Monday, August 22, 2016

Hate Mail

As mentioned in the last entry, I've been meaning to write about hate mail. 

I've never pushed this blog too hard. I post it on facebook and on my twitter feed, that's about it. It's personal in nature and not for everyone, and I figure if people are meant to find it they will. It gets 2500-3000 hits per month, which is already more than I ever imagined it would.

I like being a small fish in a big pond. As much as it appears that I love attention, which I do, I only really like attention that I can control. Meaning I love attention from friends who love me, I'm terrified of attention from strangers who hate me. 

When things were heating up with Cycle Sluts from Hell I loved being on big stages playing to large crowds. I loved the exchange of energy that comes with a good show: people wanting to touch you, the fists in the air, the feeling of being all powerful, the feeling of connection. My id dancing with your id. I did not like one on one conversations offstage with people asking me about myself and my band. I felt too exposed and would usually crack jokes to deflect attention. When out of my element, I often came off cold and bitchy, which still happens sometimes. It's a defensive posture. i was so shy as a kid that I literally couldn't get words out. I wanted to speak, my mouth wouldn't work. In adulthood it manifests into a sort of insular way of behaving toward strangers. Many people I know have anecdotes about how coldly I behaved the first time they met me. I do a lot of apologizing. 

But now I'm grown up and better equipped to not be an asshole when a new person tries to talk to me. Although my sister still hisses, "Be nice!!" under her breath when making introductions. And with the maturity of age you would think that I would be a little thicker skinned. But I'm not. Any little bit of not-nice mail sends me into a nervous tizzy. I have people out in this world who dislike me, but I know most of them and I think they're jerks too. And I don't have to hear from them. And that's the way I like it. 

So cut to the meltdown or whatever I can call the last year and a half. From the outside it looks like I left my amazing, hilarious, loving, handsome, kind, generous partner of 13 years for no reason for a boy young enough to be my son. If I had money I'd probably be driving a new convertible sporting the female version of hairplugs, whatever that might be (long blonde extensions?). This guy knows...




That's from the outside; the truth is far more complicated and agonizing. But the end result has been the same. I couldn't write, sleep, was manic and drinking too much, acting out. Some of Drew's friends hate me. I can see people giving me the side-eye when I'm out at shows, predatory women stalk my blog and facebook page looking for ways to get to Drew. My family clucks and discusses crazy me over dinner. I've always been the crazy one, no matter how hard I try to be good. I'm like a much sluttier and less chipper version of Maria--no asset to the abbey whatsoever.




The jig was up. I finally had confirmation about what I've always secretly believed to be true-- that I am a psycho, faithless, off-the-rails, selfish piece of shit unworthy of love.

And because I was bleeding this self-loathing out of my pores, bits of mail started rolling in to substantiate the energy being exuded. In the space of a few weeks, and at my lowest point, I got a facebook message that stated that I should eat shit and die. I got an anonymous comment on the blog, from someone who clearly knows me, calling my writing maudlin and juvenile and advising me to take a break from writing altogether. And lastly I got an email from Drew's sister stating that he hates me, that my behavior was ugly and despicable, my friends mere mindless groupies too afraid to tell me the truth about my low nature. 

That last one put me in bed for two days. It was actually Drew who talked me back into a vertical state. And Drew that I keep talking to about what happened. How did we get here? Who am I? Who are you? Why am I destructive? Am I hateful? Why do you love me? How do we find our way to peace after all this devastation? Then my mother sent me that email I posted in the last blog and the fog lifted. I am burning off shit that I've been carrying my whole life. I have made the choice not to rise any higher with my writing or (in the past) with my bands because I have felt unworthy and fearful of exposure. 

This isn't maudlin. I don't feel sorry for myself, I'm grateful to finally get clarity.This is life and I am writing about it because I think most of us feel the same way and we need to talk about it. We need to come clean and support each other. 

I love that line in the Black Crowes "Cursed Diamond", I've quoted it here before: "I hate myself. Doesn't everybody hate themselves?"






One day recently I freaked out on Drew. I'd been clinging to this notion that he was perfection and I was the opposite. I'd been dragging around my Catholic chains and apologizing all day, every day. My bad, my bad, my bad, I am bad, I am bad, I am bad. He said some things about his new girlfriend that set me off and something clicked. I felt like Travis Bickle. This is a woman who would not take it anymore. He wasn't perfect. There were a lot of things that he did/wasn't doing that helped create and exacerbate our dysfunction. He was half of the equation. I wasn't evil, I just didn't know how to fix it in the moment. I wasn't raised viewing healthy relationships. Neither was he, so we both went to our comfortable, fucked up corners and I was the one who finally said it couldn't go on the way it was. What a revelation. And what a gift to be able to talk to someone so candidly after so much damage and sadness. We are speaking more deeply than we have in years.

