Thursday, January 20, 2011

1/20/11 The prisoner

Living with an old cat is very much what I imagine living with an old woman in the house would be like. She is picky, irritable, constantly uncomfortable, and very vocal in expressing her displeasure.

This morning's infraction involved a large plastic cup from which she drinks by sticking her head in almost past the ears (Katie says it's because the sides of the cup "tickle the cat's whiskers" which seems as plausible as any other explanation). It was empty, never mind that there was a perfectly functional (and full) water dish in the kitchen, no, THIS was her water receptacle of choice, and by God she would wake up the entire building at five in the morning if she had to until someone filled the goddamned cup full of water, NOW dammit NOW!

Friday, January 14, 2011

1/14/11 Things we say in the dark

She's a little cold, less snuggly than usual, but it takes her longer to recover from fights than I do. We lay in the dark and chat, about the day, things we read, the cat.

It's not healed, not completely, but it's less sore, less raw.

I turn on my side, she scoots herself into place behind me, her arm draped over my side, and I slide into sleep almost immediately.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

1/12/11 anatomy of a fight

We lie in bed in the dark. She's mad, I'm mad.

She sits up, and I ask, "Well, what are you thinking?"

"I'm thinking irrationally right now."

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

1/11/11 bad mood meanderings

It comes on like this: a black mood, a hollow in the chest, a sense of "why bother?" Sometimes life is just one goddamn thing after the other, with no purpose or meaning.

I think that's really the question - reading Paul Tillich right now and one of the things he talks about is religion being whatever it is that is the "ultimate concern" of your life, which could be anything, really, hence the danger of idolatry.

Faith requires courage, and I think I may be a coward.

Friday, January 7, 2011

1/6/11 this story is missing some crucial element, but I can't remember what it is.

Ray tends to be rather florid in his descriptions of the altered states of consciousness he enters when he plays guitar, but today he is uncharacteristically succinct. "Well, I can't say I was exactly a witness to what happened," he says, after a particularly "out" performance of one of our songs that we are tearing apart and putting back together.

Later, he comments that he didn't feel like he did as well on a different song, and asks if we had any hints for him.

"Well," says Gerry, "I can't say I was exactly a witness...."

Thursday, January 6, 2011

1/5/11 A Little Not Music

Elaine Stritch is KILLING this show. Going up on lines, mugging, back phrasing so hard she might as well be on a 5 minute delay (when she remembers the lyrics) and then making up lyrics wholesale when she doesn't recall them, forcing the actors around her to improvise around crucial plot points to make up for the fact that she has no idea what comes next - it was brutal, and every time she got up on stage, I had to cover my eyes.

We walk out into the bright lit night of Broadway, Katie in a long, elegant mink coat she inherited from her Grandma, me in my long jacket from Italy, looking quite the couple as we swim up stream through Times Square to the subway, fuming at producers who would put an obviously unwell old women up on the stage and expect her to do eight a week.

Katie is livid: "If I had paid full price for those tickets, I would have been PISSED."

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

1/4/10 cold to warm

I walk out of Ray's room to retrieve my sweater, our evening's output blaring over the speakers while we pack up our gear for the night, and find Liz standing in the kitchen. She looks displeased to see me, though not just me, necessarily, just anyone, but she manages a wan smile and a hello, and even an impersonal hug. I leave unsettled by her chilly reception, trying not to take it personally.

Back in Brooklyn, Tame Impala comes on the headphones: "Everyday/back and forth/what's it for?/Desire be, desire go"; I realize it's got nothing to do with me, I say a silent little wish for her happiness, and continue upstairs to my home.

Monday, January 3, 2011

1/3/11 Ascension Day

Yesterday's fog lifts, and after a day at my job, I feel more like myself than I have in several days. I like the routine, having somewhere to go and useful work to do there.

The sun is setting as I come up from my train in Brooklyn, and as I walk down Seventh Avenue, listening to Talk Talk, wrapped in a warm coat, on my way home, I relax back into my skin. The sky darkens, the lights come up along my street as we dodge the snow drifts, my chest relaxes like someone's snipped the rubber bands that were holding me in - I'm back.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

1/2/11 You ever get the feeling you've been cheated?

I walk through the aisles of Duane Reade (soon to be Walgreens or Rite Aid or some conglomerate or other) searching for 1) facial cleanser, 2) airborne, 3) something sweet to make me feel better about this ridiculous sinus infection when I recognize a tune over the speakers. They are playing Summertime Clothes by Animal Collective on the PA in a drugstore in the dead of the winter, with the snow of last week's blizzard laying like a filthy corpse on the street.

The sheer effrontery of it, the bizzare non-sequitur-ness of this beautiful music singing of summer joys while I contemplate suicide next to the toiletries, is the topper on the day.

I have no plans, the new year is waiting to jump out at me while I try to figure out why I'm on the planet, and the flourescent lights are killing me slowly, which is to say, I'll get back to you when I'm feeling less sorry for myself.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

1/1/11 We ended up straightening up a little

"Pooks, I'm starting to feel like I'm wasting my life," I told Katie, as we sat watching "Sister Wives" while sitting around without pants on and trying to recover from the previous night.

"Well, do you want to try cleaning this place up a little?" She gestured to the piles of stuff, reminders of our guests from the past week, and of the blizzard that still clogs the streets.

When I demure at the immensity of the job, she says, "Well, it's not like we can really clean up, since Bloomberg won't let us throw out our garbage."