Perspective change. Something we all desperately need and the crows are cawing just before twilight here on my bat-infested lake full of algae and moss so I know it’s true. This Swamp Witch found her swamp. She used to stare at the actresses in Passionfish wishing she was sipping sweet tea in Louisiana taking photographs of fisherman and gators. Now she can drive there should the need or desire arise. I sit in my shitty pink deck chair that’s broken in two places but I can’t bear to throw it away because Daddy had a similar one and a bear kissed him on the nose in his front yard one time while he was daydreaming. True story. He died 8 months later. Our own Revenant Paw Paw. I sit in that chair and I stare at the swamp and I pretend to be an ex-soap opera actress photographer paraplegic alcoholic with a raging anger issue until I can figure my own shit out. Dream of David Strathairn and his dark eyes gutting a fish and telling me my future.
And now the purple dusk of twilight time, which always makes me think of summer and Garp and reading that at 14. The cicadas are howling and it makes me think of Charlottesville summer and today I drove through Culbreath like I’d just passed through those magic bee humming stones on that show with all the hot men in kilts.
Cicadas and summer make me think of that summer in the Ruckersville woods when I wanted to die and the cicadas screamed out their assent that yes it is so. You are trapped here and it is so. For two months they howled all day long only ending at night to start up again at daybreak a constant screaming wail of fucking. As if to mock the lack of libido I myself carried for the professor I was married to. I sat under those mountains like the troll under the bridge with the goats, first Lois looking up at me with expectation and wonder in her black beagle eyes, then Claudine with undying obsessive love and her chestnut lab exuberance. I sat and thought about how trapped I was. How sad I was. I took another pill, sometimes two, chased it with alcoholic sweet tea sometimes to chase away the pain in my neck and shoulders, and I thought. Watched movie after movie, eating bag after bag of anything which was crunchy and covered in tasty powder which colored my fingers and ended in “O”’s.
Over the course of a decade the professor dug graves for both dogs in the woods and I built stone cairns for each as well as the fat cat Dolly I sheltered to replace them. Pretending none of it mattered when it did, how we could soldier on when we obviously couldn’t. Me stuffing my face with anything tasty, House Music on repeat, him out at the woodpile creating more logs than we would ever need in three lifetimes. We’re fine. We’re good.
I sit here divorced in Florida far from those mountains, full of thoughts and nowhere to unpack them. Layers of emotional sweaters in a strange jungle where the frogs sing every night because it rained five inches in two minutes. Sideways rain. Horizontal. Jennifer Beals rain pelting and pummeling until the patio resembles a frog rave featuring House of Pain. Neighbors with yippy dogs from Long Island leaving tissues not even in the gutter but right on the sidewalk. I only know because I heard the declaration and no judgment because everybody gotta be from somewhere and my Daddy was from a place named after an English army military directive so there you go. Who the fuck cares and it doesn’t matter anyway Bill Murray in Meatballs.
I get up at dawn when I can. When the night before doesn’t bleed into the next morning like a watercolor. I get up and I do the hundred routines which keep you whole. Caffeine to a minimum, daily walk, 1000 words in like a daily shit and keep going going going. Puff if you need to. Stay away from funny chocolates because they did NOT make you look at all cute that time. Taking a thing out of tinfoil from a very nice man who you barely know is a thing of not only the past, but the LONG PAST. Just ask Nan because her apparition is over there shaking her damn head emphatically yes right now. Be sure to sing. Dance a lot. Mix some music on a daily basis. Learn. Ableton. Sewing. Spanish. In that order. Become an obsessive Cliff Claven pillow expert until the well of gigs fills up again. Instead of waiting, retreating, to expect another flow of opportunity, fucking create it girlfriend. Make your life. If you build it, Kevin Costner and do I really need to keep going with this?
Apologies if my exuberance makes me teachy, I don’t mean to be. I see folks heading down slippery paths with my Big Eye and try to say nothing. It’s hard. I don’t always succeed. I want to. The intent is there but my guilt over not being able to keep Momma at home that horrible night she plowed headfirst into a tree still gets in the way. Finding the three broken bottles of unopened red wine in her trunk when we went to the junkyard certainly didn’t help. Seeing that with my Daddy and my Big Eye was a poor choice I’d not make again in this lifetime or any other. It changed our relationship forever and to this day I don’t think we got it back. He’s over in the other corner nodding yes, folded arms. ‘Bout time. Good girl.
Awareness is the first step to anything. On a birthday weekend trip with best friends to Miami Beach when two gorgeous twins in BVD’s tried to give me a neck massage at Twist, I held up my hands, tipped them, then, asked if they’d thought over their financial plans. True story. My friends howled but I wanted to make certain because you can’t do this forever, darling. My Guilt over Nan’s car wreck formed the words, my big heart and three Bombay martinis with plenty of olives for snacking provided the fuel.
I’ve been on this diving board for years. Letting go. Telling Guilt goodbye. Looking at the water, unable to take step number two no matter what I fucking do. I just stare at the water and sometimes I think I can jump through to the other side and another part of me wants the chance to try again tomorrow. Crawl under a blanket, emotional or otherwise, forget about anything and everything, put my fingers in my ears, and pretend none of this ever happened. None of the abuse happened, the accident never occurred, none of my friends died, everything is fine, fine fine. La la la la la.
Which is why I turn into a Momma when I never ever wanted to be one. It was foisted along with every other cultural label like the nice folks who came to my gig once with names emblazoned on their chests. Labels sticky and discarded on the floor when boundaries are softened with conversation, fellowship, House Music, and alcohol. My labels are long gone, soft as Jell-O and swept out the door with all the leftover glitter after the fire dancer packs up her shit. I’m dramatic. I like a good visual. Did you get all that? Good.
By the way, please for the love of all that is good and holy, tip Mala the fire dancer at District Lounge well. She’s the Donna Summer of House Music in this town. She works hard for the money, honey. Hardest working woman in show business who risks her LIFE every time she lights a torch. Tip her fine high tight ass please! See you at District Thursday, August 17 where my girls DJ Jenny and DJ Itty Bitty from The Beat Music Academy are going to TEAR IT THE FUCK UP at the only WEEKLY, ALL-FEMALE DJ LINEUP in the area………HER. See HER. Hear HER. Be HER. Trademark forthcoming 😀 😀 Be well guys. LIfe is Brutiful, both beautiful and brutal. I’m gratiful for that 😀 Now go handle your shit.
HOUSE OF NAE SHIT BEING HANDLED:
MONDAYS – BOOK DISPATCHES, CHIT-CHATTIES
TUESDAYS – VIDEO MIX AND ATTEMPTS AT VOGUEING
FRIDAYS – NEW ONE-HOUR SHAKE YOUR BOOTY TO THE ROOT TOOT TOOTIES
SEPTEMBER 2ND – POP-UP WITH SONDERHOUSE, I CANNOT WAIT!
OCTOBER – CAMPING FESTIVAL WITH DANIELLE RENEE LET’S GOOOO!
LONG RANGE PLANS? PILLOWS. TEES. TUBE DRESSES. THEMED BRUNCHES WITH BESPOKE TAPAS…AND FACTORY GIRL. I’m writing a new book called FACTORY GIRL, hope there’s no trademark Andy 😉 some, most, or all of the above nonsense will be in there. Possibly with less typos than the first book, HAG which had more than the sand in my carseats god bless. HAG is available at my gigs, FOR FREEEEEEE, right now. Or on Amazon.com and thank you very much. Cheers. Handle your shit xoxo