I am reminded of a long-ago quote from Billy Bragg, when asked about comparisons between him and Bob Dylan and James Taylor. He said, "When I'm out there, I think I'm The Clash."
Similarly, as I go into the world to promote Gimme Shelter, I don't picture myself as the next Elizabeth Gilbert. No, I'm channeling Mötley Crüe. I'm a whirlwind of decadence and parties and bold wardrobe choices, wondering where my groupies and roadies are. And I'm comin' off this long and winding road.
Paaaartay, New York Review of Books!
But I don't think Nikki Sixx ever wrote a power ballad about cleaning up vomit at four in the morning.
On Tuesday, my elder daughter Lucy began to droop. She climbed into bed after school; she refused a bite of dinner. By the middle of the night, she was barfing with such explosive enthusiasm she burst a blood vessel in her nose, spraying scarlet hither and yon.
Oh, it was quite the colorful array of body fluids around here.
My younger daughter, alarmed by the viscera, subsequently burst into tears and refused to go to bed. Girls, girls, girls!
So yesterday involved trying to cajole a reluctant nine year old into swallowing Tylenol, rescheduling two phone meetings, and half assedly prepping to be interviewed about Gimme Shelter for Long Island talk show "Davidson & Company."
Ten minutes before the car arrived, I smoothed down my
hair, spackled on a selection of Wet n' Wild cosmetics, and changed into my go-to serious talking head ensemble: light blue button down shirt and brown skirt (Target), brown boots (Payless) and demure silver hoop earrings (Rite-Aid). I tossed a copy of my book in the back seat, and attempted to skim my talking points as we rolled over the Whitestone Bridge.
Floral Park is a village that bears the official motto "A Great Place to Live." Just a few train stops from the bustle of midtown, it has pretty houses, good schools, and a quaint town square. It's small enough that the local television studios share space with the mayor's office.
I arrived at the studio early enough to unwind in the green room/board of zoning appeals while the show's first guest did his taping.
I said, 'Synergy!'
Providentially, the host, Larry Davidson, had left his
notes on the desk. Readers, I totally cribbed a peek at them.
Imagine what a different world we might be living in today if Sarah Palin had been granted a similar opportunity.
For a few moments, I fancied myself Missy Totally Together Writer Gal, ready to bomb the bass, dropping knowledge on the local cable TV. And then I went to the bathroom and discovered that my blouse had a bra-revealing gap, and that I was sweating like a one-woman Adrian Lyne film festival.
The only semblance of the rock star lifestyle in my world: smeared mascara.
I wiped my face. I reapplied antiperspirant. (The technical term for this is "closing the barn door after the horses have left.") I went into the studio.
Larry Davidson was warm and articulate and, thank God, well prepared. He kept me on my toes, but he kept me at ease too. I would like to believe that although I'm generally a social disaster and had, on that day, been running on
about two fitful hours of sleep, I didn't tank.
In the car back to the city, I called home. Lucy greeted me with "Yo MB! Wassup?" Safe to say, she's feeling better.
The heady combination of exhaustion and punditing sure do work up a lady's appetite, so I headed to dinner with my friend Denise Roy. Denise was my editor on Gimme Shelter, and if there are any coherent words or ideas in it, you can thank her. Thank you, Denise.
Sated with red meat, Basque tart, and excellent conversation, I staggered home in a zombie like state of brain dead semi catatonia, arriving at last, gratefully, to pass out cold in my own drool at 10:30. ROCK AND ROLL!
During the "Davidson & Company" taping, Larry asked me how this author of a book about home feels when she walks through her door at night. I told him the truth ? that I usually think, oh jeez, look at the
dishes in the sink and the toys all over the floor and the dust bunnies in the corner.
And that I am always so happy and grateful to be there. Because that's where my kids are. That's where my heart is.
Home sweet home.