How Lou Reed Destroyed My Life

May 5, 2014 — 93 Comments

Patti Smith and Lou Reed, conspiring to Fuck. My. Life. Up.

 

Everyone who lived in downtown New York City has a Lou Reed story. If you love music, you have a Lou Reed story.

Some people did drugs with him.

Some people sold him drugs.

Some people were ripped off by him so he could buy drugs.

Some people had violent fist fights with him. He had an explosive temper, which could detonate at any time.

Many people were ridiculed and demeaned by him. He was a prickly, judgmental motherfucker.

Too many to count never met him but saw him perform.

And some have had their lives thrown irrevocably off course after seeing one of these performances.

I’m in that last category.

 

I was 15 when an older friend smuggled me into the Bottom Line to see Lou Reed perform.

Barry Manilow Open Rehearsal at the Bottom Line Cabaret Club in New York City - January 6, 1980

The Bottom Line, like so many other iconic rock venues in New York City clubs, no longer exists.

Massive. Heart. Squeeze.

 

My first night at the Bottom Line I didn’t pay much attention to my surroundings, because as soon as we got there, David nodded towards a table near the postage sized stage and said, “There he is.”

Lou Reed had an aura of steel gray electricity. You don’t develop or manufacture that kind of presence; it just is.

He was dressed in a black leather jacket. Under it, a tight sleeveless black tee shirt revealed gorgeous muscular arms. Black jeans. Craggy handsome face. Close cropped curly black hair. Angrily set jaw.

He frightened me.

He turned me on immensely.

 

This night is memorable, not just for the music. It was the night I realized I did not want, nor would I have, a chance at a “normal” life. I remember the smell of liquor and perfume and pot and sweat; the crowd and its slavish devotion, the relentless screeches of feedback.

Lou Reed’s voice.

He crooned and drawled; half spoke, half sang. He was a poet who layered words on top of music. The effect was mesmerizing and dramatic but without affectation.

His songs were of transvestites, prostitutes, drug addicts, sadomasochists and utter madness. No romantic despair or adolescent misogyny for this rock-and-roller.

He was the Primal Prince of Fearlessness. An escapee from the dark, dangerous, sexually ambiguous New York underworld who had managed to live to tell the tales.

His music was pure/impure New York City.

“I’m Waiting for the Man.” A junkie on a drug buy in Harlem.

And the lyrics, so simple.

“I’m waiting for my man
Twenty-six dollars in my hand
Up to Lexington, 125
Feeling sick and dirty, more dead than alive
I’m waiting for my man”

It was a street map to score heroin. It was that specific.

lex and 125

At one point in the evening, someone in the audience called out for “Heroin,” Lou Reed’s love song to addiction. It’s the musical equivalent of a heroin high, just as your brain implodes.

Lou Reed became agitated; then angry. He had kicked heroin years ago and no longer performed this song live. Other members of the audience started calling for it. He got angrier; vicious. He would not satisfy the audience’s vicarious drug habit.

He ended the night in a brutal verbal fight with several of the audience members; shouting obscenities at them, finally storming off and turning a table over on his way off stage.

His behavior was unscripted, raw, sexual and human.

It was tragic.

It was fucking beautiful.

 

Patti Smith had already laid eggs in my brain years before. But just as I fell in worship/love with her, the GodMother of punk retired to raise her children near Detroit. I wasn’t able to see her live at that time. But her male counterpart- the GodFather of punk – was very much still a part of the downtown New York scene.

After that, I had zero interest in going to college; graduating, getting a good job, getting married, moving to the suburbs and having 2.3  kids.

I wanted nothing of that. I wanted Reed’s world. The seamy underworld he sang of and denounced and loved and judged and accepted and rejected and forgave.

I HAD to have that life.

I would stay in New York and be a writer. An actress. A musician. It didn’t matter that I didn’t play an instrument well. Lou Reed played guitar for shit.

In the end, I was a coward. At 16, I lacked Reed’s fearlessness. I did as I was told, and I was told you don’t turn down a full ride to an Ivy League school.

So I went.

And wasted my time. I was Ivy Leaguer in name only –  but a junkie rebel leather queen in my heart. As soon as those 4 years were over, I headed back to my home town and spent the next 15 years on the Wild Side.

I moved into the East Village, the artsy funky punk rock East Village, and was finally home.

I no longer live there, but my apartment on 2nd avenue will always be my home. Period.

I can't even.

