted the delightful shadows dancing around my walls. A web formed over my ceiling, turning red and green. Nothing was scary.

Abe, “Am I going to have to beat up all your ex-boyfriends?”

I said, “I don’t think any of them want to fight you.”

He thrust out a few ninja chops in the air then put his hand on his chest and I saw that he was about to cry.  In the two years I have known Abe, I have never seen him get emotional.

I put my arm across him for comfort and whispered that everything was ok.

He said, “I just felt all the things I had done wrong and all the things I have done right meet at a seam. And I felt ok about it all. Like I was dying.”

I nodded, “I felt that, too.”

Then he said, “I let down your Daddy. He trusted me. And your Mom liked me. Now, they don’t.”

I said, “Well, my father said I should stop sleeping with you, because you are wasting my time.”

He nodded with his eyes closed and squinting. Like the answer was in the back of his eye lids, if he just concentrated hard enough.

I shook him, “Don’t worry. Its life, that’s all. I am changing my whole name. I will be Rita.”

Abe, “Thats a terrible idea.”

Me, “Not Rita. All . . . All Things.”

He laughed and repeated it like a song. I can still feel his throat vibrate against my cheek.

He sat up, “Is there heroin in this? This is intense.”

I said, “I don’t . . . think so.”

He got up and started shaking his head and his body, trying to put his soul back in place.

I sized him up, “Hey . . . Shaman up! You gotta shaman up! (silence) I can’t give this drug to anyone. This is too intense. You need to really know how to keep your head. Luckily, I know what the hell I am doing.”

Abe shook again, “I’m alright.”

He offered me another cigarette and I said, “I can’t take cigarettes anymore. They are hurting me.”

He stood outside as my dogs urinated in the dirt pile that we call ‘My courtyard.’

Abe, “I can see into your little world. Brad does look like a little Prince. (he started laughing) And Esther looks like . . . a horse.”

Me, “That’s right! She is a triangle horse. You are on my trip or something.”

Abe chuckled, nodded, sucked the end of his cigarette, “I see it.”

Then he said, “I wonder what Trent is doing tonight?”

I said, “People always like being around Trent and me when they are on drugs, I think because we make people feel comfortable. Then they sober up and somehow its all our fault they are who they are, or they did what they did. Like . . . what the fuck?”

Abe wondrously chuckled again.

Then we made out to the “Ten Commandments” and he said, “I just want to see the Pharaoh die.”

I said, “That’s right. Land of the Pharaoh died. What Doors song is that . . . I know it. Now listen to this, I’ll tell you about the Texas . . . tell you about the Texas .  . . radio. WASP, that’s the song!”

I played it off YouTube and a live performance came up with them, on scratchy black and white film with faulty audio.

Jim Morrison held the microphone close to his mouth like he was waiting for a kiss. We listened to the song:

I wanna tell you ’bout Texas Radio and the Big Beat
Comes out of the Virginia swamps
Cool and slow with plenty of precision
With a back beat narrow and hard to master.

Some call it heavenly in its brilliance.
Others, mean and rueful of the Western dream.
I love the friends I have gathered together on this thin raft.
We have constructed pyramids in honor of our escaping.
This is the land where the Pharaoh died.

The video would end abruptly. The browser would spin and a new Doors video came up.

I said, “Its funny, I have never seen these videos. All this time, I never thought about watching old videos of them on YouTube.”

He said, “Are you done? Are you not tripping anymore?”

I looked at my computer monitor. It was a close-up of Jim and he winked, then smiled right at me before continuing the song.

I said, “No . . . I am still hallucinating.”

Abe said, “You work tomorrow. You should sleep.”

Me, “I am fine. I will be fine tomorrow.”

It was 3am and the songs spun through old albums. The Doors looked happy at times and out of their element in others.

I sang song after song and said, “I know this music better than anything now. That’s strange.”

Its not as if I am an expert or have a photographic (or lyrical) memory of every note, but its fair to say, I know their music better than anything. And I totally blanked on the lyric that led me on my pill induced journey.

I turned it off and put on internet radio. A Doors song came on.

Me, “See? They follow me everywhere.”

Abe said, “She has good taste in music.”

The fourth hour passed and my eyes got heavy. Abe held me and told me he loved me.

