Archive for October, 2005


Monday, October 31st, 2005

Lilli Belle Marshall born this afternoon via C-section 7+ lbs and 21 inches long – strawberry blonde – Halloween baby – lil ghost lil ghost you’re the one I love the most- can you scare me up a little bit of love – Lilli Munster does the mash.

I said I’d walk off the planet if her hair was red – not after three vivid dreams of a red-headed baby girl – the cosmos continue to test my mettle. N said he’d get in the car and drive like a bat out of hell if her hair was red – where he didn’t say – but already she is something. Her hair is darkening, could be W’s color and maybe not red.

S has no idea – no clue – what the thought of a red headed baby being born today, especially on Halloween, could do to my mental health.

Fighting the urge to light up a cig – just for the pure hell of it.


Monday, October 31st, 2005

I want the whole package.

Monster Mash

Monday, October 31st, 2005

I don’t even know where my story of Adele is that I started last summer while here. I worked on it in Bali. I’m still curious as to whether she dies or actually does just disappear. Tonight with Mom at Houston’s we got to hear about the saga of her Houma living situation. Richard “is not a drug addict but he is addicted” and the quadrapeligic who wants to live in her apartments with his brother not to mention Linda who can’t make it up the stairs.

Houston’s in Metairie was packed – jammed – only restaurant open on Sunday night in a 50 mile radius. They ran out of gumbo, ribs and who knows what else. So smoky in the bar it was like being in a, well, bar. But the food was tasty even if Nicole, our waitress, couldn’t go one foot without getting into a detailed conversation about how Katrina was nothing, just wait, the next five years are supposed to deliver far worse. Is she dispensing doom? Where does she get her info, I haven’t heard that weather report.

L is in bad shape. K is basically taking the passive aggressive approach to T and is predicting a blow up but rather than make a decision she is just waiting for it to run its course towards this blow up. Meanwhile L, all ready to dive right in, or so he thought, is now forced to sit back and re-contemplate what the next six months look like rather than think about a life with a young wife and possibly children. What can I say to him – I told him he needs to emerge himself in his work and look around him. Sounds like such glib advice doesn’t it? It’s so hard to tell someone something they would rather not hear – I’d rather be telling him she’ll be there for him whether he wants her or not. He’s in a vulnerable state right now. This morning in his kitchen he took notes about what we discussed – K, going to give you the space you need – then the ending gets dicey – but don’t wait too long – no not right –

Meanwhile tonight S told mom that he is going to learn how to cook. Something he has been talking about doing for the past year. I listened to him talking to mom and it was like I was on the outside looking in. Weird place to be.

The water in the bayou is rising again and it is starting to look normal water wise around here. Many trucks rolled through the neighborhood sorting, cherry picking, but at least moving trash – which of course does nothing but cause all the smells to erupt from what is getting released. But hopefully when we return from our travels next week – most of this will have been hauled away and maybe even one good rainfall will give at least a surface clean feel to the area. That and some gas would be welcomed with open arms.

I’ve been quite the firestarter of late – the wooden candlestick that glowed like a flambeau on the backporch, the corn dogs in the toaster oven. Tonight at Gal’s they have a fireplace lit in the backyard which is smoking up the whole porch and causing me to flinch every time I catch whiff of that fire smell. Right now between Houston’s, L’s house the other night, and all the various fires, smoke is starting to really bug me. I’d like some fresh air.

Mom asked tonight how the progress is going on the house – progress? – we’re stalled. S been too busy to make calls to the consultants. B is busy trying to get the Lakeview homes demolished before the mold ruins everything. Progress on our house? None. I keep trying to hold any desire to be in that house in abeyance but every once in a while walking by I get a sense of what the house might look like and I just want to be in it, with my kitchen done and my bathroom done and a tub to take long hot baths in. But that sounds so petty when you think of all the people who lost everything they had and don’t have the wherewithal to rebuild.