I can’t even discuss this.

 

I squandered those 15 years when I could have been capitalizing off my fancy education. I’m paying for that now.

I pursued various artistic endeavors, but mostly I lived on the edge. I took ridiculous chances; did unspeakable things; hung out with sordid musicians, made terrible choices.

I had the time of my life.

I regret nothing.

 

Sometimes I wish I had died a junkie’s quick and painless overdose of a death, a poetic swan song in a blaze of glory. Instead of this slow drip of moribund that seeps into my blood, a day at a time.

I’m restless and bored and yearn for adventure. But where do you go when you’ve been there and done that?

I’m too old to keep up with the relentless pace of the life I once knew. Too young to be buried alive in the suburbs.

I’m in limbo. Not fit for either the life I once lived, or the one I live now.

 

 

Yes, I’m in disguise so I can I pass amongst the normals here, but that’s just a ninja stealth strategy.

I bake for the PTO. But my Halloween cupcakes sported tiny edible knives and leaked blood red icing and sold out immediately.

What? It came in a kit.

What? It came in a kit.

 

I’m raising a 10-year-old kid who dressed in all black on the 20th anniversary of Kurt Cobain’s death last month.

I live life my way, on my terms.

 

 

The night I found out Lou Reed died, Sunday, October 27, 2013, I was on the telephone with my best friend of 27 years.

We were stunned. And immediately – in our respective homes and without consulting the other –  started playing the same song.

“Street Hassle.”

An 11 minute tour de force in 3 movements, considered by many to be Lou Reed’s masterpiece.

 

Lou Reed didn’t really influence me to squander my life. He thrust me beyond the secure and ordinary allure of the mundane. He gave me an early glimpse of another world that existed beyond the safe and colorless margins in which  I had felt trapped.

I saw hope that I could live a life not scripted by, and for, the rest of the world.

It does not have to exist only in the demimonde of druggie nihilism, but simply by living with an uncompromising allegiance to the truth of who I am.

 

Like Lou Reed, I am a deeply flawed mass of contradictions. Lost, but found. Tragic, but magnificent.

I find humanity in the people that society condemns.

RIP, Lou. I’ll continue walking on the Wild Side.

Til the day I die.

 

Exactly.

Exactly.

 

This is an audio collage of three urban scenes connected by a memorable, elegant riff, first on cello and then on guitar. Bonus points if you recognize the voice after the second part.
In the third part, Lou Reed’s voice, an elegy for a lost lover, is one of the most painfully grief-stricken vocals in rock history.

Have you ever had a seemingly innocent event throw your life off course?
Has any musical artist ever had a strong impact on you? 
Talk to me.   I’m listening. 

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93 responses to How Lou Reed Destroyed My Life

  1. 

    Where do you go? Where we all go, I suppose… we let our imaginations and our words take the adventures we can no longer take. We are able to see the world through so many different sets of eyes and perspectives… the words make it real.
    But, perhaps that is not enough? Maybe it will hold you for a time, until your son is old enough that you can return to the adventures you crave…
    The first rave I went to… completely changed who I was. The music. The community.
    That was one change. Standing at the front of a 100,00 dancing kids strong audience while watching Paul Oakenfold drop my favorite song at midnight one magical summer night a year later, changed who I was again. I was no longer a raver, I was a DJ, I just didn’t know it at the time.
    The Queen, visiting a friend, walking through my front door changed everything again…

    • 

      Hello, Matticus love!

      It’s just a stop along the way. That’s how I think about this leg of the voyage.

      8 years left, and then, the journey will pick up. I’ll be a jacked up old cougar at that point, but so what? Who knows what adventures await?

      • 

        The not knowing… the anticipation… the joy of getting to imagine all the possibilities… they almost make the 8 years seem like a drop in the bucket.
        But, they are a drop in the bucket, really. Time is slipping. Each year goes a bit faster. The days are rolling over faster and faster as we spin around again and again…
        *pausing to steady myself* Getting dizzy…

      • 

        I know it doesn’t seem like it now, because the Little Prince is only one. And the first year of Little Dude’s life crawled.

        But the years have since flown by, and I have a hard time believing he’s 10. So I KNOW those next 8 years will fly by.
        Trying to soak up as much as I can.

      • 

        I can only imagine. The last year seemed to fly for me, actually. That makes me worry about the next 9, 17, 33…

      • 

        I just got a stomach ache when you did that.

