Thursday, December 31, 2015

On New Years Eve Day

Visited the angel (where I know you alight to comfort me, you're everywhere but do alight when I visit, I know) to bring flowers and say a prayer and read and lay down on the stone and talk to you, today, my little sweetheart. After, I let myself into the house with the key around my neck, to pick up the mail and water the garden and I sat and wrote in my notebook while sitting on your bed, everything, the treasure of my life so familiar and around me, I could almost touch it- our lost life. And then I saw these. How did I never notice before a pride (a "dazzle?" a "flock", a "rainbow"?) of unicorns on the ledge of the side window above your nightstand? It's New Years Eve Day and I listen for you. Let it all come. Let it all come to be, my angel.


Sunday, December 27, 2015

The Sunday After Christmas

Little sweetheart, for the last three years your mom and I have had something of a tradition. We drive down to San Francisco on the Sunday after Christmas, have brunch at The Top of the Mark and then walk across California Street to Grace Cathedral.

The first two years, I think I told you, that amazing art installation, "Graced by Light - The Ribbon Project", by Anne Patterson was there. Last year there was also a really neat Christmas tree that was decorated with white paper that had been folded into little birds and when you got up close you could see that they had people's prayers written on them. I wrote one for you and put it in the branches myself.

This year none of those things were going on but we walked around quietly and looked at the big frescoes painted there. Taken together, they sorta tell the story of California and San Francisco and the church itself. It goes around the entire massive walls on either side. And I'd looked at all of it before but I today I noticed the face of a little girl in a crowd of painted figures. She reminded me so much of you, my little sweetheart, and I felt the tears begin to come.

Later, we sat down near the front. The organist was practicing for the service later that night. He seemed to be working on the tricky bits, starting a phrase and then stopping, the great reverberations echoing throughout the place, bouncing off the high arched ceilings. I recognized one of the works. It was a Christmas song I quite like. It always begins the 9 Lessons and Carols service that the BBC broadcasts each Christmas Eve from Kings College Cambridge. It was Once in Royal David City.

I kinda know the words or at least I kinda think I do kinda. I picked up a hymnal and I noticed they didn't have any titles. But they're all sorted by occasion. Like Easter or Advent or All Soul's. I found the section that was for Christmas and looked through that until I found the song. There's several verses and a couple of them I'm pretty sure are rarely if ever sung. One verse, the fourth, really caught my eye. Remember, little sweetheart, how I told you about that short meditation I was asked to write for Good Friday? It very much reminded me of that:

Verse 4
For He is our lifelong pattern
Daily, when on earth he grew
He was tempted, scorned, rejected
Tears and smiles, like us, He knew
Thus He feels for all our sadness
And He shares in all our gladness

We stayed for a while after. A brass quartet arrived and the organist went through the music with them. We listened to all of the rehearsal, walking up quietly and slipping into the choir stalls. It was really wonderful.

I feel awfully lonely for you, my little sweetheart. Sometimes I really don't think I can bear it. But little moments like this help. When I hear nice music or read something so resonant - I'm glad I began going to those Taize candlelight services back home in NYC - or I see something like that figure in the mural that calls to me and lets me know you're somehow near. Thank you, my little sweetheart. Please, always be with me. With love forever...


Friday, December 25, 2015

On Christmas Day

My little sweetheart, my darling girl, it's Christmas Day and I'm with your parents. In a moment, we're packing up all the gifts under the tree and getting Gidget into your father's arms and driving over to see your brother and Michelle and the kids and have dinner and watch the endless games of Christmas Day NBA basketball and maybe by the end assemble on the lawn and gaze up into the sky to see the first full moon at Christmas in 38 years, mindful that you are, however unseen, so very near, far more near than can even be imagined.

But before all that, I just want to set down here the words that you wrote to me along with the beautiful scarf you knitted, for our first Christmas, some years ago, that I know by heart, that I recited at the end of my speech to and for you at your memorial (held incredibly on my birthday that year), that I think of and often speak aloud not only on this day, but many many days, to feel you near me. But as it is Christmas Day, let it today be foremost.

Thank you, my love, for finding and loving and helping me, even now from the remove of The Forever. Thank you for these words I hold so close and dear to my heart and soul:

My Dearest Michael,

I’ve been working on this in the green room and backstage since we came to Boston. I’d drape it around my neck to keep warm while knitting in the dark of the freezing wings. The cast is decisively in favor of the striped color combination.

It’s Christmas day, and I’m wearing my pajamas. I’m in my P.J.’s even if you’re reading this when the sun has set. Ryan is making another bourbon and coke even if you’re reading this as the sun rises. My Dad is reading aloud shocking statistics about religion or politics, my Mom is spraying perfume on the dog, and me...? I am missing you. Maybe one day we’ll spend Christmas together.

Coy says “You are where you’re meant to be”, and while I like that idea, I know, far too well, what it feels like to be in a world where everything feels wrong – where everything is wrong. You have also been to that place. And as the world spins on its own axis, people are lost in their own needs and trials. We falter blindly, and strive endlessly. But no matter where you are, whether you should be there or not, and no matter who is present... know that you are a treasure in your own right. If the chest is buried, the key is lost, or the map stolen, it doesn’t matter; it doesn’t change the fact that it’s inside you. I just see what’s there. You carry it with you. What’s hidden can always be found.

I love you.
Your Gingersnap,
Summer






Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Two For Tuesday

Little sweetheart, we were on the radio twice yesterday on two different shows. First on Liz Berg's great noon-3pm slot on WFMU. She opened her show with our soundscape shoegaze version of In the Bleak Midwinter. Then WFMU's legendary Irene Trudel opened her penultimate set of the evening with our dreamcore version of Silent Night - the one that has all that neat spoken word stuff of yours - in her 9pm-midnight program. It marked our 11th and 12th times on the station this year and 2nd and 7th times on Liz and Irene's shows, respectively, little sweetheart. Both tunes are from our holiday album, BPXmas which is turning out to be the best selling album in our catalog on iTunes. Sweetheart, you're on the radio! At Christmas! Love you forever.

http://www.wfmu.org/playlists/shows/64186

Monday, December 21, 2015

In a little while...

I'm packed and ready to go to the airport, little sweetheart. I'm flying tonight to be in NorCal for Christmas with your parents. Your mom is picking me up when my flight gets into SMF, quite late, well after midnight.

I love being with your folks, my sweetheart. But it's still always so terribly sad somehow flying because I remember how I used to to come see you.

How excited you would be! I always took an early flight to SFO, at six or seven in the morning Eastern Time to get to you before noon. And you would often text or call me to say that you were too excited even to sleep. No one ever loved me, as you, my darling. No one ever blurted out such unguarded pure things. No one ever, from the very start, so touched my soul and healed my heart as unselfishly as you.

When I was doing the play last month, I went into my castmate, Gina's, room one day to read my memorial speech for you. She listened quietly, we both were in tears by the end, and she said, "what a loss!" as she hugged me.

My little, sweetheart, life is so very lonely without you. I'm trying to do my best but I just long so to be with you again and forever. May it be soon, my love. Will you come collect me, just as you did when I would take a cross-continental flight like I am tonight? May I wake to find myself in some new, bright land, stepping out into the Beautiful Light and seeing you turn the corner in your Blue Prius, pulling to the curb of the Kiss and Ride, your beaming angelic face now seen through the windscreen as you park, jumping out of the driver's side and leaping into my arms? May it be soon? In just a little while?

It's nearly Christmas, my little sweetheart and I long to be there, where you are. With all my love...

Friday, December 18, 2015

Cupcakes and Cocktails (complete)

Cupcakes & Cocktails

The first time I was with you outside of rehearsal, little sweetheart, was the night you invited the entire cast and company over to your place after for a “cupcakes & cocktails” party. It was a beautiful, generous, lovely and, as I was to learn, typical Summerlove gesture. In advance, you’d gone out and bought a set of gorgeous vintage cocktail glasses – highballs and those iconic parfait-style ones – and spent hours baking and frosting the detailed and delicious cupcakes yourself.

