I get scared.
Somehow that I am failing. That I am not much in the eyes of anyone who matters…and that is the failing. To hold myself up to another’s judgement, if even only in my own mind.
That is the failing.
Life is to be lived.by the individual. In my case…by David Rogerson. There has been a state of frozen stasis…I am awaiting an electrical charge that will enliven all of my thoughts, concepts and ideas into concrete, beautiful actions. And I die. As each of us die…each breath, drawing closer to our end. I feel the thousand cuts…daily. Right now, it’s a transition of my heart, of my life, work, and responsibility…mainly a financial one. Just learning to manage, and seeing that my feeling of being completely alone with my responsibilities is in fact the true situation. It’s so plain. I have felt it…knew it…and now, I am living it. One nice fuck-up, and I am done.
I have always been Jell-O over a truly beautiful, chiseled redhead. She’s been in my mind, heart, and soul since I was born….
There have been a few of these redheaded gifts of God that piqued my very being….I couldn’t have any of them. They were beyond me, out of my reach…leaving a burning.
Barry McGee has always been someone who was generous and sweet to me….he’s the man in the center of this photo. We met over painting a mutual friend’s VW bug. Barry with his spray can, and a shitpile of talent, and me with some random crap supplies…struggling. Just doodling away on her fender. I wound up doing a portrait of the woman with the VW later for a SF bike shop, the “Planetary Gear” that’s now a legend.
Twenty years will make what was special, personal, and kind…legendary. The mind burnishes the best…and forgets the rest.
The woman to the right in the picture above is now a legend…in death. She burned a hole in me….her name will always be Margaret Kilgallen. I had a lot of love for Barry, her husband, lover, and father of Margaret’s daughter…though I am sure I would barely rate a blip on his memory bank. I don’t yearn for much…especially another’s lady…but, I had met her independently, before they were married. We had a glowing afternoon on Potrero Hill in SF…grins that hurt. She gave me her number…it spelled “Oh-Putoh”.
It was THEIR number. Her and Barry. Their number.
I was a kid…I didn’t know they were together. I was smashed.
Every success, every trip, every art exhibit, every great bit of news…I was so proud. She was an angel. She awakened, like I have been hoping to do all these years, and actualized her gift…leaving something worth remembering. It made me respect Barry even more…more for being the one who she came home to, the one who made her happy. The one who made her a mother….and ultimately…the one who suffered her loss.
Sometimes I get scared.
In San Francisco there is a retrospective exhibit of Margaret’s work that Barry has put together.
It is too much for my heart to see…
“what are you doing withering away
yes i’ve heard you’ve lost the will to play
whatever happened to those fluid movements
you were so proud of in the intimate moments
what about the girl you left at the altar
now now now she is planning your funeral
didn’t you learn anything at the protest rally
when you and yours were flooding the capital
what about your days of glory
when your life was anything but boring
now you’re making these morbid phone calls
and your friends they gather to cuss and console
what were you doing in that awful decade
after the news broke and those murderous policies were made
what were you doing running around
when i was here for you well away from that crowd”
“Withering” by Vic Chestnutt