What’s to come

Saturday, October 29th, 2005

“Not soon, as late as the approach of my ninetieth year,/I felt a door opening in me and I entered/the clarity of early morning.” __ Czeslaw Milosz

“You want the endlessness to end,” Alison says, “you want to go home, but there is no home. You despise the tender attachments of the liver and the body, but you also crave them; you bite other people in an attempt to find them, and when that doesn’t work, you bite yourself.” __ Mary Gaitskill

You open one door and close another, and can’t find your way back again – you put one foot in front of the other and assume the maze becomes more transparent or at least you realize which way failed and trust the path you choose keeps going infinitely onward.

“I tell you to open your eyes.”

Pal’s reopens, Gal’s set up, 5 neighbors return and one moves to Texas

Friday, October 28th, 2005

The same nutballs that inhabited Pal’s have returned – G with his psycho self, the butch lesbo contingency, neighbor of N’s and neighbor of ours, and the tatoo’d bartenders. Next door the party is just getting started, pink wig and a few witches, and lots of Christmas lights plus a lighted snowman. Tomorrow night we’re headed to August with the M’s and at precisely the time of our res, the Faubourg group will be on the bridge toasting with tiki torches and wine to the return of the neighborhood. And yet N and B couldn’t wait to get out of here, leaving behind the debris that litters their yard, and gutters half hanging from the roof – no desire to nest again in their home – the porch still in disarray.

Third day of walking the dogs through City Park as L refuses to return to Cabrini fearing substances left from Katrina. Little by little we keep seeing familiar faces returning. L’s situation with K remains a puzzle – her phone cut off he has been bereft of her attention and therefore pining away for her – S continues to tell me that men only want what they can’t have – is that true? Or is L an enigma? Or one of those men that do need the hunt? She assures me that playing hard to get is the way of the land but from someone who is a jump in with 200% I disagree wtih these shenanigans – I don’t believe absence makes the heart grow fonder – petty nonsense. Too much is never enough.

L said he was fine until he got the email from K that said – honey I love you and want you – which then made him hesitate. Good grief – jump in with both feet would ya? Or maybe I could just kick him and tip him over there. Today at the gym while I was listening to American Idiot on the elipitical machine I glanced over at L jawing away with some guy by the weights – he then walked over and said I’m not going to push myself too hard today – I thought of the tire that threw out his back – “Rachel, d’ya know how heavy a tire is?”

So back to Pal’s – six weeks and in one night they were able to accumulate enough smoke to make it seem like there was no interruption at all. The rum and cokes were absent the syrup part of the equation – just soda from the gun or something nast – not worth trying to make it up with bourbon. Tomorrow night at August we’ll have a proper Manhattan.

Oh my – the band is starting right now at Gal’s – sounds kind of good – maybe we’ll hang on the porch and enjoy from our side of the fence. Better cocktails.

L came to check emails before going out with the manatee tonight and here are his jokes:

Guy walks into bar and sees a monkey crawling across the top of the bar, the bartender takes a glass and hits the monkey, the monkey falls to the ground and gives the bartender a blow job. Bartender says, you want to try and the guy says, yeah, but don’t hit me as hard.

Okay I won’t even tell you the gay rommate joke because it’s too dreadful.

The band at Gal’s is playing a rock song in back – “I never will tell you about the time in the hall when she kissed me – I started drinking whiskey.”

Let’s go back to fantasies – bike shops and buses and motorcycles – how about sanatoriums and medical gowns – checking out – or even just walking off the planet for a few minutes with your eyes open – these are things that keep you up at night wondering what the hell you are doing and what keeps you from screaming at the top of your lungs at every given moment of the day 0r at certain moments of the day. Fridays sometimes are haunted by ghosts even when it is not close to Halloween.

Tomorrow late the time changes – time changes – time passes – time crawls – patience – if there were world enough and time – why does that band sound like it is in the bathroom? Time expands, time contracts, time drifts, time shrinks – suddenly it is 3:30 – time to go – band now singing “Can you feel the heat, can you feel the passion, well, drunk on whiskey tonight” – whiskey seems to be the theme – now it seems the entire crowd knows the words and is singing. They said they played Jazz Fest – but I wonder where?

