A Small Piece from the "Book"

A few months later, on October 23rd, 1987 to be exact, Guns n Roses were scheduled to play in NY at the Ritz. It was my birthday and we were all pretty stoked to finally be able to see the band.

We met up at Lismar, of course: Betty, Pete, Glenn Benson, Man Ray, Brian “Cycle Boy”, Donna, Betty’s roommate Lisa, Gini and me in as much rock and roll gear as we could pack on: multiple belts, bracelets, and bootstraps. And because it was such an auspicious occasion, we all took ecstasy. Gini most likely abstained because she was smarter than the rest of us, but I hopped right in there with characteristic enthusiasm. Happy birthday to me! I swallowed a big white capsule of powder with Betty in the bathroom, applied another layer of eyeliner, and hoped for the best.

Two hours later at the Ritz: we all stood in a row, blasted out of our minds and holding hands like toddlers on a field trip. Our mouths hung open as we watched Guns n Roses own the stage in a way that I had never seen before. The lights wound around us and the sound thrummed through my body. The entire room vibrated; the band looked and sounded glorious. They were gods of youth and thunder delivering a rock and roll assault of epic proportions. I knew it wasn’t just the drugs, but they definitely helped the overall mood.

I grinned, turned to Man Ray and shouted over the din, “This is the best band I’ve ever seen!” He said, “Right??? Happy birthday, baby!”

I wished I had spent more time at the bar talking to Axl the singer about Axel the jewelry designer when I had had the chance, but it didn’t matter. Nothing mattered at that moment except the sound and being with my friends.

It was a pretty stellar birthday.


The glamorous Lismar:

Man Ray, Pete, and Brian:

Betty & me in a classic “day-after” pose:

Old Friends

My lovely friend Mike Dolan (not to be confused with the other Mike that I’m always blogging about) was going through some old VHS tapes and in the middle found this…ahem…gem video from the way back files. He burned it for me and the results is at the bottom of this blog. I’m proud of myself for figuring out how to convert a VOD file to an MPG and then managing to upload it onto the web. It only took me three days…

The video features footage from a local cable show called Overnight Sensation and features a fairly early, definitely pre-record deal inception of Cycle Sluts from Hell backstage with friends. Those friends are Ryan Maher from Circus of Power (very brief – right at the beginning), my future ex-husband/boyfriend at the time, Curt Fleck, for one second getting stickers slapped onto him and then I’m assuming running out of the dressing room in a rush to locate strippers with drugs and cash (but that’s another blog), and his bandmates in Blitzspeer–Phil Caivano (later of Monster Magnet) and Scott Lano. I don’t know what the host’s name was but I’d like you all to pay attention to the very trendy ear cuff he was sporting. Delightful! 

I am slightly suspicious that despite the anti-drug/pro-beer stance I may have been in a chemically enhanced state as I seem a little twitchy and desperate for a drink in the corner there, but I truly can’t remember so those rumors will remain unsubstantiated. It could have also just been the gum-chewing and side-of-mouth talking, both of which I thought made me appear more of a bad-ass.

Then it moves to The Throbs live onstage–Ronnie Sweetheart in his thousands of bracelets, skinny leather pants and giant hair, then on to a brief moment with Joey Ramone, and then CSFH live, sounding pretty crappy, but enjoying ourselves nonetheless.

I wasn’t expecting to see Joey, so when he popped onscreen my heart cracked a little bit. It felt so good to hear him say “Cycle Sluts” one more time.

I have not said anything up until now about the book that recently came out about him because it didn’t feel to be my place. I wasn’t one of Joey’s closest friends and I certainly don’t know what his intimate family life was like beyond what we all know and have read. I also have no personal beef with authors Legs McNeil and Joey’s brother Mickey Leigh, both of whom I know personally. I have no wish to cause ill will and have shot my mouth off so many times in this life to invariably painful results, so in my dotage I strive for a modicum of diplomacy when posting my business for the world to see.