I can see and understand that men love my experience, not necessarily me. The reckless abandon . . . its a fun place to visit.

***

What wert thou, dream-Alice in thy foster-father’s eyes? How shall he picture thee? Loving first, loving and gentle: loving as a dog (forgive the prosaic simile, but I know no earthly love so pure and perfect) and gentle as a fawn: then courteous—courteous to all, high or low, grand or grotesque, King or Caterpillar, even as though she were herself a King’s daughter, and her clothing wrought of gold: then trustful, ready to accept the wildest impossibilities with all that utter trust that only dreamers know; and lastly, curious—wildly curious, and with the eager enjoyment of Life that comes only in the happy hours of childhood, when all is new and fair, and when Sin and Sorrow are but names — empty words signifying nothing!


***

Later, I found out the pill didn’t have speed but rather 2ci. I feel it is the responsibility of the person handing you the pill to be upfront about what is inside it, but he admitted he never wanted me to be the guinea pig.

Thank God, I didn’t give it blindly on brief description to anyone else.

***

We fell asleep and in the morning, we hiked the dogs up the mountain behind my place.

I said, “I can forgive the strippers remark. Its that you are holding out for this girl from your past.”

He said, “No, but you two are connected. Her numbers are 201. Yours is one more, 202. Your names are the exact same numbers. And I thought she may be in Simi Valley or someplace north.”

Me, “Simi Valley?”

Abe, “North county. And you are here. Its like I manifested it.”

Me, “You haven’t kept up your side of the promises, either. I asked you in the beginning, my kiss comes with the promise of a timely response. You went days without contacting me again.”

Abe, “I know, I know, I am a shitty boyfriend.”

Me, “Yes you are. Which is why I am seeing another ex, because neither of you are good enough as one fulltime boyfriend, so both of you must be combined to make one whole boyfriend.”

Abe, “Great, so you’re seeing Alan and you are seeing Frank.”

Me, “No, Frank isn’t an ex. I saw Alan again. That’s it.”

He was quiet.

I added, “Nothing is serious.”

***

We went down to the closest cafe for a mediocre cup of coffee. Sitting together in the sun, we smiled at each other. I felt broken out of my depression. Liberated from all my mortal neuroticism.

Then, I asked about his cousin’s wedding . . . I knew it was coming up.

I said, “In two weeks? That’s soon. And who are you taking?”

He said, “My brother and I decided to forego our plus ones so other people could go to the wedding.”

My lips tightened.

He said, “We weren’t together when we got the invites. (silence) I can see you are upset about this.”

My voice was cracking, “I really believed you were going to invite me.”

I took a moment and really just kept repeating that.

He said, “Don’t take it so personally.”

I got up and paid the bill. As I walked to my car, he shuffled to keep up and I said, “You don’t want me to be apart of your family. Same thing with Thanksgiving and Christmas . . . you don’t want me as a girlfriend. You just want me as a mistress.”

He said, “Come on, don’t get upset.”

I looked him in the eye and said, “I never want to see you again.”

I opened my car door and said, “Give me a cigarette.”

When we worked on a film set together, in the beginning, before I ever knew that Abe would be a major love of my life, he came out to me during a night shoot and asked for a cigarette.

I gave him my last one.

He said, “No, I don’t want to take your last one.”

I said, “Please, it will help me quit.”

Two or three weeks later, my flirtation had grown and I was determined to get a date with him.

When we wrapped that weekend, I asked for a cigarette. He only had one left.

We both recognized the moment and groaned.

I said, “Keep it.”

He said, “No, this is about fate. You have to take it.”

So I did.

Now, two years later, in a parking lot in Sylmar with nothing left, he opened his pack and there was one cigarette left.

I said, “This is the perfect way to end the story.”

My fingers plucked it out of his hand and I drove off.

The fury, at myself for letting my mind get wrapped up in him over and over again. Its fucking insane.

Not to mention, he totally killed my New World buzz.

How quickly we slip back into life’s little box of small ideas. I tried so hard to remember what it felt like, to float over my worries about who thought what about me, but all my self-hatred just struck me again like hard light in a dim room.

Someone this afternoon said to me in the Doggie Daycare break room, “Its the difference between logic and emotion.”

