December 15th, 2002

Journal Goddess

Naive Melodies

Last night I kept bursting into tears.

Before I get a few dozen concerned e-mails, it wasn't BAD crying (though I would debate the concept of GOOD crying even on my more open minded days). It was one of those things where I suspect I've been restraining my emotional expression a bit too much during this "bad period" I like to torture myself with during the holiday season, so my body is looking for an excuse to cry.

"The Wizard of Oz" on TBS, for example. Or, discussing music lyrics. At least phone commercials aren't doing it to me. ("Yet," came the word unbidden from my subconscious mind)

Lyrics? Oh, one of those Google-thons wherein I was looking up anything I was struck with an overwhelming curiosity about during the week. In this case it was the Talking Heads song "Home (Naive Melody)", a song that's been a favorite of mine since...well, since it came out.

It started when, after all those years, I got a line I hadn't heard before:

"Out of all those kinds of people,
You've got a face with a view..."

The line just struck me like a bell -- what a wonderful way to describe that spark of recognition! I wonder if that was in the context it was intended? Thus out hero is off and searching the net.

So I find the complete lyrics, ironically enough, posted to someone else's blog, although with no explanation:

Home - is where I want to be
But I guess I'm already there
I come home - -she lifted up her wings
Guess that this must be the place
I can't tell one from another
Did I find you, or you find me?
There was a time Before we were born
If someone asks, this where I'll be
where I'll be

Hi yo We drift in and out
Hi yo sing into my mouth
Out of all those kinds of people
You got a face with a view
I'm just an animal looking for a home
Share the same space for a minute or two
And you love me till my heart stops
Love me till I'm dead
Eyes that light up, eyes look through you
Cover up the blank spots
Hit me on the head Ah ooh

As I was trying to explain the line to Roni (I think she had a bit of a visceral reaction to the "Love me till I'm dead" line) I suddenly felt my voice shake, and the sobs started. I was soon crying hard enough that Roni asked if I was alright.

Well, I was (and still am). I am annoyed at the aforementioned mental basement from which all this springs for the sneaky ways it's getting me to cry. The passion of describing what the song meant to me provided the tears a veritable set of emergency lighting toward the exit that would be my eyes.

You know how emergency exits sound off that annoying alarm when they're opened? I almost feel like my wailing is just as bad, and thus I automatically apologize for it ("Sorry, I can't figure out how to turn this damn thing off...the best we can do is hope the battery dies...").

Ever wonder why great beauty produces a reaction like this? Or why talking about what it is we find beautiful, with all the passion that many spend most of their lives trying to suppress or snuff outright, can do the same thing?

Home to me is that place where I can let that passion flow freely. I may be stopping that from happening because of my own fears... but that's ME, not the people around me that's stopping me.

When I write... REALLY write (interesting...when I first typed that second "write" I touch typed "right". Freudian typos?)... I sometimes find myself dealing with my vision blurring from the tears. It's as if there was something of beauty coming from my own head.

Maybe I'm afraid of being capable of producing something that can shake someone the same way those song lyrics did, or the movies that "click", or even just the sight of Roni asleep next to me right now. Perhaps it's the fear that I'm throwing off the bell curve of that which is beautiful by daring to place something I produce in that bucket. How could mere words compare with the things I feel when I look at the pictures I've taken? Never mind it was me who held the camera and pressed the damn button: I can somehow claim I merely caught what was already there. Writing seems a lot more personal, more akin to sculpture than photography. Can something taken from my mind do more than make grotesque joke out of what I see or feel?

I know many artists feel the same way. Maybe what scares me is the knowledge that the better the artist, the stronger the feeling. Maybe I should just own up to the fact that I know there's a great writer in me, with some pretty intense things to say, in ways that everything I've written before now has been prologue to.

What terrifies me most is knowing what that artistry has cost me already: What will allowing myself to blossom as a writer cost me? No, not nothing. There's a price for genius (and he spits the word out as the bitter root it is), for the compulsion to create that goads us. I only hope it's only giving up my fears that that tyrannical
muse demands.

That would mean accepting my art and my role as an artist. It means I get to let go of the voices that insist that I'm doing it all wrong. It means I get to split infinitives with impunity, torture syntax without repercussions, and generally piss people off just by being me.

It means I can stop being scared of being humiliated already, and get on with it.

I guess it's time to start.
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Staying Up Late With Meme

I snagged this from kshandra's LJ:

What was the coldest place you ever had sex?

Ok, this is a tough call. There WAS the time I bent a girlfriend over in the walk-in refrigerator at college (I was working the snack bar at the Campus Center), but that was actually only 45 degrees F.

The clearest memory I have was driving to the house in Boulder Creek several years ago with Roni. She had been stroking my thigh for the last hour, and it had finally gotten to the point where I had to have her Right Now. Never mind we were less than ten minutes from home.

