Impulse diversion. That's my tactic. If I can wait it out maybe I can avoid indiscretion. That's pretty much all that keeps me in pants.
Life is happy, then it's sad, then it's over. My advice is to develop a thick skin and a good sense of humor. Do as I say, of course, not as I do. The idea of thick skin is just creepy. I know enough about hurt feelings to write a book.
My routine is to get up early to check our culture's new low. I sense a shift in the pendulum's swing. The evening news is full of nazis, lunatics and pussy grabbers. We've got an orange villain dealing with commies and his buddy, a talking turtle. Now, though, finally I think I hear the cavalry.
When you're fourteen years old and the King of Rock'n'Roll leisurely hangs around with you things change. Of course things are changing for a fourteen year old, anyway. My first conscious re-invention kicked off then and I've been working to find out just who I am ever since.
Some folks need a mirror just to be sure they're there.
We put together an image for the others. We need the validation, if not the approval, of other people to be sure that we exist.
My mother was named after Maxine Elliott, the great stage actress. She married my father, W.S. Elliott, making her, that's right- Maxine Elliott. Talk about your re-invention!
Is that why she married him? I wasn't there. I've married for dumber reasons.
Kind folks have attempted to help make me a finished project for years. I can remember three bandmates borrowing a Nehru jacket for me at a photo shoot in Manhattan. They were less worried about my image than theirs, looking back.
Aunt Jo is one hundred and one now. She's been reminding me to "hold my shoulders back" since I was five or six. I wish I had listened to that advice.
I only spoke to W.S. once in my lifetime. That phone conversation happened about fifteen or twenty years ago. He told me to be a good boy. I'm trying.
It occurs to me that if, in fact, we're all made of stardust, then we're all "aliens." Recent visits from friends who have gone on have convinced me of the existence of ghosts. They're real. They are created in my mind. Like reality. Like love.
Life on earth, the "real" one, is just a big reality show. No wonder whatsisname is president.
Take your reality down a peaceful path. Give us peace on earth and end this dreadful, dreadful war. Try rock'n'roll.
You gonna listen to an alien who believes in ghosts?
Somehow I've always worried that maybe all would be revealed right at the end. The very end. It's just occurring to me what a snob I am.
Jack Purcells, artichoke hearts, Chartreuse, blah, blah...
None of it's cool. You've never heard me say cool. You never will. Gigs. I don't play gigs. Of course I don't play much of anything these days but that's another story.
Levis. Why would a man ever wear another brand of jeans? It's just wrong. The quality goes up and down. I suppose that's another cost of living a long time. They're seldom fashionable and haven't been for years. I can relate.
Hampered by a lack of conviction, I scarcely notice the slow turn of seasons. I hope they make a movie of my life and I hope Walter Brennan plays me. Well, at least the last parts. I know, I know- he's dead. Well, they're not gonna make any movie about my life.
I'm not about to waste my precious time on a screenplay but here's the outline for the life, itself:
Marriage (ad nauseam)
There won't be all that much sex and even less violence. Good teasers for the coming attractions reel, though:
Shook the hand of the King of the Cowboys
Dined with Big Daddy
Worked for the Russian Mafia
Shook the hand of the King of Rock'n'Roll
I've gotta tell you the truth. The previews are better than the movie.
Babies and puppies and kittens- we all love them. Maybe it's the big eyes and helplessness. Those are two of the big design elements.
If you squint just right you can see the child in anyone. The cataracts may make it harder to see the twinkle but it's there.
Sometimes I'm frustrated that we all tend to identify as black or white; old or young; Democrat or Republican; even male or female. As I watch, heartbroken, the crisis in Myanmar, I find myself wondering, "Why don't these poor people just decide that they're not Muslim?"
Oh, I'm not pulling for the murderous Buddhists who are killing them. I'm not for any of these "teams."
I'm naive, not stupid. I know that genetics is the answer to my simplistic question. Seems funny to me that pretty much every religion teaches that we come from a single descendant or pair of descendants. There's only one team.
Okay, there you are. That's my core belief. Today.