You KNOW this totally made my week!
First, in a slightly better mood than the last blog. It was just one of those days.
Second, before moving on to anything else I’d like to state how sad I am about Jim Carroll’s passing. I only knew him as an acquaintance, but he was close to someone in my extended family, and in my experience he was a very sweet, gentle person. His writing blew me away as a teenager trapped in Catholicism, and was one of the influences that brought me to New York. Upon meeting him I was not disappointed; he was a true poet, a deeply sensitive soul, and his words resonated far beyond the page. Our world is dimmer for his loss.
So I have been thinking a lot about the defenses we build up, and how what serves us in some ways hinders us in others. And in my own case, how difficult it is to get clear on what is real and what is past damage clouding my vision. At times it feels like madness, which in a way, I suppose it is.
No one is born angry or defensive. We get hurt in whatever endlessly varied ways there are to get hurt, and we start rigging pulleys and levers and straps to prop ourselves up in whatever ways feel necessary to get through the day. Over time layers are built up, and left unchecked we can become wrapped in probably necessary but very heavy layers of crap that restrict true movement.
Recently my inner circle of friends were discussing the drug addiction of someone we love. I had only weeks before that spoken to this person about their childhood, which was absolutely horrific, on a Bastard Out of Carolina level of sorrow, betrayal, and abuse. Just hearing a quick summation of it brought me to tears. So in our discussion I proposed that in order for this person to stop doing drugs, they would have to find other ways to deal with and cleanse from what must be a crippling pain, and to me that looked far more daunting than carrying a simple drug habit. Which is not to say that I’m advocating addiction, but trying to say that nothing happens in a vacuum and sometimes it isn’t as simple as we’d like it to be. Sometimes the fucked up things we do keep us alive.
I have stated before that it’s my own personal belief that the most offensive people are operating from a defensive position, even if we can’t always see what they’re defending. I know that to be completely true in my case. At my worst, at my most difficult, at my most offensive states, I have been attempting to protect myself. And sometimes those ways have been hurtful to others, and most definitely hurtful to myself. But we work with what we have.
So now I find myself in a position in life where many of my defensive layers just aren’t making sense any more. Despite all and numerous attempts to prove otherwise, the person that I share my life with remains consistently trustworthy and solid. I find that rather than being the victim I once created my own personal armors to defend, I have instead become the asshole in the equation, tilting at my own windmills or behaving in unnecessarily fucked up ways simply out of habit.
It feels incredibly uncomfortable to simply be quiet and trust that things are indeed what they seem, especially when one is so used to the sky falling, the rug being pulled out, the words being a lie. And I am not just speaking for myself, I’m speaking for many people I know, and I suppose especially for the women I know. How does a person soften, when it took years to harden into a much-needed protective shell? Exhibit A:
me: So years ago I lived at the Jane West hotel
Exhibit B: Recently I’m standing at a show surrounded by people. A girl next to me points to the husband of a friend of mine and says “I hate that guy. He’s married and he hits on every girl he can. He’s so gross.” My stomach drops and I say, “His wife is beautiful and brilliant.” I feel sick inside because it brings back the memory of so many similar situations in my own life, and I know how hurt my friend will be eventually. A familiar voice inside of me says, “This is what happens when you trust.”
Most of the women I know over the age of 35 are angry, really angry, for mostly legitimate reasons. I know I’ve spoken about this a million times already. But what I haven’t fully worked out in my brain is what comes after that anger, which can fuel us and make us interesting, but in the long run doesn’t serve us in a truly positive way. How does a person, when finally managing to pull themselves out of the line of fire, soften back into the original state of open faith? I am unsure, except that I know it involves a very slow peeling of layers and the patience of the people who love us. It is daunting and scary, but I guess necessary for the shift that we’re all approaching. And in my case, I owe it to my boyfriend.
Sigh…I really hate being nice. Would be so much easier just to develop a drug habit, wouldn’t it?
ME: Hello, Patricia Field.
CALLER: Hello, this is Crazy X from Crazy X’s Hat’s on X Street.
CALLER: I met Patricia some years ago and I want her to put our hats in the new Sex and the City movie.
ME: Well, that’s not so easy. There are thousands of designers trying to get their items in the movie right now.
CALLER: But we live in the neighborhood.
ME: Okay, that’s great…You’re welcome to drop off samples at the store if you’d like, but it’s not a guarantee that she’ll use anything. We get tons of calls about this every day.
CALLER: So she doesn’t support the neighborhood.
ME: I’m not saying that. I’m saying that every designer in the world wants to have their merchandise in the movie and it’s simply not possible to accommodate everyone. Patricia chooses what she needs aesthetically and that’s it.
CALLER: So she only uses international designers, she ignores her neighbors.
ME: That’s not true. Patricia supports many local and unknown designers.
CALLER: Well, she should use our hats. They’re exquisite.
ME (sighing): I’m sure they are. As I said, you’re welcome to drop off samples, there’s just no guarantee that she’ll use them. The movie is already in production.
CALLER: Well I don’t understand why she can’t support a neighbor.
