the middlesteins-jami attenberg

“there was nothing wrong with him, except for his family.” (151)

“you’re judging him only on his live performance?”

well, yes-but i suppose this incredulity makes sense from someone who also got offended when i stated my opinion that the innernet isn’t real. or, at least, it’s not realer than real life. music is mostly nostalgia as it is, but what about the cycle of artists as we grow up? i mean, i remember the first time i saw me’shell when i was thirteen-that shit blew my mind. her second album came when i was in my first year of university, and it’s still one of my favorites. her voice, her bass, and her face have always made me stop and listen and i’d be lying if i didn’t just shiver and cry many a time. however, the moment i was able to see her live (my age, location, financial situation) corresponded with a moment in her musical history that was highly experimental and far from what i was remembering/hoping. recently, her appearance on black radio (back to back with the stokely track, no less) and her weather album (thanks, library) have really just brought me simultaneously right back to where i was twenty years ago and the immediate present.

“you’re listening to me’shell through a breakup? what’s next on your playlist, sade? don’t make me come confiscate…”

that from a woman who was sitting at my kitchen table in montrill writing a letter asking sade to be her mommy. but yes, this was true then and yesterday morning.

“Because relationships were the worst. So many obligations, so many compromises. So many arguments. Someone always got destroyed in the end. Sometimes, everyone got destroyed in the end.” (115-6)

this book (thanks, NPR) was the perfect compliment to the situation of being ecstatic to see simah after a decade and grieving a situation that i’m not sure is over (or if that’s a good thing). i like the connection to food-the greek parable approach to consumption and appetites.

“She would always think of cigarettes when she sat to eat. A lifetime of hating and loving a smell.” (26)

if only-i hate that my clothes smell like smoke, that i can’t sleep, that my zero-tolerance of post-midnight texts is not respected, and that once again-we can’t just say what we mean and mean what we say.

“After a while she will stop being sad that he’s gone because she’ll realize she doesn’t miss him, and then she will be sad because she’s spent so long with someone she doesn’t even miss, and then after that she’ll be more sad because she realizes that she does miss him, or at least having someone around, even if they didn’t speak to each other that much.” (167)

and what a nightmare that is-being so terrified of being alone that you’ll settle for just anyone and any situation. but every flight risk’s arms eventually get tired, right?

“Because once you really know how the world works, you can’t unknow it.” (179)

“ ain’t never gonna change, but you can always change in front of me…”

maybe not.


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