A few days before viewing this video I got a facebook message from a friend who had read the book and wanted my opinion. He was very upset with the way Joey was portrayed. And a day after viewing this video Joey was firmly on my mind so I asked another friend who was close to Joey for his opinion. This person told me that he felt misrepresented and maligned in the book, and said that he believed that the things written about other close friends of ours and Joey’s were either distortions or untruths. 

But I haven’t read it, and probably won’t after hearing all of the personal reviews from friends who knew Joey. So it’s not fair or responsible for me to give too much of an opinion without firsthand knowledge. But after seeing him again on film and thinking about it in a deeper way, I have come to the conclusion that I do have some right to a blogging opinion about Joey, as he was my friend and a special part of my life. He was the first rock star I met when I moved to New York, he was instrumental in my music career, and I could call him or email him any time I pleased.

Joey was, in my experience, a kind, generous, lovely, funny, person. When I see him laughing on film I want to hug him one last time and tell him that I love him. He went out of his way to help the musicians around him and he was a vital force in the New York rock scene. I had some of the funnest times of my life in his presence, and although I have seen him in a bad mood and unhappy, I never experienced the darkness I have heard is expressed in the book.

The Cycle Sluts used to make our friends do this thing with us when we were out partying: It was a very bad group arabesque, which involved locking arms over shoulders like Rockettes and then lifting on leg off the ground behind you and balancing. We made every rock star we knew do it at least once as we thought it was hilarious, and we made Joey do it all the time. Joey had bad balance and OCD issues, so he was not the best person to force into drunken ballet, but he gamely did it anyway. He would laugh and just lift his foot very low off of the ground. He always let us push him around and we loved him for it, and there was always love behind it.

Everyone has their dark places and bizarre foibles, and Joey was certainly human and had his. When I met him we were all partying quite a bit and that took a toll in his life and eventually he quit all drugs and alcohol. I gave some crying shoulder time to a couple of his girlfriends so I knew he could be obnoxious just like the rest of us. But the Joey that I knew was wonderful and gentle and that is how I choose to remember him.

I also believe that when famous people die, the lowest common denominator energy can sometimes take over in the ensuing feeding frenzy. Because that person is gone they cannot defend their own memory or property, intellectual or tangible, and history, as we all know, is written by those left standing. Sometimes there is an agenda that has nothing to do with the person in question, but much more to do with the ego or needs of the persons writing the history. I believe this to be the case this time.

And that is all I’ll say without having read the book. It is only my opinion, so take it as you will. And now, without further ado, let’s take a little trip back to summer of 1988:


JLG365 Interview

It’s a snow day! Our tree is up and I’ve been in my pajamas all day with the pets, which is great. Not great – missing my ex-bandmates Vas and Loopy’s band Hanzel und Gretyl tonight because of the flu. Hope they have a great show. I’ll be here with my new neti pot. Sooo sexy.

And in the meantime, Jen from JLG365 was kind enough to interview me. The results are here:

If You Wait Long Enough…

…you become relevant again.

From Bravewords, the link is here: http://www.bravewords.com/news/127881

CYCLE SLUTS FROM HELL Debut To Be Reissued In February


Posted on Monday, December 07, 2009 at 13:18:05 EST

Legendary New York female biker band CYCLE SLUTS FROM HELL will see their self-titled debut album reissued on February 15th, 2010 through Ironbird via Cherry Red Records.

According to a press release:

This reissue has been digitally remastered and packaged with new sleeve notes by Malcolm Dome.

The group’s only record, it was released in 1992 and produced by Glen Robinson, producer of the 1989 VOIVOD album, Nothingface.

Cycle Sluts From Hell comprised of four women who made the likes of LITA FORD and DORO PESCH seem like the flag bearers for the Doris Day Abstinence Guild! Queen Vixen, Venus Penis Crusher, Honey One Percenter and She-Fire Of Ice not only looked like the ultimate biker fantasy women but had the voices to carry their attitude way beyond the belief that this was somehow a theatrical spoof.

They were also backed by some of the hottest musicians around – bassist Tom Von Doom, guitarists Chris Moffet, Pete ‘Lord Roadkill’ Lisa, Tom Schoonmaker and Ash Gray, with Scott DuBoys on drums (subsequently replaced on the album by Tony Price).

This reissue serves as a reminder of how good Cycle Sluts From Hell really were – with genuine pace, passion and performance they stood for all that is best in rock ‘n’ roll.


‘By The Balls’ (Dirty Version)
‘Queen High Love’
‘Dark Ships’
‘I Wish You Were A Beer’
‘E.R.K.S.’ (Dirty Version)
‘Speed Queen’ (Dirty Version)
‘Taste The Flesh’ (Dirty Version)
‘Badass Mama’ (Dirty Version)
‘Bloodlust’ (Dirty Version)

Further details to follow.

Actual Cycle Slut From Hell commentary: 
I did get a myspace message from someone at Sony saying they were going to reissue. I’m glad because it means I can stop having to email the tracks to everyone.

I doubt we will see a dime of this.

Chris Moffett, Tom Von Doom, and Scott Duboys did not play on the album. It was Fernando Rosario, Bobby Gustafson, and Thommy Price, and of course, the inimitable Lord Roadkill, who also co-wrote all the songs with the ladies and was the only musician we ever considered an equal partner. Ash Gray is a great guy and played with us on the reunion, but was never there the first time around.

And I don’t know what they’re talking about with “(Dirty Version)” in parenthesis. If we recorded clean versions of those songs I was absent those days.

Still, it’s nice to be remembered.  If only they had forgotten that butt album cover…


In Sillier News

I’m totally hyperventilating right now!! My lovely and kind-hearted friend Cheryl found this for me, David and Sean Cassidy mentioning CSFH on national television.

I have to preface this by saying that my first major crush (after Kimba the White Lion and Jack from HR PufnStuf–don’t judge!) was David Cassidy. I used to roll around on the couch in prepubescent anticipation of The Partridge Family’s arrival at 9 pm on TV each week, I think on Friday night. First The Brady Bunch at 8, then Nanny & the Professor at 8:30, then the Partridge Family at 9. Ecstasy. I still know all the words to many of the songs.

So this is ecstasy Part Deux, around the 3 minute mark:

Tales from the Shire

Hallloooo, my friends! I know I haven’t posted anything lately, there just hasn’t been any burning desire to announce or describe anything. Sometimes it’s necessary to refuel the spirit a bit before having something to say, even for a constant opinionator like myself.

I am in the woods of Michigan until Friday, I’ve been here since last Saturday and it’s been delightful, as always. Most of you have already seen the blogs and pictures from the last two summers. Mike gave me his old camera and I’m trying to learn how to use it, so if I have any great (or even marginally interesting) photos I’ll post them when I get home. I haven’t been in Meijers yet so I haven’t gotten any good big butt photos, that’s always a favorite. This is the best one from last year:



There’s nothing better than a trip to Northern Michigan to make a NY girl feel like a waif. Although, on that tip, after the usual constant and shameful eating that happens here, I will be embarking on a fat flush once home. Unless, of course, I want to get a job as a cashier at Meijers, then I’m golden no matter how much pasta and pie is consumed. Which could be a possibility as I recently learned that the person in charge of handling my job while I’m gone completely eradicated the most important and number-packed Excel file I use on my work computer. On the first day no less. The gays are evil when you make them do things they don’t want to do. I’ll be rebuilding for weeks. 

Drew had to leave halfway through the trip because one of his bands, GOD FIRES MAN, got a tour doing direct support for Filter. It’s a great opportunity for the band but a big drag for our summer vacation. We look forward to it all year and were really ready for some serious doing of nothing. But he did get a lot of swimming in, and we had a great week together. I was hoping to use some of the free time to write, but so far that desire hasn’t hit. It has been a little sad and boring not to have Drew around, but I’ve been calling him every hour with tedious and minute details just to make up for it. I lay upside down in a chair and twirl my hair and talk and talk and talk. He just loves it.