ME: You know, we’re kind of going in circles. If you would like to drop off samples I promise you that Pat will see them. That’s the best I can do. Put a note with them and we’ll give it to her assistant. She comes in every day to pick up the mail.
CALLER: I saw that girl. It’s her daughter, right?
ME: Um…no. It’s her assistant.
CALLER: Okay, what’s the address of the store.
ME: Well, it is in the neighborhood…
Well, it’s been a blogworthy couple of days, featuring both hard rock and high fashion, and a healthy dose of the low-brow as well.
Wednesday was a Motorhead show, which as mentioned in previous blogs, is a major holiday as far as I’m concerned. And lately I have been so sick of fashion and the dark, often misogynist gay politicky underbelly that accompanies it that I really, really, reaaaaallly wanted to immerse myself in a scene where no one gives a flying fuck about what you’re wearing and the aural atmosphere is decidedly un-techno/house-inspired.
And it was delightful: ear-destroyingly loud, some mono-syllabic lout grabbed my ass, the beer was shitty, and everyone could headbang because there were no tiny hats on the sides of heads. Fabulous. Heaven. Perfection.
Afterwards there was the usual hurry up and wait to get backstage. I never think to make the appropriate calls beforehand, and believe it or not lost Lemmy’s phone number years ago, so I always just wait until someone pulls us back there, which they did (thank you Brigitte!). And this year we managed to sidestep some of the crazier elements that often lurk backstage at a MH show, so that was an added bonus. All was copacetic, the Jack Daniels flowed, Vas made up a new hand signal (the Half-a-Horn), Cid gave Lemmy a beautiful ring she made and I’ve got his phone number again.
Matt Sorum was in the room for a few minutes; last year he produced a demo for Drew’s band Bloody Social, but he had absolutely no recollection of me and when I said I was Drew Thomas’ gf. I could see that he had no idea who Drew Thomas was either, even though Drew spent a week practically living in his house. Matt did play competently enough in MH drummer Mikkey Dee’s absence, although I thought Matt lacked a little of the trashy fire that Mikkey has. I personally think Mikkey’s a bit of a douche, but you can’t deny his drumming skills and his hamminess suits the band.
The highlight of the evening was probably when a certifiably psychotic girl from our CSFH past was carried screaming out of the building by security. Every year something happens, she’s either found wandering the crowd sobbing or backstage pitching a cokey fit over some imaginary drama. This time we heard her down the hall screaming, “LEMMY! LEMMY! LEEEMMMMY!!” in vocal tones that should only be employed when one is being stabbed. I still don’t know what prompted the hysteria but I’m guessing that it was that the band have finally had enough and didn’t allow her backstage this particular year. I was afraid to poke my head out into the hall and risk hearing my name called out in such a blood-curdling manner.
I did get to meet a lovely little old man who worked for Hendrix and was the person responsible for getting Lemmy his job as Hendrix’s roadie all those years ago. He left the music biz and went into porn, and I was told that he has held the title “The Porn King” for some time. He’s retired but he did ask me if I had ever been a dominatrix or would like to give it a try. For the nine millionth time in my life, that answer would be a big negative. But he was cute and funny in a pervy British way and he added a nice flavor to the mix.
We got this photo of the ladies with Lem, which prompted Drew to chuckle and say, “Aw…Look at all the whores with Lemmy! That’s nice.”
Then the next day (last night) was Fashion’s Night Out, which for those of you who might be fashionably challenged, is a new marketing ploy meant to boost Fashion Week retail sales. Many high profile stores stayed open late into the night to participate, and of course in true Patricia Field style, we added cases and cases of free booze to the mix just to really fuck things up for ourselves.
Unfortunately I had a major tattoo allergy attack starting halfway through the Motorhead night, so by yesterday morning my entire face was covered in large scaly, bumpy, red patches. It looked as if someone had taken a sander to my face. And I had no choice but to be at the store to help manage the event–come hell or high water, dressed up for a party, meeting celebrities and yanking stolen goods out of drunkards’ purses. I sighed, painstakingly painted on 3 layers of spackle, threw on a satin dress and tried my best not to stand under direct light.
The party was a total zoo, of course, with all kinds of fashion flotsam (Terrorist scarf, check! Tiny hat on the side of the head, check!) mingling with drag queens, transsexuals, super cute girls dressed in their best, and pretty much anyone who owns a camera and a website. My friend John Rizzo was hired for security and he stood next to me whispering, “What about that one, is she a girl? No, really? She’s gorgeous! Okay, that one, is that someone famous? Who’s that one, Lady Bunny?” I filled him in as best I could on gender choices and celebrity status.
My first really special moment came while chasing down a guy who threw a pamphlet at my head, erroneously thinking he was being funny. I was so angry that I ran too fast, and as I got to him my overpriced shoes slipped out from underneath me and I went down on my ass while clutching his lapels. I got up as best I could under the slippery circumstances, sputtering and bitching at him without pause while some lovely girl I’d never met before crouched down and put my shoe back on for me. It was really great. My ravaged skin under fluorescent lighting, my ass wet from the floor, the guy looking at me as if I should be carried out screaming, “LEEMMMY!”
