a portait of the artist still in fucking bed

new york. the sound of the traffic travels up here to this little room.

i leave the windows wide open overnight, so outside can come as in as it can come.

i wake up with a head full of amanda-voices and for once i manage to stay half asleep and half awake and let them simmer while i watch. i have my mind and my ideas and my whole self back after a month or so of almost total absence. the summer of horror can now be nicely and neatly packaged up into a story with a beginning and an end and finally my stuffed-lately brain is freed up to eat what it most enjoys: this next record, which i’ve spent all day fucking talking about in theory with people in offices but not the music the music the music, that part never gets disucssed, it’s for my head, for the recording studio later, for the shows, for later, later, later but my head wants it now, now, now. my new songs are swimming in my ears and i let them sing to me, half-finished; i listen to my own lyrics and tweak them, i imagine the start of the record and play with the song order even though nothing’s recorded. and i bask in the self-glow of anticipation. i had a theory when i was 15 that anticipation was the highest human emotion. and always better than the thing anticipated. i thought maybe i’d figured out something that adults hadn’t discovered and that my enlightened philosophy might actually be of use to the world. i would spread this theory : “but isn’t it actually more enjoyable the second BEFORE you bite in the cookie” i would demand of my poor tablemates during lunch time. “isn’t it the LOOKING FORWARD to the dance because when you actually get there it’s always a disappointment but up until that moment all you can do is think about what MIGHT happen and isn’t that BETTER? ISN’T IT ISN’T, ISN’T, ISN’T IT????”

little zen amanda.

then i read “the ode on a grecian urn” and realized somebody beat me to my theory by a hundred years or so. kinda.

there: on my mind’s movie screen is my blurry vision of the album artwork, i draw blurry sound pictures in my head, i coordinate blurry photo shoots in my head, i go blurry costume shopping for vintage junk jewelry and blurry military jackets for the band (they don’t look blurry), i route our european festival tour wondering if we’ll be able to do our entire show in daylight or if we’ll have to cut the projections, i hear the shimmering layers of overdubs blasting into bridges that i need to write, i picture everything as a complete work of art, from the sounds of the brass to the arrival of the bizarre little 7” in some teenager’s mailbox in canberra australia. and the YAAAAAAA.

i try to remember what it was like to wait for something in the mail.

didn’t arcade fire write a song about this, recently?

i can’t remember the last time i was actually happy to see a brown box land on my doorstep. but it used to be one oft he happiest moments in my life. especially before opening.

sometimes i would wait on purpose, a self-imposed christmas.

god, i can’t wait to start making this record.

bed alone in the morning first thing is the perfect place for this kind of fantasizing. it is best for thinking if it’s warm and gray out with a cool breeze rushing occasionally in, with the sounds of seagulls, the diffused light filling up the room like an indoor cloud.

man cannot live in bed alone.

ba doom ching.

but i close my eyes and roll around under the comforter like a happy little sausage, and let the dulcet sounds of moving trucks over a wet city soundtrack my happiness.

when i was a little girl, we used to go visit my father and elaine in new york city. we’d stay the weekend. my sister and i would sleep in the den, on beds at right angles, and the windows would be open even in winter, letting up the sounds of the street. it was like a lullaby to me. at home in lexington, in my big lonesome bedroom in the suburbs, i would stay awake, tossing and turning and listening to the silence, wondering what was going to appear from my closet and eat me. the old shutter-style closet door wouldn’t stay shut so i had a complicated arrangement of rubber bands to keep it absolutely closed at night, lest it swing open and the monsters come and eat me. the nightlight had to be on. the door to the hallway had to remain open. i demanded a cat at all times. and if the cat left the bed i’d sink into terror. awake for hours. in new york, the street cacophony and the room filled with hard and soft ever-moving city lights put me out like an ambien and a bottle of wine. the comfort of knowing that life was continuing; that i was surrounded by humans, that business went on a few stories down from my little head. there were no monsters to fear, there were people everywhere, and the monsters – for me at least, i’m sure there were other children with other issues – could not be where the people were….it just didn’t work that way.

but every minute awake from the time of realization is one more minute away from the magic-brain…the door starts shutting the moment i open my eyes. the reality of the day and of the moment starts flooding in. i stop thinking about the conceptual beauty of my next record album, and start getting distracted by the to-do list. i remember how much i like food. and coffee. i try to find a good spot for the pillow between my legs to keep my hips apart so they don’t get sore if i fall back asleep. i remember who i am. i remember last night.

soon, it’s gone.

soon, i’m wondering if i should actually write that blog i’ve been meaning to, for years, about how much i fucking love waking up and not getting out of bed and just trying to lie there, to bottle the magic-brain of half-waking like a potion, to dwell in that almost holy liminal space on my mental tiptoes, desperately not wanting not wake my rational self, she who Does. the sirens, the horns, the trucks on the wet city, they help block out the reality, they don’t suck me back in. they make music i love.

here, i’m awake, almost, i blog.

i could have just gone to get coffee and started the fucking day.

congratulations, me.

and how are you this morning?

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