That night, after rehearsal finished up, you gave everyone printed directions to your apartment in the Inner Sunset. It was dark when we left the theatre and as I actually had use of a car lent me for the week, we walked across the parking lot and you directed me to follow you in your famously battered blue Prius from the Marina to your home. I dutifully tailed you down Marina Boulevard to Old Mason, past Chrissy Field until we were eventually tooling along the 101 and approaching the Golden Gate. I got confused. Didn’t you say you lived in the city? Where were we headed, Marin? A sign to the right alerted “Last Exit Before Bridge” and I watched as you abruptly made a 180 and descended into the twists and turns of the road that cuts through the Presidio.

After a few minutes of meandering through the heavy old-growth forest there at a stately pace, you finally pulled onto the shoulder, hitting your hazard lights, coming to a stop. Wondering where the hell we were and what on earth was going on, I pulled up behind you, got out and walked over to the driver’s side of your car. When you rolled down the window you were doubled over in delirious, infectious, wonderful gales of laughter. “I’m lost!” you managed to choke out between giggles. I couldn’t help laughing now, myself. I couldn’t help falling a little in love with you in that very moment – still pre-desire, a more brotherly love than a romantic one, I didn’t get it yet entirely, I simply adored you, felt something ancient and connected, felt I was somehow home just being in your presence. “Whaddya mean you’re lost?” I said. “Don’t you live here?” Another roar of giddy Summer laughter and, nearly hyperventilating, you reached for the GPS device you had stashed in the glovebox. Firing it up, a British woman’s robot voice came on (you’d customized the settings – you liked her voice better than the standard American robot default) and we got our bearings and set off again, this time in the right direction.

As we neared your neighborhood, I saw for the first time all the sights that would be become so familiar and now altogether lost – the Beautiful Life, that I was about to begin and even now feel I can nearly touch, with you. Through the heart of the city and then east toward the Sunset.  That little fork in the road, the Haight to the left, the park to the right. Past the ballfields and playgrounds, the green, rolling, gorgeous expanse of Golden Gate Park. The left turn off Lincoln onto 7th Avenue, nearing your home. UCSF and the hospital to the left, crossing the trolley tracks of the N-Judah. The little coffee place and Crepevine and all the charming spots we’d come to spend time in together there to the right, just blocks from your house. Sutro Tower and the hilly road toward the Mission rising in the distance ahead. Fog enveloping everything, cool and iconic and like stepping into a dream. Quite right.

I followed your car until it came to a stop at the right curb just shy of Kirkwood. I saw a garage door open as you got out and directed me, like one of those guys on the tarmac leading a 747 into its proper gate, to the narrow parking space reserved for your car in that tiny eight-car garage underneath your building.

There was something oddly timeless and inexplicably familiar about walking through the garage to the sidedoor leading out of the now sudden darkness of the basement, its illumination clicking off on a timer, and climbing the creaky wooden back stairs to your apartment on the third floor. Coming back in to the main stairwell from another sidedoor and onto the pale pink-tinted-off-white carpeted floor, the big mirror below in the foyer, the wide steps and tactile texture of the white stucco walls – it all seemed like I’d somehow been here before. I had the strongest sense of deju vu, my little sweetheart. Did I ever tell you that? And then reaching your door at the top of the steps and the end of the hall. The frosted glass and dark wood there customized, decorated with little decals and icons of your love and life – a red Routemaster double-decker London bus, a big pink and white heart bearing the slogan “Make Love, Not War”. We’re home.

Like all good parties, or maybe just the ones that I go to, we wound up in the kitchen. I loved how perfectly cozy it was. The little breakfast nook table along one wall, a couple of high spinner stools tucked underneath. All the sweet little touches of sundries decorating the periphery – your black and white Kit Kat Clock, eyes and tail synchronized in a tick-tock ticking, the vintage pin-up calendar by the refrigerator door, pretty curtains over the floor to ceiling shelf unit holding all your little “treats”. I liked the color of the room. The walls an inviting sun-bleached shade of yellow. And the absolutely exquisite and intricate tiling everywhere from floor to counter to sink and the window overlooking the Sunset itself, the Spanish mission-style roof of a lovely church in the near distance, the ocean visible from afar. I came to know that these warm and lovely touches were largely the work of your mother. And you spoke so proudly, so lovingly about her and your father. It was terribly effecting, my sweetheart, how clearly and unabashedly you loved your parents. I’d encountered the oddest phenomenon in the years before I met you – it was almost a point of pride in other people how quickly they would disavow their folks, keen to tell you how estranged they were, as if that were requisite to being independent or hip, some curious badge of honor. Refreshingly, that was not you. You loved your parents. They were accomplished and thoughtful, devoted to you and breathtakingly kind and generous to everyone you brought into your circle. It’s a bit shocking that that should be so extraordinary – that you would stand out as someone who didn’t routinely have to run-down your parents to assert your own validity somehow - but there it is. Thank god for them. And thank god for you.

I wasn’t drinking in those days. I’m not now, again. Although there was a time after your passing - “if not now, when?” I used to say, disconsolate, wishing only to perish – for a couple of years where I tried drowning myself in alcohol. I’m sober again, my sweetheart, as I was in those days with you. And that night, knowing that I didn’t drink you asked if I’d like a glass of milk. Of milk! Who would think of such a thing? Well, you would. You even joined me. You didn’t have a problem with drinking. Indeed, you didn’t believe that I did once you got to know me. “You’re not a alcoholic”, you said, eventually and more than once. “You should be able to drink with my family at Christmas or even just when you’re with me. You should be able to drink on those occasions – when you’re happy. When we’re together. Just don’t drink when you’re sad”. And like most everything, my darling, you are doubtless right. It’s just that now without you here, it’s not a good idea for me to. I’m often terribly sad. Maybe always now. I need to be careful. Have my wits about me. Listen carefully to intuit your invisible presence. I’ll be happy again, though. I’ll happy when I find you, as I know, as I so deeply feel and have faith that I will and forever.

But that first night, we drank milk, didn’t we sweetheart? We drank milk and ate a cupcake or two and listened to the Beatles because you knew we both liked them, what little you knew of me, what you’d learned, you employed because you wanted to make me comfortable and at ease and happy. No one ever went to such lengths for me from the very start, from the very very start. And we sat together now on one of the little couches in your living room, the rest of the party going on around us and we talked and talked.

There’s a poem by Mary Oliver, my sweetheart, called “Wild Geese”. “Tell me about despair”, she says, “Yours, and I will tell you mine.”. We did that night, my love. In just the year before, I had lost my mentor and friend, Curt and you had inexplicably, tragically lost your beloved big brother, Jesse, who had passed away without warning in his sleep. I think there may have been something a bit unmoored about us both, perhaps loss had left us both a bit adrift and floating among the shiny, noisy, unaware around us, we came to find each other. Don’t you think, my love?

Huddled there together that night in your living room, I think of it as our beginning. Nearly none of the cast turned up. And one of your neighbors, one you’d not even really known before you told me later, stayed on for sometime a bit beyond protocol and asked if she could take a few of the cupcakes with her to give to friends. I think that might’ve been around the time we took the cue to walk together downstairs, the back way, the secret staircase, to the little garage and outside.

We didn’t have our first kiss that night. It came a bit later. I can’t wait to tell that great story, my little sweetheart. But we didn’t kiss this night as we stood there with the door open on to the warm, clear beautiful San Franciscan late-winter night. You hugged me and we looked into each other’s eyes taking each other in unafraid and full of wonder. You helped air-traffic-control direct me out of the tight little parking space and you handed me your Garmen device and punched in all the info so I wouldn’t get lost trying to find my way home. I didn’t know it yet, exactly, but I had, my love. I had indeed finally finally found my way home. You had found me and here I was. Home.

Don’t you know that will always be the way of things, my gorgeous girl? No matter how much longer I may have to stagger on in this life without you, it is only for the home that is your bright spirit, I long. It is for you that my heart aches and my soul pines. You are my True Love and my True North. May your magnetic invisible presence guide me the rest of the way through this journey and take me to The Forever where you are.

On that February night that I think of as our beginning, your voice and kindness set me on my way safely back to the little room across the city from you in Bernal Heights. The little room you would come to visit soon and we would tell each other so much more and where we would truly come to fall and to fly, to fly, my love, as I long to fly to you now. I let myself in and settled down on the inch-thin futon on the floor there, thinking about the lovely evening and, you, my lovely new friend - a bit mysterious, so very kindhearted, deliciously witty, mindful and serious, too and impossibly beautiful. A bit more than a friend, it might seem. And so suddenly deeply dear to my heart. So very very dear, indeed.

