A Short Thought on Millions.

If I had a million dollars I would buy a custom built house bus, paint it black and blues, hire my daughters a weirdo tutor genius, get a couple of dogs, and travel long roads with my band for as long as we could stand at a time.

We wouldn’t play shows every night, no.  We’d play maybe 3 or four shows some weeks, and other weeks we wouldn’t play at all.  We’d discover the land. We’d take the back roads, and stop at every swamp attraction we could. We’d visit museums. Eat ice cream. Wander cemeteries.  Stare out across mountain valleys, and shout to the other side. Some days we’d all get separate hotel rooms and unwind in Marriott beds and pools. I’d spoil my children with attention.

 

If I had a million dollars I would take my Mama on a trip to Europe, I would take her anywhere she wanted to go. She could come on the bus, she could have the biggest bed.

If I had a million dollars, I’d invest in renewable energy and tear free baby shampoo.

I’d give money to ALS and Parkinson’s Disease research. I’d help a family who really needed it.

I won’t ever have a million dollars, though, likely. So, I will go to bed, and live my normal life tomorrow.   Dreams are never drab.

Monday is forty-four minutes away.

What would you do with a million dollars?

House & Heyday

I didn’t get that big old house I put a picture of on here.  Naw, man.  I was put off from the moment I saw that the cellar door was rotted off, the screen door was busted to pieces, and there was 1983 blue carpet terrorizing the floor.  Since 1918 is a long time to be a house, and though I enjoyed the slanted playhouse like closets, and underlying charm the house was breathing, I found the price too steep for the problems the house was facing.

First off, the first floor toilet had a sink in its lap.  I don’t know how any overweight person would have ever managed to sit on the pot with their whole bottom touching the toilet seat. There would have had to of been some sort of leaning, having to use the sink as an arm rest to squeeze a dimpled bun on that there john. The prospect for having a place to rest a pillow whilst pissing in my rallying heyday may have seemed a plus, but I’m a lightweight infrequent drunk nowadays, and find no ironic desire to pass out on the potty.

I was also hesitant to live on Florida Street.  Everyone knows that the state of Florida is the oddball burden of the South, and the street of Florida in Greensboro is the same in that it has had a reputation in years past to be a bit of a bungler.  When I first came to college in the city in 1996, a third year student warned me not wander that road, it was the heart of danger in its neighborhood.  Years, however, have softened Florida Street slightly, and Glenwood has grown into a vibrant, artistic,  multicultural, centrally located, affordable conglomerate of houses with ghosts of history in them.  It was not the reputation of Florida Street that chased me away from residing in the house, rather, it was the noise and traffic that maraud the asphault on that path on a daily basis. The city buses, the school buses, the bus stop dwellers, the boomboom big tire cars, the high pitched crotch rockets.  I told myself three years ago I never wanted to live on a bus line again.  Buses are squeaky and they run at unenthusiastic early hours. Florida Street is too bussy for my all encompassing approval.

The strikes on the house could empty a pack of matches.

Billed as a four bedroom house, the house was more like two and a half bedrooms. The “bedroom” on the main floor was a walk through room with two doors, one which led to the living room, the other to the entrance hall.  It was included as part of the path to the kitchen from the front of the house.  There was no closet in it.  There was also no closet in “bedroom” number two upstairs.  Couple that with the fact that bedroom number two was the width of a full size mattress, no wider, and the length of two mattresses laid end to end, and you’d have yourself three more strikes.

With my mind made up and knowing this was not the house for me,  the realtor bumping his head on the stooped door frame as he showed me the bathtub-less, shower only, upstairs restroom reinforced my decision. I was taller than the realtor, and I would have cursed myself every time I bumped my head on that door  frame had I decided take up residence in that hole.

Plus there had to be lead paint on and mice holes in the walls.  House that old? For sure.

The grout in the bathroom tile had seen way less dirty days.

The front fence entry was falling over.

The porch swing was raised too high to climb into easily.

The yard was sticks, rocks, and mud.

The windows were old and would have let all the expensive gas heat slip out without so much as a whisper of warning.

The kitchen was possessed by a stained and oddly cornered oven. There were gaps in the cabinets. There was no dishwasher.  There was no place for a table. I was scared to look under the sink.

The price was delusional.  I wouldn’t pay more than $600.00 a month for a place in such dire need for  revamp.  Centrally located or not.  Just because something  is cute on the outside does not mean the  inside holds an inviting chamber. I should know that from my dealings with men.

