Today, Favor/HEB was promoting flower deliveries to nurses, so I opened the app hoping for a bunch of easy runs– my neighborhood is surrounded by hospitals– but I didn’t get a single offer like that; instead, annoying little sandwich orders involving a lot of driving around. I began to take it personally that these people were inconveniencing me by ordering sandwiches from shops ridiculously far from their homes (other days I’ve been irked by the opposite, people who couldn’t be bothered to cross a parking lot to pick up their own take-out). It seemed a personal affront, bad manners, for so many of them to have chosen to live in enormous sprawling apartment complexes with hard-to-reach punch pads for gate codes and poorly marked building numbers.
A podcast episode on holding space for others to express their obnoxious opinions (sorry, opinions different from your own) was interesting while it lasted, but the NPR news that followed was getting me down. Fear of Music, cranked loud, cheered me up. Somehow, one of the songs (I can’t remember which) made me think of the band Hole, who I loved in the 90’s. I tried to re-enjoy their album Pretty on the Inside, a masterpiece of noise/fuzz/rage produced by Kim Gordon, but I couldn’t make it work. Too noisy! Turning to the more accessible Live Through This, I was taken by surprise at my emotional reaction to the songs. I couldn’t listen to any of them all the way through. My eyes teared up. I got my period yesterday and that does make me hypersensitive (hmm, also makes me take things personally…). My emotions were mixed up, confusing. Listening to the lyrics of Violet, I was appalled by the story being told, while at the same time remembering how much I had related to it back when the album first came out. “Go on, take everything, take everything, I want you to…”
I couldn’t listen to Plump past the first few lines, a lyric I’ve always loved: “I don”t do the dishes,” Courtney Love snarls, “I throw them in the crib.”
I felt sad by how distant I’d become from that sort of rage. Other rage has replaced it, a more circumspect version. Probably it is honest to state: a more bitter version. I felt sad for the younger woman I had been and for the fucked up world I, as an older woman, still have to navigate through. I felt sad for my boyfriend’s three teenage daughters, and sad about feeling powerless to help them. I felt sad for Courtney Love, for her treatment by the media. I felt sad that I couldn’t properly remember the Hole concert I’d gone to at Madison Square Garden. I felt sad that I no longer care about going to concerts, then I felt sad that no one can go to concerts anymore whether they want to or not.
Driving home past all the hospitals I wasn’t being paid to deliver flowers to, I remembered that the album had come out as my mother was dying a vicious painful death from cancer. And how Courtney Love had recorded the album, title and all, right before her husband killed himself. That mystical synchronicity had astonished me at the time, yet somehow in the rear view mirror it seems inevitable.
What will tomorrow’s view of today look like? The view back in twenty-five years? I’ll hope I’ll be one of the lucky ones who lives through this to find out.
In the evening, I organized my deliveries to work into an errand I chose to take for myself, driving north to an Indian restaurant for take-out for my family. I listened to the new Kim Gordon release. I don’t have envy for celebrities as a rule, but Kim Gordon is the exception. I envy her voice, her talent, her drollness, her legs. A few days ago I tried to listen to the new Fiona Apple. She wasn’t my bag back in the day but all the cool kids seemed to be into her now, and a lot can happen in a couple of decades, so I gave it a shot. The two albums, Kim Gordon’s and Fiona Apple’s, reminded me of each other. Super fragmented, chopped up, loopy, fractured, broken mirrored, multidimensional, Gertrude Stein-y, overproduced, underproduced, exhausting, boring, what the fuck. Am I the only person who doesn’t smoke a ton of weed right now? I think I might be. There’s only one reason why not: I live with five teenagers, and I don’t want to open that door.