Your name, your personality, your identity is all really irrelevant. Its what you inspire. Its what others learn from you and alter, so there is improvement.

Its the love that ruins me. I am smarter than this. Abe is a fucking waste of time.

Higher thought, Alice!

Then I got the text:

“Will you come to my cousin’s wedding with me, move in with me and your pack of dogs and have a magic baby with me?”

http://youtu.be/AxgGAnLvMwQ

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Ladies and Gentlemen, from Los Angeles, California . . . The Doors

Friday was a big day. I booked myself on an American Express commercial that was going to go 10 hours, giving me just enough time to feed my dogs and shimmy down to the Whiskey in an attempt to see Ray Manzarek and Robby Krieger play a tribute to The Doors without tickets in hand.

Now, I had done everything to get these tickets. Ideally, I would have bought them when they went on sale, but I never have money. I went down to the Whisky and offered to wash dishes to pay for entrance. They said a web vendor was handling all sales.

I contacted a DJ at a Classic rock station who said he might be able to get tickets to the Pacific Amphitheater, but I needed to see them at the Whisky. The Whisky made the Doors.

I looked up the actual Facebook profiles to Robby and Ray. I did the research to find the ones affiliated with the actual people and managed by their managers/agents or whomever.

I explained how they were my introduction to real music. They have been an obsession since I was 14 years old when I popped that first CD from my first BMG order, laid down on my living room floor and felt high for the first time in my life.

It was the Fourth of July and my neighbors were having a block party. When “The End” came on, I was paralyzed. I closed my eyes and I rose above that generic, white carpet. The song ended, I opened my eyes and I wanted more.

On Ray’s Facebook wall, since he can not receive private messages, I stated that I had a car, a uterus and a soul and was willing to use any to get tickets to his show. No response.

I am friends with someone who used to book for the Whisky. I am also friends with someone whose neighbor works security at the Whisky. AND, someone introduced me to a girl, CeCe, interested in dog rescue who is friends with the lead singer of the Tribute, David Brock.

It seemed like destiny was on my side.

So I showed up to the American Express commercial around 7am on a few hours sleep. I was out of weed, so I brought a potsicle. I showed up, checked in, sat down in actors’ holding (a folding chair in a parking lot) next to what appeared to be week old feces and ate half the potsicle. I texted Alan that I felt like I was growing immune to cannabis then felt my head lean back against a brick wall, my mouth open and sweet sleep overcome me.

I spent the day reading about Henry the VIII in an old, beautiful building downtown. I thought, if all I did for the rest of my life was get paid to read books in old buildings, I think I could be happy.

The shoot was going to go over our scheduled 10 hours, and well over 12 . . . in fact over 15 hours. Normally, I would love the overtime, but the Doors trump overtime. The actors discussed why the shoot was going on for so long when they had actors waiting for 6 hour blocks of time doing nothing. It was a concert set-up, hardly complicated enough to take more than 10 hours.

Actor, “The crews are stretching out the production time as much as possible so they can make more money with overtime.”

Me, “That’s why no one shoots in Los Angeles anymore.”

My booker agreed to let me out of the shoot early if I was discreet and kept in the back. It was my lucky day.

I drove home, fed the dogs, stuck what was left of my magic shroom in my back pocket and drove over to the Whisky. I also invited Frank, just cause. We had bonded the weekend before and I felt I regained a friend.

I showed up and found two hour meter parking two blocks away from the Whisky. It already had an hour and a half on it. Lucky again!

Outside the club were two Christian “activists” I guess you would call them. They were holding up big yellow signs with passages to the Bible. I didn’t really understand what that had to do with anything.

When I joined my people in line, wearing Doors t-shirts and holding up cardboard signs for tickets, one of the Christians crossed the street and said, “Did you hear about the guy who died right here an hour ago? He dropped dead from a heart attack.”

Someone in line said, “Really? Ok. (pause) What’s your point?”

Christian, “I am just saying, he came here and then he died.”

Person in line, “Are you trying to say he died because he wanted to see the concert?”

The Christian shrugged his shoulders.

I met up with CeCe and we started asking for tickets. I am terrible at panhandling and I had a lot of competition. Not only was there a line of ticket holders, but a line of music festival pass holders for that weekend’s Sunset Strip Music Festival- who had dibs after ticket holders. This was looking dire.