New tarp on La La – W said “sell the LaLa, are you crazy?” – he told me that I should be prepared because when I put the pool in he is going to invite a lot of people, some he doesn’t even know, to come swim – cub. Think the black tarp had more going for it than the blue which mimics every bad roof in the city.

Shouldn’t it bug me that a nonwriter can write in a certain way that is compelling? It’s like what goes on there? Besting me at my game.

Now singer is yelling to feel the heat and feel the passion – do I need someone to proselytize feeling the heat and passion? How can three days change a neighborhood so much – Oscar back to get his stuff, Alan back two days, Nicole back and watering roommate’s plants, Robin and Susan resuming life as usual across the street (W already making his presence known there with gifts of notes) – the taxi guy who leaves notes returned. Susan back and having her Gal party.

Where is that Muse?

Ring Me

Friday, October 28th, 2005

Richard Le Gallienne. b. 1866

868. Song

SHE ‘s somewhere in the sunlight strong,
Her tears are in the falling rain,
She calls me in the wind’s soft song,
And with the flowers she comes again.

Yon bird is but her messenger,
The moon is but her silver car;
Yea! sun and moon are sent by her,
And every wistful waiting star.

Hasten the event

Wednesday, October 26th, 2005

Today spent the time hauling logs and twigs out from the backyard with USAA and FEMA reps coming by to inspect any potential damage. I loved being able to at least feel like I was closer to the house that is not a house and to the progress of getting it ready for potentially or maybe one day living there. In the meantime, days leading up to it were tumultous and tenuous and I’m not sure where things are headed with S and I as we are having issues – yeah – that we cannot seem to reconcile and goodness knows that we have such external issues that trying to relate to the internal issues is mindboggling.

I’ve had two playdates without actually showing up at Cabrini’s playground but rather just walks through the park where trees are felled and there is an overall feeling of desertion around this area. We hardwired an electric water heater to have military showers and overall everything is rather akin to camping out or the like. But even with all the nuisances there is a general good feeling about being back in NO and not in Arlington.

S contradicts himself in saying that he wants to be here but then in the other breath says he is here because of me and if I am not me than why is he here? I can’t tell why anyone is where they are or who they say they are because there is too much static right now to try to sift through what is real and what is not. Most is surreal.

Buy the bike shop – yes – indeed – that sounds like a sound plan. But what does it all mean? I’m looking for 100% immersion not just this and that and not sure what it all could yield in the long run. Looking for an easy life – not a good life? – sometimes a good life could be about an easy life because in the long run it all comes down to day to day and if that is not yielding the good life than an easy life might. My job is way too stressful. The artistic temperament hates clients and readers because they want to control the output.

Dedication to O – who has done all the heavy lifting this year as I am not really here – I’m so scattered amongst the various degress of external factions that threaten to control my every move – it’s tough – real tough. And she has prevailed through it all – I owe her.

S says he has dreamt for years about a place to be and create and that he has let other things get in his way of having this – don’t I know this feeling – it’s like you want to be what you thought you would be, the ideal, but sometimes it takes chaos to breed the creative – that is what has always fed my stream. It’s hard to think of that perfect place where you just walk in and things fly off the page and come together so cogently – it just doesn’t happen – I remember thinking that and having that at some point where I came to the room where I could write and nothing was happening and then there was the room where the fake vampires skulked around outside and something triggered a scent and a rememberance like Proust and the writing flowed. You can’t make it happen but you need to be there when it is happening. The habit of art.

Counting the days

Monday, October 24th, 2005

If you count up the days I was longing to be back in New Orleans = 5385 – and then you figure I returned for 120 days to then be exiled for 56 days and you try to divide the days that I did not long to be here – which was the 120 but within the 120 there were days I questioned whether my desire to return wasn’t fool hearty – and you try to multiply by the days that matter into those days that were spent longing – how many days were filled with joy?