And just then a text came through. And another in quick succession. Your first messages to me. “I forgot to send cupcakes home with you!” the first exclaimed. And the second, “I made the chocolate ones for you.” I replied quickly to thank you and say it was alright, you certainly didn’t have to do that, although it was terribly thoughtful. And you sent a reply, words that strike my heart even now with their breathtaking kindness, bringing tears to my eyes, my perfect love, my true one, my gorgeous girl, my little sweetheart. “Accept the things”, you wrote, “given with love”. Yes, my darling. Forever, yes.


Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Plantlife...

4 months ago as I was leaving my grief counselor's office, I saw a little discarded green cutting in the wastebasket. I retrieved and carried it home, putting it carefully into a water glass where I've been nursing it ever since. Roots began to spring forth and finally, today, I cautiously planted it in a little pot, with pebbles at the bottom, gently packing potting soil around it, slightly untangling the knot of roots and finally watering with a steady mist from a spray can. I've never done anything like this before, little sweetheart. But I hope in all these years of Monday afternoons, weeping and speaking of you in that little room, that bringing this small leaf stem back to life brings me closer to you and where you are. Lets me feel your hand in all this from the closer-than-I-can-imagine Forever. With all my love...



Friday, December 11, 2015

"It's Christmas, Sweetheart" video

Little sweetheart, there's a new band video, our 10th. It went live last night. It's for the song "It's Christmas, Sweetheart" - the opening track on our holiday record BPXmas. When Daryl Darko Barnett interviewed us in Ground Control I told him about writing it - that I had the guitar part and was working on the lyric, singing "It's Christmas" over and over, when suddenly I heard the word "sweetheart" finish the line. I didn't think about it, it just came out of me like a transmission I was receiving, like my heart was a pair of rabbit ears antennae. And I burst into tears because I knew that was you helping me, chiming in from The Forever, chiming in from so much closer than I can imagine, to comfort and help and join me. Thank you, my love. It's Christmas, Sweetheart...


Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Great Heart

I'm so full of love and longing for you today, my little sweetheart. And I'm just thinking of your Great Heart. How grateful I am that you found me. How unselfishly you loved me. You are the kindest and most courageous person I have ever know or ever will. My sweetheart. My soulmate. My best friend. My hero. My angel. I love you, my gorgeous girl. Forever. Forever.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Today...

It’s my second to last day in NorCal, little sweetheart. I go back to NYC tomorrow night on an overnight flight that will get me to JFK at 6:30am. Gah! I’ve not been home much since September - first the play out of town and then this trip. Yesterday was a great day. Beautiful, sunny and warm here and I drove down to SF to meet Greer Sinclair - a woman our producer wanted me to talk to - from the SF Art Institute who the band may collaborate with for the alt-theatre adaptation of Of Love and Loss. She is studying film and may do projections for us. She really liked the music and script and our idea and those videos (remember, sweetheart, I made a series of music videos - 9 in all - for songs from Of Love and from Angels from last July?) and she showed me some of her own work which uses a lot of atmospheric and silent movie type public domain footage. I think you'd really like it, my love. It’s very beautiful and kind of perfect. And I really liked her. I think she’s very sympatico. I think we’re on the same page. We’ll see how it goes, but possibly our next step with this will to be do something out here either in SF or LA.

Anyway, I drove down in the rental car to meet her in North Beach but I parked over by the Marina - where we first met, my darling - so I could look at a performance/gallery space over there. I looked around for a little while. I went up to where the theatre was and the stairs where you and I sat one afternoon between shows and shared a chicken pot pie I'd brought from home and warmed up in the microwave backstage. I walked all around and looked at the water and the boats going by and then climbed the long steep stairs into the park and beyond and began walking the hilly route over to meet Greer at this neat little cafe. I forget how beautiful and heartbreaking a place SF is, my darling. Just gorgeous.  My heart was so full. My thoughts filled with you.

The cafe was on Vallejo near Columbus. I was a bit early so I kinda settled in. Soon, Greer arrived and we talked and showed each other video, like I said, on our phones. After, still talking excitedly about you and how we might go forward, we went for a walk around North Beach, past City Lights Bookstore and some neat bars and a beautiful church at the edge of Washington Square and finally wound up at the Art Institute. That place is brilliant. You'd love it, my little sweetheart. An exhibit/reception was going on so we walked around there and then Greer took me up on the roof where there is a breathtaking panoramic view of the city. The building looks like the mission - a bell tower and a Spanish courtyard with a fountain. It was amazing.

Finally, I walked back to the marina and wandered through the rest of the Fort Mason Center, thinking about us, sitting on some steps and remembering the first time we kissed there in the parking lot. I wandered over to the farthest corner building - the "Festival" one that's seemingly an old airplane hangar - and there was an event going on. It was full of Christmas trees. There must've been a thousand. And little stalls to buy ornaments or snacks and drinks. Loads of people were wandering around with their kids and dogs and holiday music was playing. I took a turn through there, taking in all the sights and sounds and the strong, cozy scent of pine. Then I walked over to the newest space, Gallery 308, where that amazing sound installation by Janet Cardiff  - the performance of Thomas Tallis's "40 Part Motet" I told you about and saw last year up at The Cloisters - is now going on. It was wonderful. Very moving. I kinda couldn't bring myself to leave. Finally around 8pm, I started the drive back north.

I’ve been listening to “Pet Sounds” on repeat and it’s inspiring me to start work on two new albums for the band, sweetheart. One will be dreampop arrangements of Taize music (those little chants that are a French monastic tradition and that I discovered going to that little church on the Upper West Side, I've told you about) and the other, six ambient drone pieces I’m composing for the series of photos Jacs Fishburne took of me in our studio, superimposing images of you and text you wrote, both handwriting and typed, over top. What do you think about calling it Double Exposures? That's what I've been thinking we might title it.

As I got close to home, closer to your folks's house, I decided to make a stop in Davis, little sweetheart, at The Nugget Market where you always used to take me. I got a nice blue scented candle in a little glass and took it out to the angel to sit with you there and talk a bit. It was hard leaving there, too. I got back in the car once and then turned it off and got back out and stayed a while longer, laying down on the stone and talking to you. The candlelight lit up both the stone and the angel's face - a stream of its golden light illuminating her sweet face. And I knew that's why you called me back. You wanted to make sure I saw that.

I feel lonely today, little sweetheart, as I often do. Sometimes it's so overwhelming and I don't know what to do with myself or why I'm here. But yesterday was nice, my darling. A good day. And I need to remember that. I know you're doing your best to comfort and point me in the right direction. Please help me quiet myself and listen for you. Listen to you. Hear. And please, my dearest dearest, Summer, take me to you as soon as heaven will allow. I love you with all my heart and soul...

Your Koala,

Michael

Thursday, November 19, 2015

With Love and Fresh Resolve...

I'm flying out of JFK in a few hours, my little sweetheart, to be in NorCal this weekend for your Dad's birthday. He will be 70 on Sunday, my love, and your mom is throwing him a surprise party. After arriving late tonight, I'm going to pick up a rental car and drive down to "hide out" at the house in Davis until the day. As ever, you are so very much on my mind, my darling. I'm looking at my new tattoo - the words you sent to me in a dream from The Forever, where you are, to comfort me and give me faith. It's healing nicely and is beautiful in your own handwriting. It's there always now to remind me how lucky I am to have been found and loved by you. It's there to remind me to be a good boy, to try harder, to do what's right, to be vigilant and mindful. Your writing, your beautiful ethereally-sent message is finally made manifest upon my flesh. I had vowed that it would be and now, finally, it is. That is such a very very good thing, my love. And it also reminds me of the work I have yet to carry out, the other vows and promises I have breathlessly made both to you, my darling, and to myself - to us both.

