June 5, 2007
Why do people love to suffer from love?
Because we’re addicted to it.
COME ON, ADMIT IT.
Sometimes you like to indulge and wallow in your misery. You want to roll around in it, coat yourself with it like mud and scream “Look at me! See how I am covered in suffering!” You want to put on Rachmaninoff’s Second Symphony and dwell on that misty night under the stars at the Robin Hood Dell, your arms around Him in his soft blue shirt in the soft blue twilight and the Philly Boys’ luscious strings wrapping around your heart so full of love it damn near burst. The Adagio reaches its emotional climax just as you simultaneously achieve your orgasm-of-the-ee-ah, and you are going to play it over and over and cry all night!
I just took 13 minutes to listen to that Adagio again, cold, the definitive complete version by Ormandy and the Philly Boys, and four notes into the clarinet solo I am already in tears—not just because of that magical night thirty years ago this summer, but because I don’t know how anyone calling themselves human could hear it and not cry. I read about some surgical brain procedure being performed on a still-conscious patient, and as the doctor touched different areas of her brain, different memories would surface. This music touches areas that evoke every sadness and poignant desire man is subject to. I need accompaniment because…
I AM SUFFERING!
Can no one hear my cries of pain? If no one will pity me, I will have to do it myself, though it is a great imposition on me and I hope you’re happy.
I am not a neurobiologist, nor do I play one on TV.
Your brain does get addicted to certain behaviors and the chemical responses they ignite. Your brain comes to expect those dynamics, and it can be punishingly hard to lift yourself out of depression, obsession or fixation. Your brain wants its fix. You have to retrain and alter your own brain chemistry by thinking different thoughts, producing different reactions, for a prolonged period of time. That’s why people say “think good thoughts,” and as you create your world, good things will come.
THE MOST DREADED WORDS
in any language have got to be…take a wild guess.
They’re not “I’m pregnant.” Those get served to only a select portion of humanity, while who on earth has not been clobbered with the caveman’s club of love? Might as well face it, you’re afflicted with love.
“I’M IN LOVE WITH YOU.”
The words either so cherished, or so ominous. “I’m in love with you.” The feeling of euphoria, or despair, that can accompany them. “I’m in love with you.” The reaction of joy, or oppression, they can inspire. When you’re the one saying The Words…
there is only one desired response, even if you’re guaranteed not to get it:
“I’m in love with you.”
“I’m in love with you.”
“I’m in love with you.
“You mean a lot to me. Give me time.”
“I’m in love with you. “I value you. I want you in my life. But…”
(Hand placed on hand)
Evasive/Can’t Deal With You Right Now Scenario:
“I’m in love with you.”
“Can we talk about something else?”
(I got that one once)
“I’m in love with you.”
“That’s your problem.”
(Got that one as well—from a friend I fell in love with to no avail.)
“I’m in love with you.”
“Get away from me, ho, before I call the cops.”
IF YOU DON’T GET THE RESPONSE
you’d hoped for, just remember, no one owes you anything. No point in blaming him. You’re the one who took the risk and must bear the consequences, but it may be asking too much in the heat of the moment, to not be a drama queen. If you can possibly not, though, I must say, please don’t cry. You might as well set off your clanging grade school fire alarm.
LOVE IS A GIFT AND A BLESSING,
even if it’s unexpected and unwelcome. If someone says The Words to you, be honest, state your case, but don’t forget to mix in some compassion, for this person has exposed the raw meat of his or her heart to you.
ON THE OTHER HAND,
When you tell someone you love him or her, and you’re not assured of the I-love-you-back, you have left a great big “matzoh ball hanging in the air,” as Seinfeld once put it. George has said the words “I love you,” only once, to a dog. “It licked itself and left the room.” You too may leave the room licking your wounds, but don’t be ashamed. People should have the opportunity to know there’s a great big warehouse of love available to them, regardless of whether they ever take it out of storage. Maybe someday they’ll need it and will know where to find it.
But as Anne Rice put it, “Telling people—does it ever make things better?” Your confession may be something you had to do, to get off your chest, but it may also queer your relationship with that person. Be good and ready for that. Although, as I once wrote (on April Fool’s Day)…
BULLY FOR ME!
No, I will never consider myself a fool for loving someone, or confessing that love. It’s an act on the plus side of life. Who knows what it might mean to them? Take love out of the closet and give it some air. Don’t horde it—but spend it wisely. Don’t let yourself waste it on someone you know is not worthy of you; it is still too precious a resource.
Tears on my pillow, pain in my heart, o-over you…The Rachmaninoff Adagio, by the way, was made into a horrid pop song that should have been a punishable offense, called, of all things, “Never Gonna Fall In Love Again.” Aaargh! I do have to wonder if I’ll ever fall in love again. A girl like I does not settle. She needs someone exceptional. And I’m not twenty any more; I don’t fall in love every time I turn around and see the next cute guy. I can’t find the Magic 8 Ball, but of my Mystic Fan (it “has your answer”) I ask: Will Alexandra ever fall in love again? And the answer, divined by rolling a small silver ball into one of twelve holes, comes: Never!
ONE MORE THING THAT GINSU KNIFE CAN DO
I just looked at a message in my email bulk folder with the subject line: What’s the correct dosage? And clicked to see if it had to do with antidepressants. No, it was Viagra.
WALL ST. SHARKS BUY CHRYSLER
I love that headline. But it’s not from The Onion and certainly not from The Wall Street Journal; it’s from Worker’s World, house organ of www.workers.org (Workers and oppressed peoples of the world unite!). Private equity firm Cerebus was the “vulture capitalist” that made the purchase. Damn, they don’t mince words, do they? Lovely!
“HAVE YOU MADE ANY PROGRESS YET?”
