I’m on the 42nd floor looking out over tops of other buildings with 42 or more floors, or stories, and the river and beyond to the small hills. The floor-to-ceiling, glassed-in balcony where I watch the construction of what looks intended to be a new building...most likely higher than mine. Below ground, there will be four additional levels. And it’s not parking. It’s being divided up into office or small, store-sized rooms. When construction is finished it will obscure a good part of my view. I’ve only lived in this place in Brisbane but two days and I’m protective of my view. It will be gone if ever I should come back. I’ll only have a small slice of the river and the initials on the tall buildings. The top of the glass walls open up and I stand against the glass, lower half. Just that small sheet of complete sheer, giving some complete balance and sense that I’m well in, a false sense of well being. If I could walk through, I would either fall or fly, “leap off the edge to see if you fall or fly.” The car horn in my head beeped. It’s funny they still call them horns. It’s a good thing too. That glass might have shattered or disappeared.
I am in Byron Bay. Tourists, sporting people, surfers...“Get around, get around, I get around…ooh-whee-ooh-whee-ooh.” Gazing at a tree with the most intense purple blooms. I think they’re called Tibouchina flowers. I haven’t gone anywhere, except far away. It took quite a long time--all day-to get from Brisbane to Byron Bay. I woke this morning and fantasized the inner flap of my book, reading about the author….“She now resides in Byron Bay with her son Beau Jarred and paints surfboards as a hobby. Beau teaches a world famous master class on summer and winter solstice on the beach inside the invisible pyramid that keeps the guitars demagnetized against the sand and pulling in all the beauty of creation. She works on her 12 acres on a new breed of purple tree.”
The Roadburn Cafe
There were more people than I expected, as there wasn’t much promotion. I’ve performed at the Olympia Theatre in Paris in the days of Bruno Coquatrix, the P.T. Barnum of Paris, when promoters took that word seriously, and it all fell on their laps to PROMOTE. Now performers are expected to ride their own social media horses to their own events. Hence, I’m afraid, ones more capable of promotion than, dare I say, their “craft” are the ones in people’s faces.
Where is Bruno Coquatrix?
True, it was over the top with them staging, what did they call them...publicity stunts, I think, had an artist go missing, and then turn up 3 days later, “just on a quiet vacation” or have them jumping out of a window to find later that “they were practicing trampoline, not shown in photo.” The great inventors, the game players. Yes, Neil Bogart. Peter the Great, himself. I was just an unwilling participant. No, I wouldn’t go for the hippie wedding in Central Park, or a Melanie doll, or a fragrance. “My fragrance? That’s just too personal.”
Now, everyone has a doll and/or fragrance. People can do all sorts of things with these likenesses. Hmmm. I’m still a bit Native American, even suspecting a photo can take a bit of your soul. One glance in a mirror and you will forever be more in a mirror than in the moment. “Ah, vanity, vanity” says the preacher ~ still, just a bit of effort on the part of people selling tickets to a Melanie show might be nice.
I mean I try My Dear Ones, and you come. Trouble is, my lot at present don’t seem to have many friends ~ now that is not a criticism. I’m certainly not a large crowd person either. But when I do a show, gig, performance ~ when I’m up there, I’d rather sing to filled seats. I’m funny that way ~ so in my mind, I just put people in the empty ones, that’s all. Then I’m fine. But those promoters who do not live in my reality are not as pleased as I am. They are disappointed in Melanie and I hate disappointing people, even promoters.
My point? Hmm, they need a name change. Any suggestions? All the names in my head I’ve censored from this paper. I have to work with these people! So, help me here. Let’s come up with a name, a title for the ones who want to sell tickets to a show. They can perhaps have genres. We’re so fond of trapping musical types into a genre. For my kind of music, we could call them “Fringe Bingers”. Way better than huckster don’t you think? I didn’t say that. I think it must have been you. You, with so few friends. But they’re good ones, aren’t they My Dear Ones? Small in number maybe, but mighty.
The ultimate connect-the-dots ~ everything coordinated to GO at a pre-assigned moment. It’s been awhile since I’ve “launched”. I forgot, I tweeted it yesterday before the “launch”. Forgive me, my dear ones ~ ready, set,
Hurry, hurry, hurry.
Get it now while supplies last. Oh, you can’t say that. There are endless supplies unless, of course, someone pulls the plug. And, with me, anything can happen. I am about to be part of something that is going to happen ~ Make it Work for Me, available on a device near you.
It would have been Peter's Birthday
He always kept me waiting, but this is ridiculous.
Listen to a song for Peter:
One of the difficult tasks in the gift giving department is getting the sticky little tags off, the ones that reveal the price, or the sale price. Bonus if you can get the “clearance” label off and the two that preceded and gone down in small increments over the past months, and now in a last ditch effort, the little red tag goes on. If the original tag was to stay, the receiver might think “Wow, she spent that much for this!? She must really love me, poor thing. She never could manage money.” Little do they suspect I paid fifty cents because I had a 20% off any-purchase-in-the-store coupon and I don’t really love them at all. Well, maybe in the grand sense.