My dearest Summer. Little sweetheart, I have been meaning and trying and wanting and thinking about writing down everything I can think of about you and about you and I, about our time together and all the things you make me feel, all the things we did and even about now, how I long for you and pray to be with you again and forever. How I strive to understand and have simple, steadfast faith that that day will come, that that will come pass and that I will join you. That anything as extraordinary as you, as your beautiful, vibrant spirit, so central to my very existence, cannot simply vanish. That somehow, all unseen to me now, at some slight remove, you remain in the invisible middle distance I cannot yet perceive with my conscious mortal mind. I’ve wanted to write this and everything and in a way that would honor and, to be perfectly honest, that would conjure you. I’ve kept this blog for a little while that’s an inkling, a notion of this endeavor. A scattershot bit of semi-regular posts every few days, as a beginning, as a way in, as a source, as a starting place to gather thoughts and memories before launching in earnest. But it is that very real, concentrated, earnest effort to tell your story, our story, what I feel I need and must and want to, what I’ve described to others occasionally, for want of a better word, as a memoir - that has not yet commenced. Not really. But I want it to and that’s why I’m writing today, my love. I think, my little sweetheart, that somehow I have been terribly afraid. Afraid that I won’t do it right. That it won’t be enough. Won’t be as good as it should be. Won’t do you the justice that I so wish it will. Afraid it won’t be complete enough. And also, not insignificantly, my little sweetheart, I think I’m simply afraid it will hurt too much. That it will somehow make your absence even more keen, seem so very final, simply break me.

So, my bright angel, my true love, my little gingersnap, will you please help me? May I just try to write to you like this? As if we were emailing or sending each other long letters while apart on some job or commitment that took us away from each other for a period of time? Imagining us just at some remove from each other where we can’t see or Skype or talk on the phone exactly, so we just write and text and tell each other things. Tell each other as much as we can until we get tired or have to go and then pick up again the next day and tell each other more. Would that be okay, my little sweetheart? If I just talk to you like this? Like in a long letter and then another one and then another one and put out of my mind the idea that I have to get everything down all at once or it will be a failure, that I will have failed you, failed us? Is it okay, my sweetheart if we just try it like this? Where I’ll just tell you everything I can think of until I have to stop and then just start again and not worry about it being such an impossible task that I cripple myself before I have even really begun? Can I just talk to you a bit, my darling? Will that be okay? Will you please help me, Summer? May I tell you some things? May I start here?

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Our Oneness Can Never Be Erased

Little sweetheart, some time ago I had a dream - I was with you, we were together and happy and fine and hand in hand and I had a tattoo that said "our oneness can never be erased." I'm not so good at remembering my dreams but this one was still with me when I woke. A few hours later, all suited up and about to go for a run, it suddenly hit me again. "The dream!", I exclaimed to myself. I grabbed a pen and the closest piece of paper I could find (I still have it, it's tacked up over my desk) and wrote down those words, those ethereal, not at all ordinary or conversational words. It felt so much like a direct message from you from The Forever. And I've been writing those words on the inside of my left forearm with a Sharpie every day since then.

Well, today, my little sweetheart, I had them tattooed in your own handwriting on my arm. The nice girl, Michelle, who was my tattoo artist, traced some of your writing from the beautiful Christmas card you gave me our first year together and today she did the work. When she finished it was beautiful and she said so. She said that very thing and "now, it's forever".

Indeed. You are forever, my little sweetheart. And I want so to join you there. Until that day! Today, tho', I have your writing - the message that you sent to comfort and give me faith - etched into my flesh to keep you with me.

And as I headed out back into the bright, cold day this afternoon, I listened to some of our music, just as you told me to. I haven't been able to before, it's just hurt too much. But today I listened to DCFC's "Transatlanticism", with its repeated, insistence chorus - I need you so much closer and I cried and cried but knew you were near. Nearer than I can imagine.

And right now I'm listening to your beloved Goldfrapp from the CDR of "Felt Mountain" you made for and gave me when we were in Boston exactly this time just after your birthday in 2008. It's just the kind of CDR that you would make - the tracks in the order you best like them, not necessarily in the album's original sequence and on this one the title track appears three different times over the course of it and it ends with four songs from another Goldfrapp album, most notable for "Black Cherry", which just about breaks me in two, it is so very much the personification of you, my little sweetheart.

I love you, Summer. And I feel so grateful and close to you tonight....


Friday, November 13, 2015

Remember November, November 13th...

It’s November 13th, little sweetheart. Today is your 36th birthday. Your mom told me that when you were a little girl you had trouble remembering when exactly your birthday was. Didn’t you often tell me that you were no good “with numbers”? If I was looking at a calendar and trying to plan something with you, wouldn’t you tell me that you couldn’t be quite sure about such and such a date because “that’s a number, you know”. Your mom and I were talking about that, we were outside, she was on one of those little lounge chairs with a cup of coffee and the puppy in her lap, a routine of fairly recent vintage and largely carried out for the cocker spaniel - little Gidget -’s enthusiastic benefit. Your mom told me that the way she helped you commit the date to memory was by composing a little rhyme for you: “Remember November. November 13th.” It’s one of the treasures of my life to have spent each of your birthdays, in the time we knew each other, together. And it came as something of a shock at first and then made absolutely sense that the very first time I actually saw your name was in the body of an email on the November 13th less than a month before we first met. I was working in London and I got a missive from our friend Chris Smith at The Magic in San Francisco confirming the initial read-through of Tir na nOg - the play we would do together there - for just after Thanksgiving. The entire cast and company was cc’d and it was there that I first saw your name. In an email dated November 13th, 2007.

Three weeks later, Chris and a couple of folks from the theatre would pick me up at SFO to take me on to rehearsal and all anyone in the car could talk about was you - this brilliant, little red-headed tornado they’d cast in the leading role. When I finally laid eyes on you from across the room, from across the production table, I didn’t quite know what to make of you - you looked to be about 16. And a Goth. Remember, I told you this? And you couldn’t think, nor could I, what made me think that. You weren’t dressed up in black leather or anything. We guessed that you maybe had make up on. I still don’t know what that was about. Later, during the break between acts, we found ourselves together, alone, at the little refreshment table. There must’ve been 30 people at that read-through - designers and staff as well as the cast - and in this moment, somehow, it was just you and I for the very first time. You were making yourself a little plate and saving half for later - a practice I would come to know and love. I can’t remember exactly what we said to each other, can you, my love? I think you must’ve asked me if I was from New York and I think at some point during the exchange I came to understand that you weren’t in high school, that you lived in the city, that you’d returned after college, after getting your Master’s Degree, that you’d been born here. After the break when we resumed reading the second act you stopped abruptly just a few lines in and said you’d lost the (Irish) accent. “Lucky Charms. Lucky Charms…” you intoned, making everyone laugh before starting again from the top.

These are my very first memories of you, Summer. My very first, my little sweetheart. My heart is so full today. So full of you. So full of love and remembrance and longing. It is both gorgeous and absolutely devastating. I can almost touch our life just out of reach and weep with wanting to do so. I ache for you. And I’m also overwhelmed with gratitude for the light and love you brought with such grace and selflessness into my broken, hurting life. How you held me in your arms and wrapped your little feet around my ankles and stroked the well of my chest and called me your treasure. How you made all things right. How I miss you! How I love you!

It’s your birthday, today, my little sweetheart. And I remember…

Happy Birthday, my angel...

It's your 36th birthday, my little sweetheart. My thoughts are filled with you and my soul longs to fly to your side. I've so much to say and tell you but just now... Happy Birthday, my beautiful angel. Thank you for finding and saving me and bringing such love and light into my life. My every prayer is for you and that I may join you soon in The Forever. With all my love...


Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Downtown Train

Remember, little sweetheart, how a few years ago our friend John asked me to play guitar at his wedding? Remember I told you all about it? That he wanted me to sing Tom Waits's "Downtown Train", so I worked up an arrangement of it, rather moody, in the style of the band? And it went pretty well. Well, Jason & I tracked it a couple weeks ago. Then I did a few more overdubs and added spoken word by you and mixed it beginning of the week. I sent it up to Scott at Old Colony in Boston for mastering and we're going to put it out as the new Bipolar Explorer digital-single. I wish we could get it out in time for your birthday on Friday but it will be close it, at least. You'll be on the cover. We're using that picture I took of you in London waiting for The Northern Line at the Kentish Town Tube Station. I had Eva fly in titles over the existing signage. It should be out on iTunes later this month. All for you, my little sweetheart. Just like everything. It's all for you, my love.


Saturday, November 7, 2015

Picture This...

Little sweetheart, remember I told you about the project we're working on with the art photographer, Jacs Fishburne? She came for a visit in August and took some photos in our studio. They're double-exposures that layer text and photos of you from all around the studio over some shots of me near the front windows. I'm composing music to go with them. And the first preview - a screenshot - of them came through yesterday. It's here below. I think it very well illustrates how you fill my very being - my mind and body and soul - with your everlasting presence.