I ask Chris Daly, breezing by me, as I saunter into the 2007 Progressive—er—Regressive can’t remember which Convention. I am expecting either a cockfight ending in fisticuffs, or chickens with their heads off bumping blindly into each other in search of Room 200. Chris seems nervous. He is in suit and tie and has actually shaved this morning—or at least last night. Beads, streamers, ribbons in green and blue fill the hall of the Tenderloin Community School where the PC (progressively correct) have gathered to figure themselves out. A green balloon tied to my chair hovers near my head; I keep thinking someone’s looking over my shoulder.
A workshop to develop a progressive platform is going on—but what use will be made of such a platform I don’t know—a voter’s guide? A test whereby you can see if you can properly be called progressive? Are we just old-fashioned bleeding-heart liberals with a new-fashioned name? What every progressive here today wants is to avoid the shame of not fielding a challenger to Mayor Newsom, and I attend thinking one will indeed be named, though how determined, I am curious to see.
how devastated I was when Jerry Garcia died. He was my ultimate Father Figure and I had him pegged as the spiritual leader in tie-died robes who would guide us into the 21st century. Now who is there? I cried in despair. And it was a hollow, forsaken feeling. People need strong leaders with heads and hearts in the right places.And Gavin has been a weak and ever more weakening leader. No one knows what goes on in his head and his heart, I won’t even go there. I used to at least like the guy, but he has been evasive, nonresponsive, ineffectual and of questionable ethics. I have even lost interest in flirting with him. Where is my Jerry Garcia? Show yourself, for the natives are restless.
INVISIBLE NO MORE
reads the purple shirt of a broad-shouldered wide load in a blue and white Dr. Seuss hippy hat and green beads. No sir, he is indeed not invisible. h brown makes his half-pint (of bourbon) appearance minus the celebrated Queen Bee Alioto. Hmoob scurries about, a curly blonde tail sticking out of his knit hat. Andy Blue hobbles by on a crutch. Bored, I take off to run some errands and come back at 1:00 when the speakers begin.
IT’S A STAR-STUDDED CAST
of progressive players and activists. (Has there ever been an advocate who was not “tireless”?) Tom Ammiano, Gerardo Sandoval, Sophie Maxwell, Jake McGoldrick, Carole Migden, Medea Benjamin and more. “Where would I go but here?” asks Public Defender Jeff Adachi. “There is nowhere else to go!” And, “Why not call it a Progressive Party? That’s what we are.” Well what happened to the Green Party? They’re there. Not quite progressive enough? There’s support in the crowd for Adachi for Mayor, and I must say he seems like a good idea at the time. After all his hair is every bit as slicked back as Newsom’s.
Currently registered mayoral candidates are given a chance to speak, among them a clown and a grasshopper (whatever!), and one of them, forget who, leads me to think, what a load of crap! Even I could do better than that—except that I’m not good at yelling my opinions into a crowd. Some of the most rousing things speakers say might be commonplace or even dull if they weren’t yelling and pounding the podium. And this is UN-AC-CEPT-ABLE! We will no longer TOL-ER-ATE such chicanery, etc.
however, is no faker. I wonder how he, who exclaimed at a victory party on Election Night 2004, “This has never happened to me before!” feels as three years later he is standing astride a stage basking in the adoration of the congregation of the faithful chanting RUN ROSS RUN! RUN ROSS RUN! It was a sweet moment. He looked charmingly bashful. He had told me he wasn’t running—but would the glamour and energy of the moment inspire him to break into a spontaneous “Oh, all right, already! If you insist!” Instead,
“IT’S NOT MY TIME”
said he, implying that his time will indeed come next time around. The man has his reasons, whatever they are. I can wait. The sooner he becomes Mayor the sooner we lose him to Sacramento or DC. Call me selfish, but I want him for San Francisco.
yells Charles Kalish, never shy about interrupting speakers. Ross tells him to go heckle Newsom. But Charles is feeling the “exceptionally intense voltage” Ross is sparking, as he later put it in a letter to Fog City Journal, and rises again, pleading, “What’s it going to take?” He sounds like a Jewish mother. Tell me, God, what do I have to do? Indeed, Ross, what? Ya big lug!
WHY BOTHER TO EVEN SPECULATE
about the ever-elusive Matt Gonzalez? His girlfriend was in attendance, but “Mighty Mouse,” as a friend calls him, did not show up to save the day. Josh Wolf, out of prison and once again free to videotape this event, cracked to me that to some Matt supporters he is like Jesus who might come back and to think otherwise is heresy.
FINALLY CHRIS DALY,
event organizer, delivers another crowd-rousing speech, but I am truly surprised when he signs off without declaring and people start scattering to leave. I’m thinking, That’s it? It’s over? What was this day all about? Turns out, with a second child on the way, his family takes precedence. Bully for him!
“LET’S GET MOVING
on this progressive movement!” had exclaimed School Board member Eric Mar. Well, what progress has been made here today? There are the official progressive colors—blue and green. But we didn’t carry a candidate out on our shoulders and we didn’t declare ourselves a party. We had a party. Wasn’t it really just another progressive party? Camaraderie, rah-rah speeches, galvanization. This is what we need to do people and people we can do it! The same faces you see everywhere. But it was a good place to be. There is nowhere else to go! Of course maybe if I’d gotten my cheeks flushed with after-party alcohol, I’d see it as a big success.
Instead I left there feeling like Jerry Garcia had just died.
And so to my question of April 11, the progressive response remains, “No.”
What the author has been assured are the10,000-year-old remains of the first Politician.
Your proctologist called
Your typical city involved in a typical daydream...Hang it up and see what tomorrow brings...
copyright Alexandra Jones 2007