We headed over to the Rainbow Room to try and find David Brock and/or the band. We had to pay a $10 cover to get in and the doorman gave me a fistful of drink tickets (free well drinks). I told CeCe, I can’t have more than one drink. I missed dinner and I didn’t want to get wasted on alcohol. Of all the drugs out there, booze treats my body the worst.

So I had a glass of wine, rendezvoused with Frank and I offered him all my drink tickets.

He said, “Wow, it really pays to be a beautiful girl!”

I said, “No, he gives them to everyone.”

He said, “No he doesn’t. He didn’t give me any.”

I said, “Why don’t I ever realize that people are doing me a huge favor until after the fact?”

CeCe was working Craigslist and got a woman to agree to meet us at the Whisky at 9:30 to buy one VIP ticket for $125.

After speaking to the bartender, we discovered the owner of the Whisky and David Brock had already left the bar and headed to the Whisky for the show. So off we went.

CeCe kept telling people she and I would make out for 90 seconds if they sold us their tickets. Hell, I was would go down on her if that got me a ticket.

The first two men we approached really thought about it. They stared deeply into my eyes and took a moment of pause. I mean, a real pause. I was surprised. Then they said, “Awwwww, I can’t. I really wish I could.” Pause.

Then we moved on.

CeCe and Frank kind of hit it off and I am still entertaining the idea that they will fall in love and get married.

We worked the line. We asked everyone, and so did a few die hard fans next to me. CeCe already elected me the most worthy for the Craigslist ticket on its way to us. I wasn’t holding my breath, though.

There was a large, middle aged man behind me and I said, “Do you have an extra ticket? I am a huge Doors fan, they were the first band that opened my eyes to music . . . when I was 14.”

He looked deep into my eyes and said, “Sorry, I sold my extra ticket. I am so sorry. I really wish I sold it to you.”

I looked down, disappointed. I turned back to the crowd, some people left, more people came. Ugh.

He said, “How old were you when you discovered the Doors?”

I turned back around, “14.”

As I said this, I remembered when I was 12, and my father taped a piece of a Doors video for my sister, who was going through a Doors phase at 17. There was tension, and she said she had to go and couldn’t watch the video.

My father muttered something about her being ungrateful, and I asked to see the clip. I sat down and watched Jim Morrison sing “Break on Through” while holding his hand up over half of his face. One side of his beautiful face was lit, the other completely cast in shadow from his hand.

That was the first time I heard the Doors, and I didn’t know what it meant, or what it was, but I knew it was special.

Back on Sunset Blvd, next to an older man who sold his extra ticket, I turned and saw that he looked genuinely disturbed that I was ticketless. He said, “You have to get in there. I have a feeling I will see you in there.”

I said, “I really hope so. Its the Whisky.”

He gave a faint smile, “I know you will get in. I feel it.”

I grabbed my stomach and said, “I hope to God I do.”

CeCe and Frank were back, I think they were checking on her car. They were both very high on the night, East Coast energy and having a ball.

Again, we put the offer on the table to make out for tickets. Two men stopped in front of us, I put my arm around CeCe and she said, “Come on, we will make out for 90 seconds.”

I said, “On you . . .”

CeCe, “Ok, yeah, on you.”

I kept going, “And videotape it.”

I kissed CeCe on the cheek, and then she turned ever so slightly and we made “muh muh” noises as our lips grazed each other.

Again, the two thirty-something men stared deeply into our eyes and then let their shoulders sag.

He said, “I really, really wish I could, more than anything. You have no idea.”

CeCe said, “Then do it!”

He said, “I can’t. My friend bought me this ticket.”

A man behind them said, “I have a general admission ticket.”

CeCe said, “How much do you want for it?”

He said, “I paid $30.”

I said, “I only have $20s.”

CeCe said to the man, “Do you have change?”

He said, “No, but I will give it to you in there.”

I knew he wouldn’t.

I said, “SOLD!!!” I don’t fucking care.

We had one ticket. I rubbed it against my face, I really did.

CeCe kept asking, and Frank sat back and agreed to watch my car and feed the meter while I enjoyed the show.

He said, “Its your show. You deserve it. I will hang out and smoke cigars. You go.”