So, for the first time in my life, I feel ready to start working on steppng into more light, and I'm ready to face outside internet hatred without ingesting it like sweet antifreeze. Maybe that's the lesson in this excruciating chapter. I am a cursed diamond, which is way better than being the garbage I thought I was. So tell me you hate me in an anonymous email and I will counter that with maybe you're not so great either, and I have a whole crew of mindless groupies who would beg to differ. And that's pretty cool.

Much love to you my friends. All your flaws and foibles are what make you interesting. Perfection is boring and it doesn't teach us anything. Don't let the haters tell you any different. 



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Photo by Don BlackCat

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Mom Wisdom

I'm back! Kind of.

I had a whole half a blog written about various bits of hate mail I've received over the last few months, but I scrapped it. I'll get to that eventually.

It's been impossible to fully explain what I've been going through for the last year and a half because I haven't understood it myself: blowing up my life, blowing up Drew's life, confusion, darkness, drunken excitement, anxiety, guilt, guilt, guilt. Spinning like a kid does looking at the sky and then realizing that I couldn't stop, the clouds were spinning me, unable to slow down or see or even feel the ground.

The movement is finally slowing enough to begin to feel a modicum of peace. Drew has a new "friend" and is happier and we are talking almost every day in a deeper way than we have in years, and this has freed me to focus on myself and how I got here. I have cried every day for weeks, but it feels more like a burning off of old sadness than a current depression. It's difficult, painful, but do-able. I'll get to all that later as well if it seems interesting enough.

In the meantime, this morning I received a most profound, generous, and beautiful letter from my amazing mother that brought with it much clarity. Ordinarily I wouldn't post something so private, but I think that many of my friends will be able to see themselves in some of what she's saying. I will also post a link to a radio interview she did if you want to know more about her.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Mare,

I am being guided to write to you about the childhood things you are trying to clear.

You were always even as a child, very intense, very creative, and very bright.  You did not blindly accept everything but tried to conform because you were the child and I was the parent.  It was apparent early on that you needed structure, and I was still very catholic and could only give you what I knew at that time which was reflected in the structure as I was taught.  This did not resonate with you and so you accumulated a great deal of guilt and confusion over not resonating with what I was telling you. My energy at that time was not your energy, but you tried.  You were a very nice person, but often acted out and still do in defense of yourself and your own feelings-- little sensitive girl tried very hard to be something she was told  she should be, but didn't feel. 

When we carry in cellular memory a lot of some energy, like guilt, it will pop out in all our life experiences because it is right there ready to activate.  Many of your experiences of late have caused it to the surface as the easiest emotion to access which in turn then causes you resist and feel like a failure. As you recognize this, you can say; "Oh you again"  and then just move on giving it no power.  True power, needing no defense, comes as we realize who and what we really are, our true nature for it is already within us just awaiting our recognition.

I am very sorry that I caused so much confusion for you growing up.  I was going through a great deal of confusion myself.  My world wasn't working and it was my journey as well.  I have discovered that we choose our families to be born into that will activate the energies we need to clear.  I came in to a very catholic family in order to move beyond it.  I have memories of being in convents and monasteries.  It was time for me to move on, but when you were little I had not yet done that.

You choose to be my daughter in order to clear and move beyond an energy of superiority brought with you from lifetimes of being privileged. (this is channeled information)

We have balanced each other in many ways.  You opened me to so much especially when I would go to NYC.  You were always polite and kind to me even when I was so out of sinc with where you were. I learned to love all the characters and see how narrow my world had been.  I think I have helped you to understand who and what you really are on deeper levels. 

What you are clearing  now is  the accumulated guilt about who you are in comparison with  some concept of who you think you should be in order to be accepted, spiritual, lovable, a good person etc. etc.  This has been reflected in seeking validation from men, from friends etc.  Real validation can only come from self.   When a person realizes that they already are that which they seek-- perfect manifestation of Divine Consciousness, the need to defend, explain, protect etc. the small sense of self just dissolves.

