26 April, 2004

I Am Not A Genius (but I met my deadline)

~ ~ ~

I don't know if Steve will be happy. I know I'm not, but I didn't expect to be.

With fourty minutes to go, I put in the CD that represents the piece I REALLY want to work on, which charges me enough to finish with fifteen minutes to spare...an hour fifteen, actually, since Steve's an hour behind me, which means he'll be calling sometime...oh....NOW.

[Break for work conversation, in which I am completely inappropriate and punchy, and if he were the sort, I'd be sued for sexual harassment for my raunchy comments. I'm telling ya, sleep dep ROCKS. Bed at two, up at six, staring at this screen ALL DAY, ayuh, think my productivity is shot for the next day or so.]


We begin with Xerox. Yep, in the beginning, I figured I was pretty much like anyone else, and was shocked by the extreme reaction of others to what seemed like perfectly normal behavior, conversation and attitudes on my part.

Obviously, I did NOT come from a "...Xerox machine..."

I started carrying chip of significant proportions. I stood with Kings of the Wild Frontier. I stood out in a crowd. I was always "a shade too white."

So it's a Dog Eat Dog world. Did I have to be quite so insufferable? Yes, apparantly.

"You may not like/the things we do
only idiots/ignore the truth

It's easy to/lay down and hide
Where's the warrior/without his pride?"

Oh, the attitude. It was all me. I resented the sameness of others, reveled in my different, while nursing wounds inflicted by exclusion.

"Well I stand here/what do I see
A big nothing/threatening me

Unplug the jukebox/and do us all a favor
that music's lost its taste/so try another flavor."

I danced to a different beat: Antmusic.

Early on, a precursor to the work I would do, have been doing, for twenty years, I was very aware of my body, of the power pouring into it, surging through, singing to get out. I was Physical, even then.

"I want your roughouse baby/I want this right in your ear
Let me feel your danger/I want to make this feeling clear
I want the touch of your charms/ the heat of your breath
I want to say all those things (those dirty things)/that would be better unsaid"

Stuart Goddard is described as having a "lyrical obsession with sexual decadance" by Tony Fletcher, and this is what I was listening to in 1981, 82, 83...what some might term my "formative years." It seemed appropriate. The fact that I still love it must be a measure of something or other. The hot beat of native drums, thrum of guitar, squeal of horns...yeah.

Ah, the Eighties. I got

"...so sick of easy fashion/the clumsy boots, peekaboo roots
That people think so dashing

So what's the point of robbery/when nothing is worth taking?
It's kind of tough to tell a scruff/the big mistake he's making

And even though you fool your soul/your conscience will be mine
all mine..."

When it came to fashion or nearly any other subject, I was ready to Stand and Deliver.

No surprise that Prince Charming wasn't looking in MY direction, at least not in high school. In college, I adopted the philosophy that worked with the TheaterFreak crowd I hung with:

"Silk or leather or a feather/ respect yourself/ and all of those around you
Don't you ever, don't you ever/lower yourself/ forgetting all your standards...
....Ridicule is nothing to be scared of."

Actually, at that time, and since, it serves quite well.

I'd have stayed out of a bit of trouble in college, and had fewer stories to tell if I had done the Ant Rap earlier. As it was, I got drunk infrequently, but violently. After college, I had no drinking buddies, so I didn't drink. But I found that

"...staying sober can be neat/ get drunk on these here happy feet...
In the Naughty North and in the Sexy South/ we're all singing
I have the mouth."

Adulthood brought with it not only the realization that not everyone was going to like me, but that there was no reason why they SHOULD. Especially since I didn't like many of them, not much. For some time, it was a choice between Friend or Foe.

"I want those who get to know me/to become admirers or my enemies

Take it up or leave it/I'm not gonna change a bit
If it means heartache/then leave it out for your sake

...nobody's perfect/so leave me if you object."

Out in the Real World, I was a fish out of water in more ways than I can describe. It was awful. I became a Goody Two Shoes, learned to

"...put on a little makeup, makeup/Make sure they get your good side, good side."

It was hard, all that masking. At some point, I forgot who I was, and took a ten day road trip to remind me. On the trip, I discovered I was Desparate, But Not Serious.

