We had the dream when we were young. We believed that there might be something in our future. There really would be. It wasn’t just this lonely room, this place of now, more than a lifelong drift toward an abyss, the same from which we had emerged. We moved and did, sat and listened, and then hunched, thin, dreams not what they had been, instead looking into a screen, our hope now in that, the expectation, then knowing how we made our-self something we had dreaded, a dream made memory. But there is no such thing as regret. Or just a bit.
This just might be the best place in the world. People pass by, here and not here, beggars and suits and children and lost sad women and college kids and military personnel, moving like they matter, all at different paces, the wonder of the world beaten down by life but still moving, unseeing, unsure, lost in their own world, but still like they might know where they are going. There are so many that they don’t have to talk. Stupid things are said like “Life is life and it’s funny” and nobody is listening. Anything can be bought – orange ski gloves, faux Thai food, booze of all kinds. It is cool, not cold, not warm. It is so loud that it is almost quiet. There is an echo that never stops.I could stand here for hours. And nobody would care.
I visited a gallery in Chelsea two years ago and saw a collection of costumes designed by Nick Cave. I had no idea that Nick Cave was such a Renaissance Man until that moment. I only knew that he was a singer, something I initially learned from his performance in the 1987 film, Wings of Desire. I listened sporadically to his music over the years after that and saw him on Thursday night at the Beacon Theater where he was most animated, cavorting across the stage, and yelling out the words. I was also impressed at his humility. Not once did he mention his other show, Heard, a new art installation on display at Grand Central Station throughout the week. I attended the event the next day and delighted – yes, delighted – as the performers paraded and danced to the drum and harp. (Click the video to see.)It really was amazing how different this work was from his music on stage. And then I did a little research and found out that there are in fact two Nick Caves. I then recalled the saying that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. Indeed what if I had mixed up Nick Cave with Nick Drake or Nick Cage? What kinds of assumptions would have I made then?
I’ve made it. The doors open wide, begging, clean against the wall, red coat, and just like that, everything done, everything as it should, turning and my hand cool. She knows me. And that’s it, why for her, she forever, our silent descent, breathing, the glass reflecting us together, backward as forward, not words, but what they might, meaning nothing, tucked into our heads upside down, she out the hall, mine, everything mine, not that, but in me, here, me young, friendly, not wanting to stop, never. My eyes are inside my head. I’m going as I should, thinking as I do anything, on this sidewalk, fading, a door closing, in a room, music, and out.* (Click on the photo and links for video clips.) *Excerpt from Buzz (1999)