We all seek love and acceptance because that is what we are made of, but each can only seek according to the level of their state of consciousness. You sought it in drinking, partying, affairs, etc. thinking that these old solutions would work, but you are in a new place now, becoming aware that these things are outgrown defense mechanisms.  

You are right where you are supposed to be.  This is a graduation, a shift into a new and higher state of consciousness in which you can be yourself and feel good about it.  We can never lose who and what we are, with all our talents and individuality, it all just shifts to higher and better forms.

I hope this helps you understand what is going on right now.  I love you very much.  When you were a baby I used to just sit and look at you, such a beautiful child.  It is time for you to love you as well.

Lots of love,
Mom


------------------------------------------------------------------

If you want to know more, this is a radio interview she did a few years back.


Gratitude, gratitude.
Hope this summer finds you healthy and happy my friends.

Monday, May 23, 2016

I Break My Own Heart

I break my own heart
Against barren rocks I
slam it hammer it it push it.
Pausing only to wipe the blood
and dirt from my eyes.

I break my own heart.
Like a stubborn child
I will not listen to reason,
or be held
in loving arms.

I choose instead to run
toothless and cackling
through the streets.
My knuckles raw from pounding,
filthy with pain,
blind with rage.
My heart broken.

--------------------------------------------------

I wrote that poem in 1992 and continue to write varying versions of it regularly. It is the underlying thread in the fabric of my life.

I can see my crazy choices as I'm making them, but I make them anyway. For the most part I don't mind. I know that the cosmos/my subconscious/whatever contains deeper reasoning that I don't always see right away. I have long since stopped regretting past bad decisions because I know I had no alternative but to make them. I am not here to be content. Some of us can sort that, and most of us get to be content some of the time. But there are bigger fish to fry. And hopefully, we learn something with each dubious choice and make a slightly better one on the next go-round.

The last couple of days have been difficult for me emotionally because of a relationship that I want very much to sort. I lead a blessed life, I am surrounded by love, I am offered cosmopolitan experiences at every turn. This weekend alone I was treated to a free dinner and drinks at a cunty new hotel and the next day handed tickets, champagne, and stellar company to see Kiki and Herb's sold out, brain-meltingly good show. On top of that I had deep, loving conversations with close people in my life. I am so very grateful for all that I have.

And yet many times I choose to focus on the smaller things. I choose impossible situations for myself and then rail at the sky when they prove to be impossible. I love people who aren't equipped to love me back the way that I need, I ingest things that are unhealthy for my body, I don't sleep because I'm festering. I don't create because I'm too busy destroying.

It's exhausting.

Someone I am very close to is experiencing some difficult mental machinations right now as well, and as I sat quietly, for once, thinking about it all, one word came bubbling to the surface and hung there in my brain in neon lights.

Trauma.

Oooooh...

We are all sorting through the debris of trauma in our lives. Small trauma, large trauma, doesn't matter. Each one of us is hurting in some way. We are putting back pieces, starting bands, raising kids, working jobs, behaving as if we are sane when madness lies just under the surface, waiting for a mere scratch to come bubbling up and taint everything with anxiety and harsh words and pills popped. It's a miracle we can all get up and do anything under the weight of all the trauma we have experienced.

Seeing this word caused a dam to break inside of my heart. Suddenly I have so much compassion for myself. For my friends. For those who have wronged me. We are all doing the best we can under our own varied circumstances. We must be gentle and forgiving with ourselves and with each other, it's the only way to keep the madness, the sadness, the badness at bay.

That's all I've got for you today.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Serenity Now

Soooo...I haven't been blogging much lately. Inspiration comes and goes and I've had some entertaining adventures, but I've maintained radio silence to protect the people I love until everything in my life, which is very much in transition, sorts itself into a more peaceful place.

I can tell you this much. I danced on the edge of a quiet insanity for most of 2015. It was excruciating but weirdly exhilarating at the same time, like standing at the edge of a cliff looking down. At the beginning of this year I knew I had no choice but to take a break from my 13 year relationship, which I had, prior to the chaos of last year, assumed, would have sworn on a stack of bibles, was the final and perfect relationship for me. Put a fork in it, I'm happy and done.

None of it has made much sense on paper. I have caused intense pain to someone I love very deeply who has always been loyal, loving, generous, thoughtful and kind. I am horrified at my own capacity for destruction. My family is beyond irritated with me. Half my friends think I'm insane, the other half shake their heads and mutter, "mid-life crisis".  I am terrified that I am making enormous mistakes that I will come to regret and which will inevitably lead to the just reward of dying alone on an ice floe much like the silent screen harlots that came before me.