Friday, November 6, 2015

My Miracle Girl

My sweetheart, I was longing so for you today and in a quiet moment waiting for the play to begin, I found myself alone. The other actors had gone downstairs and were at their places call. I had another five minutes or so and was sitting in an arm chair in the green room. The door to the girl's dressing room was open, no one was in there. They'd left a few minutes before. From where I sat, I could see their make up table and the mirror over it and in the reflection, the garment rack where all their costumes hung. I sat there in the chair feeling very lonely for you, my love. And I began, as I often do, to talk quietly to you, my heart so full and longing to be near you. I asked aloud for you to please "always be with me". And as I sat there getting rather teary, I saw one of the dresses on the garment rack slowly begin to sway. And then another. And then a third item, a blouse. No one was in the room. No one had been in the room for several minutes. But those three pieces of wardrobe had slowly begun to sway out of time, independent of each other, at opposing ends of the rack. I spoke aloud to you, lonely and longing, and it very much seemed that you answered me, my little sweetheart. You answered me just as you did by coming into my life seven years ago and filling my heart and soul and very existence with light and grace and love. My Miracle Girl, I used to call you, remember? How, even when you were only slightly shifting your weight as we lay entwined on my sofa or tangled up limb around limb in our bed, I would say "don't go too far away". You let me know again today that you are with me, my little sweetheart. You let me know I just need to have faith and act in love and trust in you. Yes, my sweetheart. Yes, my dear dear Summer. Yes, baby. Always. Yes.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Prayers, as ever

Today is All Souls Day, my little sweetheart and I am sending prayers on this day, and every day, to and for you. May you be safe and under the care of Love in The Beautiful New Place. And may I join you in the Forever, very very soon. With all my love...


Friday, October 30, 2015

Last night...

The concert performance in Brooklyn went really well, little sweetheart. A standing ovation, no less, and many in tears, including me, of course. I love telling people about you and talking about you and bringing something of the light you brought into my life to others. I truly believe I was born to be found by you and to love and care for and honor you. And I will do that to my last breath. It just feels right. You are goodness itself. And I long to be with you again in The Forever. With all my love...


Thursday, October 29, 2015

Tonight...

Little sweetheart, here's a pic from the put-in rehearsal yesterday for the concert performance of OF LOVE adaptation tonight. A bit nervous and a bit concerned slightly too hipster a setting but trusting in the faith that when it's all about you, my Angel, it is true. As you famously said to me once and I carry in my heart with gratitude and faith, in the knowledge that we will be together soon in The Forever, "No matter where you are, whether you should be there or not and no matter who is present..." Yes, baby. I believe. And love you forever.


Wednesday, October 21, 2015

On the air...

We were on the radio again last night, little sweetheart. Irene Trudel played "You Are" from Angels to open her last set. It's our sixth time on her show this year, my darling girl. And she talked about the adaptation of Of Love and Loss and the concert performance for you on Oct 29. It's all for you, little sweetheart. It always is. When I let that guide me, I know I'm doing as I should. It just feels right. It's the only thing that does. Exactly as the song says: "And you're everywhere. In everything. You're all I know." Always be with me, Summer. Don't go too far away. And take me to you soon, won't you, my love? With love & faith... xM


Saturday, October 17, 2015

She's an Angel

Little sweetheart, I'm down the shore in previews for a new play. We had our first two on Thursday, another last night and one more this afternoon before opening later this evening. There have been little receptions at the theatre post-show the last two nights. Yesterday, I met a very nice couple and they turned out to be called Linda and Mike - just like your parents! (your mom just let me know that she is coming two weeks from now all the way from NorCal).

The night before that I was sitting in the lobby during the first reception. I'd found a seat sort of off to the side and was just relaxing. I was pretty beat, animated conversation going on all around me. They'd tuned into some internet radio stream in the booth and were playing it on speakers in both the lobby and theatre. It was some sort of Light 70's Rock kind of thing - James Taylor and Jackson Brown. I was expecting to hear Boz Scaggs any minute. But suddenly I recognized something else. A song I'd sung for you once. A song I'd told you I would want at our wedding if we could someday have one. A song that is very much yours and brings me to tears.

I quickly got up and slipped past everyone in the crowded lobby and found my way into the now empty theatre where I could hear better. It was Van Morrison's "Tupelo Honey". It was right at the quiet part where he begins talking and before it builds to climax. I lay there on the floor of the stage and sang along with the chorus which repeats "She's an angel!" over and over and over again. And I cried for you, my little sweetheart. Just like always. I cried with love and gratitude. I cried with longing to be with you again and forever.

You're an angel now, my little sweetheart. An angel of the first degree. How I long to fly to you. Love you forever. Until that day! Until that day...


Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Love. You. Forever.


October 29

We're going to have what we're calling a "concert performance" of Of Love and Loss, little sweetheart, in Brooklyn later this month. I've written an alt-theatre adaptation of the double-album and we've been working with this very nice woman, Nina Keneally, who has extensive Broadway credits, to bring it to full-realized production in a found, possibly sacred space, later next year.

This "concert performance" will feature Jason & I playing Of Love in its entirety live with a female spoken word artist (our friend Kim Donovan) as narrator. It's all happening on Thursday October 29th as part of R&D Studio's Salon Series.

It's all happening, little sweetheart. It's all happening...



Saturday, October 3, 2015

Beach love

Remember little sweetheart how you and I used to grab a box of these -they're like little bites of frosted cake- at the Safeway in the Marina and then drive your blue Prius over to the beach and eat every last one, wrapped in each other's arms and looking at the ocean together. Here I am at the other ocean with a box at the ready. Come collect me, won't you, my little sweetheart?


#travels #treasures #OfLoveAndLoss #SummerAndMichaelLouisSerafinWells #faith

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Stay

I'm feeling nervous and anxious about leaving town for a job next week, little sweetheart. It's only a couple hours away but they want me to live down there during rehearsals for the next few weeks. In the old days, I would've been excited to travel and have an adventure but now I've become such a homebody, little sweetheart. I just like to stay in here with your pictures all around me and do my work and think of you and say quiet prayers and sleep in our bed and hope you'll visit me in dreams, maybe finally taking me with you. So looking forward to that day! I don't wanna go anywhere, really, my love. Not without you. So, please be with me, won't you? Keep me focused and in the knowledge that whatever happens you and I will be together soon in the beautiful new place. And that I just need to be quiet and mindful and good.

Friday, September 11, 2015

You. Incomparable You.

I think sometimes as I tell people about you constantly- your beautiful spirit, your breathtaking talent, your enormous heart, your courageousness, your fierce intelligence, your deep and truthful soulfulness- I neglect to add, maybe for modesty's sake - your scorching incomparable hotness. However knockdown gorgeous you appear in photos or even video, it still can't fully convey how you could stop a man's heart at thirty paces walking into a room. Oh, dear god, sweetheart you remain the hottest little thing ever. And I do mean remain. My dear friend Isabel (who now that I think of it, reminds me in some ways of you - in her zest for life) has an abiding belief that we don't leave that sensual side of ourselves once we vacate our bodies. But that that energy, that sexual soulmate connection that we find with our True Love that shocks and shakes our very being with its intensity is still out there big time. And that when we find each other again in the Beautiful New Place it's gonna be there, only about a million times more intense. No one had ever articulated that to me before but I adore the idea. And I believe. I get it. Without getting too explicit, I have had, even in the depths of my grief, that kind of experience- sudden and shocking and could only be you flipping the switch- so I know it's out there. I know it's you. And I know we're not anywhere near done with this. Knock me down again, baby. Knock me down, again. Forever...

Monday, September 7, 2015

A Prayer on Labor Day

My little sweetheart, I feel as if I've been faltering and I just want to stop and be quiet and listen for you and feel your presence in my heart and all around me, as I know you'll come to my side if only I will just quiet myself. So, my darling, as I lay me down to sleep tonight with your things here, as ever, on your pillow beside me, I say a quiet prayer and vow to do better, to heed your ethereal whispered counsel as you speak to me in dreams and in language I can only now feel, not yet know, until that day you may take me where you are. I vow to do better, my little sweetheart. To be worthy of the great gifts of light and love you have unselfishly given me. I am so blessed. I cherish you, Summer. And love you with all my heart and soul. Forever, my love. Forever.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

The Bikepath Mishap

So, little sweetheart, I've been recuperating after this breathtaking and inexplicable wipeout on the bike path along the Hudson several days ago and haven't yet told you the story. Your parents have been helping me from afar - I've been sending your dad pictures of my banged up mug and he's been advising me with his medical expertise. Your mom told me a great story about how you nursed her back to health once by bringing her pineapple slices which you somehow knew was just the thing. "Those enzymes" you told her "are great for stimulating circulation and healing bruises". 

