It's getting near dawn,
When lights close their tired eyes.
I'll soon be with you my love,
To give you my dawn surprise.
I'll be with you darling soon,
I'll be with you when the stars start falling.
When I see him, it's from a distance. A good distance. He sits with the guitarist, on the back edge of a big blue 1970s Oldsmobile wagon, outside the festival tent, getting ready for the next set. It comes at once--kids in the schoolyard walk up behind and kick your knees out from under you--that's the feeling. I stand on the dirt path, fixed in a secret place, wondering who he is, deciding to watch him for a while, at a distance. I'm just 21, catholic college girl, come out virginia, wanting, afraid of wanting, and wondering. Catholic school girls do a lot of that.
The drums hit, and they head back to the stage. Numb legs carry me closer as they start to play.
Daughter of a bassist, is that what calls me closer? Resurrecting my father, why not. That place I see him go as he leads the band further out, his back arched, eyes full of a pain that is my pain, releasing it, bass to the sky, electric orgasm.
Isolating the bass is a trick I've played since I was four, the low end has always mattered most to me, born into bass, take me home, take me from this place, I am so scared, alone, I am so eager to go.
He never saw me that day,
but he took me.
When we meet face to face, it is night, not day. This is no accident. I go with a single purpose, to find him, to let him find me. This night is especially hot and sticky inside Schnoz's, a Rochester hotspot in its day, and that day was September 21, 1984. In the club, you don't know where your body ends and another begins, beyond crowded, elbow to gut, beer spilling, feet stuck to tacky floor, we are all in this together.
About to sign with MCA, Cabo Frio is just starting to tour nationally. When they play in town, everyone goes. I didn't know any of that then. I only knew this: he was the most beautiful, passionate, talented, exciting man I'd ever seen.
The spotlights hit--red plus blue plus black equals ecstasy. I dance my ass off, and God it feels good to be 22 this night. I watch him the whole time. He watches me, and I know it, and I move just for him, and breathe in every note, watch his fingers climb up and down the neck with ease and precision I've never seen. And when it's all over, I sit with my girlfriend at a table, we're smoking our brains out, hair dripping, talking about what we should do tomorrow.
She gets up. I see him coming. Every breath of air is sucked out of me, and I wait. I've been waiting so long.
I press out my Carlton menthol--yeh, I was trying to quit--in the ash tray and he's standing there. Holy shit. Holy shit. What do I say? But he speaks first.
"Hey, I smoke that brand too," he says.
"Oh, really?" I say.
Yes, those are our first words. When we look back now, we have a good long laugh. Two smooth operators. Heh.
But to me, this night, his words echo across the sky, wrap around the moon, and come to rest in my solar plexus. We talk. We stare. He takes me to his place, and we talk all night, on top of the covers, until he falls asleep and I lay staring at him, too electrified to sleep, wondering what I am doing--this is not real. He tells me that night, before sleep, that he wants to marry me. I wonder if this is real. Think I'd better go home.
And I do go home. And I spend the next six months trying to push him away, the intensity terrifies me, dark savior why did you come for me? I tell myself I am too scared, and I don't understand, and I'm not ready, and I'm only 22, and I don't know what love is, and I've had a shitty life, and I don't deserve to be loved, and do I really want this life, and maybe I should go back to school, and I have issues with men, and what I tell him is this: "I'm not sure I can ever love anyone."
With this, he says, okay. I get it. Goodbye.
And he goes. Away. For a long time.
Without him, I can't love, I can't walk, talk, hear, live, eat, breathe, think, write, work, laugh, sit, stand, lay, smile, drink. The pain is so gut wrenching I vomit. Every day. What have I done?
He moves on, with one eye watching me still, and I set out with a passion I didn't know I had to get him back. I would kill to get him back. You don't understand. I know what I want now. I get it. Thank you, you have shown me love, reminded me of loss, I know the difference between together and alone, and I hate alone, and I get it. Okay. I get it. Take me off the torture wheel, will you?
I leave him cards on his car windshield. Other women take them off. I call more than I should. I'm pained and I'm pitiful.
And I'm still the one he wants.
"I've been waiting so long
To be where I'm going
In the sunshine of your love."
And he comes back. He holds me and Heals me. He captures me and frees me. His strong arms hold me up. His love lifts me up higher.
And in the 17 years since then, we've weathered storms that could sink well-armed warships, We've watched our friends' marriages go down in flames, and we hang on. At the core, it is the music, so tightly allied with love, there is a chord that resonates between us, sustained, even in the hardest of times.
The secret of voice, the secret of love enduring.
May 04, 2002
It's getting near dawn,
Posted by Jeneane Sessum at 11:43 PM
May 03, 2002
Rain down colored rain...
Bring it on down, babe
Bad weather here in Georgia this day. Sadness spills and fills my street. Dropped my life off at school today—postcard from her daddy tight in her hand. It’s the first postcard she’s ever seen, and it’s from her daddy, even better, she misses him so much. She runs up to the circle where the teacher sits with the children, starting to read a book. A book my daughter could already read on her own. The circle is isn't about story time, the circle is about structure, control.