        I’ve decided my son CAN NEVER LEAVE MY HOUSE hahahaha

      • 

        I think the Queen came to that same conclusion earlier today. At the park, our one year old was being bulled by two little kids (maybe 3 or 4) they kept touching has face and saying “yucky, baby.” The Queen got to him as soon as she could but… yeah, … can’t describe how pissed I am right now. Where were the other parents? What kind of world have we brought our child into? (Don’t answer that, I know the answer, but, at some point we have to bring some good into this world despite the struggles they will face as a way to combat the evil.)

      • 

        What the hell?

        Where were the parents of these torturers? I hate that crap. No 3 or 4 year olds should be picking on a 1 year old!

        I’m bad. Once, when my kid was being bullied at the park (actually, the bully was bullying a bunch of kids) I called the bully a whole lot of not-nice names.

        And he started crying! I felt terrible, since – well, he was really just an 8 year old kid being cursed out by a grownup!

        Our kids are our weak spot, right?

      • 

        Don’t feel terrible. Maybe that was the lesson he needed to learn, that turned him around and kept him from bullying kids ever again.
        If I’d been at the park, more than one f-bomb would have been levelled at the kids today. And while they may not have understand the words, they would have understood the tone and the look of murder in my eyes.
        Sure, we don’t want to resort to scare tactics to get people to behave properly, but, …

      • 

        Whew! And here I thought you were going to think I was a bad person, when you’re ready to get medieval on a bunch of preschoolers!

        Scare tactics WORK. I’m all for scare tactics. Especially where children are concerned. Adults don’t scare as easily.

      • 

        It just takes a different kind of tactic to scare adults… we scare just as easily, but our triggers have changed. Debt? Career? Health?

  2. 
    yeseventhistoowillpass May 5, 2014 at 1:36 pm

    Take a walk on the wild side.. Perfect cupcakes grasshopper! Nothing says party like icing that looks like blood! Master Po…

    • 

      I’m so glad to see you here!

      I haven’t forgotten you. And I’m so grateful you’re still reading, and commenting on my blog.

      I have been caught up in some STUFF lately. It’s easy to get caught in STUFF.

      • 
        yeseventhistoowillpass May 6, 2014 at 7:04 pm

        Wow I thought I had cooties or something….

      • 

        No cooties!

        Just caught up in my dear friend Rara having a terrible twist of fate.

      • 
        yeseventhistoowillpass May 6, 2014 at 7:13 pm

        Twists of fate my friend rarely happen when you find a lottery ticket worth a million dollars on the ground.. It’s always something challenging:( ok so you are ok… Good ttyl

  3. 

    Not many people can take a story about doing drugs and going to concerts and turn the tale into a tour de force that could have just as easily been called “How to be a Person.”

    You’re scary good at this.

    RIP, Lou Reed.

    • 

      Thank you!

      This one has been in the draft file for a long time. My eulogy is 6 months late.

      Lou would have done the same thing. RIP, indeed.

  4. 

    I discovered how Gay my straight little mormon heart was when I fell in love with Y Kant Tori Read- followed her with wild abandon and became a Toriphile. I love everything about this post- it speaks to my inner Goth/Punk/Techno Rave girl. Except I didnt have such cool stomping grounds. I was a SLC Punk. And now Im an urban Salt Lake City mom, and local Utah Democrat with 3 kids. Thanks for reminding me to update my playlists once again, just to reminisce with my wilder, younger self.

    • 

      Yes! Reminisce with your younger wilder self!

      How gay WAS your straight little mormon heart? Like, girl on girl gay? Inquiring mind want to know.

      So happy you stopped by my blog. Please do, again. xo,
      S

    • 

      Pardon my slight envy.

      Now, I know there are some women who dig men on men action, but, as a general rule, society loves women on women, but despise men on men. Such an odd double standard.

      I have a Mormon heart… it’s not a straight one. I’m still perplexed how people are so in awe of my relationship to Cimmy, whose Mormon heart isn’t straight either. It works for us.

      • 

        I enjoy both, depending on whether I find the individuals involved attractive, and what they are doing.

        But in general – yes. There is a double standard, to be sure. The “straight” world grants much more leeway to girl on girl, than to man on man. Go figure.

  5. 

