Monday, July 15, 2013 marks the 15th anniversary of the death of JJ La Rue, my boon companion and helpmeet, my wife of 18 years. I dream of her often. I miss her sorely. I wish I could tell her about so many things. I would buy her a smart phone. I imagine teaching her how to use the internet.
She went everywhere with me in the first part of this temporary musical European exile that became so permanent. She was the only person who knew how to pack my gear. She lit my stage show for 15 years. She was a hell of a cook. She could make dinner out of the nothing which we often had. I remember her canned mackerel wonton from the days we could afford only flour and the 20 franc cans of fish.
She was an excellent cartoonist. It is tragic that we were able to keep almost none of her work in our often frantic and disordered flight around the world.
We loved each other. Sometimes I would look across the room where we would disappear into our television during the hungry Brussels years and I would find it difficult to distinguish between us.
She became ill from Primary Pulmonary Hypertension, a one in a million condition that almost no one knew how to treat and which demolished her fragile constitution like a runaway freight train at the end. Before I knew it, she was gone. Poof. Vanished from the face of that particular iteration of all things. Before my very eyes. I watched the heart monitor become a flat line. Beeeeep. It was 19:45 hours, July 15, 1998. I went out and poured dirt over my head. I wailed.
Now, time has healed all things, or at least it has dispensed new sorrows, further joys. I knew it would. When I dream of her, she is living still in Brussels, alive all this time. She has been hiding from us, hidden from our gaze and that of the landlord who has forgotten she is there. I tell her I am with someone else. She understands. And then I awake.
Oh, we all miss you JJ. Perhaps we will meet again, afterwards. We can compare notes and have a laugh. We always had a good laugh together, you and I.
visit the JJ La Rue Memorial Page at mundoblaineo and leave a message in the guestbook.
Last night, I dreamt that my son Ian had taken the form of an eagle. Me and the eagle and Ian (who was also present in human form) were sitting in a car next to a school. The eagle was sitting in the front seat, next to the empty driver’s seat. The eagle was always on the verge of going feral on us, attacking and tearing us to pieces. I had to keep looking him in the eye and being as cool as possible. At one point a little girl from the school came and looked in the car window and was making kissy noises at the eagle. I was trying to get her to be quiet. Suddenly, the car door was opened and the eagle flew out. “Now look what you’ve done!” I said. I had to coax the eagle back into the car while it was soaring around over the school. Finally, the eagle landed and transformed into human form. First it became Ian who transformed in turn into an old Shaman in buckskins, a comic figure out of Mel Brooks. He staggered around for a bit, feigning disorientation, saying “Oy, I gotta stop becoming an eagle all the time. It’s exhausting!” And then he was off up the street.
What does this mean? What does this signify? Who knows. It is certainly charged with Native American spiritual juju. Must be some kind of powerful message. Or not.
Very interesting. This guy is selling a pamphlet I made in 1977 to promote our newborn enterprise. I set the type with letraset and laid it out laboriously by hand in my Polk Street apartment. I paid for the printing with money from our first Mabuhay gig. Most of them ended up in a box in that same apartment. Now the guy will sell it for 300 euros. Oh, life will you ever stop amazing us with your ironic juxtapositions?
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