Tuesday, August 28, 2018

I Look To You

I’m doing my best to do my best, little sweetheart. I have physical therapy for my shoulder every other day and am also working on the new Bipolar Explorer album and a second one with Sylvia for the new project, Native Tongue. She’s just gone back to France after a long visit and I’m trying to get even more things done in her absence.

Around 9pm or so, I finally have some dinner. By 11pm going on midnight, I’m pretty exhausted and ready for bed. How different than when you are with me! You love staying up late! I think the injuries and recovery really tire me out, little sweetheart. And I want so to keep making progress with all of our work.

Anyway, I do finally take an hour or two to just unwind and watch something on my laptop - like you would say, “watching a story at the end of the day” adding “with my partner” and making my heart swell with pride and love to be called your own.

These last few nights I’ve put on The West Wing. I think it’s often my go-to, a kind of comfort in it and a reminder always of you, little sweetheart, because it was you that so lovingly brought me the first four seasons of the series on DVD from your home in Davis for me to watch and to think of you when we were apart.

Your mom once told me how proud you were to have been the one to have turned me on to the series yourself. And how proud I am of you, little sweetheart, for everything you that you do and are and so thoroughly exemplify. Someone once remarked about how I express so many things, feelings about you - love and gratitude, of course, but also, quite markedly, admiration. Your not only my soulmate, my true love, my little sweetheart, you’re also my conscious, my guide, my teacher. I long to do as you would have me do, as you yourself would do in any given circumstance.

In so many things, perhaps in all things, indeed, my little sweetheart, I look to you. With all my love forever. 

Saturday, August 25, 2018

A Backwards Glance... forward!

I’m always so grateful to be visited by you in dreams, little sweetheart. I took too long the other day after waking to write down what I remembered. Darn it all! But I do have some memory of one last night.

It’s a bit blurry and short on details but what I do remember is that I was with you in someone’s car. They were driving and you were in the passenger seat with my right behind you in the back one. They had a lot of things to ask you and since they were giving us both a ride you were very conscientious to answer them but you did keep stealing glances back at me to let me know you were with me.

It reminded me of that time we were at a play together with Chris and Sheri and you came at the last minute but could only get a seat not with the three of us but several rows behind. All through the play I kept turning around with my back to the stage and my eyes reaching out to you with such longing! And you returned my desperate gaze with the kindest look in your own eyes as if to say, “I know, I know but just watch the play right now and we’ll be together as soon as it’s over, in no time at all, just the blink of an eye.” 

May that be so, my little sweetheart. May I be with you soon, again and forever, in just the blink of an eye. How very much I long for you, my True Love. My Angel.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Days Remembered

I’ve been so occupied these last weeks, little sweetheart, with the new album (weighing in at 23 tracks, it’s quite a handful of work) that I haven’t been able to keep as diligent as I’d like in banging out our first memoir but when I resume, which I hope to do by the end of the month, I’ll be nearly at the point of recounting out first trip to London together. And it’s actually the 10th anniversary of those very days, so so much of it is flooding back in the memory.

You’d just been here in NYC for a week and we knew we’d have England together in the months ahead because you needed to attend a friend’s wedding and I was going for several weeks to work on one of my plays with Wilson. I was staying in Kentish Town with Kris and Joy and missing you terribly. You’d drive up to the house in Davis just to be able to get on a landline and call me, eight hours behind, from California, to talk each day. When we weren’t on the phone, you were sending me epic emails, every single one of them treasured and saved. I’m looking over them even now, my angel.

When you finally arrived, I saw you coming down the stairs to the basement flat. You’d cut your hair! Just the front, cut it into bangs or a “fringe” as you liked to say. I’d asked Joy if it was okay for you to stay with us and she of course said yes. She loved you right away too. You and Kris were sort of an odd pairing - the two of you are so different! - but it didn’t matter. You were here, we were together.