    I spent a month on my blog, right after he died, talking about Lou Reed, in fiction and non. He was one of my heroes. He always told the truth even when he was trying to lie. I saw him once coming out of a restaurant in Manhattan in 1994. He was with Laurie and no one bothered him. I mean this was Lou f;n Reed and Laurie friggin Andersen. I wanted to go up to him and tell him he was one of the reasons I wrote and loved music. But everyone has a “Lou Reed was prick to me” story and as much as I wanted him to tell me to f off like Joni Mitchell did in 1990, I just stood there and watched him get into a cab.

    I wrote a couple of columns about him and spent a couple of weeks depressed. My wife and kids got it but didn’t get it. He made it to 71 when he should’ve have been in the 27 club. He was all brilliant all the time even when he was trying to not be.

    I have so many of these stories of moments that set my life on a weird course. I’ll get around to one or two, soon. Nice Regina George drop. Now, we’re BFFS. More for the Lou and Patti stuff.

    BTW, there’s a new book about Patti called Just Kids….it’s excellent.

    • 

      Lance!

      I read the book. And mailed it away last Christmas to another blogger.
      If we’re going to be BFFs, you must know that Patti Smith is EVERYTHING to me. I mention her in probably 1/3 of all my posts.

      I have to say, I was thinking of you when I dropped the Mrs. George bit. No one does creepy cool mom quite like Mrs. G.

      I was devasted by Lou Reed’s death. But I suppose it was inevitable. And you’re right – he made it past 27, which was a miracle.

      Btw, last Dec 30, on Patti Smith’s birthday, she performed in NYC. Opened the show with “Heroin.” The effing crowd went completely HOG WILD CRAZY. I’ve been meaning to write about that night. It was one of the most bizarre nights I’ve had in 10 years.

  6. 
    lrconsiderer May 5, 2014 at 1:52 pm

    I know very little Lou Reed – it’s all part and parcel of being raised in the perfect suburban looking household, where the lawn was mown and the 2.5 children and no dog were raised by perfect, united parents…and the isolation and fear perpetuated the mask of falsehood we all wore in public.

    I sensed hurt in the photograph of your old appartment, and right up until the heartbreaking dichotomy of your current self, I felt as though your writing was illicit – showing me things ‘behind the bike sheds’ (or perhaps in a tiny, smoky bar, with a tiny stage, that I’m not yet old enough to enter legally) which I shouldn’t know, or which I won’t understand fully until I have LIVED a bit more.

    As to the end, and your tangled self, that wild bird trapped within her picket-fence cage, with a son who learns to wear the feathers of freedom, even alongside his mother, all I can tell you are the lyrics which shimmered into my mind as I read…
    “How I wish, how I wish you were here.
    We’re just two lost souls swimming in a fish bowl, year after year,
    Running over the same old ground.
    What have we found?
    The same old fears.
    Wish you were here. “

    • 

      I love that song, and Pink Floyd in general.

      I am hurt by the changes and the gentrification, not because of the cleanliness – but because with it came the quadrupling of rents, which caused places like “The Bottom Line” to go out of business.

      A tangled dichotomy. I suppose that’s about right.

      Thank goodness there are cupcakes to eat.

  7. 

    I love that I felt like I got to know so much more about you in a single post. I love those cupcakes. I love that you live life on your terms.

    I can definitely relate to feeling both Yin and Yang. I miss so much of a life I used to live to a point where I wonder who I am sometimes. At the very same time, I know I can’t hack that lifestyle anymore. I also adore my kid and husband. It’s strange to feel like you mourn someone who is gone when that person is yourself.

    • 

      That’s exactly it- I mourn a part of myself that I can’t get back.

      But I suppose many of us do – because it was those pre-responsibility laden fun years. I think maybe I just let them go on a little too long.

      But everything worked out. And this old girl ain’t done yet

  8. 

    This post compelled me to listen to Heroin. By the way, I did turn down the full ride to an Ivy League school and I regret it now.

    • 

      You DID??

      How did you have the courage to do so? Wasn’t the pressure unbelievable? I caved.

      I only regret that I didn’t go right from that to law or business school. I mean, the now respectable “me” regrets that. The degenerate leather queen “me” was happy with my choices.

      Heroin. Amazing song. I listened to Lou Reed non stop while working on this post the last few days.

  9. 

    Feels like your writing is the balancing force between what was and what is. We’re listening. Keep going.

    And enjoy this by Patti Smith on the death of Lou Reed.

    http://www.newyorker.com/talk/2013/11/11/131111ta_talk_smith

    • 

      Brenda, you are so wise.