This day, my daughter can’t sit down. I found myself, standing inside of her, so excited to share these words, this picture from daddy. She holds in her hand the missing piece to the puzzle that is her world. At that moment, there is nothing more important to her—to the world—than this 4X6 piece of cardboard.
The teacher says, “Please, sit when you come into the circle.”
“I have this,” holding it out.
“I’m reading a book right now—you need to wait.”
Crushed that her world isn’t their world and our world doesn’t fit like it used to, how do you make sense of that at 4? And I think back to my own education—what mattered to me, did it ever matter inside those walls? Slice and dice, pound the peg, take your seat. Hail Mary, Full of Grace.
I left, and I didn't look back.
The money that we spend on school isn't what bothers me. It’s seeing the future, the lifetime ahead of conforming or paying the price, of not relishing the unique, the spirit unlike, the one who is so much more.
I have no way to fix the future, never mind the past, and that’s what bothers me this day.
Torrents of torture, rob my soul, tie my hands, take their toll.
Wet with sadness, more rain on the way.
"Bring it on down, babe"
Posted by Jeneane Sessum at 12:01 PM
May 01, 2002
RageBoy and Chris Locke have converged this week for a spectacular solar display of the human soul. This cacophony of music and colors, not experienced since 1969, is intensely brilliant. Do not stare directly at it. Best to use one of these while viewing this or this.
There is so much--a lifetime really--within these two EGR sends. There are moments and hours, there are years and painful seconds, a tune out time, a soul out of rhythm, finding the cadence, hitting the groove, and then back again to that electric, archetypal (aaah!) place called loneliness.
The ideas----of rubber soul, bounceback, resonance, relativity, actions and reactions, and what voice has to do with it-----these are what make me tick as a blogger, and as a human. Echo? I'm not sure about echo, because an echo, after all, is you resonating unto yourself. Forced masturbation. And that's why the echo is the loneliest sound.
I will blog more about this. I haven't slept much in two nights trying to keep my household, child, life, and job in gear simultaneously, while alone, missing the person who keeps me steady, so far, so fucking far away.
I don't want to stop blogging tonight. I want to blog all night and into morning and all day tomorrow and tomorrow night. I want to blog in the tub and in bed; I want to blog outside, on the porch, with an American Spirit hanging from my lips; I want to start a 48-hour blogathon, fueled by the raw energy, the sparks, of these ideas.
What makes me even more tired, more depressed, is that I can't--not tonight. I'm tired, spent, exhausted, whipped, physically that is. My mind wants to write, but my hands aren't willing. Tomorrow. I'll be back tomorrow. Don't let these words, these sparks, die down. Someone--Golby? Keep fanning the flames til I get back. Good night.
Posted by Jeneane Sessum at 11:25 PM
April 28, 2002
I'm getting my feet wet here. In my prose, in my blogging, I've been dealing with a lot of anger and rage lately over the stuff that makes up these 39 years I've spent on this planet. I keep my poetry a little more cryptic. So, about tonight; I didn't sit down to blog anything at all tonight. I sat down to read. Things are quiet though, and I said, let me open my little bloggerpro window and see how I feel, and I discovered something: I'm really fucking angry. That's why, I guess, I've layed a few F-bombs in the last three posts.
Why so angry, Jeneane? I'm not sure (the therapist on my shoulder says, well, what might it be?) I dunno. Maybe a phone call from a family memeber who isn't supposed be drinking anymore, and, maybe, you know, the conversation, friendly as it was, reeked with deceit. You know the conversation? Anyone out there? It starts with niceties, the guard goes down, followed by a few slurred words here and there, and your ears fill with blood, and you start thinking, motherfucker, you said you were done with that....
And then after you hang up, you walk around the house thinking, probably my imagination. didn't sound too bad. but I swear I heard something in that voice (... that voice .... that voice... that voice....) Lost in thoughts of screaming matches past. Fist to table. DAMMIT!
And then the celestial heavens, perfect side men, start ripping up the sky with a thunder storm to die for. If I wasn't a mother with a kid in bed, I'd have been out in the driveway, hands to the sky, fingers stretched up up up trying to touch the violence, the cracks in the night sky, yelling,
And so, stopping myself short, I'll just say: Bring it on.
I'm ready for round three.
ding ding, motherfucker.
Posted by Jeneane Sessum at 11:10 PM
Key of E
merry go round
out of time
evil for me.
what the fuck
were you after?
Robber, beggarman, thief
would have been better
Swing my leg
the one that
moves that way
Strike up the band
nuke the high end
boost the bass
take me round
spin me faster
catches the breeze
blast me off
Posted by Jeneane Sessum at 10:57 PM
lightning strikes me
the same place
How did you think
it would be?
You, with all the answers
to the question
Stand on your bully pulpit
while I rip pieces
one by one
throw your balance
The biggest lie
is the one you tell
can't hold you up,
losing your grip
too often now.
Watching you fall
watching you fall
Posted by Jeneane Sessum at 10:39 PM