You knew London, you’d lived there after finishing your degree at Oxford, but I still liked taking you to all my favorite places. We wandered The Heath and took the Tube down to The Embankment. Walked across the bridge together. Lingered on The South Bank. Saw Shakespeare at The Globe. Had a 99 from a stand near The Thames. Got tickets for The National Theatre and later Donmar Warehouse. Bought groceries at Tesco and made a delicious crumble once we got home. Got locked out of the bedroom one night when no one was home to help us and you picked the lock expertly with a hairpin. Cuddled and made plans and belatedly discovered a Cure song as it blared out of the boombox on Fortess Road “Friday, I’m in Love”, which became our anthem.

One night on the walk back to The Northern Line, looking out at the city spread before us, doing everything I’d longed to share with someone special, forever lonely but with you finally squeezing my hand healing every wound, every slight, I began to weep. “Don’t cry, don’t be sad yet or miss me - I’m right here!”, you said, knowing my heart, my way instantly and better than I myself.

These days are still so fresh in my mind, my little sweetheart. And I thank God for you and know that you are near, nearer than I can imagine. And that we will be together again and forever. Indeed, we already are. I just need to pass - when it is my time, not yet, you’ve already turned me back to wait - to know it. With all my love. 

Monday, August 20, 2018

How Many Songs Are There?

Little sweetheart, our dear dear Sylvia is here from France working on the two new albums with me, keeping me company and helping with everything so very much. She was very moved from the very beginning to hear your story and our own and of my boundless devotion to you. And she is very kind, little sweetheart, and caring.

The other morning as I was making us some breakfast I had WFMU on in the background and Jeffery Davison played “Where Does The Time Go”, which brought me to a complete stop, as I stood there weeping, remembering how you loved that song and how you first played it for me in your room in Boston. I told Sylvia all about it between sobs and she hugged me.

Then this afternoon as I was doing my home physical therapy exercises for my shoulder post-surgery, again with the radio in the background and Sylvia in the next room, I began to cry and cry. She heard me and rushed into the room. “Is it the music”, she asked, ever so kindly. With tears streaming down my face, I nodded. And then, cautiously but with the gentlest kind of concern, she asked, so sweetly “how many songs are there?”

It was at once lovely, thoughtful and not a little hilarious. It’s something you would do, little sweetheart. And were you to hear it asked in that very moment (as I suspect you did) would probably make you smile, even giggle, cheering right up and give her a hug yourself for being so thoughtful, worried and probably not a little overwhelmed.

Honestly, there are a lot of songs. And countless moments, as I move through what remains of my life, when I am seized with thoughts of you, little sweetheart, and overwhelmed myself with so many emotions - of longing, of love, of affection, of gratitude.

Please help and guide me in these times and all times, won’t you, little sweetheart? And know I love you with all my heart and soul forever.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

August 16th

Today is August 16th, little sweetheart - your mom’s birthday.

I got a few little things together from the gift and card shop, Delphinium, on W47th Street that we like so much, wrapped them up and sent them her way.

I’ve also discovered a nice service online that delivers birthday cakes. I often get one for your Dad on Father’s Day or his own birthday and your mom really likes their Vanilla Bean one, so I sent that along as well. I like being there on the day, of course - I made her a lemon cake with buttercream frosting a few years ago when I was visiting - but I can’t fly right now after the pulmonary embolism. Hopefully I can go at Christmas.

One of the things I like most about visiting your mom and dad, little sweetheart, is cooking for them, because it’s something I so loved doing for you. Lots of your little treats and special things are still right here on the red table or inside the top shelf of the fridge.

I know we’ll be together again and forever, little sweetheart. And I don’t know how things work after we die but I hope and suspect there will be a way for me to make nice things for you somehow. Maybe time turns out to be not linear at all and we can just alight and linger anywhere - the kitchen in Davis, say, where I can cook and bake for you and we can cuddle on the sofa afterward and watch a story together before bedtime.

I’m thinking of you always, my gorgeous girl, my bright angel, and sending love forever.

Monday, August 13, 2018

Haircut 100

Little sweetheart, I need a haircut! It’s been ages. Two years! I know!

I actually had planned to get one right after Christmas. I was at your parents house in your beautiful room sitting on your bed when I emailed the girl who’s been cutting my hair for the last bunch of years. She wrote back right away and said, yes, she could do me as soon as I got back to New York, just call Seagull (the salon where she works) to schedule it. So, a few days after New Year’s, when got home, I did. And they said she was on indefinite leave. That she was on a trip around the world rock climbing. Seriously. I follow her on Instagram and, there she was, hanging from a boulder with green hair, somewhere in Texas.

