The 30 Something Leggy Brunette sent me the gift of music today via iTunes. Her note was full of concern for my well-being.
“I’m sorry you have to spend the 15th alone. Try not to get too depressed, I’ll be home soon. My stepfather played this song ‘Deacon Blues’ and it totally reminded me of you. Listen to it and think of me. Love you baby!”
She actually bought me Aja, I thought. I haven’t owned that album in years. I was truly touched somewhere in the depths of my pitch-black soul. I clicked on the appropriate Get Your Gift now button and found my brand spanking new MP3 waiting for me: Steely Dan’s Greatest Hits. It’s the thought that counts.
The 15th is a date I’ve tried hard to forget for the last 2 years and nothing’s worked. I tried blowing all the bad shit out of my brain but it all came back after I got hungry in the eighth hour of the field trip to my frontal lobes. Crawling down to the bottom of a Jim Beam bottle proved to be a liver not memory eraser so I was forced to trust in time.
The Once and Future Ex went back to New York to see her family for the holidays and except for a text telling me she had arrived safely on December 24 decided to cut off contact – ghosting as the kids call it. There were no Facebook updates, Tweets or any return calls to my many voice mail messages. I moped around the house for a couple of weeks grappling with the knowledge my marriage was indeed over. We had been dancing around the topic of a separation for months and let’s face it you are never surprised when love dies and a relationship ends.
The surprise came on the 15th. My production partner threw me several texts telling me to go to her Facebook page ASAP. The Once and Future Ex had finally posted, sharing a link to a National Geographic documentary on polyamorous marriages. “Come see me and my new life partners,” she enthused. I clicked on the link and at the 22:34 mark there was the Once and Future Ex telling the documentarian why she left me for a man and a woman. “I was so bored in my marriage. He was too Career oriented and had no time for me. I wanted an adventure with someone who wanted to be with me.”
At that exact moment while I looked out over my Michael Mann view of Culver City wishing my filthy hand crank panes from 1954 were a Bay window with rain droplets gently hitting the glass because it seemed like a classier way to find out you were betrayed by the best since Brutus, the doorbell rang. I opened my large white door and was served with divorce papers. And of course just when I thought it couldn’t get more humiliating and embarrassing, the sympathy texts/calls started. After they were done I couldn’t get off the couch for a week. So much for sterner stuff.
‘Deacon Blues’ didn’t seem to fit my mood. However Bob Mould’s bloody howl of pain to begin the Golden Palomino’s ‘Dying From the Inside Out’ worked nicely. As my memory amped up the pain of two years previous, I looked through my bookshelf for a glimmer of anything that tuned me on to go 30 years earlier. Jim Carroll didn’t seem right and I couldn’t find my copy of ‘Men Without Women.’
Finally, after listening to Richard Thompson’s side winding outro solo with Anton Fier’s bombastic yet jazzy drum fills for what seemed to be the twelfth time, I tired of the misery and put on ‘Deacon Blues.’ Although I could see how this would remind my dark haired, olive skinned, blue eyed friend of my youthful self she never knew – I did always dream of being able to blow a cool blues in the afternoon just like Miles in between bouts of stomach flu in January of 1987 – the loser aspect of the song always bothered me. I was never a loser, an aspiring bohemian but never a loser until I was ghosted, left, forgotten and had the letter L tattooed on my forehead. I can hear you saying aren’t you a huge Leonard Cohen fan? Yes, I am but unlike Lenny I have never found beauty in the aforementioned condition.
So after the third time through the song, I perused my iTunes looking for Dean Benedetti’s recordings of Charlie Parker’s solo’s or maybe ‘Candy Says’ by the Velvet Underground, something to placate my thirsty, aging bohemian soul. Suddenly from across the driveway I heard something, a karaoke tune played in Jamaican dub style with a familiar, horribly fractured melody. It was ‘Deacon Blues.’
“That’s my new go to karaoke tune,” Man Bun said moments after the song mercifully ended.
It seems in my corner of East Hollywood a man can’t have a Mid Life Crisis without a karaoke soundtrack.
I am bereft.