But I've been doing my homework and have learned that this is not an uncommon occurrence for women in perio-menopause. All those lovely hormones that drive us to couple up and nest go kablooey and suddenly we refuse to cook dinner for our loved ones anymore and opt instead to run wild in the streets on our orthopedic old lady shoes. It's not a pretty picture.

If you are interested, Dr. Christiane Northrup is amazing and hits on this in these videos.




I'm trying to roll with it and trust that there is a higher plan for all of us that we don't always see right away. And I'm doing a lot of inner work. I am so fucking sick of inner work. Why can't wisdom and serenity be derived from wine and percocet? But continue it must or go mad. Attempting to stay in the moment and meditating and quiet time and yoga and writing crap down. And randomly bursting into tears at the anything on TV, that seems to be on the menu as well. Eat a bag of dicks, ASPCA ads!

Sigh... I am lucky to be surrounded by some very aware people, and have had a couple of intense/interesting psychic readings during this time of chaos, which ended up more like life-coaching sessions with dead loved ones chiming in here and there. I have been told that I have to go back and heal childhood shit, which of course you don't need to be a psychic to know that this applies to almost everyone. But I did get some specific advice and upon reviewing my notes some 8-9 months later I see that much of it could apply to anyone.

So while I'm working on my mid-life crisis, I thought I could at least throw some things out there that other people could use:  Let go of pre-conceived ideas and go to the basis of what real love is about.
The answer lies in self-love.

It's okay to feel love when you say it, look people in the eye and allow yourself to experience it.
Be more spontaneous.

It's okay to say no. When in doubt, don't. Choose to be gentle and non-reactive. Walk softly. Stop being so judgmental. This is not your last lifetime and you are going to see some of these people again.
[UGH!! Noooo! I guess that means this standard behavior is out-- 1:05 mark]


Quiet time is imperative.

Mood swings are a signal that I am not grounded.

Be truthful with myself on all accounts.

So that's it for today. I will try to bring you something more entertaining soon.


Sunday, January 24, 2016

Lemmy


Wow.
All of our heroes are leaving. I guess we’re at that age; our rock gods are in their dotage and there are no new deities to take their place. The loss permeates our daily existence. I can’t even talk about how rock is dead anymore. We’ve talked the death of rock to death.

I have acceptance. I’ve mourned my neighborhood, my city, my subculture, all of it, for quite a while, and now I’m in a fairly serene mental state over it. I still mutter under my breath at screeching sorority girls when I’m walking through my neighborhood on a Saturday night, but for the most part I know it’s their hood now and that’s the nature of things. I’m old enough to stop taking the cycle of life so personally.

This December the world lost the one rock god I knew personally, Lemmy Kilmeister.  Many writers have listed his accomplishments and planet-wide influence, his integrity, intelligence, individuality, sense of humor and talent. There will never be another like him and it’s wonderful that much of the world knows it and mourns his passing. 
I have documented him often in this blog, and friends already know the stories well enough: CSFH toured with Motorhead in 1991 and the band was very good to us. It was a hilarious few months, and I learned more about being a proper rock musician during that brief time than in all my other earth-hours combined. Lemmy took a shine to me in particular, enough to mention a crush in his autobiography. I probably should have gone for it when he leaned in on our second night in London and whisper/growled into my ear, “I fancy you, Raffie.” But he scared me; I liked pretty boys that I could share clothes with and control. I politely declined.  He didn’t mind; he had plenty of other appealing opportunities, although he never gave up the good fight. We got close as we traveled and remained friends throughout his life. Not enough to speak on the phone regularly, I can't say I was one of his closest, but enough that I sent him text messages on birthdays and holidays, and saw him and the band when they played New York. After the shows Lemmy usually allowed me and a couple of his other female friends into the dressing room first. He liked the feminine attention; beyond that I think he simply wanted to unwind with people he knew before the inevitable hand-shaking and fielding of repetitive backstage comments and questions from mostly strangers. Whatever his reasons were, he treated me like a queen. He always made me feel special, he often said, “I love you.” upon parting.  I know I am not alone in this experience. The night Lemmy died I got a call from a mutual friend that he had left the planet some 10 minutes before. The friend wanted to tell me before it hit the public. I felt kind of room-spinny, overwhelmed by the information. I spent the rest of the night skimming the surface of my thoughts and emotions; not allowing myself to drop into the truth of it too deeply. I was afraid of the depth of that emotional hole. The next day I took irrational offense to any facebook post not having to do with him. How could people act normal or pay attention to their dumb food photos when he had died? I saw Lemmy three months prior, in September 2015 when Motorhead played Jones Beach. He was visibly not in the best of health: the show was short, they didn’t play a lot of the faster songs, and he seemed weary, his energy and body smaller than it used to be. Afterward he allowed only a very small inner circle into his dressing room, about five people, plus a couple of our guests. Lemmy’s dressing rooms were usually full of his exuberant energy, friends, fans, groupies, and food and alcohol--primarily his beloved Jack Daniels, surrounded by large bottles of Coke. I hate the hangover that comes from that combo but I drank it anyway when Motorhead played. Plus Lemmy would always let me nab his own newly made drink and quietly make another one for himself. I liked drinking his drinks rather than my own. It was another unspoken way in which he allowed me to feel special. This time there was no whiskey, no large tables of food or drinks for a horde. Just some cups and ice and vodka and Lem sitting down, looking weary. He said hi and got his hugs from everyone and we settled in. I poured myself a vodka on the rocks and sat across from him. I put my hands on his knees and looked him in the eyes and said, “How are you feeling?”

