Once when I was very drunk, I slept in the back seat of my car on the way home and according to my friends, crawled into the filthy floorboard and said, I love this spot! It's so comfortable. I don't know why I never thought about sleeping here before. Mercifully, I am spared the actual memory of this as I passed out shortly after making this wise pronouncement. Generous to a fault, I thrust my bottle of Southern Comfort on my sober friends in the front seat and made myself at home. I drank it then because Janis Joplin did and in my nineteen year old glory, I thought this was the best reason to drink anything. Janis, that beautiful Three Mile Island of love and misery, a Texas girl desperate to get away from it -- hell, what was there not to love? Every note meant something, every wail was my own. While other girls were falling in love with horses and haunted men, I was trying to commune with the dead and take their secrets for my own. Of course, I had my own secrets, but what good were those doing me?
I've never been comfortable with the pristine and beautiful and would choose the battered and worn over the new almost every time. The natural world, with its perpetual cycles of death and renewal, had ceased to be interesting to me. I liked things that died and rotted and the rot became something living, something to be tended to, like a garden, a garden in hell. Dying things stay with you a long time, get into your blood, make you love them. They demand an attention that something beautiful doesn't need. When I play footage of Janis for people these days, someone always says, She looks so old. I don't think so, never have. She's in what would be the prime and end years of her life, and she looks like someone who drank a lot of Southern Comfort and did copious amounts of heroin. She looks like she should look. The time in the car was the last time I ever drank any Comfort; the drink, too sweet for my taste, sounds better than it is.
Michelle's Spell of the Day"Audiences like their blues singers to be miserable." Janis Joplin
Drinking movie suggestion: Little Children
Benedictions and Maledictions
Good luck to my beloved Pistons tonight!