July 5, 2012

A Moment or Two for You (and Lou)

My particular personal pantheon is larger than some -- smaller than others -- but it is what it is -- and it is -- because I have keyed in tightly to the myriad of aspects that float in front of our faces, daily, incessantly, ubiquitous. These seeming dots before our eyes, dust storms, light dances, you get to choose -- are all discordant, seemingly random, rudderless in every intent, yet all aspects of one.

I know. It sounds as if it were time to launch into a Whitman poem, or a Cole Porter musical number. but this is neither the place nor the post -- for it is time once again to talk about Lou Reed.

Why? Because sometimes I mistake coincidence for importance and sometimes I mistake importance for coincidence.

Meanwhile, I should know that I am wrong every time I try understand.

And Lou is my guide.

I've told this story before, but it demands reiteration:

  • I first heard a Lou Reed song when I was 14 or 15 (a dot before the eyes).
  • It was "Sister Ray" from the White Light/White Heat album.
  • I was gonked at my friend David's house.
  • He put on this record for me and we lay on the floor and let the music crawl on all fours across the rug and snap into our brains.
  • Oh my god -- I think I shit myself listening to that, be it gonked or be it real (nay, we are but men) -- but oh my god.
  • The sound -- the churning churning churning and telling me all about transvestites and smack and ding-dongs -- oh -- my -- god -- suburban Jew middle class meltdown.

What do you expect from me now after something like that? How could I ever listen to Rush again?
What meaning could there be in everything that I thought had meaning before?
Why bother even wearing shoes anymore?

Nothing -- NOTHING -- in my life had prepared me for an experience like that -- damn you Lou for breaking me open.

And like that, I went from one type of person to another type of person.

Lou -- that voodoo that you do, Lou.

Later there was "The Blue Mask" an album of highs and lows -- the title track being the most honest assessment of how pathetic and self-deluding and mud covered we are. Every time. All the time.

And I noticed it was true, but had to push it away, and I pushed it away some more -- it is only later after a series of poor choices again and disregarding people in my life, again -- I saw my Blue Mask in the mirror.......

And it slowly disappears. We forget. Move on to shinier things and odd goat dances in the meadows.

And we are doing it again -- those things that make us base -- and there is the Blue Mask. Under the shiny things. Orchestrating the goat dances.

Lou knows. He tells you. But it's not because he cares. It's not because he embraces our common humanity. It's not even because he wants us to be better.

Lou is there to point the finger in your face. To open your eyes. To peel away the layers.

But he doesn't notice what you do when you finally understand. That's not his holy role.

Lou Reed beats your god every time!

If you want, I can make you a sandwich. It will be tasty and you will be glad to eat it. Get comfortable: slacks and slippers, sweaters and socks. Breathe Deeply and Let the Tension Ooze out of your toes. Now let's listen to "Black Angel Death Song" and see where you go.

Some day we all got to pray........................

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