He cocked his head and said, “Eh…”

I said, “What are you gonna do?”

He replied, “I’m gonna keep going. Drop dead onstage.”

I said, “Okay, then.” And swung around and sat on his chair with him and took this selfie. I love his sweet and open expression here.


Everyone stayed for some chit chat and photos, but we were all conscious of overtaxing him, and didn't stay overlong. Before we left I looked deeply in his eyes and said, “I love you, Lem. Take care of yourself.” I worried afterward that I was too heavy in that goodbye, my demeanor too indicative of fear about his health instead of upbeat and encouraging. But it was how I felt at the moment and he knew it anyway.

Lemmy always saw through the “badass” trappings I put forth and understood a deeper truth. He gave me the original mock up of the 1916 CD cover (sent to him for approval before it went to print) and wrote on it, “To the Slut who is not, from one original to another. Love, Lemmy.” It's framed and hangs over my bed.

This is a story that only my band and a handful of those closest know. I'm telling it now to illustrate what kind of person he was and why he meant so much to me personally.

I was a mess on that tour. My father had died unexpectedly a few years beforehand and I wasn't even close to processing it. I had just been through a nasty break up with someone I loved desperately that sent me into a years-long spiral. I didn't know who I was, I hated myself and was acting out in the usual ways--drinking and smoking too much primarily. And then there's my personal favorite: numbing pain by using people as drugs. 

I couldn't stand my thoughts when I was alone; I wasn't comfortable without distraction. And being on tour, even though you're constantly surrounded by people, is essentially lonely. So I picked the likeliest candidate among our band of travelers to be my tour boyfriend. We weren't compatible in any real way; no history, no thoughts or ideas in common. He was simply attractive enough and in the right place at the right time. I don't think he knew what hit him.

It got volatile almost as soon as it began. It scared me and I knew I wanted out after a couple of weeks. But we were on the road in foreign countries and all trapped together and I felt terrible about being so unprofessional and about bringing this energy to my band. I was willing to deal with everything as peacefully as possible to make up for my bad behavior.

Lemmy and the other members of the band (Phil primarily, sometimes Wurzel and Philthy) and a couple members of their crew would often ride overnight on the Slut's tour bus. They wanted to be near the girls and we loved watching them pile on with their overnight bags. Lemmy never slept anyway, he would sit with the driver or in the overhead front lounge, watching oncoming traffic, smoking cigarettes, drinking Jack. He saw everything that was happening with me and in quieter moments he chided, always gently. He was never annoyed that I chose someone else, he just rolled his eyes and whispered things like, "You can't be serious..."

One night he bought a pink pacifier at a truck stop in Germany and left it in my bunk next to me while I slept. I knew it was from him the moment I opened my eyes. I got the message. I wish I'd kept it.

Somewhere in France there was an extremely drunken night exacerbated by the fact that the tour boyfriend was angry at me about an incident that had happened earlier in the day. As we sat in a club drinking, he reached out and smeared my red lipstick across my mouth and up across my face. I took out a mirror, wiped my face clean, and reapplied the lipstick. He repeated the smear. I took a deep breath, took out my mirror and repeated the clean up. He reached out and repeated the smear.