Just then, the girl from Craigslist, who we were frantically texting and calling, arrived and sold us the VIP ticket. We were in.

I turned to Frank, held his face and kissed his cheek. I said, “Thank you.” I gave him my keys and debit card to feed the meter.

Frank said, “Hurry up, get in there!”

Just then, the guy who sold us the original ticket for $30 came out and handed me my change, a $10 bill. I was already traumatized with joy, so I jumped up and shouted back at him as he turned and re-entered the Whisky, “GOOD KARMA! THANK YOU!”

I followed CeCe in who ran into a band member of Wild Child (the tribute band). She was chit chatting while i was vibrating and making nonsense noises.

Wild Child dude said, “Wow, are you just this excited to see the Doors?”

I said, “Mmmhhahurgwurguf”

He said, “Wow, that is really wonderful. So cute.”

I got stamped, ticket ripped and I walked through the doors. CeCe took the VIP wrist band since she was a drinker.

I walked to a corner and ate my shroom, then stepped towards the bar to get a glass of tap water.

The bartender said, “$2”

I just gave every last dollar I had to get in. “$2!?! For tap water???”

She nodded.

I walked away. Fuck that. I think that’s illegal.

I was concerned being on no food and psychedelics that I may pass out, but I would have to take the chance. I might try to run to the bathroom and drink from the faucet if I got dizzy.

So I faced the stage and just walked through 200 people. I didn’t know I wasn’t supposed to do that. They weren’t on yet and I am just one small head. I said, “Excuse me, may I pass?” and got halfway up to the stage when a girl shoved her shoulder in my mouth and I repeated, “Excuse me, may I pass?”

She said, “No.”

Then her boyfriend pushed me.

Ok, I just took shrooms. I can not expose myself to negative energy or else it would ruin everything.

So I said, “Don’t push me.”

He said, “You are being inconsiderate of everyone here.”

I said, “I paid my ticket like everyone else. I would like to move forward, please.”

He said, “No. You are selfish.”

And then he shoved me again with his shoulder.

I am kind of a light weight type of gal, so a shove can throw me off my feet- again without food or water, I was easy pickings.

So I stood my ground. I stayed there but didn’t engage. We were all packed in like sardines. I couldn’t stand with my shoulders square to the stage, there were just so many people. All sides of my body were being touched by various strangers and the smell of body odor was stifling.

Then the lights went out and the Doors were introduced.

I saw Ray’s feet ascend from the stairs with his hand shusshing the applause. Then Robby, whose hair is totally white now. My heart thumped.

They took their seats and “Roadhouse Blues” rupture on stage. All the nasty looks, shoving and pushing went away. Everyone was smiling.

The lead singer, David Brock, came on in a casual outfit. No leather pants or anything indicating he was “doing” Jim Morrison, other than his hair cut. He was not attractive but his voice was similar to Jim’s.

He mimicked the way Jim held the microphone to his mouth, and his other hand to his ear, with the cord coiling around the side of his face. He also would flicker his tongue over his lips in what I found to be a kind of old-man-alcoholic way. I found that rather unappealing.

I watched Ray, his head was big. He was smiling and rocking his head back and forth.

Robby looked small, like he was struggling to hold up his guitar.

David sang, “I woke up this morning and I got myself a beer .  . .”

Outside, Frank was hearing the music with everyone else left behind.

“I woke up this morning and I got myself a beer . . .”

A hippie in a wheelchair on the sidewalk said, “Yeah man, that’s why you died.”

I let the music wrap around me, the keyboards and guitar were so masterful, I have never seen anything like that up close. Psychedelic music has all these layers, and when Robby stepped forward for his solo, I tried to follow his fingers through each layer, but I couldn’t.

I saw Tom Petty and ZZ Top live, and that is superb guitar playing, but this was on some other level, it was almost god-like. On the fuzzy end of this lollipop, Ray and Robby might as well have been checking text messages or playing cross word puzzles while performing. It wasn’t fresh to them, how could it be . . . but in their ease to slip into auto-pilot, my experience somehow suffered.

They weren’t present for the music, it was just flowing out of them like band practice. It didn’t matter that we were there, or that they were in the Whisky or that it was magic, even if that was a long time ago. It was now recycled magic, rehearsed and packaged for an event.