But this Christmas, the spirit has been sporadic and mostly evasive. Last year I did a Stage-It online show. I should have done that this year, but the tour in The Netherlands was an autumn one...then it was Florida. I came home to Christmas like I was a visitor of, rather than a participant in. I put on my Christmas coat--bright green silk with reddish flowers really ridiculous, my muffin mitts and dingle-ball hat, red elf shoes and went to a school band concert. Analisa playing the french horn. The band conductor announced, “If you get in the mood, feel free to sing along.” I closed my eyes when Come All Ye Faithful started and sang with eyes closed and tears welling up, and feeling it, not noticing no one else was. I opened my eyes to sideways glances and open mouths all looking in my direction ~ it’s okay, I got a little Christmas.
Analisa played very well. She’s a natural born comedian, eleven years old, gangly, very long feet, braces--and with all that, beautiful. Funny how beauty cannot be disguised. I like that I didn’t embarrass her. I unintentionally embarrassed my children a great deal at school events. They cared about what people thought. It seems it was the beginning of the backlash against the sixties, when people started becoming ridiculously well behaved and fashion became a uniform. Marketing reared its head and people became self-enforcers of wear what is correct for your demographic socio-economic group, etc. I probably would have continued happily being the oddball or the beatnik or hippie or freak. The terms and cliches used daily in mass media. If it were not for children who kept me informed, not so much by words but actions. Anyway, Analisa wasn’t embarrassed which gives me great hope for the future which is nearly here and getting closer by the minute.
My tree is not entirely finished. Most would say it is, but I know it isn’t. Even though Christmas Eve approaches, I’ve taken a sampling from all ten boxes of my ornaments to do the chore. You see, there is a point of no return. You can tastefully space the trimmings. But for me, something is wrong. It’s not the universe, the world. I haven’t done enough, haven’t gotten everyone that perfect something, haven’t solved any of the world’s problems, yet I persist, and hang one more icicle. I bring the past to the present and it unfolds in the drama, comedy, mystery. My story of Melanie, the tree. Why did some bale on me this year without a word, leaving me in mystery? Why did grief leave so soon? I need it to buffer from the harshness and the sharp edges. I string popcorn and cranberries and it all comes together in this tree creation. There is no answer except “yes”; nowhere to put our feet except one in front of the other; nothing more to do than let it go, let it slide. And I put the star on top of the tree. It’s Christmas, My Dear Ones. I brought you all here tonight to spend Christmas Eve with me. There is a sense to all this. And we look up at the stars.
I’m thinking about my set for the upcoming 9/29 at Notable Blends. If it was just going to be “us” I probably wouldn’t. But considering there could be people who might never leave their homes watching, the ones who might spy from a crack in their curtain on their neighbors, across the way. Voyeurs. The audience for the live stream could include the curious. “How is she looking these days?” “Can she still sing?” Critics ~ critical types. Usually in a live show, I can spot them. There is a mass and weight to those thoughts, a certain energy I can avoid up there, where I have a protective shield that’s been created for me.
Yes my dear ones, once upon a time, one hundred years ago or more, more or less, I sang at Woodstock and the flow of human power, light and love has not left me. I will sing forever ~ I didn’t get paid, but that’s one hell of a perk, huh? So I don’t need to fret. (Beau’s joke: What kind of musician worries the least? Answer: A fretless bass player.) But I will give some thought to my approach of reckless abandon and do songs I never do ~ it will be a test of sorts for me ~ to qualify they will be songs I love and don’t feel have been given a fair shot or have never been officially recorded or fall into autumn ~ that’s the name of this show , Fall into Autumn with Melanie.
I will herald in the season with Happy Christmahanavaloween ~ as retailers are negating September, October, I will attempt to give those golden months their due. I hope you, my dear ones, will be there. You never know who’s watching. Walmart may wage war against such heresy (they’re big) because the invisible picket signs in front of the stage at marquees will read, “Let us have October. Keep the essence of November.” Walmart can have the whole 25 days before Christmas. This should be in the contract. An irrevocable decree which states unequivocally that heretofore, humanity (also known as humadity) keeps October and November. Retailers have the day after Thanksgiving until Christmas and through the new year. Then, no hearts and valentines until five days before the end of January.
And whoever might want to buy and support Christmas in September can go online or visit the many all-year-long Christmas shops. Or this year, buy everything they need the day after Christmas at great bargain prices. Of course there’s very little heart in that. (My point exactly.) I envision this lawn in an upper middle class suburbia festooned with jack-o-lantern lights, a ten-foot blow-up snowman holding a menorah, lighted cupids propped up around the manger (heart shaped luminaries), a Christmas tree covered with little turkeys and pilgrims, and finished off with a sleigh. And in the sleigh, next to Santa, as a vampire, a pilgrim holding a turkey and a tofurkey and everyday, blow-up pedestrians running for their lives as Cupid’s arrows fly. It’s only September! We don’t need to hurry. Um, but I do have a signed book that might be the perfect Christmas...no, never mind. But they could run out. Oh, I’m joking of course. It’s not even close to...anything, except Halloween. What are you going to be? I’m going as love and a kiss from the heart.
