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…)

Sunday, June 14, 2015

The Most Beautiful Spirit

Remember, my sweetheart, when we were in Sonoma just before my birthday at the film festival? We were staying in this funny little motel room and you were playing around with the Photobooth app on my white MacBook. You found this sorta psychedelic filter that made a normal shot look like something from The White Album and took a picture (mostly) of your eyes. Later, I wrote something about you - how happy and grateful you made me, filling my life with light and love - and I posted it on the little blog I used to spottily update back then. I used this picture in the post. And this is what I said about you, my love. My True Love. My angel...

She has the most beautiful spirit. Sometimes I'll hear her singing softly in the next room. I'll quietly get up to go listen in the open doorway. And I'll find her. Propped up, chin resting in her palm. A breeze blowing the thin white curtains, framed by darker crimson drapes, around. Sprawled belly-down across the bed, her legs scissoring the air. She's working on her laptop. Totally unawares. She doesn't even know that she's singing. Like an angel. I just look at her and feel my heart break in two. With love. With gratitude. For my girl. How did you ever find me? Thank god for you. Oh, my darling, thank god. For my angel. My angel. How I love you!

Monday, June 1, 2015

Cupcakes & Cocktails (pt. 1)

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 (more, to be continued…)