Pat showed up with a CNN camera crew in tow, then Lizzie Grubman and Janice Dickinson rolled in along with some other celebrities that I don’t know by name, and that really upped the boozey mayhem to a fever pitch. It turned into a feeding frenzy and we had to rope off the front door of the store and block the lower level as a VIP room. People told any and all lies trying to get past the ropes, glass cases teetered, at midnight I just threw my hands in the air and poured a large glass of vodka. I gave up trying to stop people from undressing the mannequins, yanking on boas, trying on wigs, throwing pamphlets. One of the designers participating in the trunk show threw up all over the floor, and their entire crew was so drunk they forgot to charge people for the items they were supposed to be selling. Whatever. It’s a PF party, this is how we roll.
Pat was tired, she’s been working long hours on the set of SATC 2, but she put on her game face and met with the public, which in her case is becoming increasingly difficult. I am constantly shocked at how greedy people get around celebrity. Many think they’re being flattering when they’re very obviously just trying to snatch a piece of the pie. Here’s one convo I was in on:
RANDOM GUY: Hi Pat.
RG: I’m so and so and I work with blah-de-blah.
PAT: Uh huh.
RG: We should get together and have lunch. Maybe we can help each other.
PAT (totally bored and blowing smoke over his shoulder): Uh huh.
ME (trying to fill the uncomfortable silence): Pat doesn’t take lunches, she works right through them.
PAT (smiling): Uh huh.
RG (ignoring me): Pat, I met you at blah-de-blah’s party ten years ago, and I thought to myself then, “This is a really cool chick! We could totally hang.”
PAT (to me): I’m a cool chick.
ME: Yes. Yes, you are, ma’am.
I did get a few less ignominious moments, Janice Dickinson gave me a friendly nose-wrinkle/wink, which thrilled me to no end because I love her. I know she’s awful but I can’t help myself. And I struck up a promising new friendship with the The Glamorous Monique, who has surged her face into a weird combo of sleepy surprise, has the most enormous boobs you’ve ever seen and spent a lot of peak party time walking around panty-less with her skirt raised above her waist. Once I got her to lower the curtain and converse for a while she turned out to be entertaining and very sweet. And I learned today that she was also once known as 80’s transsexual porn star Sulka. So next time I see her I’ll be sure to ask about that and will report back to you all.
And then afterwards John and I limped across the street to Bowery Electric to meet Jesse, Drew, Jamie Burke, and Jamie’s girlfriend, Dutch model Mila De Wit. The lighting there is mercifully near-black, the music all rock and roll, and once again no one cared who made my shoes.
I will leave you with this very elegant video of the Glamorous Monique:
First, I have to just send out a giant, whining, lay-on-the-ground-and-kick-my-feet pout to the Universe because I’ve gotten guest list offers for both Tom Petty and Wolfmother tonight, and I am exhausted and have to get up extra early tomorrow morning, so have to turn both down, and it fucking sucks. I am currently experiencing an emotional struggle with working 40 hours a week at something that is entertaining at times but doesn’t fill my soul. I know that it’s a standard work week and that many people would kill for my job, but at the moment it’s crushing my spirit and I can’t help thinking (as most of us do) that I was born for bigger things and deeper contributions. So I’m gonna think about that and blog about it later.
Kristin Davis calls herself the Manhattan Madam. She is not the same Kristen Davis that stars as the prissy Charlotte on SATC, instead this Kristin is one of the people who helped provide Elliot Spitzer with his prostitutes, and she sent this letter to Leslie Crocker Snyder, who is currently running for Manhattan District Attorney. Dave tells me Ms. Davis has yet to receive a response.
I apologize for the small type, I’m not an html whiz and every time I try to change it everything runs together:
You are an accomplished and qualified woman seeking to be elected as the highest law-enforcement officer of New York County. I have attempted to pose an important public policy question to your opponent Cyrus Vance, Jr. without success. Now I wish to pose this same question to you as you seek the votes of wom en across Manhattan.
I supplied high price escorts for Eliot Spitzer during the time he was both Attorney General and Governor. Mr. Spitzer was good for a least one call a week for many years and spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on call girls at both the agency I ran and several others. When this became public I was charged and pled guilty to the promotion of prostitution. I served four months on Rikers Island when I could not post bail which was set at $2 million dollars.
Mr. Spitzer followed the same practice he pursued with Emperor’s Club VIP – sending multiple $5,000 checks to evade the bank’s financial transfer reporting requirements – a clear violation of federal money laundering statutes. He also transported the prostitute known as Ashley Duprè across the New York, New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland state lines in violation of the Mann Act. Former New York State Supreme Court Justice Ronald Tills of Buffalo was recently prosecuted for violating the Mann Act when he imported a prostitute from Hamburg, New York to Kentucky to perform sexual services. Judge Tills was sentenced to one and a half years in prison. Why not Eliot Spitzer?
I look forward to your response and hope you will respond in detail to the simple questions posed within.
Yours in Sisterhood,