I dumped my drink in his lap and stood up to leave. He stood up and slapped me so violently across the face that I saw stars. Then he took a cue ball off a nearby pool table and threw it at full velocity through a room crowded full of people. It cracked a hole in the wall and stuck there. Someone could have been killed. He was hauled out immediately and I stayed behind to clean myself up and give people a chance to calm him down before we all had to get on the bus again.

I was weepy and Lemmy was furious. I've never seen him so angry before or since. He took me into a corner and wrapped his arms around me. I pressed my face into his chest and he said, "No man ever hits a woman. Ever. Not on my tour; not in my presence." He didn't tell me that he told me so, that there are consequences to poor decision-making. He didn't ask me what I did to instigate the fight. He just took over and took care of me and made me feel safe, probably for the first time in years. For a few moments he filled in for the father I desperately needed but didn't have. At his core he was a gentleman who loved and respected women, and he understood me better than I did myself.
My band generously allowed me to make the choice on how to proceed, and I chose to forget the night and get on with the tour. Lemmy didn't say much more about it. He knew I'd learned a lesson and I stuck as close as I could to him for the rest of our time on the road. He hated that I kept my glasses on and didn't dress up on travel days, he regaled us with history lessons, and he sang all the lyrics to Orgasmatron (the song he was most proud to have written) into my ear as we all drank in the back of the tour bus listening to tapes made of the shows each night.

When our record company refused to cough up for hotel rooms on occasion, Motorhead paid for them rather than allowing us to sleep in a cold bus parked for the night. On the last night of the tour the Paradiso in Amsterdam neglected to put in an extension to the front of their stage so that CSFH had room to play in front of all of Motorhead's extensive gear. Lemmy cancelled the show, causing a full blown fan riot. They set things on fire and broke up the place. He didn't give a fuck. if we couldn't play, they wouldn't play. We went out and got way too high on space cake instead.

I will never forget his kindness, his friendship, his wit, and his generosity of spirit. He was a true rock star in every sense of the word. I hope I get to see him on the other side.




I've posted this one many times. It's my favorite, standard bus shenanigans.


Somewhere in France. Just found this one, it feels like a little nudge from beyond.


Backstage convo, standard Kilmeister light reading on the table. 





Update: 1/27/16: I've had a few messages regarding the tour boyfriend and I'd like to clarify. He is a great person, we are still friends and there is no ill will. Things just got too crazy. I don't want to vilify anyone over one mistake they made 25 years ago. 

Monday, November 9, 2015

Carnival Games

I've been spending a lot of time around doctors and nurses the last few months as I had a giant bit of nonsense in my uterus that was causing near-constant bleeding for the last year. The endless waiting rooms have given me some time to think.

I have a Chinese gyno, who I love, who sent me to a Chinese surgeon, who I now also love. They are both easy to talk to and have a great sense of humor. My OB/GYN surgeon is little and cute, kind of roly poly with white hair. He's heavily in demand and always being delayed by one emergency or another. 

On the day of surgery I sat in the hospital waiting room for two hours, then was put in a hospital gown to wait for another three hours in a freezing room in one bed in a line of beds full of other surgery patients. I'm generally happy to lay around all day but it was too cold and it's difficult to relax when there's a skeletal dude moaning and wheezing 4 feet away from you. 

The doctor finally arrived at the foot of my bed with another guy in tow, and they proceeded to have a lengthy conversation in front of me without acknowledging my presence. I became increasingly irritated by this, but because I like him and I know how rotten I can be when cold and cranky, I tried to keep the bitchiness somewhat in check, albeit unsuccessfully. When he finally turned to greet me, I said, because his surname is "Ho", 

"Well, hello Dr. SLOW." 

He said, "I have had a terrible day. Don't you feel even a little sorry for me?" 

To which I replied, pointing at the other guy. "I would have more sympathy if I didn't have to wait five hours just to lay here like a chump while you ignore me and chat it up with this asshole." 

He said, "This guy is very smart! He has a PHD and he's studying with me." I told the smart sidekick I was kidding and they shuffled me into surgery in my jammies. 

I frigging love anesthetic and I totally get why Michael Jackson was hooked on it. Is there anything better than counting backwards, only hitting the first number and then boom, blissful blackness? The only thing wrong with it is that sad, disorienting moment when they shake you awake again. And, admittedly, that it's quite possible to overdose if you use it as a nightly sleep aid. 

