Love and Cruelty

I was on the Upper West Side for an author event so I decided to stay up there for awhile and walk around and have dinner. I ended up at Niko's because the salads are so good, it's crazy.

I had a Big Salad and a glass of wine that was described on the menu as "savage and sexy." The wine came in a goblet rather than a glass. This is what you get when you order a savage and sexy wine made on Mount Olympus. Various breads arrived in a basket, tucked under a napkin with a small dish of olive tapenade hidden at the bottom. I savored a single bite from each piece of bread. A knotted whole wheat roll; a toasted baguette slice soaked in olive oil and herbs; a chewy sesame stick; a pumpernickel slice chock full of raisins. All laden with tapenade. Decadence.

I spent a long time thinking about Ben and how we had sat here together swapping real estate stories. I really enjoyed remembering him. It was like a nice visit with a friend from out of town, when you feel a surge of renewed warmth for someone you once knew well and don't see so often anymore.

After finishing the salad and wine, my bones felt warm and the light seemed to change to a deeper amber. The waiter brought complimentary dessert wine and a tiny square of almond cake. I alternated: bite of cake, bit of wine. Cake; wine. No more cake. Throw back wine.

Signing the Visa receipt I felt myself enveloped by God's love.

I left and walked to the corner and raised my arm to hail a cab. A speeding cab swerved across two lanes and came to a halt in front of me without fully pulling over. I slid in quickly and told him to take the West Side Highway, not the FDR. He cut west.

I snuggled in and texted my boyfriend hi and how much I love him, so much, so very much, and I cried a little as I typed it with my thumbs because I love him so much.

The cab slowed down because the access road was blocked. We had to do a loop and go back to Broadway. Looking up I saw we were in a slow caravan down lower Riverside Drive, with the pier where Ben died coming up on my right. It was quiet and the lights were stark white and crystalline across the river.

We cut over on 66th street and drove past Ben's apartment building. Good grief it hurt.

Back on Broadway, we went a few blocks further downtown and then cut over again. This time the street was clear. On the left I saw a sign for an emergency room. St. Luke's-Roosevelt . . .

ok Ben, I get it.

Happy birthday.

Happy. Fucking. Birthday.

Me and my plus-one

When you're high from gig night, nothing beats the ambivalence of a cat.

My plus-two, also feline, is lolling around on the bed.

Allons dormir!



Last night's work laid me up with a big headache. The work was wonderful but I think I ate too much sugar. Estrogen + rain + sugar + too much excitement = migraine for me. It's better now.

I'm listening to the results of last night on my big stereo.

As soon as I put it on and settled in, Saro zoomed around the apartment, blazed across my desk, crash landed in my lap, looked up at me, and screamed.

Every line I sang, she screamed again.

I think I need a second opinion . . .



And this is my horoscope for today, no kidding:

This is a day of critical culminations, when many activities and projects will come to a climax in your life. It is particularly important that you have worked with complete knowledge and understanding of what you were trying to accomplish. Even under the best of circumstances, you will confront others at this time. For most people the area of greatest unconsciousness in this regard is that of close personal relationships, as with family and partner. In these relationships you are most likely to experience the negative effects of this influence in the form of arguments and conflict. If you are in such a conflict, look carefully to see what is really at stake, if anything, and try to arrive at a workable compromise.

In other news, I saw this movie last night; today I still feel drunk from it; a kind of sweet drunk that warms your soul, makes you cry and feel better, and then makes you cry more.



Tomorrow we master the new record at The Viewing Room. I'm excited -- perhaps most excited to visit with Scott and Rebecca and kitty, and second-string excited to finish this massive art project that has been, as Billie Holiday sang, my joy and my pain.

We started this record by tracking eleven-or-so songs in June 2004. Jill took pictures at the sessions; looking back at the contact sheet, I see Alan playing bass with his headphones and Black Sabbath t-shirt on; Dave taking a break in the captain's seat at the mixing board; Dann sitting with his glasses off, rubbing his eyes. I look happy and zaftig and surrounded by wires: headphones, microphone. We went on to record another dozen songs over the next 3 years -- not a lot compared to many bands, but a lot for me. The final count on this record will be 13.

SNOWBLIND and a dozen dwarfs, har.


Just don't eat one right before you go up

I have this semi-irritating habit of telling a story here and making the whole thing a bigger deal than it really is, full of metaphor and all that blah.

But you know what? I'm tired of that.

I finally did a headstand in yoga. And that's all it was. A headstand. And I did it.

Whoopie pie = whoopie pie.



The book release party was completely fun last night. I spent a great deal of time speaking with a lovely letterpress artist and a cheerful couple whose featured letter turned out to be a very dirty text message. Plus I got to meet the editor, a swell chap. This all was made even more sweet by the sweetness of my escort, ¡J!, whose unilateral support made me feel extra special -- so zen and special that I was unfazed even by the possibility of having just accidentally eaten spicy crab dip.

Today I've been trying to listen to new music. I'm kind of bummed out by a lot of what the kids of today are listening to. I don't want to name names , but I must. I find that these people make achingly beautiful music, and even decent lyrics, but ruin it with inauthentic-sounding vocal delivery -- ridiculous breathiness, over-growly soul. Do you agree, or am I just being too -- um-- crabby?

Postscript: At least one possibility for explaining why I didn't get sick off of the dip -- that is, if I am still allergic to shellfish after all these years -- is that it may have been fake crab. Inauthenticity saves the day!


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Hooray for love!