"The Mark Twain Museum"//Virginia City
The second half of today has turned into the worst day of my life, after a couple of dreamy weeks I learned that the dream hangs by a thread. I wonder if making one of those mega-nihilistic tumblrs will help my mental health?
SMOKING OUTSIDE THE COMPUTELL!
Things have slowed here. I no longer find it unusual to go two or more weeks without talking to anybody but my coworkers, my patients, and Adam. This was a slow weekend from which I have emerged with dirty feet, clean laundry, and one candlelit gin & tonic. I love our little house with the snow pea planters although we feel so far away from other souls. This is a strange town that I wish more of our friends would visit. Isn’t the promise of a free room, a state park in the backyard, good fishing and small distances enough? Well we are actually looking to move back to the Bay Area soon enough anyway, but for now I am a relatively settled camper. We never have traffic, the trees are enormous, and I can walk to town or I can walk to the wilderness. Mornings are slow and easy, evenings seep into night like molasses. I’ve started a terrible painting of California poppies, and the dogwoods are in bloom!
2. 1957-63: 1956 may be the most important year in pop music history, because it’s the year that rock and roll (or, more specifically, Elvis) officially hit the scene. Many believe its arrival stole many would-be country fans, and was detrimental to the health of country music. These are country songs that had to compete with rock and roll in its earliest years. It’s fun to listen for the influence of rock and roll on songs like “In the Jailhouse Now” or “(There’s a) Honky Tonk in Your Heart.” Some claim that during these years country’s livelihood was saved by a newer, softer brand: the Nashville Sound, of which Patsy Cline is the most notable product. It’s fun to compare this sound with West Coast country’s Bakersfield Sound (Buck Owens, Wynn Stewart on this list). I cut off this playlist with 1963, the year Cline was killed in a plane crash with Cowboy Copas and Hawkshaw Hawkins.
If you’re serious about getting serious about country! I am so thankful!
To commemorate spring: 1962 Plymouth Belvedere + Camellia, coming to see me for lunch, parked in front of a bushful of bees.
Neighborhood haunts (I think somebody, not a parlor ghost, does live here though, and doesn’t take care of their house, at all)
Today feels better, as it always does. The weather is ideal and my skin is seeing the light for the first time in months. I learned that the tree that crowns the deck off the bedroom is probably elderberry and in any case poisonous, and I added snap pea planters, butter lettuce, lavender to the mix, and about half a dozen tiny succulents. Turned my phone off. Talked to the downstairs neighbor. Colored my new white shirt brown. Yep, buying a lounge chair was the best idea so far this year. I love sitting in the sunset and hearing the clatter of dishes as nearby homes with windows open and curtains drawn prepare dinner. Just like Cambridgeport, 2011, when my deck and guitar were the closest things I had to steadiness. I’m getting better at writing songs, if I keep it simple, the good ole 1-2-3-4. Maybe, soon, I will write a song with just place names too.
And golly, thanks infinitely to the few good folks who like my beat up prose, that’s so much like the big smiles from strangers we may all be lucky enough to receive once in a while.
So where do you look to when, at 1 in the morning you are too tired to sleep, when all of the anxiety you have tried to let time do away with is riding your blood, spinning? You wonder if the ideas you have staked your life upon, your relationship, “career”, travel plans, bad songs you have tried to write to give this lowness in your life some meaning, will ride away, too? Like them, a big part of me wants to get in my car and drive, spend every penny I have saved to become somebody completely better and different, completely healed, but a bigger part of me just needs to black out, cave in, put on autopilot to grin and bear and hopefully not remember the next few months in their inevitable awful detail. Today is supposed to be celebratory: 3 and a half years of graduate training come to an end, a new life begins that has been far out of reach. But instead I sit and moronically write here, because I literally have nothing else to turn to, and say the one lovely prayer that is always granted: morning. There is always light in the morning, if sleep lets you gather it. It’s all just a matter of time.