it felt as though my throat was holding a ball of fire ready to shoot from my mouth. I forced it closed. i was on my long ride home.
i have never cried reading a book. perhaps it is the true story it emanated from that drives me to tears.
perhaps it is the life they have lived. perhaps it is the sense of hope i got from reading her words.
i sit here typing, tears pouring uncontrolably from my burning eyes. sipping on vodka-pellegrino. with a hint of rose’s lime. Patti’s words filling the air.
mourning the loss of a great artist. 22 years too late.
mourning the loss of my virginity from rock and roll. 25 years too late.
mourning the loss of my naiveté.
mourning all the wasted years trying to find a direction.
mourning the wasted years trying to be a real artist. when a real artist i have been all along.
i sit here typing, sobbing uncontrollably. sipping my vodka. wishing for a cigarette. and a lover to share this energy with.
i knew seldom of her existance, if only of her name. a living legend emulated by many i have crossed paths with. yet, i never thought to pay attention.
i sit here sobbing. mourning the years i spent not knowing of her words. her sound. her life.
it took my impulsive spender of a person to purchase a book because of the photograph and the photographer it spoke of. to purchase a book because i could speak of owning a signed copy of a legends memoir.
by page nine, i knew my life was to change once i would have read the last words.
and it has.
I sit here sobbing the years i thought i could never catch up to become more than just the artist who spoke of her work yet hid it in her basement. in boxes of ilford fiber based paper. in a room full of humidity.
i am filled with hope. i am filled with hope of becoming more than this.
i have not lived la vie bohème as only they could in 1969’s new york city. i have not nearly admired as many greats as only they could.
but i have work to speak of. and work to show. i have work inspired by what i see. what i live. what i hear. and what i have lost.
i have work to produce. i have a voice i need to let loose. inspired by the pages i have read these past five days.
i am filled with hope knowing that it is never too late. you can never start too late.
i am filled with hope knowing that the tingle i felt as i entered CGGB on it’s final year meant something.
i was to figure it out five years later. reading the words of one who set foot on the very stage that moved my bones uncontrollably, that chilly afternoon in the bowery.
to Patti Smith and Robert Mapplethorpe.
january 8 2011