Thursday, March 01, 2007

M&M


I had decided not to think about it so I went back home.

Home to Biggie.

Biggie begun me but I don’t know how I ended up listening to Marvin Gaye: the greatest hits essential collection you could say. But no, that’s not true. I do know how I ended up listening to Marvin Gaye. Mataachi was over. Yes, Cheri, Minty, Countryboyi, Scotchbiscuits, Inktus, Darlkom, Grandmaster, he exists. Mataachi exists. Of late, he’s been extremely reclusive. But. He sometimes still comes over and he could not get out of his head this Gaye song Just to Keep you Satisfied after he was done with describing in too disturbing detail what hearing You Sure Love to Ball brings to mind. There was something I did not quite catch about, “that Tammi whore, a village Beyonce of those days but a better singer,” from the song Your Precious Love but the song “that will make you curl your toes is Just to Keep You Satisfied. It will even do more that!” I can still see him even now, black enamel mug in hand, standing there in my living room still pulpitting about how he has never heard such a sweet song of more controlled bitterness, passion, regret, desire and when I listened I discovered, yes, he was not exaggerating.

I was thinking, thinking, all the time Mataachi was talking, where have I heard before someone talk like this? Listening to Jack go on, I knew, in the tremors of his voice reaching for something, I had heard someone else before describe this sundered love and the sad retrospective memory of it and Marvin’s aching voice had it. Oh yes. Don’t stop. I could almost touch it and then it came back…

Because

You’ll find that when it’s gone, it’s gone…

Andrew Miller, 2001, Oxygen…

“On occasion—he had not dreamed this—the mere sound of his voice had made her flinch with pleasure as though he had stroked the denim between her thighs. What was this tangle between them, this knot of raveled emotion? It was pathetically distressing to him that he did not make love to his wife anymore when he could recall so clearly the nights he used to plunder her, that look of insane concentration on her face, her arms flexed against the head-bars of their iron-framed bed, pushing against him with all her might as though she could never have him deeply enough inside her.”

Be still my heart, be still.

We had begun with Biggie and ended up with Marvin before we popped in the Miles Davis because we were looking for the one refrain that is our lives…

It’s too late for you and I. It’s much too late for you…

On this cold, bizarrely silent Kasubi evening when without warning the sun dipped and it started raining. And all the women were away. It was like, for that evening, the old days again. Almost. Thinking thoughts we will never tell each other, in the dark, only the green light of the player distantly flickering in the room, slouched back in our sofas, the past a living parade before our eyes, each in the darkened theater of his own life.

Why is it that the closer we get to our dreams, the further they seem?

I was also thinking. No matter what I do. I can’t get away from the thought that he was shot and killed by his own father. How does a father live with siring and killing his son? How does Marvin Gaye’s father live with that? How did he? A pre-desegregated dark America street preacher too! Like James Baldwin’s violent father was too. And James, briefly for a time, was. And Marvin started in his father’s small church choir! All his life, in the unhappy days to the UK, Belgium and Hawaii, Marvin was probably running from this man and in the end the man won. I can’t get your smile and eyes out of my mind, Marvin. I can’t. Marvin

Take me on a tour of your world.

I saw a picture of Dee on Carlo’s blog. No picture has made sadder in so long. I didn’t think anything could be so innocent and painful. I had forgotten my Hemingway lesson from the last book he ever wrote before this living life of feelings became too much. All wickedness comes from something that seemed so innocent. I’m paraphrasing in this outer world mind state right now. But that picture brought back so much, I was surprised.

We like to think we are innocents here. The offended ones, the more sinned against than the sinners. And sometimes, most of the time we believe ourselves. I don’t have that luxury anymore. I’m not among the innocent. There are no innocents here. How do you atone for sins you committed when you did not believe you were sinning, in the full burst of your magnificence when everyone wanted you and you let everyone believe they could have you because you fed off that admiration? I don’t know.

I’m listening to Marvin Gaye because everywhere all I seem to see are antique hearts, broken hearts and hearts about to break. And mine was about to join in on the chorus line. I’m lower than I have ever been and nothing it seems this time nothing can bring me back. Because I’m gone further than I would like to admit or tell anyone. I have seen things I never thought I would, had thoughts that I knew were wrong and still thought them, still think them. I don’t know what’s going on.