And speaking of minor details, can we stop with superhot girls like this confessing their love for my bf on his band pages:

Blargh. Like I need this? I’m not going to get into actual numbers, but lets just say I could be her mommy.

I get people confessing their love on here as well, but it goes more like this:


Lesson learned: spitting in someone’s mouth during a show may seem like just punishment to YOUR drunken rock and roll ass, but to them it might be something worth cherishing, and therefore something that might bite your spitting self in that same ass many years later, when you’re trying to pretend to be a mature and rational adult. 

And then there’s this bit of poetry:


do you have any idea how long youve been in my spank bank?

Jealous ladies? I know you are.

This is the list of things (besides the sexy new term “spank bank”) I’ve learned so far this summer:

–The decision not to have children is a sound one, verified by my sister’s pleading eyes and panicked whispering of “Please don’t make me go with them!!” as her husband and whining, cranky 4-old got ready to leave.

–It’s not the best idea to watch violent zombie movies by yourself in remote cottages in the woods.

–When your woodsy mom (new nickname: Grambo) says, “Oh, it’s just a little hike right up the hill.”, what she really means is that you will be trudging in the glaring sunlight, up extremely steep slopes and through prickly foliage for well over an hour. Do yourself a favor and strap on a canteen.

–It is possible to watch the extended DVD versions of the Lord of the Rings trilogy in 3 days. 

Lastly (and the only real bit of important information you will cull from this blog), my mother and I went to this place: http://www.creationsoap.com/ and it was an interesting experience for me. These people (one couple, actually) make some stuff called Ancient Healer Salve that I love, and she offered to drive me to the farm where everything is made in their little barn.

We spoke to Anna, the woman who creates the products, which are sold all over through health food kind of places, and also at Barneys in Japan. She said that they have been approached to do a “vanity line”, meaning elegant packaging and separate products (eye cream, face cream, serums, etc.) but that she maintains that is just about sales and not necessary for anything other than profit.

They have a business philosophy in which they want to keep their products affordable and available to everyone. They use high quality natural ingredients and plants off of their farm, and I can tell you that everything I’ve tried so far is great. If you’re looking for non-chemical alternatives for face and bodycare, I highly recommend them, I’m going to switch out once my excruciatingly expensive and packed with chemicals Chanel shit is used up. And if you have any questions, email Anna, she seems pretty friendly and happy to answer them.

All right. Back to eating pie. My sister has promised chocolate cream if I’m able to babysit her son for an hour without losing him. I’m drinking a beer right now so I’m nice and loose when they arrive. I hear children and imbibing go well together.

Ooh Lordy

So I just took down a prior blog pointing to a particular site and bitching about sexist idiots in and around the metal scene because I inadvertently called out the cavalry on the wrong guy, the guy in the video rather than his moronic fan who posted the video.

For those of you who didn’t see it, it was a clip of me on the Morton Downey show from a million years ago with a tag underneath it calling me some random goth chick, while touting all the boys that were featured on that episode and completely pretending CSFH were not one of the featured bands.

I get really pissy about shit like this because it dogs every female in and around metal and at this point in time it’s absolutely ridiculous that it continues to exist. CSFH gets featured in the Encyclopedia of Metal and the text underneath states that guitarist Bobby Gustafson came up with the idea, essentially wielding us as puppets from behind the scenes. We get mentioned in the Jane’s Addiction book as skanks who hung out with the Hell’s Angels. I don’t even think it even states that we were an actual band. There’s a mass email that goes out with a listing of all the metal shows in the area and the guy who writes it almost always references women he sleeps with in the most derogatory of terms. It goes on and on. So sometimes I get a little touchy.

There are wonderful, non-sexist guys out there though, and I need to focus on them. Like Lemmy for instance. And all the guys in my top friends list. Yay for you!

Oh, and P.S.–Dano, stop spilling the T. You know I had it all removed years ago and my driver’s license says I’m a girl now!

Halloween 2007


Once we get Stonehenge mounted from the ceiling it looks like Moses’ tablets. Relighting imperative.

