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Monday, October 31, 2005

Vampires on my mind

A college friend sent me two Anne Rice novels 10 years ago while I was recovering from an auto accident. Being on morphine and in traction, I guess she thought vampires would be good company for me. She loved those books so I didn't have the heart to tell her I couldn't read them or anything else with a feeling of morbidity. I had looked over the abyss and was lucky to be alive.

Last September I was packing for a 4 month residency in Paris and needed to take some paperbacks with me that could be left behind. Euros are wasted on overpriced American paperbacks to the point that in 1994 I was so desperate for reading material I read a Star Trek novel found in the lobby. (that was before the internet, of course. Now the NYT alone could get me through my time there...) anyway, I threw in some Annie Dillard, Hemingway, Faulkner, and those Anne Rice books my friend had sent me.

When Halloween rolled around last year I thought, oh, I suppose this would be the perfect time to read "Interview with a Vampire." I had no idea it took place in Paris AND New Orleans. I started it the evening of the 30th and could not put it down. I went to Pere LaChaise cemetary the next day around dusk and kept feeling like the person in the next row might be a vampire... it also made me very homesick for New Orleans. I experienced Paris in a way I hadn't before and was shocked and suprised that Anne Rice could do that. I immediately began The Vampire Lestat upon my return to la Cite that evening and was up most of the night. I yearned to hear the voice of my native New Orleanian friends... and to photograph the cemetaries there and in Paris. This was something new, just something I felt re-inspired to do.

I'd never taken Anne Rice seriously... she writes about Vampires, right? Like Dark Shadows.
I changed my tune after that...though not enough to read her other books. Her writing had entered my psyche in a way that I couldn't control...I dreamt about her characters, recreated scenarios from her books on the streets in Paris... and not because I wanted just happened. I confessed this to my almost beloved, the WRITER. He shook his head. Of course he hasn't read any Anne Rice. It would probably give him anxiety attacks like he had when he was in college and smoked grass. That's not why he hasn't read any, of course. She's just not someone you'd find in his library. If he ever had the chance to interview her he WOULD read one of her books.

Whatever. She does what she does suprising well, I'll say that. The interview with her in the NYT over the weekend offended me, as I am sure it did anyone else who has read her books.
The interviewer hadn't. My husband always reads the books of anyone he interviews, whether it is Tom Robbins or Ella Hilton or even Anne Rice. He expects the same kind of professionalism when he is being interviewed. The NYT must have its own standards.

I read the NYT daily, I just don't consider it to be the paper of record anymore. I don't know that there is one.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

bruce sings background as trouble brews in paradise

Monday evening I indulged my affection of the man that's referred to as THE BOSS. After making many arrangements with friends and spouse (note, no reference to my beloved since he has to prove to me again that he is my beloved)... I was dropped off at the local coliseum where I was to pick up our floor seats and wait for my spouse and friend to park the car. It was a rainy, cold night. There was no line and I had our tickets in my hand within 5 minutes.

I waited for spouse and company. and waited. and waited. There was an overhang where I could stand out of the rain with other cold, wet Bruce lovers. We compared shows we'd attended and lamented that we hadn't made better plans with the people we were hooking up with. After an hour of pacing the coliseum thinking there might be another WILL CALL window he showed up with his buddies. They had been across the street drinking in a bar. I tried to shelf my disappointment and rage aside so I could enjoy the show but it never really went away completely. Bruce did his best. He captured my heart and took it places it needed to go with his rendition of The River and Darkness on the Edge of Town. He made fun of Cheney, compared keyboard skills with Bruce Hornsby and generally made fun of Carl Rove who is now waiting for his indictment... (Halleleuya!) And it was great!

Then I had to go home with a man who left me waiting in the rain for an hour so he could drink two beers with his college roomate. He didn't KNOW I was outside but didn't KNOW I was inside either (never mind that WILL CALL windows are ALWAYS didn't occur to him to look out for me or check on me or anything. He was right across the street. I should have given his damn ticket away and gone in and sat with a stranger. If there is ever a next time he should know that I won't hesitate doing just that. In the meantime I am trying to get over my disappointment in a man I have sworn to love, honor and protect. Didn't he take the same vow?

Friday, October 07, 2005

The October Times

Too many things to keep up with these days. Many classes four nights a week. Weddings. Music festivals. Friends showing their art, friends playing their music. We are dizzy and exhausted and excitable and wary. Yesterday I spent several hours at the beach...picking up artwork and digging my toes in the October sand while enjoying their local coffee. It gave me time to reflect on the past week and all that has come to pass.

Last weekend two European friends were married here on the hill where I began my time in this city. It was beautiful and poignant and sad and elegant...many, many things. It made me wistful to be there although I was excited for my friends who are finally marrying after twelve years of being the coolest couple I know.

The following evening we were walking to a cafe close to our home to hear Rattlemouth, a derivation of the band that played at our wedding reception almost ten years ago...when we passed a carriage being pulled by six white horses...(!)

The carriage was stopped at a redlight next to Mom Siam, our favortie Thai place, Their new deck was open and the man sitting in the front of the carriage played the sort of french horn/bugle chords that are played at the opening of a race track. It was pretty wonderful. It felt like this place had turned a corner! Not us, but IT.

The Rattlemouth show was pure magic. The band played its heart out to the twenty or so people who were there. We realized what fine artists and true, decent men we were watching playing on that stage and we felt lucky to be present, to know them, to hear them. I realized I have been listening to their drums, trumpet, sax and guitars in various incarnations since 1987 or so and it moved me to tears.

I was so happy we made time to hear them. Music is such a healing force and much healthier than pharmaceuticals.