Let Me Talk to You

Please note that I'm not writing this entry as I write, but as I speak. You're going to have to deal.

Although I tell you guys everything here on my blog, or pretty nearly everything, I've never shared with you what I'm about to. Blame it on the merlot, or the optimism I feel, or that I've finally passed through the end of a personal year and I've now begun my own New Year. (I was born under the sign of Libra and we've recently passed into Scorpio.)...

Blame it on anything you like, that I'm eccentric, a nutty Californian, a liberal, I don't care. Hell, I'm even posting this photo of me with Maestro Frank Salazar in which I was wearing makeup. That was taken 15 years ago before Thyroidzilla took possession of my body. It was my last gasp at liking what I saw when I looked in the mirror.

But this is beside the point.

When Frank died... (well, that's certainly getting to the heart of things)... when Frank died in June of 2000, I quit composing. It wasn't a conscious decision. In fact, I'd always planned to write a requiem for him, something Spanish, but I thought that was far, far away. I always saw me visiting him when he was 95 and a little feeble. I'd be 71 and the gap between our ages would seem very small at last. I never foresaw that he would die a short eight years after this picture was taken. His hair wasn't even gray! In the fourteen years I knew him I'd watched his moustache turn grey, however. What's really weird for me to think about is that I'm now only two years younger than he was when we met. I thought he was old! (In this photo he was 65 and I was 41.)

There are conversations that we're supposed to have, music that we're supposed to listen to together, scores that we're supposed to analyze, and ideas we're supposed to share. We're not done yet, dammit!

Anyway, I quit composing. I simply hadn't the heart for it, you see. And things, like life, got in the way. I didn't worry about it though, because I've written music since I was 12. I figured I'd go through a few months of mourning and then I'd be back at it. I mean, I composed like some people breathe. It was part of my DNA. Wasn't it? I'd been widowed, divorced, beaten, raped, robbed, misused, confused, abused, and all kinda mean, nasty, ugly stuff, but it only added to my inspiration.

In the eight years since Frank's death, I've started a few pieces only to set them aside. To my credit, I did write some cello arrangements for Nettl's master recital, but big effin' deal. I used to write Masses, symphonies, operas! I have to add though, that losing nearly every piece of music I ever wrote in "The Big Dump"* did some major damage on my psyche as well. In truth, I have over 300 pieces to my name, but only a dozen have survived. In my own lifetime. That's a major mindfook.

The other night I had a dream that I'm certain was a visitation. I won't go into all of its symbolism, but in it I'd put one of my scores outside in a rain storm. Frank rescued it and began painting a red door on it, saying to me, "I'm painting a door for you to go through... Everything hinges on this decision." This dream came to me the very night that I decided that going back to Ventura was the right thing to do. Although I have plenty of dreams/visitations of other people, I've never done so where Frank is concerned, which has always confused me. If grieving for someone, longing to talk to them, and missing them creates dreams and wishful delusions, then I should have had plenty by now. But there's been nothing. Just like musical ideas.

I used to fairly brim with music. I wrote it down and performed it for my friends and for myself because if I didn't... I don't know, I might blow up or something. But when Frank died, the ideas died. Oh, I hear it in my head every hour of the day, but I'm no longer compelled to express it. Meh. Who cares? There's no one to show it to, no one to perform it, no one who can read and critique it, no one to show me how I can improve it. Who gives a crap, really? It seems like a waste of time and energy. Just more paper.

I've lost my music mojo.

Will it come back? I don't know. But that dream of Frank brought something back. Maybe I'm beginning to wake up from the nightmare.

I apologize for any typos and bad usage; I don't feel like proofing this. If I do, I probably won't post it.

Good night. If you're not familiar with my relationship to the maestro, you can read about it here.

* I was sending my brother and sister-in-law a check every month for them to take to a storage unit in which all of my life was kept, until I could afford to move it to Oklahoma. It included all of my compositions, my piano and other musical instruments, our family pictures, my sons' baby books, my father's ashes, my grandmother's china, Joel's belongings, my mother's belongings, ad nauseum... I didn't know that my sister-in-law cultivated a gambling problem and was cashing my checks and taking the money up to Central City to gamble it away. One day I got a letter from the storage company, telling me that everything had been auctioned and/or thrown away.