You're amazing, little sweetheart! You know so much about so many things. And here you are again helping me by having helped your mom with this news once before! So, naturally, I've been having pineapple slices every day just like you would tell me to.

So... I don't know exactly how this fall came to be so bad. I was on my morning run along the Hudson. Almost done, actually, I guess I really went flying. Tripping or turning an ankle over uneven pavement or (as in this case) some knotty tree root, usually sends one stumbling for a few paces, trying to right ship and regain balance or at the worst, fall with hands splayed in front. But somehow this sent me flying and right onto my face. My sunglasses broke, shattering upon impact  (I think that had something to do with the cuts) and I hit my head. 

It was all very dramatic. I was veering off the paved path onto a patch of grass but it's uneven and around some trees. There was a lot of blood and dirt. I got up and saw the blood, so I checked to make sure my nose wasn't broken. And it felt okay. But there wasn't any water around. 

I went looking for a drinking fountain and this nice, horrified tourist couple - he (Michael) from London and she (Sabina) from Denmark walked back to the little riverside cafe at the pedestrian pier and got their first aid kit (which had nothing terribly useful) and entry to the restroom and I got cleaned up. They were so very kind, sweetheart, you would like them. I suspect you probably sent them, didn't you, my little angel?

I still had to get home so I finished my run. My neighbor had some alcohol (I thought I did - I remember the last time I had it out - you used a bottle to stretch out some new boots you had here, my love - more Summer know-how!) but I couldn't find it. 

I called my doctor but he couldn't see me until the next morning. I didn't feature going to the ER and I remembered there are these little walk in places here now called City MD. Jason went to one a few weeks ago when he banged his head at work and cut himself. It's BPX injury season, apparently. 

Anyway, they irrigated everything and I didn't need stitches. One place on my forehead needed "glue". The rest, however ugly, are "superficial", they said. They put sterile strips over all that and band aids over the sterile strips. They said it was okay to change the band aids but to leave the sterile strips - they'll come off on their own when it's time, reportedly. They also gave me a prescription for antibiotic to take for 7 days, so I began looking to that - one week - as my healing target. But it's taken a while longer. I'm 12 days out now and it's finally starting to look like my face again. Gah... 

Anyway, the thing about all this that I wanted to tell you was that I managed to keep very calm and have a good attitude about it all - at least that day when it all happened, since then I've been in hiding mostly. Ha! But that day, I remained in good spirits- friendly, optimistic - and very diligently went about seeking treatment. 

I can only attribute that to your perennial presence, my darling. Both the example you gave me in everything we ever encountered together and in the way I know you continue to watch over and guide me, if I only listen closely and heed your heavenly counsel. Thank you, my love. Thank you, my angel. Thank you, my little sweetheart. 

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Noted

Little sweetheart, when I was looking for that St. Barbara medal the other day I found a little something else. Tucked into an old address book (remember address books?), was a note I'd made, shortly after we met and you told me, of your birthday. I have so many things to say about our birthdays together - yours and mine. So much. An entire lengthy chapter. Count on it. But meantime, as I sign off for the night - this. Remember November. November 13th. Love you forever, my little sweetheart.


Thursday, August 27, 2015

"Of Love" project...

I've been meaning to tell you about this for a while, little sweetheart. How to begin? Well, over the last year or so, independent of each other, several people - my lit agent, my filmmaker friend (Heather Winters), a few other colleagues- have encouraged me to conceive a "theatrical" (for lack of a much much better word) adaptation of Of Love and Loss, that would somehow bring the very intimate kind of experience it is hearing us play the song cycle to a slightly larger audience, with some added component, possibly, of theatre arts. I wasn't completely adverse to the idea but I didn't want it to be stupid. Elaine (my lit agent) had a program in mind that required no script, only a proposal and although we didn't ultimately get selected, it made me articulate something initially.

A few months later, little sweetheart, I met up with this woman, Nina Keneally, a theatre producer, who I've been in touch with sporadically over several years. She once wrote a really beautiful letter (back in the days when people did such things) to my previous agent about my play District of Columbia and we finally met up a few months ago so I could give her "Collected Plays". She was very moved by our story, my love, and interested to hear the music, so I gave her Of Love and Loss and happened to mention the adaptation idea. She went home and listened to the album and got very interested in the idea.

She immediately started thinking of venues and possible opportunities to work on it. She asked if I could just for a start write out all the lyrics and maybe some very simple line or two linking the songs.

I had a different idea - it's kind of hard to describe- but I wrote something. It's not really a play. It's certainly not a musical.

Some of the things I describe happening - with the band at its center and the audience close - are essentially realistic, a man and woman sitting in the space with us looking at the night sky together, her watching over him as he sleeps or he sensing her invisible (to him) presence talking to her looking in entirely the wrong direction but with utter conviction. Other descriptions are more illusory - an enormous reproduction of "Mediterraneo" (the Of Love and Loss cover) appearing brushstroke by brushstroke and at its completion, the woman emerging from the painting and the man going to her under the waves.

I don't know how we do this exactly and my thought is that it shouldn't even be in a theatre but in some found space or art gallery or a church. But Nina - whose producing credits include both the world of Broadway ("Good Vibrations", "Driving Miss Daisy", "Last Night at Ballyhoo") and the experimental music lab at American Rep Theatre, is committed to the idea. Things go wrong and people forget but at the moment this nice.

Our first foray into this is a kind of "concert performance" in Brooklyn on Oct 29. A woman in Bushwick runs this salon series of new works - art exhibits, concerts, film screenings - in an artists loft once a month. Nina knows her. We won't try to stage it at all. Jason and I will play and a friend of ours, Kim Donovan (your dad met her once, little sweetheart - she's from here but she's been working for Pixar out in NorCal since about the time you and I met) will read all we would see. Like a radio play version. Like a female narrator.

We hope it begins to give people an idea of what this might become - an evocation and testament of love and faith - in a way, while not yet staged, more powerful and intimate than listening to the album and reading the "script" at home. We hope.

Anyway, like everything, it's for you, my love. So I'm glad we're talking about it. Stay close to me, now, won't you? Don't go too far away. We're in this together, right? For now, between invisible worlds. And soon, forever, inseparable. With all my love...

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Searching while shut-in...

So, little sweetheart, I have to tell you about something that happened on Monday. I had an accident. A kind of breathtaking and inexplicable wipeout while on my morning run along the Hudson, tripping and flying and landing hard on my head. It was very dramatic and bloody and nothing was broken or required stitches but I got pretty badly banged up and I'm all bandaged about my face. Gah! So, quite a story there and I'll get to telling you about it soon.

But just now, as I'm housebound, I set out to find something. I'd had a cursory look for it when Kris was here but I decided as I'm staying inside hiding my banged up face from the wider world, I'd have a proper rummage. 

Did I ever tell you this? 

My mom's best friend bought a pendant at the mission in Santa Barbara for me on the day I was born and gave it to her. When I was spending extended time living in NorCal after you and I met, my mom, who had been keeping it safely stowed somewhere and never even told me about it, sent it out there to me. I packed it away somewhere safely myself. But I was thinking that it's about time I wore it around my neck now along with my emergency dog tag (that has your mom and dad as contact), the key to Miller Drive your mom put on a piece of yarn for me, and the little silver pendent that my London friend made for me that says "Our Oneness Can Never Be Erased". 

I just found it. The pretty little pendent is of St Barbara herself. I wonder if you've met her yet on your travels, my little sprite...

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Sunset Crush

The latest and 9th to date of the band's videos, little sweetheart. This one is for Sunset Crush - the closing track on the Angels album. As ever, you feature predominantly. And, as ever, for you with all my love...