It’s easier to run from a terrible cute house than a terrible cute man, though. It’s plain to see the insides of a cute house, but there will be trouble discovering the make up of a man.

Anyways. I ran from the house. It’s not me, house, it’s you.

I found a newly remodeled three bedroom house in the same neighborhood for 85 dollars less per month than what the Florida Street house was going for.  It’s not as big a house, it doesn’t have much of a yard. But it’s clean and cute inside and out.  I packed seven boxes today.  I’ll be moving round July 15th.

I will miss being close to my Mama and Daddy, but feel relief that I am actively ridding myself of this sense of my life in stall mode.  I’d dropped everything to figure out this whole single mama kingdom, and I hope to gain a part of myself back with this move to my old town. Happier days, are you sure to come?

Message In A Bottle: Lucinda Williams


I ran across this Lucinda Williams video a few minutes ago. She comes out and blows her opening number because her capo is in the wrong place, and she’s singing in a higher key, and she can’t figure out what exactly is the problem. Her techie has to tap her shoulder and tell her that her capo is in the wrong place.

This has happened to me on a couple of cheek reddening occasions (with the exception of a band mate pointing out the error instead of a techie) and this slip of Lucinda’s made me feel validated. She messes up, blows it off, rocks it out. Yup. That’s how it’s done.

Lucinda Williams is one of my favorite rock and rollers, and I’ve often thought I should try to sell her some songs. If I knew how to go about doing that. Anybody out there know how to go about doing that? I have some swell songs, I promise.

If I were to write a message in a bottle to Lucinda Williams, and throw it in the river, this is what I would say…

“Dear Lucinda Williams,
If this message that I’ve pushed in this bottle and thrown into the Tar River has reached you down in New Orleans or wherever you are, well I might say that I have finally had a change of luck, and perhaps the thoughts in my head were made to be more than just thoughts.

Hi! !!!  How are you doing? I hope you are smiling, and I hope you like this bottle?? I thought it fanciful enough to be endearing and strong enough to withstand the trip downstream . I didn’t really want to give the bottle up, I’ve had it for years, but I thought, what the hell…Lucinda will like it.

So. I really like your songs and the way you sing, ma’am. I’m a singer songwriter as well, and I think I have some songs you could go to town on. Do you ever think of dead people talking to you when you sing? I get Kurt Cobain and Whitney Houston for some reason cheering me on in my head when really getting into the act of singing and playing. You know that spirit you get into, right?

Anyways, Lucinda, I don’t wanna keep you too long. You never heard of me, and I know you got thangs to do. And I don’t know if you ever get songs from other sources. But if you do, and you feel like giving this single mama a shot, I got some songs for that. Like lots of them. And I could use the help.

I hope you have very fine day, and I hope this message in a bottle somehow finds away into your heart. I’ll look to the birds for your reply.

Super,
Suzanne.

So, yeah.  Splash.  Start floatin’, bottle.

Settling Myself

I am moving soon, and it’s on my mind.  I traveled through the internet today looking for a ripe house for the right price. A place big enough for me and the girls and a band.

I moved away from the music scene abruptly, without too deep of forethought when Fern was born. I was embroiled in some really tangled relationship issues, and packed up the Glenwood house in a muddied rush. My hope was to either save my two parent family or escape the two person parental party all together.  I left with the girls and their Daddy, Greensboro blowing in the wind.  We settled 90 miles east to mend our tattered family tree.

Let it be said that demons follow where you let them.

My family fell apart on Valentine’s Day, 2012.  The girl’s Daddy left in the dark morning hours, drunk and confused, cold, silently while we slept. We woke up, he wasn’t there.  He was gone. Again.

If the angry devil leaves, listen, angel. Lock your door. When he calls to say he’s sorry, don’t go get him no more.

I’ve been working on my single, work at home mama kick for about 16 months or so now?  In my hometown, near my parents, 90 miles away from the emotional drag-pole drama of my double baby daddy.    But, dag on, do I ever miss my old life. I miss my friends.  I miss my band.  I miss the burgers.  I miss the ability to be able to walk in one direction down a sidewalk for more than 15 minutes without reaching the end of town.  This town I’m holed up in is small, ya’ll.  And I am itching to get back to the feeling of my complete self.  Self is what you make it. The self I’m living with here is seeking the parts it lost in a jumble of transition when I left Greensboro.  I shed a big old piece of soul when I motored away from that fine town.