But that picture. That picture, that photograph reminded me of a Jovial Jitterz entry, the title, I think that goes or should go How Are You Really Today? I maybe reading too much into it, I think I most probably are, but it reminded me of how we, okay, I, never know until someone tells me, that they are hurting. It’s all good, the faces I see always seem to be telling me and I don’t lie anymore when anyone asks me, how are you? All this came back because I remembered how peeved, you used to ask me, “When are you ever going to be fine?” Now you know.

I finally managed to get my hands on the entire Season 6 of Smallville, the one that introduces to me a new character sometimes called The Green Arrow and in his ‘mundane’ life Oliver Queen, do-good billionaire and major hunk boyfriend to Lois Lane (one of the most lovable foot in mouth inserters I have seen on the screen in quite a while). There’s an episode in the series, I forget the name, where the history of bad blood between Oliver and Lex Luthor is traced to their boarding school days at one of America’s most prestigious schools Excelsior Academy (one of my favourite drunken authors Malcom Lowery went there by the way!). Hold on, all this is going to come together. Hold on. I wish someone would tell me that more often. Hold on.

That Smallville episode turned out to be one of the most honest pieces of film I have ever watched. Or maybe I just watched it at the right time. To see. A digging down through the many veneers of lives we erect to protect the cowering little hurt boy still inside of all of us, that at some point in this hurting life we send back to the house as polished and gleaming, we leave the safety of home to launch the vessels that we are into life. Lex’s troubles all begun at Excelsior, or at least he realised he had fallen, began to know the true awfulness of his own nature from there and that episode brought home more than ever how after a certain age, we begin to live backward. Am I making sense to you? I don’t think I’m.

Everything we do after a certain age, it don’t matter the exact age, what matters is the day, the moment you realize for the first time that you have been hurt and that you’re going to be hurt again, life after that is about getting even. Acquiring the means to get even. No, no, I have not put that right. I have not put that right. Forgive me, I’m sloppy today. I’m not myself. What I wanted to say was that, what I mean to say is that, at a certain time a certain age you are suddenly forcefully made aware of how much you have been damaged by all the people you have come into contact with. People who hurt you deliberately, people who hurt you trying to help you, people who hurt you because you were in the way, people who hurt you and never knew they hurt you. And on that fated day when you realize how hurt you are, all your life after that is about repairing all the damage that has been done to you. All life after that is about trying to reclimb back. All life is about going back to be able to go forward again.

In tha' Joint: In My Secret Life by Leonard Cohen

10 comments:

The 27th Comrade said...

I'm even scared of commenting. Because I may just smudge the fine work. Damn. Iwaya. Damn.

scotchbiscuits said...

I have more hugs than words for you.

QueenB said...

nice post

crys said...

and i have no words. the ones from this post are still going over in my mind, i'm still being amazed.

Princess said...

This post blew me away..you rendered me speechless.

ish said...

at first glance, i thot "dang! Iwaya's finally posted a pic of himself! and he looks a lot like Marvub Gaye!"

then i read it, and you are one tender hearted man. now i'm dealing with guilt and waving accusations around in my mind. melancholy

Meleasa said...

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keitetsi said...

deep things! ok to be honest i didnt really read it just wanted to let u know what it is that u asked me to let u know.

countryboy said...

It all comes in upon reflection. I read this. I drift back to others before. I think of the lost golden age of literature. There is not even a sign that we shall know the truth between Mataachi and Iwaya...
It all comes in upon reflection. I read this. I lift my glass to my mouth.

Just Rich said...

You ever heard of the Curious Case of Benjamin Button? Find it before Brad Pitt turns it into a film and look at it metaphorically.
My question is, was Lex Luthor a villian BECAUSE Superman was a hero or inspite of it? What i mean is, are we defined by what we are able to overcome or are we overcome by what we are unable to define?
Because sometimes, and I'm only telling you this, my friend, sometimes... I think I'm Mataachi. Funny little world, isnt it?