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Letter (to the Darkest Star)

We've been making a series of music videos, little sweetheart, and like everything, I think of them as of, for and about you. I learn something every time I do one and I like getting them out there (and here) because the music and the visuals help me keep my focus, just like the words can do, if it's about you, my love. I really believe that if I just remember always to listen closely, you will guide me with your presently invisible but always insistence presence. And I will find my way. I will find my way to you and forever. With all my love, my love...





Saturday, August 15, 2015

Visitors...

Our friend DJ Krispy is visiting from London for a few days, little sweetheart. It's the first I've seen him since our trip to Ireland, the four of us - you and I and Kris and his girl, Joy. He's been following news about the band and I've been talking non-stop about you, as always, and everywhere one looks, of course, there are pictures you and touches of your invisible but insistent presence. And I told him about the Of Love project (have I told you, yet?!)and I read him what I wrote and said at your memorial, my darling, and I cried and cried. Oh, my sweetheart. I miss you so, But I love talking about you, and that is a comfort you point me to, isn't it? Didn't you say exactly that? And I know that in those moments you are doing your best - against every rule of heaven, no doubt - getting as near me as Spirit allows to guide and comfort me. To lead me to you. And I will follow. I will follow, my love.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Love Courageously

I've so much to tell you, little sweetheart, and my heart is full. Just now I want to tell you about a lovely bracelet that I found and have been wearing that makes me think of you. It says "Love Courageously" and it reminds me of all you taught me. How you filled my life with light and love and grew my heart by so lovingly attaching it to your own. I am so grateful for all you taught me, my little sweetheart. And I love you with all my heart and soul. Love courageously, indeed. Until that day, my darling. Until that day...


Sunday, August 2, 2015

Remembering Boston...

Little sweetheart, I've been up in Boston for the last couple of days visiting a friend who runs a small theatre company in Cambridge. It's my second trip up here this year. The first was in the middle of February and here I am in the dog days of August. By turns the coldest and hottest points of the year. I'm staying out at my friend's place in part of town called Alewife at the end of the "T"'s Red Line. But much of the time I'm in Central Boston or Cambridge and that reminds me so much of our time here together when you were doing your play at The Huntington. I remember walking  to and from the theatre with you. It was such a nice long walk, snaking through the Boston U campus and the Berkeley School of Music, stopping at the little organic market that you liked and then coming back on my own while you were at work, so that I could gather a few things to make you a nice dinner and bake you a cake for your birthday. I loved that sweet little apartment they put you up in. It was so cozy, with its nice little kitchen and sunny front room with big windows and corner window seats. I remember watching movies together on my laptop as we cuddled in the big bed there, you with a nice diet soda at the ready. I remember waking up together in each others arms and making you a cup of your favorite mint tea, having my coffee with you at the little breakfast table. Cambridge reminds me of our trip on your day off to attend the film society's tribute to Willem Dafoe and your friend introducing us to him after. We were the only ones not drinking! I remember ow cold and snowy it was already even in early November and that the only shoes you could wear were those big black Ugg boots of yours, with the big flaming heart and the word "Love" on the back. I have those boots, my little sweetheart. Your mom gave them to me and they sit on the wooden chair here in the red table room where you always liked to set up camp - doing your makeup or running lines for an audition and where we would eat together. I loved bringing things over to set at your side and cooking for you every day. There's a lot of other things about Boston that I want to write about, other things we did like our trip to JFK Library and how patiently you meandered through it with me so clearly in thrall for hours and that when we got to the end I asked "do you wanna see it again?". So many things my sweetheart, my heart is full of. My heart is full for you. For you grew my heart, my darling. Another of the myriad gifts of light you brought into my life. And I am so grateful. Grateful as I sit here on the porch in old Alewife, having my morning coffee and saying our prayer and quietly talking to you. I love you, my little sweetheart. And I miss you. Please be with me always. And take me with you, come collect me as soon as it is allowed. Until that day, my little sweetheart. Oh, my love! Until that day...

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Walkabout...

It’s been sweltering here, little sweetheart, for days. But I’ve been getting in my six mile run everyday nonetheless, trying to get out before noon, when there’s still a bit of shade on the westside up along the Hudson. Today, thunderstorms were forecast, and although they didn’t go full force until after I finished, it did begin to rain while I was out and that cooled things off a bit. By the very end it was pouring and I came to a stop as I veered back off the river path, crossing the West Side Highway. I walk to and from there because I’m not too keen about running along the crowded sidewalks or stopping for traffic lights. I just walked unhurriedly, getting soaked. Even stopping, as ever, outside the little garden rectory and saying our prayer.

I didn’t have any appointments right away after, and that was a good thing because I was knackered! I took a bath and then fell fast asleep in the middle of the afternoon. When I got up a little later, there was an email letting me know some guitar cable I ordered had come in and I could come pick it up downtown.

I decided I’d walk, so I headed out a little after rush hour. I made my way down Ninth past the Port Authority and Penn Station and began heading east toward Union Square around 21st Street, I think. Somewhere around there, I heard some electric guitar noodling. It sounded live, not like coming out of someone’s car stereo or something. And as I got closer, I could see it was two guys - about our age, I guess - one on upright bass and the other on a big hollow-body electric, playing jazz. It was really nice. Not too crazy but not too Lite-FM, either. They were good. And they were kinda tucked into this little alcove away from the sidewalk by the primary school there, against a brick wall. One sole audience member, a neighborhood kid, a boy of maybe 12 or 13, listening intently. I thought I might put a bill in the open guitar case at their feet, but I remembered that I only had a twenty on me. So, I nodded to the bassist as I passed, and kept walking up to the corner, into the deli and back to the beverage cooler. I grabbed a six of Lagunitas IPA and took it to the counter. It felt a bit funny. I haven’t bought beer - let alone Lagunitas, my go-to back in the day - since I quit drinking a year and a half ago. But I pocketed my change, took the six back to where the guys were still playing, pulled it out of the black plastic bag and sat it at their feet. They were mid-song but you should’ve seen the bass player’s face turn from Very Serious to Oh-fuck-yeah-dude in about two seconds. I told them they “rocked”, which, admittedly, was a little lame but they didn’t seem to mind.The guitarist thanked me and I headed on.

Guitar stores aren’t my favorite places. That’s why I usually order online and I did this time, too, but I had to pick up the stuff at the store itself. I gave them a copy of the email and they sent someone to go grab the cable for me. Unsurprisingly, even though it was almost closing time and the store was nearly empty, some guy was shredding a metal riff, the same one, over and over, heavy on the hyper-fuzz. I went to the other side of the place and tried distracting myself by looking at even more cable. But eventually I wandered to the corner and spied out the culprit. He moved on to arpeggios. And I think he had a thing for Slash. Same haircut, same vest, same basic black. And I swear, I’m not making this up, baby - he was wearing a top hat. Happily, the cable was procured, I collected it and headed for the door. But not before - again, you couldn’t make this up - Top Hat broke into the riff from “Sweet Child o’ Mine”. Gotta love New York. 

Jason and I were talking about this the other day, my love - in fact I need to tell you and write about that day, too - that with so many great old places and fixtures of this city disappearing, giving way to another glass tower or luxury condo or waxing salon (seriously, this neighborhood is filled with waxing salons, now - everyone moving in here now apparently has a ton of dough and is really hairy) we need more than ever to celebrate everything funky and fucked up and quintessentially “Noo Yawk” while it’s still extant. Remember those bumper stickers we’d see sometimes, t-shirts, too, imploring people to Keep Austin Weird? Somebody needs to do that for this city. Somebody needs to do that for us. Maybe we do.

Anyway, it was a beautiful night, little sweetheart, and I took this picture. And somehow I know you know all that. I know that you were there. As ever. As you are here, even now, looking over my shoulder, whispering a revision in my ear, ready for a quiet hour on the sofa and a dream to take me with you for a while until morning. Until you get word it’s okay to take me with you for good. Forever. Until that day…



Monday, July 27, 2015

With a heart full of love

Little sweetheart, I have so many things to tell you and write about. And I am going to right away! I have to go on a long train ride to and from Boston over the weekend, so that will be a good chance to. But right now, right this minute while I'm thinking about it, I want to tell you something that happened and happens to me that makes me think of and know that you are near. 

On Mondays I go to see that nice lady who has been helping me, my grief counselor. Her office is all the way over on the Upper East Side and there is no good way of getting over there in a hurry. It's almost always just as fast and just as good to take the long walk. I walk through the park, little sweetheart. Past Tavern on the Green and Poets Corner and the bandshell and Bethesda Fountain and the boathouse and the lagoon and I come out finally on 5th Avenue and keep walking. 

