Dangerous Compassions

Life on Mars? modern life, talk-power, undoer of knots

My brother sang the first few lines of “Oh You Pretty Things” the other morning, an early song on David Bowie’s album Hunky Dory, and I realized he and I had been listening to the same music independently. 

I told my mom about it today.   How “Life on Mars” was my favorite song for more than ten years. She wanted to hear “Life On Mars” and played it for us on her phone.

“I don’t like David Bowie,” she told me. 

Gatito was on her lap.  I thought about my dad, who liked David Bowie, including the Ziggy Stardust stuff.  He gave me some of that music when I was young.  “Starman” is a song I associate with my dad really strongly.  I liked to listen to it when he first died.

Mom listened to the whole song “Life on Mars” with me.  Afterward she said, “That’s not good music.”

I asked, “What do you not like about it?”

She said, “I don’t like anything about it.”

I told her what I like about it: the lyrics, the piano, the strings, the cinematic-ness, how he’s talking about the movies and then the music is like movies music.  I like the intense emotion.  I like the story of it, with the unhappy parents.  I like the ideas about thinking a movie is real, or kind of real, and escapism, boredom, being a kid.

It seems old timey, like movies are different now.  But still a lot of violence.  And then the Mars thing is a great question, inserted in there–some longing for extraterestiality.  That this world is screwed and wanting another chance.  But it’s just a question, for us–no answers. 

And it kind of points to the Ziggy Stardust stuff, maybe.  Space is the place.

“I like everything about it,” I told her.  You know how sometimes a special song or album can help keep you alive.  That album was a liferaft for me, long ago. 

I told her how it has “Changes” at the beginning, and when I listened to it on cd, I would skip the first song.  I didn’t think it fit with the rest of the album, didn’t like it, found it obnoxious.  I think it’s ok now.

Yesterday I had my first experience swiffereding.  I felt I’d stepped into modern life.  Ming helped me learn how to get the pad thing attached to the bottom part of the stick thing.  The whole time I was asking myself / the swiffer / the universe, “Is this easier?  Is this easy?  Is this working?  Is this a better way?” 

Thinking about waste, adverts, how a product becomes this common, old school mops, those thick white cotton strings, wetly dragged on a floor.  Different mop designs like the ones you can wring out more easily.  Mop buckets.  Janitor mop buckets on wheels with the mophead-squeezing contraption.

My energy was so low.  I’d been lying on the couch with my feet up, barely able to do anything.  I would swiffer with my left arm then switch to my right.  Ming helped me at times.  Mom thanked me afterward, and I felt bad I’d done a poor job.  But it was better than nothing.

I can sweep, but as for mopping, I usually spot mop with a damp paper towel and my foot.  Housekeeping is not my forte or the thing anyone loves me for.  Yesterday Mom was telling me how people do different things to get out their anger or stress including cleaning. 

I told her how I’ve never stress cleaned in my life.  The only things that help me are crying, talking to Ming about it, maybe going for a walk?  I used to.  Hugs, giving myself some time, waiting it out.

I used to think talking about things can help with anything.  Then I swung to the other side, thinking talking about things is mostly a waste of air.  Most things, talking about them is pointless. 

Then the other day, my feelings were a messed up mass inside of me, and I was freaked out and not even sure what about.  Ming asked me questions, and we untangled it all.  After I talked to him, I felt way better.  So I guess I believe in talk-power again.

Or maybe I just believe in Ming, undoer of knots.  Thank you, Ming.

By Laura-Marie

Good at listening to the noise until it makes sense.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *