A book was involved. Not one I wrote, but one written by Patti Smith. It wasn't the book's fault. It was merely an instrument. A tool.
I started to read Fight Club right after finishing - I mean the same day, the same hour - Major Pettigrew's Last Stand. (Read my review here, she screamed). That might not have been such a hot idea. It caused literary whiplash. From the English countryside with a dash of curry to Marla Singer and the Brain Parasite Support Group. It made me want to smoke a pack of cigarettes and kill myself.
I opted for something less smelly and permanent.
I tossed Fight Club aside and picked up Just Kids which had, earlier in the week, passed all those Is This Book Worth of My Time tests and so I took it home from the library and placed it on top of my stack. Which is more like a tower, but so what?
I'm still reading it. I am a slow reader, apparently. MathMan accused me of being devastated by drink. "One beer," I sighed and accused him of prudery and prohibition-like qualities. It's not my fault that he's not allowed to drink while taking his Zocor or whatever it is.
I fixed him. I watched a bunch of dvds without him. They were our bedtime dvds borrowed from the library. British mysteries. After I did that, I told him the ending of an episode of one of the Touch of Frosts. He said it was okay to tell him. He could see that I was anxious to spill the beans and emotionally fragile so he gave me that small gift of concession. I bet he'll hit me with it later - my inability to keep something to myself. That's the way things go here.
When she is bad, she is really unpleasant. Somewhat hateful. Thirty percent bitch. Easily. I spread the hate around passively and aggressively.
I mocked my friends of Facebook. Ranted and raved and wished they'd shut the hell up with their posts about what they'd had to eat, what foods they'd prepared, how hot or rainy or whatever the weather was doing. And those fucking to do lists people post. Really? The world needs to know that you're doing laundry? Listen, tell us when you haven't done laundry for six whole months. That would be interesting. In fact, I want pictures of that. Get to it. Filth it up and free yourselves. Make being unkempt your gift to the world.
Create dust a la Pigpen. Please.
This abuse of social media is a scurge. I know. I'm the person who posts a Smiths song every day. Or did.
"I'm going to put up a status that says something like "I am judging you and not so silently," I harrumphed at MathMan as we made our way back from the grocery store. I was checking Facebook from my phone since the desktop computer decided to be all prissy and difficult and we'd run out of things to talk about on our drive. Plus, I could tell his mind had wandered back to its comfort zone of school and mathy stuff. I can't compete with that.
"Or maybe I'll write something like 'Spare me the details.' and mean it."
Our modern woes are ridiculous. I would have turned into a quivering mass of jelly right before I keeled over and died if I'd had to live in Victorian England. I wouldn't have lasted twenty minutes as a homesteader.
My bee phobia keeps me from carrying out the compost, for goodness sake.
Weak as water. Okay, maybe not the poison water around here. The stuff loaded with mercury and lead and arsenic. You could walk across that stuff without being someone's savior. But weak. Like me standing in the line at Dairy Queen.. A small blizzard is a triumph over evil. I'll harbor anger while I eat my small treat while wishing for a large. With lots of M&Ms and chocolate sauce. Want to see me get pissy? Let the DQ skimp on the chocolate sauce swirled into my blizzard and I'll turn thirty shades of purple, but will I ask for more? Of course not. They might spit in it.
Things I hope to never see on Facebook again:
1. Hubby. Does he not have a name?And oh my word, the noise we'd all make if men started referring to their wives not by their names but by the term wifey.
3. Bilgewater. Okay, I made that up. Someone please use it.
4. Hot. Cold. Windy. Humid. I know you mean well. You're just making conversation. It's an ice breaker. But please. Times are tough. Let's not put our meteorologists out of work, too. The last thing we need are those folks competing with the rest of us for jobs at McDonalds.
5. Whoo Hooo! See #2. I'd rather see you saying something new like Ta Da!
6. Referring to your family with the same label every damn time. I get it. Your son or daughter isn't a kid anymore, isn't quite a teen.
You guys stop and I promise you - no more Smiths songs (except for those I put right on La Belette Rouge's and Kirie's walls) and no more cat photos. I'll even stop posting pix of my favorite beverage of the day.
That book. That bloody book. The good thing is I don't flinch anymore when Brooklyn is mentioned. Small victories of memory. Robert Mapplethorpe, with whom Patti Smith had an affair in the late sixties, was so beautiful. Their affair morphed into a lifelong friendship. Back when his art was causing a stir, I didn't pay much attention to the artist. The fisting,
"Pioneers without a future." That's a quote of a quote. From the book. It may have been Allen Ginsberg who said that. MathMan tells me that the Beat Generation stuff was not his favorite time period for art. It mystifies me that he even thinks about poetry or words. That would be like me saying I stop thinking about writing and reading long enough to consider the curve of a slope of sign or co-sign and Pi or all that other stuff he tries to talk to me about and my eyes glaze over and he pushes his finger into the fleshiest part of my arm and says "Hey, are you in there?"
