Wednesday, July 02, 2008

People's Parties

Joni Mitchell visited me in my dreams in the early hours of the morning. My ALS had advanced so I couldn’t communicate but for some reason I could communicate with her. She held my hand and made eye contact and was very warm and maternal.

Interestingly enough, I did meet Joni once, backstage at one of her concerts. Lisa, Czar of Fun had set it up. I had been looking forward to it for weeks then the night before the show I broke my foot and it was too swollen to put in a cast so I was hopping around with an unset, swollen, broken foot. The hospital had armed me with pain killers and either Lisa or Mike had procured a wheelchair. They stacked large bags of ice on me and I wore a winter parka because the ice was so cold and pain makes me cold too. The meeting with Joni was short and perfunctory as you might expect given she was doing a show. Roseanna Arquette’s toddler ran around breathing in the second hand smoke and I felt vaguely nauseous. Thanks to the vicodin I slept through my hero’s set.

But back to the dream. Joni wanted to know how I could bear being so lonely and I said I’m alone not lonely and aren’t you alone a lot otherwise how could you write what you do? Still, she said, it has to be hard and I said I’ve always spent a lot of time alone even when I was young and she said how did you stand it and I said I had you. You saved me.

Then I woke up and remembered how I would listen to Joni sing People’s Parties like she was whispering in my ear.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

People's Parties
by Joni Mitchell

All the people at this party
They've got a lot of style
They've got stamps of many countries
They've got passport smiles
Some are friendly
Some are cutting
Some are watching it from the wings
Some are standing in the centre
Giving to get something

Photo beauty gets attention
Then her eye paint's running down
She's got a rose in her teeth
And a lampshade crown
One minute she's so happy
Then she's crying on someone's knee
Saying laughing and crying
You know it's the same release

I told you when I met you
I was crazy
Cry for us all beauty
Cry for Eddie in the corner
Thinking he's nobody
And Jack behind his joker
And stone-cold Grace behind her fan
And me in my frightened silence
Thinking I don't understand

I feel like I'm sleeping
Can you wake me
You seem to have a broader sensibility
I'm just living on nerves and feelings
With a weak and a lazy mind
And coming to peoples parties
Fumbling deaf dumb and blind

I wish I had more sense of humor
Keeping the sadness at bay
Throwing the lightness on these things
Laughing it all away
Laughing it all away
Laughing it all away