So.  The house hunt has begun. I’m looking at a big, old, four bedroom place in my old neighborhood on Monday.

glenwoodhouse

I’ve got a thread to sew in that town, and I’ll be moving in a month. I’m feeling kinda proud.  I’m not putting it off.

I’ve been debating the move for about seven or eight months now.  I knew that if I was going to move, it was going to have to be before the start of kindergarten. The only thing keeping me tethered to this town is my parents. My Mama and Daddy are old.  My Daddy is sick, in the late stages of Parkinson’s Disease.  I’ve battled the guilt of leaving him, and the thought of it now makes me tear up.  My Daddy is a wonderful wonderful man, and Parkinson’s Disease is a fucking asshole. I don’t know how much longer he has to live.  Not long, is what my brother says.  I don’t know how much longer my Mama can take care of him by herself.  I feel ugly for taking myself and the girls away from them.

But I’m not happy here. I feel like my life is stalled.  It’s been a year and a half since I stumbled out of the city, and I’m about to sneak on back in.  Start me up!

Shleep Naked

It’s 11:28 and I’m tired. All the good writing hours have escaped me and I am lying in bed unclothed, with a cold quilt to keep the summer sweats at bay. I feel like closing my eyes.

My brain is empty of subject, I just keep saying “write” over in my head. Write, write. I’m dead. My brain is dead. Still I continue, hoping to squeeze something from the effort.

Bah! My whole person is a sheep beh-eh-ehgging to slumber. Put me out to pasture, I will wallow in the silks until the sun rises.

Tidy Times

I’ll race while Fern’s still sleeping.  How many thoughts can I type while the baby still naps?

The house is clean, I can breathe again. There is a wad of laundry to fold, the carpet needs a vacuum.  I could probably tidy up the bathroom a bit more, I think there are still some dishes in the sink. Ollie’s room has some blocks that need to be put away, my bed is not made. But the house is clean, and I can begin a quick unwind while my littlest youngin naps.

The kingdom is in a state of rest. It does not look as if the land has been at war.  There are a few casualties of the house, but none that require so urgent a care and need to be tended.

I am at quite a loss of what to think.

Perhaps I should play the guitar.  Did I tell you I play music? Maybe I should go write a song now.

There Are No Cartoon Birds To Pull My Blankets

6

I didn’t get up at six, just in case you were wondering. I got up at half past eight with no shame on my plate. I ate a handful of regret come evening time when everything I had needed to get done during the day had not gotten done. I don’t know how people get up so early. I know that it is probably great, the feeling of rising with the sun. But how do people do it day after day after day after day? Dawn comes and I am still weary from the hours I could not sleep the night before. Before the second it takes me to shut off the alarm clock is over, I am already fast asleep. Pillow on the head, praising the cool sheets on my cheek.

My Daddy got up at the ass crack of dawn for years when I was growing up. By the time I was out of bed to get ready for school, he would have already been up, breakfasted, read a couple of newspapers, and headed out for his first job of the day, the morning talk show for WYRN 1480 AM. I would listen to him on the clock radio in my Mama’s room while getting dressed for school. If we weren’t listening to him on the radio, we were listening to MIX 101.5 play “Lady in Red” like it knew that was the best song ever to get your day going.

I am so much like my Daddy. Why then can I not find it in myself to get up when I tell myself I would like to get up? The time comes around, and sleep changes my mind. I want sleep as long as I can possibly get the sweet swaddling of it.

The thing is, I know that this ability to sleep in until after eight is ending soon. My daughter, Ollie is going to be going to kindergarten in the fall. For the next seventeen years I will be waking with the worms to find myself plucked out of bed too early for my retaliating sleep pattern to kick in. The task of sending my daughters off to the early start of the school bell rings a slow dull moan in my psyche. If feels as if sleep is about to elude me for the rest of my life.

Half of me bemoans the early morning. Half of me wishes for it to knot me up in it’s bright beams and shake me til I’m wide awake and sugary sweet with love for it.  At night I beg the sunrise to slap me.  Morning comes and I curse the light.

There is so much to do, there is never enough time. When will my will wake up and wheel in the sunrise?

Is there a way to set your clock radio to play “Lady In Red” for the rest of your mornings alive?