      What a perfect thing you just said. My writing IS the balancing force. Oh, dear god, thank you for that insight.

      I read what Patti wrote about him, and I think it was the most beautiful tribute written. And in further homage to him, when she performed in NYC this past December, her annual birthday concert, she opened the show with “Heroin.”

      It was a historic moment.

      Thank you for your generous insights, which always mean to much to me.

  10. 

    Great post. I think my life in some ways has taken an opposite trajectory from yours. I did turn down an opportunity to attend university, albeit not an ivy league school, but a good one. I lived many years in a state of drunkenness and drug addiction (though nothing so serious as heroine) and never fitting in. Not once did I feel at home. Then one day during a brief moment of sobriety I had read J.M. Coetzee’s novel Disgraced and David Adams Richards Mercy Among the Children. I thought the top of my head would blow off. It was a profound and moving experience. I knew right then and there I had to go to school. I had to learn everything I could about these and other works of literature that hold all the answers. From the first day I arrived at University, 15 years older than everyone else in my class, I knew I had come home. This was the first place that made any sense to me. All the answers were in those classrooms and in the minds of the professors who had spent a lifetime studying the written word. University and the study of literature probably saved my life. That, and the structure and discipline that goes along with serious study. And, sadly, I regret every day I ever spent drunk or high. For me it was wasted time, but at least I found a way out. Many of my family and friends did not.

    • 

      What a fantastic story!

      Literature saves the day!

      I think it’s fabulous that you went back to school no matter what your age. The end result is the same.

      I don’t know if I regret every day I spent drunk or high, but I certainly wish I had pulled it together sooner.

      And you’re right about finding a way out. It’s sad how many don’t.

      • 

        You know, I probably don’t regret every time I drank or did drugs. Some of it was fun. But so much of it wasn’t fun. Really enjoy your blog. I have a friend who found your blog through me and she loves it. We talk about your crazy life after every post.

      • 

        Dude, I know – my ears are buzzing!
        hahaha

        Just kidding. We’ve all had a crazy life, haven’t we, John? Some of us a bit crazier than others. Nothing to brag about, making crappy decisions. But it makes good blog fodder!

      • 

        Yes, but I think you had a bit more fun than I did. Which is good. And why not? You had some crazy times, made a few bad decisions, but also had a hell of an adventure. But you seem to have landed on your feet. And now we get to enjoy reading about all those adventures. You do a great job of combining wonder and honesty.

      • 

        Thank you so much, John. I’ll try to keep being wonderfully honest, so that you come back and read.
        I really appreciate your support so much.

  11. 

    A not so famous person once said “’tis better to lament the life abandoned than regret the life unlived.” Somebody should be making a movie of your life darlin’

    • 

      We very much alike in certain ways-maybe it’s my own potential I feared? And still do fear?

      Hah! A movie of my life. Who would play me? We need a hot red head who can look 20 or 40…

      • 

        Perhaps the possibility of success by the standard of a world we despise is harder to consider than abject failure in their eyes, yes? And so we live our young lives on the ragged edge and are almost apologetic for not making it into the 27 Club…here we are in our 40s with wtf written all over our faces while trying to grow the fuck up all of a sudden. My kids think we have the coolest family they know which is great but then all their dipshit mates wanna hang out with us as well haa!

        Jessica Rabbit? Aussa Lorens? Patti Smith mit wig?

      • 

        Red, you are seriously a genius.

        “Perhaps the possibility of success by the standard of a world we despise is harder to consider than abject failure in their eyes,”

        I hope I’ve outgrown that kind of rebellion. I’m ready for success. On my son’s behalf.

        Aussa could play the young me, and Patti’s a bit too old to play the old me (she’s 61).
        And Jessica Rabbit is a damn cartoon!

      • 

        …guess you’ll hafta do an Audy Murphy and play yourself then…

  12. 

    “But where do you go when you’ve been there and done that?”

    Thrice.

    You may find this amusing: When I was going through Navy SEAL training the SECOND time: Late Eighties (didn’t make it) my BUD/s Class #158, had some cool guys in it. As we ran in formation (everywhere we went), instead of singing the ‘Traditional’ SEAL songs… we sang ‘Walk On The Wild Side’

    Got in much trouble over that, but the whole class was rebellious that way…

    Great Fucking Post and what a wonderful tribute to a man I much admired. I put him right up there with Tom Waits and Lenny Bruce.

