I am 36 years old, well past the years that one typically dedicates to wrecked and reckless abandon, wanton acts of surliness, and the lure of rock and roll.
And yet Saturday afternoon had me tramping around Marseilles's seamiest arrondissement all by my lonesome in order to be the first in the queue to see Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. (I was first, actually, but then I got spooked by a grabby Frenchman and left the venue for a more populated area of town. When I returned, I was 5th in line).
And yesterday I TGVed to Paris where in just 24 hours, I will traipse down to another venue and install myself in front of it for a few hours so that when they open the doors I can be exactly where I want to be, and that's right up front, baby.
The Paris show is also a Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds show.
Wednesday, I go to Brussels. Then Dublin. Then Glasgow. I didn't manage to get tickets to the Birmingham show (they sold out fast), but I got tickets to both London shows in a week and a half and, later this month, to a show in Berlin.
I feel very strongly about Nick Cave, and seeing him and his fellas perform live is one of my greatest joys. I'll speak to this more explicitly later.
In any case, for my guest blogging stint this week, I invite you to accompany me on my adventures.
(I haven't had any yet today, but this is Paris, so adventure is just a metro stop away...)
Yesterday was disappointingly adventureless as well. The train ride was nondescript, my dinner was a sandwich purchased from a vendor. I sat a couple hours in a cafe not far from the Church of the Madelaine and drank coffees and watched French men. Twenty years ago in a small town in Texas, I longed to live the life that I thought belonged only to poets. What I imagined that life to be more or less resembled the evening I enjoyed last night. The ease of self and soul that is only accomplished by getting lost in the tumbling Paris crowds, the delight of french sentences lolling across my tongue, lingering on my lips, lifting in the air before me, taking the shape of a desire more precise than there are words for. The piss-stained alleyway walls, the fumes of bus exhaust. My God I love Paris. I raised my tasse de cafe to that. In honor of the sixteen-year-old me and the cliches she clung so maniacally to. I had to. Without those tropes, I'd never have become a poet. (I'm unapologetically convinced that it's the Lure of the Grand Ideal--insert whichever Grand Ideal you please-- enwombed deeply and at a very young age, that made all of us poets.)
Let us all raise our glasses, mugs, teacups, juice boxes and sport drink bottles to the Grand Ideal!
More very soon.
jill alexander essbaum