“Love Me Two Times” came through and then there was a break to address the crowd.

Ray and Robby shared the story about how they were kicked out of the Whisky when Jim sang, “Father, I want to kill you . . . Mother, I want to fuck you.” The crowd cheered.

Ray said, “We were called every dirty name in the book and then told never to come back again. That’s when Robby said his famous line? It was a Thursday and he said, ‘The weekend is coming up, man. You sure you want to fire us?’ Then he said, ‘Ok, play Friday and Saturday, and then you are out of here.”

Ray then introduced “The Alabama Song”, first by stating he was thirsty and Jack Daniels “or someone” was hosting the event. Two pie faced (rather mediocre looking) models with great legs came down and poured him a shot of whisky.

The crowd cheered like utter morons.

As the women carefully climbed the stairs in heels back to the upper level next to the stage, Ray lifted his glass and said, “Looking good ladies.”

I rolled my eyes.

The two ladies came back down with a full bottle of Jack Daniels and Ray joked that he could never drink all of it. David grabbed the bottle and said, “Let me help you with that” in a gravelly Jim impersonation.

The crowd cheered louder.

I mean, come on, where are we? Vegas??? I will say this once, and only once . . . Jim would not have liked that.

Then they jumped into the “Alabama Song”. David sang and I watched Ray occasionally chime in, leaning forward, holding an intense gaze with Dave as if to coach him along the way he wanted him to.

I know Ray is a very picky business man and artist. I could sense there was tension. And David, who is used to imitating Jim with Wild Child, was playing things fairly straight. I could see he was desperate to please Ray, and working to keep in time the way Ray wanted him to. I felt sorry for him.

Then, they did “Peace Frog”, one of my favorite Doors song. I sang with the crowd, including the couple that pushed me. I looked around and saw that everyone around me had changed. It didn’t matter who I shoved by to get my spot in the crowd, people were moving and shifting. The pit of my stomach was lifting into dark butterflies. The shrooms were in my blood now.

With the strobe light, occasionally I could imagine the silhouette of Jim. It was not Jim though. What made the Doors magnificent, a phenomenon, was the lyricism and the live performance. There was unpredictability, improvisation. They would test the boundaries of the crowd, bringing the song to life. The audience carved the song, with Jim at the helm. All of that was gone now.

I could see why John Densmore didn’t want to be there, to repackage rehearsed songs while promoting Jack Daniels. Jim wouldn’t want to be there for that, either. But what am I going to do, complain? This was the closest I was ever going to get to my favorite band in the original venue. It was all that was left, and I wanted to hold on to it before it disappeared completely.

From “Peace Frog” they went right into “Blue Sunday” which is honoring the structure of Morrison Hotel (the album). The two songs were built into each other, which is interesting since one is inspired by abortion and the other love and allegiance.

Outside, CeCe was holding a straw through the fence so Frank could suck Jack Daniels out of her glass. A security guard broke it up.

When he circled back around to the front of the venue, a woman was arguing to get in when a 17 yr-old said, “Hey, lady, there are real fans here, ok? I know you can hear me. HEY LADY!! I know you can hear me cause the guy behind you is laughing at me.”

Inside, Ray was telling the story about how he and Robby visited Jim’s grave on the anniversary of the passing from this realm, or some poetic string of words to define the day he died. He said they all sat around his grave and sang songs in Paris, “it was a good group of people.” I feel like that performance may have had more heart in it. Maybe not. I wish I could go to Paris.

I also wish I could recall the exact song line-up. I know they did “Strange Days”, “When the Music’s Over” (apparently Jim’s favorite song), they did “The Changeling” which I knew all the words to and lost two-thirds of the audience. When they did “Hyacinth House” I was the ONLY one who knew all the words on the ground floor and therefore felt I earned my spot to be as close to stage as possible.

When Robby came up for another solo, the strobe light went off on him, with his white hair blowing back and a grin on his face, he looked so much like a witch, flying through the night on a musical broom. Yeah, I was tripping.

Then came “Not to Touch the Earth”, which I still knew all the words from after writing them down in my 9th grade notebook. I had to copy the lyrics from a scene in the movie, since I didn’t have money to buy the album.