    Cheers,
    Lance

    • 

      A little bit of rebellion never hurt anybody!

      So glad you found your way to my blog, and shared your story with me.

      I hope you have a chance to visit again! I appreciate the time you took to read, and comment. Means the world to me.

  13. 

    You are still young. Your life has a lot of living left to do. It all comes in stages and you continue to change. As I prepare for my empty nest, I am filled with excitement and anticipation for the what next. Even though I will always be a mother, there is a sense of freedom that comes from knowing that you devoted your years raising wonderful kids in boring ‘ol suburbia, but that now it is your turn once more, to be who you want to be. This tiger has one foot in the cage and one out. 🙂 🙂 Great writing, Samara!

    • 

      Thank you so much for your comment – especially the part where you tell me I’m young!

      I don’t feel so young. But that’s just because I feel confused lately.

      Yes – one foot in, and one out. That’s a great compromise.

      I can live with that. 🙂

      • 

        I just turned 50 so believe me, you are young! 🙂 That’s a whole other story. I have finally come to terms with that and now am ready to live it up again! Especially in the bedroom! (sans kids walking in). LOL.

      • 

        Yes, kids always walk in at just the wrong time, don’t they?

        I’m a single mom. But I could be sexting a guy, and my kid would wake up and stroll into my room- that’s the kind of luck I have!

        And I’m not far behind you, age wise. 🙂

      • 

        Well, then you will have even more reason to be proud of raising your son and launching him off when the time comes. Definitely keep one foot in and one foot out though. It works for me when I’m sleeping it’s got to work for other things too! 🙂

  14. 

    You saw people who made you believe that there was more, more, more and so you reached and reached and reached, Samara.

    You learned from Lou and Patti and your own excesses and mistakes.

    Now you are you and the Little Dude is you, too.

    Do not despair, miss or regret the past. Do not fear or rush the future. Please do not hold the present in contempt.

    I saw Springsteen and swore I had found my Sinatra. Mistakes, I made a few thousand. I loved and lost it. I love again, greatly. I achieved memorable things, had them snatched away and am rebuilding a whole new mountain of memorable things. My Little Girl grew into a Wonderful Young Woman. And I smile every damn day about it all.

    xxoo MB

    • 

      Mark, what a beautiful comment.

      Thank you for reminding me not to have contempt for the present.

      There is beauty in every moment. Or, at least most of them.

      You’re such a positive force. Thank you.

      xoxo

  15. 

    Samara, you inspire. With your writing, with your untamed spirit. Long live Lou Reed.

  16. 

    This is Lou Reed’s love song to addiction.

    I thought of Bill Withers’s “Ain’t No Sunshine When She’s Gone”. I intuitively got it somehow before I read him saying in an interview it was about addiction.

    Sorry, Samara. I’m a square. I’ve never set foot in NYC nor any of its suburbia. At best, I wandered around downtown Seattle while the last of my 8-year undergraduate roller coaster ride came to a personally bitter, slowly horrifying end. All while struggling to come to grips with the reality of my orientation. We fled to Cimmy’s hometown… couldn’t hold a job. Went back to my hometown and suffered through welfare-to-work. A hometown area that truly would be nowhere had it not been for the Manhattan Project. An atomic legacy every cool kid utterly despises.

    I enjoy the stability I’ve managed to eke out on disability. I wouldn’t trade it for a million adventures. I could never compare to your experience, but I did the OD thing. It was part of a package of over 25 years of mental health hell.

    http://jaklumen.wordpress.com/2013/02/23/bill-withers-the-at-one-ment-with-the-father/
    Bill Withers. Tame compared to Lou Reed, I’m sure. But, that’s the post where my rambling blogging finally gained a regular theme. The first vid is of my father’s favorite Bill Withers tune. The second is mine.

    • 

      I don’t know that what one does or doesn’t do qualifies one as a “square.”

      I think that term is defined more by attitude, than actions. You don’t have a “square” mentality.

      • 

        I fear it would be very impolite for me to explain more candidly.

      • 

        You don’t have to. I get the idea.

      • 

        I’m sorry. I’ve been told it’s bad for me to stuff negativity, but I do. You see that it leaks out in smoldering fumes regardless, though.

        I do fear that expressing myself more openly would get me in a lot of trouble with people. Quite a few people in this case.

  17. 

