What Kind of Fool Am I
I’m not yet old enough to see everyone as the ghost of someone else, but I’m old enough to do the math. In 1962, Anthony Newley wrote and starred in the hit musical, Stop the World—I Want to Get Off. Mom played the soundtrack so loud and so often, a neighbor left an anonymous note saying, Stop the Record—Please Turn It Off. Years later, when I heard Bowie’s tremolo, I thought it had to be Newley. Turns out, everyone copied him; most are dead now. Mom taught me, by example, the Murphy bed approach to housekeeping, i.e, the appearance of order. Deep cleaning was saved for another day, like our own feelings, which were best bought, eaten, drunk, smacked, fucked or played on the turntable loud enough to drown out the crying. My house is clean and orderly both. I have learned to use like against like for marks and stains—protein for protein, oil for oil, unguent for unguent. It is wrong to think that we are unlike others. As a little girl, I could belt the refrain: “Why can’t I fall in love/like any other man?” It is wrong to think that we are not. Newley died playing Vegas. Spotlights looked smokier then, bleaching what was lit in them, like our security lights in rain, under which, when tripped, one is unable to identify who you are, or what, while all you see, at the edge of your world, is dark.