Inducing Labor

Monday, October 24th, 2005

Okay so sex doesn’t induce but semen contains some prostaglandin, and having an orgasm may stimulate a few contractions. What the hell, sometimes myths are true. Like the myth of finding a place to call home. Back in New Orleans we are active in the find a restaurant game – one that doesn’t close before 8 PM and one that is possibly open – but is it for lunch or just dinner? – no one seems to know. What I do know is that driving back from the gym today – yes it is open – hallelujah – the lights were all out and I forgot my cell phone and there are nails and stuff in the street so I was just waiting to have a flat on a dark corner without a phone – lovely. In New Orleans that would be a bad night but post-Katrina it could be a terrible night.

The city is clawing it’s way back. N installed an electric water heater so baths were taken. Hair will get washed one of these days. Meanwhile, the hood is a mess – trash everywhere and the buildings seem to keep regurgitating it. But no coffee or sandwiches in sight. Hoping soon to get some kind of food operational around here particularly since the gas isn’t on and so cooking is an issue too. But baby steps right?

Tomorrow is cut up the tree that fell in the backyard day. We got a chainsaw after we heard the guys wanted $2700 to cut it up – what goes on I ask you? – some kind of insane gouging. How we are ever going to get our house finished with workers running amuck charging outrageous amounts of money for stupid things like cutting up a tree is beyond me.

S was in town with D, her husband, and they were going to take the Mercedes but decided it was too old and had too many miles and was basically fucked up. Uh duh. Meanwhile on the way to Uncle D’s funeral, Mom took a wrong left turn and nipped a truck of which the guys spilled out and started demanding cash. Turns out it was a commercial truck owned by someone in Texas (of course) and Mom gave them her Geico card and they called and told the agent that Mom tried to bribe them with cash. The usual fiasco that has no real way of knowing what really went down. But thank goodness she didn’t give them my insurance card because I would have had a fit. That is the beginning of having now to deal with my mother and her propensity to find trouble and make it more trouble.

Meanwhile L was going to go dinner with us tonight but said instead he couldn’t go out and talk because given the circumstances with K, he needed to sit home and contemplate the fact that his life could drastically change – he could be getting married and having children. Earlier today I was bemoaning something I had done which was so typical of what I do and he said it is your nature. You can’t change it. And I said your nature is to overthink things instead of just letting them be and sure enough he is sitting home right now overthinking K instead of just accepting K.

Today at dinner W made me laugh so hard I almost cried. His face is changing into his adult face. He laughs out loud at jokes and understands adult humor almost. His knock knock joke was off the wall – who is there? – Lou – what goes on? I ask. This kid is like the best person I’ve met in my life – just pulling together the discordant notes and making harmony. What will I do? When I asked him how I was going to face not waking up to him every morning he said – oh, you’re going to suffer – and he’s right. I suffer his absence.

Meanwhile the bayou is low – like Katrina gave all the water we might have needed for a few years and now the air, used to water, is sucking everything out of the land and crevices looking for moisture. The wind is rattling all the loose roof shingles, doors, and windows that were loosened by Katrina. The air is still choked with a weird smell that when you do smell something nice like Jasmine or otherwise you stop and go, what was that, that nice smell? Katrina sucks.

The Muse is dancing on another planet again – away, hard to reach, hard to harness any energy from – and I want to write so bad. I want to get to it – git r done – but I can’t. I want to beat my head on the wall to just let it all come spilling out – to stand on Big Blue and holler like a demon but I can’t. And I try to figure out what are all the things that are keeping me from doing that and they are too fucking many to list – as L is want to say with his list of Reasons to be with K – too fucking many. Reasons not to be with K – too fucking many. I have too many fucking reasons to not stand on Big Blue and yell at the top of my lungs or to beat my head on the wall and let all the words just keep running out of me like the levees coming down and the wind howling at all hours.

These days it’s best to sleep and perchance to dream.