Everyday on my porch I discover the new works of very industrious Tennessee spiders and I drink my coffee surrounded by Charlotte's Web. Our webs are not visible, nor beautiful, but there nonetheless and can be as treacherous. I’ve been stuck in a few myself. I’m comfortable with my spiders and their webs, the breeze blowing through and the gold ball that I throw to the other side of the lake and it comes back, reminding me to throw again and stop weaving. Spiders do that just fine.
All this talk of spiders and webs. It’s Halloween, the fall, autumn is coming. “Oh baby, look over there, the birds are southward bound. Oh baby, I’m so afraid to lose the love we’ve found.” That’s in quotes because it’s in the Jesse Winchester song. It was “Jesse”. I felt more comfortable with “baby”. Jesse didn’t like me. Maybe it was because I took his name away when I sang his song. Or said “Yankee Man” instead of “Yankee Lady”. I certainly didn’t mean to upset. Intentions are what we need to look at when we find ourselves accusing and weaving, creating uncomfortable and sometimes unbearable webs and nests.
Intentions. Not manners, etiquette, or political correctness. Which brings me to email, leaving entirely too much room for webs...haha. My dear ones, my plan for peace includes web pre-living and lots of LOL.
I fell, you see, that’s all. Dislocated shoulder, then another, and then again. Dislocation. During that month of three dislocations, I experienced pain in my chest, because I fell. I fell, like I’ve done throughout my life, mostly when I was little. And other than my arm having no shoulder cuff to call home, and the excruciating pain, I brushed off my clothes, put a band-aid on my knee, and went back to the playground.
There was this pain in my chest. I asked Dr. Cox, the orthopedic surgeon, “Could it be a rib or a herniated something?”
“Well, go to the ER and have an EKG.”
“But, I just fell. You can’t hurt your heart that way, can you?”
“When did you have the heart attack?” the nurse practitioner asked.
“Oh no, Silly, I never did.”
“Well it looks like it. Maybe the tape wasn’t on right.”
“No, you see, I just fell.”
On to a heart specialist.
“Hello, Doctor. You see, I fell and it all started with that.”
“We’re going to do another EKG and an echocardiogram.”
Results: abnormalities. But I was a technical difficult study and two times, I defied the machines. And really, I just fell...and now it hurts. This just happens to be where my heart is. On to New York City. I don’t know but if we’re talking the heart, that little mysterious organ that keeps it all going, I better be in New York.
Maddy Miller, who took photos before and after, kept me looking right as rain and got me to Dr. Merle Myerson with her very preventative approach, which I appreciate, to heart issues. She recommended blood tests and stress tests and a nuclear-reactor something-or-other... and I don’t even have a microwave. Maddy held my hand throughout. Hence, no “during” photos. We were both radioactive for one day. “Don’t go near children or animals” we were both warned after the fact. But those results sealed my fate. The other tests were not erroneous, there was something wrong and a catheterization was urgent. But, I just fell.
Dr. Roubin did the procedure. The day after Maddy’s birthday, roof photo and feet tweet. Four hours later, I was released with a walking stick, went home to my New York City residence, hardly knowing what hit me. I have a high threshold for pain, it seems.
It was a silent heart attack. Pretty recent. I’m remembering this hurt, that pain, can’t really pinpoint. Maybe when Peter left, a broken heart, the heart so mysterious. Oh, and I don’t have high blood pressure or the high “bad” cholesterol. But there was 100% blockage of a big-boss artery. Now I live with the miracle of science. A stent has success fully opened one of those tree branches servicing the big-momma valve. So, I’ve been singing with half a heart for a few years, my dear ones. Could you tell?
I’m becoming stronger by the day. There were two shows in Canada and now, I will “recupe” and fortunately, I’m not having to cancel dates. There is a book signing in Nashville on August 27th and The Cutting Room in New York City, October 12th where I’m planning a Brand New Me...“Don’t hate me, I’m old enough to use it” written by a young girl I know well but not well enough. There will be a performance the likes of which you have never seen before as I never do the same thing twice.
This last paragraph is scored with Liza Minnelli's version of New York, New York:
“Bamp bamp bah tada..Bamp bamp bah tada...”
My dear ones, while all this medical stuff was going on, I wanted to tell you but didn’t want to scare anyone. So now, I assure you, the danger’s passed and my heart is bursting with joy. Well, maybe “bursting” isn’t the right word. No, no bursting. My heart is receiving everything it needs and I am poised to love and to be loved. You see, I just fell, that’s all. My dear ones, everything for a reason. An angel’s watching.