"If I were kind and adoring/how would that be? Very boring.
Mr. Pressman with your penknife/always asking about my sex life
and who with/and how many times."

I carried that pen/knife edge a long time.

Eventually, things rolled around to a station wagon, white picket fence, a kid and some dogs. There it was, A Place In The Country. Well, suburbs. Okay, just inside the city limit. And there I was, living the American Dream.

"All I thought I wanted was a front door
All I thought I wanted was a place in the country
Now I realize I wanted so much more..."

What was missing? What? Only artistic expression. I mean, parenting takes a damn lot of creativity, but you can't SHOW it to anyone. I had stopped writing. I performed on weekends only.

I called myself happy.

I was dead.

So I got out of the dreadful Day Job cycle, which was eating me alive with Dress Code and Commute and Lunch and Office Politics and Copiers and Answering Machines and Faxes. To be fair, at that point, I was working a job I hated with people I loved. Fortunately, I still count them as friends. I had cloaked myself in the trappings of Mom, and found the need to Strip.

"If a pretty dress hides your true desire/fold it nice and slow, throw it on the fire...

It's at times like this that great heaven knows/that we wish we had not so many clothes...

We're just following ancient history/if I strip for you will you strip for me?

...don't freeze, up girl/you're looking quite a sight..."

I stripped away as much pretense as I could, determined to present myself naked, so I'd never be fooled into believing in my own image. In removing my trappings, I became Puss 'N Boots.

"Pusscat, pusscat, where have you been?
I've been to London, and now I'm Queen
Since I've been there I don't wear suits
and the mice all call me Puss 'N Boots

When the morning comes, don't you turn around and say
It's bound to end in tears /So let's do it anyway...."

My "London" was opening up to the notion that everything I think know could be completely wrong. I can't intellectually own anything; I can only experience. So I touch, see, hear, smell, taste, feel. It was very liberating. I took off, like Apollo 9, deciding that Love is all there is, and that I intend to journey without regrets, tasting everything. I even let go of the idea that I could know who I am. I think I can't. I think I can have ideas about it, but I can never know, for people are constantly telling me I'm this or that, things I never knew or thought of.

"Had me a woman, she flew away/ climbed onto the nearest star
Miss her lots, but there ya are."

I let go of everything I thought I knew, everything I thought I was, and wonder, wonder, wonder.

Sometimes I just inhale.

I look around, wondering if I was going to make something of myself, wouldn't I be there by now? I mean, what's the magic number? I cite Grandma Moses, and hold out hope. I said recently that I am right now becoming the person I always wanted to be. I'm working on living the life I always wanted to live. I'm still in the process of defining what that is. I know that there is Room At The Top for me, whenever I get there.

"Because there's always room at the top/don't let them tell you that there is not."

I'll get there when I get there, on my terms, in my time. It's a personal sort of mountain, I think. It might not look like a peak to some people, but when the view is perfect, I'll know I've arrived.

In the meantime, I am busy finding everything Wonderful.

"Did I tell you how much I miss/Your sweet kiss?

Did I tell you you're wonderful?/ I miss you, yes I do.
Did I tell you that I was wrong?/ I was wrong
Because you're Wonderful
Did I tell you how much I miss your smile?"

Most everyone I meet these days is Wonderful, one way or another. And each of you, when you're not near me, I miss you.

Those of you who are important to me should know it. I try to make sure. No regrets. Have I missed anyone?

And life, life is Wonderful.


So after playing the disc through four...nine...twelve (?) times, I'd finally reached saturation and took it out.

In the meantime, I danced. Barefoot. For the first time since October 10th, I danced barefoot, comfortably.

This bodes well for the summer. On my list of "haven't dones" is dancing naked in the rain. Yes! It is possible. I am so all about Yes. Now, about a location....

And back to the grindstone. I promised Steve something additional by midnight tonight, and it's nine now. Grooving on a writing jag, the woman is manic, MANIC, a Maniac, I tell you!

Man, I need a beer. Two of them, and a friend to have the other one. Volunteers?

(For the curious, you just took a tour of a compillation CD given to me by my sister, called The Essential Adam Ant, with songs from the albums Dirk Wears White Socks; Kings of the Wild Frontier; Prince Charming; Friend Or Foe; Strip; Vive Le Rock and Wonderful.)