I couldn’t stand David Brock’s tongue flickering out of his mouth like a snake. It seemed to be some kind of trademark, but I have never seen Jim Morrison writhe his tongue in and out of his mouth, or wagger it around like a trucker passing an all girls school.

I closed my eyes and saw my Cathedral. The music. This music shaped my mind from such a young age, and such a dark time, it is in my blood. Maybe more than my own family. I saw the outline of a green Cathedral in my mind, built on the walls of the music and I heard Jim’s voice say, “I’m here. And I know you are here.” And it was gone.

I kept closing my eyes again, to hear his voice again, or what ever voice my imagination and magic mushrooms conjured out of obsession, but I couldn’t. It was gone, and so was my one moment with Jim.

I looked at the portrait they have of Jim hanging next to the stage. He is smiling in it. I bet he fucking hates the owners of that place.

The band went back to the crowd favorites, “Touch Me” and “Riders on the Storm.”

David shouted out to the crowd, “Gene said you guys are boring!!” (Gene is the drummer)

The crowd roared.

Ray said, “Who is boring? Gene is boring? You are boring? I am boring? Who is boring?”

David stumbled a bit, “No, um . . . I don’t know man . . .”

Ray was really on this guy, I mean, it was subtle, but anytime David tried to really perform, I could feel the hand pull his collar back and whisper, “You are not Jim.”

And he wasn’t.

Not only was he not Jim, Ray and Robby were not the Doors. The sacred circle is broken, and whatever dark mystical line they caught a hold of in the late 60s-early 70s was dropped and is now hanging loosely from the sky.

In my mind, I heard the words from one of the songs on LA Woman, “I love the friends I have gathered together on this thin raft. We have constructed pyramids in honor of our escaping. This is the land where the Pharaoh died.”

Ray and Robby pumped the re-release of LA Woman for the umpteenth time, Robby always looking down when addressing the crowd. Ray was more casual, smiling and speaking slowly like he savored telling these stories to people all the time.

Two men behind me held up an original Doors vinyl album, the original, with a sharpie. Ray and Robbie saw, but ignored them.

When “LA Woman” started, they played the hell out of it musically. Ray, however, was looking through the crowd, desperately, trying to find someone while his fingers flew over the keys. Robby looked tired. I knew it was their closing song.

I felt someone grab my elbow, I turned around and saw Frank. He was dancing and bobbing his head to the music . . . I guess like I should have been. I smiled, weakly, and turned back to stare at the stage.

The music was so loud, I could feel every molecule inside of my thump to the notes. The music engulfed me, and my ears and blood pulsed and hummed with every memorized note. I liked that. And then they left the stage.

Often I forgot to applaud. This time, I didn’t. And I clapped watching their shoes climb the staircase up the side of the stage into darkness.

We stayed, and chanted, and clapped. I kept saying, “The End” . . . my other favorite Doors song.

After several minutes, they came back down. Then introduced “Light My Fire”, pardon me but SNORE!!!! Gawd, my least favorite Doors song and the one I am forced to listen to constantly on the radio. Played to DEATH!

Whatever, like I said, what am I going to do . . . complain?

They did an amazing performance (musically) of “Light My Fire”. I mean, at certain points, Ray played the keyboard with his feet. That was pretty awesome!!

David flung his tongue out a few times, bent over and flickered it at a female fan in the top booth. I frowned.

I looked away and turned back on the stage to see David shrugging his shoulders and blushing like a guilty schoolboy. I wonder if Ray pulled back on the reins again. Then David made eye contact with me and saw my frown. Just like a recipe needs a dash of salt, our shared moment was a dash of disappointment. He looked away.

The song finished, the house lights went back up and the roadies came down to take away the instruments.

CeCe appeared and grabbed my arm, telling me to stay with her. She introduced herself to the security guards who flirted with us, while firmly telling the drunk buffoons to get lost.

Frank said, “That was great, your friend got me in for free. I missed the first few songs, but they were great.”

I said, “ . . . yeah.”

Frank said, “Geez, I feel like I had a better time than you.”

I said, “No . . .  this was good. How is my car?”

Frank, “I have no idea. I am sorry, she got me in and I just jumped in there.”