Actually, no, I'm not.
I don't know enough to declare about poetry, much less Beat poetry, but I would like to see the movie Howl which is about Allen Ginsberg and stars that delectable James Franco.
Someone just recently introduced me to Peter Orlovsky. Who is mentioned in passing in the book.
The truth is - I don't know that I "get" poetry. I like what I like. A lot of the meaning is lost on me and my shallow self. I read poetry with reference books by my side. If I bother at all.
Anyway - back to my new friends Patti Smith and Robert Mapplethorpe. It's hard to believe that he was resistant to photography at first. He preferred mixed media and collages made from found objects. But then, there you are. I still remember when MathMan suggested I use his Tandy 1000 to write a paper for some French class and I delivered those now infamous words "No, thanks. I'll stick to the typewriter."
Their lives were full of art and The Scene of the Hotel Chelsea and all those artsy types in poetry, music, art, homosexual hustling, the book business, movies. Andy Warhol, blah, blah, Silver Factory, blah. I haven't gotten to the part where Patti breaks into the music scene. It's coming. That's the thing about reading nonfiction about the lives of celebrities. I know what's happened, in very general terms, up to this point. The rest of the story is a mystery, of course. Everyone's future is a mystery. Thank goodness.
And I'm interrupting that interesting retelling of an art-filled life to read a text telling me that someone has moved on from laundry to dusting their downspouts? And it's not even a clever euphemism. They really are telling the world about their Saturday chores.
Help. Me. Rhonda.
Here's how I know it may have been a visit from the Black Dog - I couldn't even pull myself out of the stupor? torpor? enough to shut off the sms messages that were annoying me. Lazy or depressed or just meh meh meh. Does it matter? A mood. Cranky. Not devastated by drink. Not manic. Not quite depressive. People overload perhaps. Being drunk would have been infinitely more fun. For a while.
"I'm going to stay in our bedroom and not inflict myself on you guys. I'd appreciate the same small courtesy."
Compliance is nice. Safe. Scream free.
All this meh-ness. It's a build up to something.
A lovely stay in a padded room? The cognitive dissonance of Snoop Dogg featured in a Katy Perry song?
The fact that I'm not really that fascinated by the whole seventies art scene, but Patti Smith's recounting of her life with Mapplethorpe is well-written, straightforward the way I like them, and a great reminder that one can go from feeling lucky to be able to afford a grilled cheese sandwich to being a household name in the cooler of households.
Imagine if Patti Smith and Robert Mapplethorpe had Facebook pages circa 1969.
Patti Smith is leaving her favorite spot in the Hotel Chelsea lobby and going down to the El Quixote for a tequila shot with @Jim Carroll. May watch him shoot smack later. Maybe not. Have some laundry to do.
Patti Smith hanging out in our small room, waiting for @Robert Mapplethorp to get dressed so we can go to Max's for another night at the Roundtable. He's worse than a girl or some of our favorite drag queens.
Patti Smith at the laundromat washing @Robert Mapplethorp's black mesh t-shirt and wondering what he's making us on the hot plate. Hope it's not beans and weenies again.
Robert Mapplethorpe finished washing the walls of our new studio, wonder if I can find any good mags at the bookstall down on 42nd.
Robert Mapplethorpe tired and bored. Wish @Andy Warhol would notice me already.
Robert Mapplethorpe found a crucifix in the trash as I walked home from hustling down at Times Square. Wonder what I could do with this? But first I have to pee.
I love posts where people wonder what famous dead people might have done with the tools of our time. Have you read those? You know, for example: Dorothy Parker would have used Twitter, not facebook. Those kinds of posts. However, now I can't find one to save my Google. Plus my stomach is growling so my attention span for searching wanes.
But you get the idea.
Two kids, one adult down. One to go. A couple of more weeks of Chloe. Now if I can figure out what to do with that cats, life will be perfect. The house will be all mine again. From 7:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. all mine.
I just posted a photo of Sophie on her first day of middle school and now friends are leaving nice comments. How dare they? Don't they know I'm fed up with all this?
This heat is making my brain melt. There, I said. it. Now I have to go fold clothes and make some startlingly fabulous baked good so I can post about it on Facebook, me thinks. I'm sick of posting pix of my kids and cats. Or maybe I'll just write about the day of the week. How will people know it's Monday if I don't add my voice to that cacophony trumpeting the day of the fucking week?
I'm thinking of a live webcam of me ironing.....
Your assignment, you may choose, but you can't choose not to choose: (1) Imagine you're a famous person - dead or otherwise (alive, I guess). What would you post on Facebook or Twitter? OR (2) What do you mock on FB or Twitter? And if you say Smiths songs, I'll hunt you down to administer a titty twister. Your titties, not mine.