This year has been so emotionally wrought, with issues still yet to be fully resolved, that I found myself thinking, "Wouldn't it be awesome to drift off and never wake up?" I thought about it for days. I am not suicidal, nor even that dark anymore, but the idea of getting out of cosmic class early, of wiping the slate clean and starting over fresh, seems appealing at times. I'm tired of having a bad brain! I'm tired of learning lessons! I'm tired of vacuuming and trimming the cat's toenails! Serenity now! 

Alas, it was not to be, and with a small tinge of disappointment I woke up, healthy as a goddamn horse and now clean as a whistle, at least uterus-wise. 

Because it's funny, I am willing to embarrass myself with these details:

Two weeks later, at the follow up appointment, my doctor scrolled through his computer notes and suddenly made an "Ew!" face. He turned the monitor toward me and said,

"You had a LOT of stuff in there! It was impressive!"

To which I responded, "Please do me a favor and never, ever repeat that to anyone else."

He pointed to a photo of a large, disgusting, bloody mass set out on a clean white table proudly, like a wedding centerpiece, and said, "I took that out! But it was vewwy difficult!" His accent makes him sound like Elmer Fudd.

He went on: "I cut it away from the wall of your uterus, and then it was just floating around in there. I couldn't catch it! I kept trying and trying but it was slippery, and it was vewwy embarrassing because I had that student with me. The student said, 'It's like a carnival game you can never win!'"

He blinked and smiled at me serenely with his sweet little Buddha face while I laughed until I couldn't breathe. 

I am a Scorpio and all my emotional damage plants itself in my reproductive system. We all have different areas of vulnerability; this happens to be mine. Over the years it's been interesting to see how dysfunctional relationships, self-hatred, sexual damage, whatever other tiny monsters are rolling around in the unconscious, have manifested in my body. Not always fun, but interesting. When I was young I didn't understand the mind/body connection. Over time I've learned to read symptoms as a gauge of whether I'm taking care of myself emotionally or physically. 

As one of the petite Chinese nurses took my blood pressure that day I looked down at her hand on my arm. It was tiny and smooth with tapered, delicate fingers, the skin flawless from the hand to the top of her arm going into her sleeve. She looked so pretty and clean. It contrasted mightily to my own arms, which are covered with tattoos and cutting scars, ending in pointy fingernails covered in black polish. I felt a little ashamed, she was so pretty and fresh and there I am, an ancient vampire full of old poisons and coated in the debris of dark thoughts and social rebellion. She was sweet and oblivious and I'm sure she's seen worse, but it gave me pause. 

I lost an ex-boyfriend a few weeks ago to an overdose. He struggled with heroin addiction from a very young age up until he died in his 40's. As a result, he never wore short sleeves, no matter what the weather. Twenty years ago, when he took his shirt off in front of me for the first time, I was stunned to see long scar lines snaking up his arm. I had never seen anything like it. Years of moving the needle one millimeter at a time had created its own tattoo of sorts. I ran my finger along it and marveled sadly at the countless hours it must have taken to create. 

It didn't make sense for me to be interested in him. I was still a rock star and he was an unknown musician/barback with a dope habit, who lived with an equally addicted girlfriend. I had a long line of more appropriate and famous suitors waiting for a wink and a nod. But I was naive to the ways of dope, drawn to tragic characters, and there was something about him that compelled me. He was kind, gentle, intelligent and honorable in a very non-junkie kind of way. He had a depth and a sadness that moved everyone in his vicinity. Plus it probably didn't hurt that he was gorgeous, with long black dreads, high cheekbones and beautiful eyes. I, being the codependent that I am, fell hard and wanted to fix things for him.

So, I yanked him from his girlfriend before either one of them knew what hit them. And then of course immediately had an unmanageable mess on my hands. On top of the pesky dope habit, which ate all his cash and necessitated lengthy disappearances in order to keep me somewhat in the dark, the alcohol we drank socially turned him into a different person, an unrecognizable maniac. You could see his face morph into a scary new persona after a shot or two. He would throw himself into traffic, smashing into windshields, scream, break glasses against bar walls. 