Part of the journey takes me through Sheep Meadow and for years, when the weather is nice, I have seen an older lady painting a huge canvas there near the edge, by the gate on the far side, of the skyline as seen from that vantage. I'm often in a hurry and I've never stopped to say hi or introduce myself. Until today. I stopped and I told her that I have meant to say forever how much I like her work and how nice it is always to see her there. And she was very nice sweetheart and thanked me and said what a lovely day it was and I agreed and we said our so longs and I was on my way. And I got just a few feet away and I burst into tears, little sweetheart. Because every time I am kind to someone, I feel my heart fill with love and I know that you are with me. You are my treasure, little sweetheart. And you always will be. Thank you, my love. Thank you. 

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Can't I Be With You Now

Little sweetheart, we've made a third video from the new record. It's for the song Can't I Be With You Now (the penultimate track on Angels) and is, as ever, all for you. With all my love, my darling girl. Until that day...


Saturday, July 11, 2015

Free Day

Coming back from my run just now and walking on W51st near the rectory and little garden where I often say a prayer for you, my little sweetheart, I am stopped by three young nuns in full habit regalia, each with a large takeout beverage cup complete with drinking straw in their hands. "It's free Slurpee Day at 7-11", one says to me smiling. "You gotta get over there." Another proceeds to helpfully tell me where the nearest is on 8th Avenue. I ask what flavor they have. "Any flavor you like!" No, no I mean, which flavor did each of you choose, I'm wondering. The leader, the conversation starter, the nun who has spoken to me before - I remember her once telling me after she saw me saying my prayer for you near the statue of the Virgin Mary and told me after, told me at the time "she hears you"- tells me now that she got banana. The shyer of them says, "blue raspberry". Nice, I say before the last of them says, somewhat curiously sheepish, as if she regrets her perfectly delicious choice, suffering from free buyers remorse, "cherry coke". I don't know if I just look like I could really use a Slurpee or if the enthusiasm of the adventure has led to this kind of cold soft drink evangelism but there you have it. "Bless you", my favorite one says. And God bless you, all of you, I reply. And then I stop and say your prayer...

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Soulmates

Saw this quote today, little sweetheart. It's something Rumi once said and it seems very much how I feel about the way you have always, even before I ever laid eyes on you, lived in my heart, and shall forever: "Lovers don't meet out in the world. They're in each other from the start".

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

"Ocean" - Bipolar Explorer

New video for "Ocean", the third track of our double-record, Of Love and Loss, little sweetheart. I wrote the song for you after seeing this painting - "Mediterraneo" by Alex Alemany - dreaming of you meeting me under the waves and walking with you all the way to heaven...


Thursday, June 25, 2015

All these broken places

I understand so many things now that I never could've pre-ruin. I know why people are compelled to visit their lover's graves and to linger there for hours. I know how grief sits at the very top of ones heart, perched there always and ready to come forward at any time, even if you accidentally breathe just a little too hard. And I understand that odd phenomenon where people cover their mouth with their hand when something extraordinary or terrible happens because that's what I did for hours in those first hours after your accident, little sweetheart. That's exactly what I did when I was still so much in shock that the tears, that have never ceased to this day, had not yet fallen. All I could do was involuntarily clasp my useless hand over my mouth, trying, I think, to keep my soul from flying away, fleeing my body and spiriting itself into the undiscoverable place mortals may not yet know. I cupped my hand over my mouth in those hours, my love, I only now understand, as a kind of animal instinct to keep my soul within my being. But even so, I think a not insignificant part of me did indeed leave my shell and it, along with a large and jagged piece of my life, my youth, the man I was, fell and was broken to bits, left there on the cold tile hallways outside the ICU of that hospital, never to be recovered. Never, ever to recover in this life. Only the next. In the next, my little sweetheart. In that place, my darling, come for me and carefully peel my trembling hands from my mouth to let my spirit soar, untethered and unafraid to you.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

The Light

Before I went to sleep last night, little sweetheart, I was looking at some of your first texts to me. And when I woke up this morning, although I couldn't remember in detail, I know that you were with me in dreams. In dreams last night and early into the morning today we were together, my love. You came and visited and stayed with me til well past dawn. And I am grateful. And moved to tears. Always be with me, my sweetheart. Don't go too far away. And please take me with you so very soon, won't you, my love?

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Cupcakes & Cocktails (cont'd)

...
There was something oddly timeless and inexplicably familiar about walking through the garage to the sidedoor leading out of the now sudden darkness of the basement, its illumination clicking off on a timer, and climbing the creaky wooden back stairs to your apartment on the third floor. Coming back into the main stairwell from another sidedoor and onto the pale pink-tinted-off-white carpeted floor, the big mirror below in the foyer, the wide steps and tactile texture of the white stucco walls – it all seemed like I’d somehow been here before. I had the strongest sense of deju vu, my little sweetheart. Did I ever tell you that? And then reaching your door at the top of the steps and the end of the hall. The frosted glass and dark wood there customized, decorated with little decals and icons of your love and life – a red Routemaster double-decker London bus, a big pink and white heart bearing the slogan “Make Love, Not War”. We’re home. 


Like all good parties, or maybe just the ones that I go to, we wound up in the kitchen. I loved how perfectly cozy it was. The little breakfast nook table along one wall, a couple of high spinner stools tucked underneath. All the sweet little touches of sundries decorating the periphery – your black and white Kit Kat Clock, eyes and tail synchronized in a tick-tock ticking, the vintage pin-up calendar by the refrigerator door, pretty curtains over the floor to ceiling shelf unit holding all your little “treats”. I liked the color of the room. The walls an inviting sun-bleached shade of yellow. And the absolutely exquisite and intricate tiling everywhere from floor to counter to sink and the window overlooking the Sunset itself, the Spanish mission-style roof of a lovely church in the near distance, the ocean visible from afar. I came to know that these warm and lovely touches were largely the work of your mother. And you spoke so proudly, so lovingly about her and your father. It was terribly effecting, my sweetheart, how clearly and unabashedly you loved your parents. I’d encountered the oddest phenomenon in the years before I met you – it was almost a point of pride in other people how quickly they would disavow their folks, keen to tell you how estranged they were, as if that were requisite to being independent or hip, some curious badge of honor. Refreshingly, that was not you. You loved your parents. They were accomplished and thoughtful, devoted to you and breathtakingly kind and generous to everyone you brought into your circle. It’s a bit shocking that that should be so extraordinary – that you would stand out as someone who didn’t routinely have to run-down your parents to assert your own validity somehow - but there it is. Thank god for them. And thank god for you.


I wasn’t drinking in those days. I’m not now, again. Although there was a time after your passing - “if not now, when?” I used to say, disconsolate, wishing only to perish – for a couple of years where I tried drowning myself in alcohol. I’m sober again, my sweetheart, as I was in those days with you. And that night, knowing that I didn’t drink you asked if I’d like a glass of milk. Of milk! Who would think of such a thing? Well, you would. You even joined me. You didn’t have a problem with drinking. Indeed, you didn’t believe that I did once you got to know me. “You’re not a alcoholic”, you said, eventually and more than once. “You should be able to drink with my family at Christmas or even just when you’re with me. You should be able to drink on those occasions – when you’re happy. When we’re together. Just don’t drink when you’re sad”. And like most everything, my darling, you are doubtless right. It’s just that now without you here, it’s not a good idea for me to. I’m often terribly sad. Maybe always now. I need to be careful. Have my wits about me. Listen carefully to intuit your invisible presence. I’ll be happy again, though. I’ll be happy when I find you, as I know, as I so deeply feel and have faith that I will and forever. 

But that first night, we drank milk, didn’t we sweetheart? We drank milk and ate a cupcake or two and listened to the Beatles because you knew we both liked them, what little you knew of me, what you’d learned, you employed because you wanted to make me comfortable and at ease and happy. No one ever went to such lengths for me from the very start, from the very very start. And we sat together now on one of the little couches in your living room, the rest of the party going on around us and we talked and talked. There’s a poem by Mary Oliver, my sweetheart, called “Wild Geese”. “Tell me about despair”, she says, “Yours, and I will tell you mine.”. We did that night, my love… (more – to be continued…)