But I’m so fussy and loyal, I wanted to wait until she got back. I thought I might finally suck it up and try to find someone else around my birthday in April but then, of course, I got plowed over by some guy driving his car and wound up nearly dead in the hospital.

Thankfully, my angels - you foremost and guiding them, your earthly and celestial charges - intervened and now, four months later, I ambled down to the West Village (it’s been so long Seagull had actually moved - from their old storefront on W10th Street to a place twice as big on the second floor of a building tucked away on W4th) with Sylvia in tow to get shorn by someone new. Everyone was really nice. The receptionist remembered me and our new guy, Topher, knew all about pulmonary embolisms and even the medication I’m on. He and his wife also really like cooking, so we had a lot to talk about.

As I sat there and Sylvia snapped pics on her phone and sent them to your mom (who was relived - one of the occupational therapists at the hospital had fashioned my hair into a man bun atop my head and even your mom, ever polite, had to exclaim that it looked awful), I couldn’t help but think of you and the first time I was shorn at your own behest.

You’d directed me to Lee’s, just down the street from your apartment in the Inner Sunset, insisting that I’d look so much better with shorter hair and a good deal less “like a crazy old man”. I was a bit startled in the stylist’s chair that day, reaching to the back of my head to discover how short it was but when I got home to you, you embraced me instantly saying “I love it” and making everything better, as you always always did and still do.

So, two years (or is it nearly three now?!) on, I’m finally back to a neater look. You, Sylvia and your mom cam all breathe a sigh of relief, I think. I’ll join you. Girls, the best ones, are always right, after all. Isn’t that so, little sweetheart?

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

The Days Ahead

Little sweetheart, our dear dear Sylvia arrived from France on August 3rd and we’ve been at work both on a new project, Native Tongue, and the eighth Bipolar Explorer album, Til Morning is Nigh: A Dream of A Christmas. Sylvia is doing spoken word with us on the BPX album. I give her the passages to read, she translates them into French (we’re using the most archaic translations so that they have a more poetic and timeless feeling) and she speaks them over the guitars.

I know you’d love how this album is coming together and unfolding. I’m sure of it. I can feel your presence with us and even more so when your spoken words and soaring vocals fill the room blasting over the monitors and I piece things together.

In these days ahead I’ll be working on that very thing - bringing in your voice to join and guide our efforts yet further, providing the soul and conscience of this new work. We both feel you around us as we diligently do our best to make you proud. And not for the first time I must tell you, my little sweetheart, I need you more than ever. With all my love.

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Angel Frequency

I’m at work on the new album, little sweetheart. Basic tracks - for 23 songs - are completed and I’m recording bass, percussion, backing vocals and other parts now.

One of the new tracks I’m most excited about has you, of course, at its center. A sound college of your spoken word envelopes the piece and dancing around and underneath are loops of found sound and low droning vocals and… our first use of synth on a track.

When I first got home from the hospital, I wasn’t at all sure I’d be able to play guitar or bass for some time. Ortho initially told me August and this was in May. I did find a way to play while seated even with such limited range of motion in my broken shoulder but I got a couple of new instruments I thought I might be able to play and compose with with just one hand if need be. One of them was a keyboard. I thought it would be just an inexpensive little practice one but it turned out to be really good. It reminds me of the Privia you started writing on our last Christmas together. But what’s best about it is that it has a couple hundred different settings and among them are some very good sounding organ and synth ones. They have infinite sustain and even start folding back, resonating overtones to the brink of feedback if you keep them going.

I’ve been listening almost non-stop to ambient music this year, little sweetheart, especially that Austin duo we like Stars of the Lid. The new track is called “Angel Frequency” and it invokes both the celestial presence that I find visiting me when I feel or sense you near, as well as the experience I had in those ten minutes when my heart stopped in the hospital. This track feels like the very centerpiece of the new album and a signal as to where the band, with your ethereal guidance, is headed.

I’m so heartened and excited by the prospect, little sweetheart. Please remain near me, won’t you? Don’t go too far away. I’m listening carefully. With all my love forever.