    I love this, Samara. And I love how through your writing you question, come to conclusions, or semi-conclusions. You evolve. And through this we evolve as your readers. Your writing is your new wild. That and those bloody kick-ass cupcakes.

    • 

      JEN!!
      NOBODY else said anything about the damn cupcakes! They’re (not to be punny) killer, right?

      My writing is my “new wild.” Ooh, I love that.
      I can live with that.

      Thank you for stopping in and saying “hey.” I miss you, and need to get to your blog.

  18. 

    When I hear Perfect Day, it still describes my most perfect day ever. It’s mournful, but thoughtful and quiet. My favorite. I’m not a prolific Lou Reed fan, but the post his wife wrote after his passing was heartbreaking and I hope one day to have love like that in my life.

    • 

      I love that song, but somehow, because it’s Lou Reed- I think it’s a parody? I don’t know.

      I had love like that once. It’s awesome. I hope you have that in your life someday, too. You will.

      Thank you for reading, for commenting, for being awesome.

      • 

        You might be right.

        I also might have used prolific when I meant hardcore. It was early and I’d only had half a cup of coffee.

      • 

        You know what? I didn’t even notice if the word “prolific” was misused or not.

        You do okay on half a cup, girl. Way better than me.

  19. 

    I see and hear you. Whiplash girlchild in the dark

    Life’s a dance in time.

    • 

      Today, of all days, I need to be seen.

      Thank you for that, and also for “whiplash girlchild in the dark.”

      I may tweet your comments. I need to release some beauty into the world.

  20. 

    You do that. You release beauty

  21. 

    (Smiles)

    What sort of a day have you had? One of joy or to be endured?

    I ache. I should be in bed. But

  22. 

    Bruce is my favorite musician. I have seen him in concert many many times. I had tickets to go the day after my first heart surgery and I tried to get released from the hospital and go. No such luck.

    And, when I was little. ‘Walk on the Wildside’ was my favorite song. Then I heard it as a pre-teen and I was shocked by the lyrics. I could not believe I walked around singing it as a child. But it’s still a favorite of mine.

  23. 

    I’ve often felt the way you’re feeling – trapped, stuck in suburbia, boring job but stuck with it because it pays the bills. I seem to have outgrown it somehow, though. As soon as I was able to do what I wanted again – divorced, kids grown up and doing their own thing – I didn’t want to any more. I’ve fallen in love with academics and am looking forward to doing the things that I ignored/just took for granted when I was younger. There are a lot of unexpected advantages to getting older.

    Btw, I love your posts. You always get me thinking. 🙂

  24. 

    You’re right, I do love this. I wanted this kind of life you describe (except for the druggie nihilism part. Just light hallucinogens for me, please) But I used to lay in my room with my earphones on, dreaming of moving to NY and living an artists’ life. I really thought that was my future. But I chickened out. I moved to Atlanta after college instead of NY. I told myself it was just a pitstop until I made the move. Then I met Joe and wanted all of the stuff- marriage, kids, etc. Funny, I just realized I said almost the same thing on Aussa’s blog earlier. I really don’t blame my husband… at least I don’t think I do! 🙂

    I never thought I’d be a stay at home mom doing carpool and researching healthy recipes. But no one was surprised when I settled down and got married. Mine was all in my imagination. I didn’t have the crazy life you had. I can imagine that the ying and yang of it all would be dizzying.

    “…an uncompromising allegiance to who I am” that’s the stuff of greatness, right there. You enjoy your little breather while you raise the coolest kid in America. I have a feeling your Third Act is going to be pretty amazing. And may it involve writing and music…

    Write on, sister!

    • 

      Oh, Gretchen. You read this!

      You’re amazing, you know that? I feel really supported by you as a writer.

      And you just gave me hope. That there will be a third act. I don’t want the craziness of the past, but maybe, something beyond the carpools and cooking?

      Don’t get me wrong- I love being good at what I do. But I’m frequently bored. One thing you do that’s so important- you continue to see live music. I rarely do. That can keep life poppin’!

Trackbacks and Pingbacks:

  1. I Walked In At 7 am; Dirty, Drunk… « A Buick in the Land of Lexus - June 10, 2014

    […] The band started to play the unmistakable and haunting opening strains to Lou Reeds, “Heroin.” […]

  2. Song For Samara | Fish Of Gold - September 9, 2015

    […] Lou Reed died, she wrote a post called How Lou Reed Destroyed My Life and it’s about how hearing him play for the first time made her realize that she didn’t […]

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