Surprisingly Relaxing

Friday, October 21st, 2005

S was in SF seeing John Adam’s Dr. Atomic 0pera while I was in Dallas seeing Opeth – this from band’s website:

“I met David Isberg sometime during the same time I did Eruption. We were into this skateboard thing, you know? All of us were having a fucking skateboard. Anyway, he was really into extreme music as well, and I guess I owe it to him that I like this music so much. He really sparked my interest when he loaned me the Mefisto demotape called “The puzzle”! I was awestruck! They had cool solos, grim vocals, acoustic guitars, everything! I thought they were way better than most Death metal records I had bought.”

The crowd was entertainment in and of themselves from the hook em horns unison screaming for Opeth to the young couple in front of me, laconic and slumping, but occasional outbursts of intense affection. P had a bandstand and a bench in front so no one blocking his view. I couldn’t stop the vertical assent but we switched to club soda and that helped neutralize me again. We meandered to a red painted bar, Reno’s, and found just what we were looking for – bustiers and blonde wig bartenders, a red sequined honey shaking for a man who looks like the only thing he brought to the table was his wallet, an eclectic crowd, back room with poorly improvised table dancing considering it was coffee table height but the girl with the shooters kept hiking her bustier up to show her sexy black panties. Found a girl for P but in order to get close would have had to bum a cig and start that whole chestnut and so wasn’t looking to go down that road with my sensitive lungs having suffered so the past week.

Refugee ranch cabin fever spiked but again Opeth was suprisingly relaxing and Reno’s was awesome, our new fav bar, and all in all sky rockets in the night. Opeth ranged from sweet to devil’s music – clearly what the devil has in mind if you were to go out with him and hear music but then it switches back and forth so always leaves you a little off step.

Was not ready to come home but N was so I slunked in behind him and went to bed and stared at the ceiling. Sky rockets in the night and no where to go. The moon was like a big lazy eye – N’s description – but it might as well have been full for the howling that could have taken place.

In the constant search for adult pop lyrics – “my dream is to be able see you as you are – no more no less” – trying to picture what kind of music to accompany, possibly sweet maybe even just a strumming guitar. How about the head banger song – “what can I do for you” – or the longer ballad of “here are my goals tonight” – but then there is always the darker lyrics – “you will be disappointed by what I am thinking” – which should be accompanied by some sort of sparse stringy instrument that winds down like a Chinese opera.

Meanwhile, last day and night in Arlington. We leave tomorrow for New Orleans. S and I will stay at N’s house while she and B stay at the camp, and then N, V and W go to Jena. L is back to warehouse district. Arlene will feel so lonely without Zeus to play with 24/7. I’ll miss W being around since I won’t be getting him from school as both parents are home. Wish we were going to the Can to sleep in our own bed but that looks like it might not happen for a while. Might end up in Betsy’s house on Soniat and Camp as an interim solution. We have been living in the interstitial spaces for so long we might forget how to reenter cosmos and be normal.

S called yesterday and remarked that I sounded like I was in a better place than I have been – not hinging – she’s always advising me not to hinge – so yes, I guess, I am not hinging but still not getting anywhere with any of anything. Return and rebuild is the new marching order, proceed with love is underlying but not fully realized, I’ve lost the ability to discern my path from whatever it is that is pushing me forward.

In some ways I’m ruined – there’s no return to before, there is no place to hang my hat so it is this constant unknown.

But the strangeness is everywhere – got this note from J today – “you know what i love about creative writing and discussions…there is no compliance, other than verb context, punctuation and spelling. i hate the rules. but sometimes they are helpful…called 9-11 for the first time last night when some guy in street clothes showed up at our house at 9:30PM flashing a badge asking about some woman he thought was in our house…said he was a detective from Los Angeles…had no idea who we were…weird communication…no car visible..told me he could come right in the house if he wanted to…said you dis respecting me?…I shut the door on him..911..cops came turned out he was legit…just awkward and out of his hood.”

In the end Editor’s Notebook was doomed from the get go.