I said, “Shit, I hope they didn’t tow it.” The Sunset Music Festival was starting and new parking violations signs were up, tow trucks were parked outside while drivers chewed on hotdogs, waiting to pluck their victims.

The Roadies started throwing out sheet music. I just politely raised my had and said, “Please?”

Frank said, “This would mean a lot to this girl. She deserves it.”

The last one thrown towards me was ripped out of reach by a very large Hispanic man whose head landed on my lower lip. He almost fell to the ground and stammered some victory speech about getting it before me. (He also destroyed it in the process, and pieces of it flew to the ground)

Frank pushed me gently out of harm’s way and kept saying, “Have a good night, man.”

The Hispanic man smiled at me with some wild go-tee and huge pupils. I gave him a thumbs up.

How in the world can I be far more in control than everyone else on a hallucinogenic than these low class boozers? BASE BEHAVIOR!

So, I stood in front of the stage as everyone cleared away. I told CeCe I just wanted to touch the stage. She was talking it up with the cute security guard and kept insisting I stay nearby.

My fingers crawled over the old maroon carpet.

I backed up and found myself standing alone, staring at the stage with my head tilted. Coming to, I realized a roadie was standing on stage staring back at me. He smiled and winked at me. I smiled back.

CeCe was trying to negotiate for a guitar pick. The roadies said everything was gone. So I said, “Wait, so are they coming back to do ‘The End’?” The security guard laughed and said, “No, darling. Once they break down the equipment, its over.”

I turned to Frank and said, “Oh. But . . . how can that be? ‘The End’ is what got them kicked out of the Whisky and got their contract with Elektra Records . . .”

Frank said, “It must be a Jim thing.”

I said, “Yeah . . . huh.”

We went out to check on my car and I ran. Frank said, “Running doesn’t change anything!!”

I just wanted to make sure I wasn’t towed. I picked up a parking ticket off the windshield. $53.00. I waved it in the air and danced my way back to him in front of the Viper Room and said, “It’s not that bad!! It’s not that bad!”

A couple drunk strangers laughed over my celebration.

I offered to drive Frank back to his car but he wanted to buy another cigar first. He asked if I was ok to drive. I said I was.

I looked at my phone and the icons were dancing and vibrating. I was still tripping.

Frank kept saying, “I feel bad that I had more fun than you.”

I said, “No, don’t. It was a different experience for me. It wasn’t about fun. It was just not … I don’t know. I guess Jim really did make the Doors. He was so much about the performance, about the poetry and the shock value. Always testing the audience. None of that was there tonight, it was just the music.”

Frank said, “You needed Jim, huh?”

I said, “I guess I do.”

I drove him to his car just fine. I couldn’t listen to any music on the radio. I wanted more Doors, nothing else could ease my mind, so I shut off the radio.

Then I drove home to Alan, who was waiting for me. As I flew down the roads, I felt like the walls of the night were falling down, like the Earth was stretching into a pancake. Trees overhead looked bigger. I like this world. I like seeing the world reshape itself so I can discover more.

When I arrived home, I was just happy. He forced a smile, coming down from adderall and exams to clean up dog shit after a 2 hour drive didn’t have him in the best of moods.

We sat and spoke for a while. He said, “Everyone else probably did have more fun than you. I think you are too much of a Doors fan to really have enjoyed that show.”

I nodded heavily, “Yeah, but its the only time I will see them, where I wanted to see them. I will never see them perform again. I wasn’t expecting magic, I mean . . . I missed the magic. It was before I was born. But look, its not like I am complaining about any shortage of magic in my life. I have magic all the time with you . . . its just tonight there was none. And that’s the way of things.”

We went to bed and I made love on shrooms for the first time in my life. The pattern on my bed sheets spread out underneath Alan’s head, his skin is so white, it practically glowed in the dark. It felt like my orgasm was growing out from underneath him, like roots from a tree.

We held each other until he drifted off into sleep- and I kept my eyes open, still waiting to hear Jim’s voice again. I wanted to hear it again, say you know I am here. Say you are here. Say my obsession and your music mean something. Tell me I am closer . . .

I didn’t hear anything. I just fell asleep.

The coming weekend would bring a stew of frustration including my first fight with Alan. But that night I learned that chasing my ghosts won’t give me life . . . my life, my magic, my audience, my performance is right now.

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