I was losing patience quickly. It was simply not a good look for me. We played a one-off show with Motorhead at the Ritz and although the boyfriend was on good behavior, Lemmy pulled me aside and chastised me for my taste in men. He could see something wasn't right and he felt I should be with someone who could take care of me. I understood his point and I knew that the relationship, only a month or two old, was already nearing its conclusion

One night he (boyfriend, not Lemmy) went out drinking with a friend and at the end of the night at 5 am the friend tried to dump him at my place. The friend hit the buzzer over and over again until I woke up and trudged the five flights downstairs (no one had working door buzzers in the EV back then) to find my boyfriend on his hands and knees on the sidewalk. He was a flailing, screaming mess, getting up to try to punch the friend and then falling back to crawl position. He was a mad, frothing beast and I knew if I took him upstairs he would destroy my apartment and terrify my dog. 

My survival mechanism kicked it. I felt like the worst person on the planet but I still told the friend they were on their own. I turned and went back into my apartment; the friend ditched him there on the street.

I didn't sleep much and went downstairs a couple of hours later, expecting to find my boyfriend passed out on the sidewalk. He was gone, and he remained gone for three days. I was beside myself, calling his apartment, his ex-girlfriend, calling his friends. We were all worried that he was dead somewhere. I felt so guilty. 

Five am on the third day, coming home from a night at the Scrap Bar with my sister and mutual friends, we found him sitting on my doorstep in hospital pajamas. He was delirious and said things like, "They took me away, they attacked me..." I cried and took him upstairs, docile now, and put him to bed. The next day, more coherent, he told us that the cops had been called, it took more than a couple to subdue him, and he was tossed into Bellevue. He had very little memory of what happened. He agreed to go to rehab while I went on a two week tour playing shows down South. 

He had my schedule and would call me from rehab during soundcheck at clubs to give me progress reports. He found comfort in my voice; I cried quietly while staring out the window of the van. It was great that he was doing something to make a change but I knew it was doomed, as all my choices always were.

When I got home he showed up on my doorstep with short hair. The dreads that I loved were gone and I hated it, but he was cheerful and clear of focus. He lasted that way for about a week. We were too young to know how addiction works and just assumed everything would be fine without any follow-up work to the rehab experience. 

We went to a party at a friend's house and a half hour into it I turned and saw my boyfriend upending a bottle of Jack into his mouth, chugging it down. Something snapped in me and I knew I was done. Before the Jack kicked in I told him it was over. He was devastated and I was sad, but it was as if all the romance chemicals in my brain had simply dissipated and left me with a burning desire to be free.

A few days later, while I was meditating, a vision danced across my eyes. I was in a desert, I was a man, a member of a nomadic tribe. The boyfriend was in my care, maybe he was my son, he was young, ten or twelve, and I left him with people while I went out to take care of something. I was gone for a few weeks and when I got back the boy had been murdered and I was crushed by the guilt and sadness.

I took this to be a past life vision and the reason that I felt so compelled to connect with this person. And now I had paid my debt and that's why the energy was no longer there. 

We remained friends, although I kept a distance because I was afraid of getting sucked back into drama. When he died of an overdose a few weeks ago, I felt sad that I wasn't a better friend to him in our later years. But his death allowed me to reconnect with his childhood sweetheart, the girlfriend I stole him from, and I was able to apologize and mourn with her. She was gracious and told me I'd saved her life. 

Our friend Stephen Trimboli had this to say about him:

"I'm grateful to him for staying here this long. He was always so sad and our interactions over the years were special for this reason. He lived heroically. It was just time for him to go."

Some people simply have a harder time than others. He was one of them, not that it made him any more or less worthy of love. It just is what it is. When I see him again I will apologize for protecting myself at the expense of being more present, of letting him know that I did indeed love him. 

I had originally intended to write a blog devoted to this person, but decided against it because of the nature of his death and the details of our interaction. And the doctor silliness is fresh in my mind so I figured I'd go with that. But then once I started writing that story my ex kind of popped in there, and it seems connected. We weave a fabric with our lives: everyone is different, everyone is similar: my darkness and light, his, yours, what we do to and with our bodies, who we feel compelled to connect to, how we live and die. We all have happy and sad aspects to our existence. I suspect that we all think about how nice it would be to not to wake up sometimes. And maybe that's okay as long as we can keep a sense of humor when we do wake up. Life goes on and we fix what we can, try to forgive ourselves for the rest.

Another ex-boyfriend, Jesse Malin, has written a few songs about me, and I'll leave you with one of my favorites. It's egotistic to post a song about yourself, but I like the way it captures an energy and the choices made as a result. Except that, happily, I never got knocked up and moved to Brewster. 

Onward and upward, my friends. Hope this blog finds you happy and free of unwinnable carnival games. Make sure you tell your people that you love them whenever you can.