So I pulled over shortly after turning on to highway 9 from Skyline, and pulled her from the car. It couldn't have been warmer than the upper 20's that night (I think that was the same year we got snow in BC for the first time in 46 years), but I still bent her over the front fender (warmed by the heat of the engine, fortunately), peeled down her pants and panties, and fucked her hard and fast for about ten minutes.


What was your favorite Archies Comics character?

Jughead. He always seemed the most relaxed of the bunch.

Miracle Whip or Mayonnaise?

Mayo. With Kraft american cheese slices on wonder bread, of course. :P

What is your favorite thing that your genitalia have been called?

Wow, funny question. Never was into that "Name Your Penis" thing, though inevitably people WOULD call it things like "John Jr." our such. One phrase that makes me blush is when people say I have such a beautiful cock. In those words. Completely independently of each other.

When I asked one to explain what they meant, they said "trust me...there are some pretty ugly cocks out there."

The pinnacle: When a LESBIAN told me I had a pretty penis.

What character from Gone with the Wind do you most identify with?

You know, I still haven't seen that movie all the way through.

Have you ever had gay sex while a member of the opposite sex was in the room?

Hell yes. First time when I was 19.

What was the worst place you ever lived?

This one was really tough: Define "worst". I mean, this could mean structurally (the tent I spent one summer in when I didn't want to go home between years in college), or perhaps in a more general sense (anywhere my stepfather was still drinking).

Describe the noises you make during the throes of ecstasy?

Ok, I'll trust people in the know to add to this, but MY perception is that I sometimes like to talk, especially if I'm playing "prolong the orgasm". When I finally go over, I start the "oh yeahs", that sort of "Hrmmmmmm, hrmmmM!" noise that can build into an inarticulate yelling, then a sort of panting/gasping/generalized sort of noise.

Favorite Dr. Seuss book?

Horton Hears a Who.

Most physical pain you've ever been in?

Ok, needle phobics and squeamish, scroll on down, ok?

When I turned 16 I was in a hospital for a series of tests, for about a month. I was having some trouble with seizures and the like, and they finally decided that it WASN'T all in my head.

So I got the EEG, CAT scan, and a few dozen other things done.

And then...the spinal tap.

No, that wasn't it. It was unpleasant, yeah, but certainly not on a par with breaking my arm two years earlier. The problem started when they sort of did something wrong (exactly what was never clear to me) that resulted in the most agonizing pain I had ever experienced.

Start with a migraine. Yes, START: light sensitivity, nausea to the point where NOTHING would stay down (even water, which got the nurse's attention after a few hours), and searing, fiery, someone just fucking SHOOT me already pain. Then go up an order of magnitude, and include your entire back and everything that happens to be connected to your spinal cord.

It took me about 12 hours to crack (what can I say, I'm stubborn) and beg for something for the pain. They gave me tylenol.

Thus at 11:35 PM I was on the phone with my mother (I think it too me an hour to dial...I couldn't raise my head up for more than a few seconds) unabashedly bawling, begging her to do ANYTHING to make it stop hurting.

I have no idea who she yelled at, but within 15 minutes someone came in to give me this little yellow pill. Somehow I managed to keep it down, and felt better enough to call her back (as instructed) to let her know that I was ok.

I wound up on an IV with codeine for the next 9 days. Ever since, even getting my wisdom teeth pulled was a cakewalk.

Most emotional pain you've ever been in?

I was SO tempted to pass on this, but decided to give it a shot.

It's a tie between two events -- the first was finding out my parents were getting divorced, at the age of 8. When I think about it now, I regret that my mother had to contend with my hysteria on top of what SHE felt. In large part that's due to my experience when my recently departed ex-wife ejected me from her life. A good friend rescued me, and I found myself literally howling in my grief in the back seat of her car for hours.

Name of the street that you cruised on while a teenager?

Second Avenue, Brentwood, NY. Of course, that was on a ten-speed...

First time you ever kissed a girl?

I was 14, so that had to be 1977...Renee Arnamann, if you're out there, let me know how you are.

First time you ever kissed a guy?

You know, the first time I kissed a guy with no reservations was only 7 years ago. I mean kissing a boy as deeply and passionately as kissing a girl.

Favorite superhero?

Spiderman. No, really... I was a nerd, skinny and unpopular. Hell, it was even placed in NY.

Most unfavorite nickname you were ever given?

Gaylord. It was from High School, and Joey Stein seemed to like the fact that it played right into my own insecure sexuality. Of course, then HE turned around and became a hair dresser...and THEN came out.

Favorite state?

California. Duh...

Favorite state of mind?

Passionate. Something I need to cultivate more, I think.

Favorite part of the body to lick? Name only one.

I'm assuming you mean someone elses body. Only ONE part? Not fair...I LIKE licking. I admit genitalia is fun (male or female), and that's as close to ONE part I can come up with.

A close second would well... I guess that COULD be considered a part of genitalia. (blush!)

Grandmothers' maiden names?

Without asking my mother first? Unlikely. I know SHE knows because she's nuts for family history.