I have a big fit because the circus performers have hung a burlap curtain that blocks out one side of the stage. Club staff ignores my strident demands for action so I huff a bit and then get up on an amp and poke it with a mike stand until it’s jammed behind some wiring and no longer blocking everything. I feel very proud of myself but now the opening band The Hunt is eyeing us suspiciously. What, they’ve never seen crabby old bitches before?

Realize there will be very little space for the druids and decide to prop the one with the worst eyesight at the front of the stage and just tell him not to move for 45 minutes.

One person who shall remain nameless leaves a piece of intimate and slimming bodywear at the club and calls in to send Billy the lighting guy out onto the floor to find said item. After he relights Stonehenge of course. He doesn’t find it but we believe that’s bc he was under the mistaken impression he’d been sent to look for a bra.


Donna calls to remind me to bring the witch hats.

I chew out Drew for staying out all night and getting wrecked the night before and tell him that he’d better be bright eyed and bushy tailed by the time we leave the house. He assures me he’ll be most squirrel-esque by witching hour, then rolls over and goes to sleep.

Squeeze myself into police costume and curse my love of carbs.

Have a panic attack that no one will actually show up to see us play.

Keep thinking I’m forgetting something.


Incredibly relieved to pull up and see a huge line outside the club and running down the block.

Realize I’ve forgotten to bring the witch hats.

Discover dressing room packed like an elevator full of sweaty strangers, broken cups and empty beer bottles strewn everywhere, and start shouting at people to get the fuck out. Bushy-tailed boyfriend shouts, “Get ’em, Honey!” Ex-girlfriend of guitar player says, “God, you’re a bitch, Raff.” I tell her if she doesn’t like it she can make some space too, but she chooses to stay in order to torment Donna for not remembering her. Guitar player hides.

Apologize to the girls for forgetting to bring the witch hats.

Sweaty lead singer from other opening band the Stalkers is already so drunk he’s verging on incoherent, tries to hit on extremely shy Gini who just smiles sweetly and looks at him like he has three heads. He turns to me and says, “Whisheso mean?” I say, “Hell, buddy, she’s the nice one. Now maybe you want to get the fuck out of the dressing room so we can have a tiny bit of space?” He too chooses to stay.

Electric Dave takes over stage door duty, thank you Dave.

Organize druids for big entrance.


Druids! Stonehenge! Mayhem! Lights! Trying not to step on cables, trying to remember lyrics. Was that my line or Gini’s? Oops! It’s already passed.

Wonder if the cheap-ass police costume corset is bunching up and giving me a muffin top above my tiny skirt. Friend shouts out that my skirt is too tiny so I show everyone my ass (as per usual). This gets a big cheer and I hope distracts everyone from the muffin top.

Gasp for air with all the stage fog and suddenly remember that playing a full show is actually a fair amount of work.

Halfway through the set I notice some dipshit in a ringlet wig crawling all over Drew while he tries to push her off. I watch dumbfounded as she alternates between pouting over his rebuffs and new attempts to grind her crotch on his hip and wrap her arms around him. As I’m processing this I realize I’m in the middle of a show and pull my attention back to the fact that I have to focus on what I’m doing. Then I remember I’m the one on a platform with a microphone. Heh, heh, heh…When the song is done I shout: “Hey ringlets! I see you crawling all over my boyfriend while I’m up here working on this stage and you’d might as well just leave now because when I’m done I’m gonna find you and kick yer fucking ass. I got a bottle of tequila in the dressing room and a whooooole lotta fucking energy.” Donna says, “She’s not kidding, she’ll do it!” The crowd goes “Ooooooh…”

Varied psychotic friends who enjoy a bit of the old ultra-violence now and then fan out to enact justice, but ringlets disappears for remainder of evening. Andre J. and my girl Corinne lean on Drew and grin at me from the audience. Someone whispers to Corinne, “Don’t touch him!”

Show goes swimmingly, lots of headbanging in the audience, a small moshpit, druids perform expertly, no one fucks up too majorly, everyone has a blast, Lord Roadkill’s cord is only kicked out of the amp about 10 times. Rock and roll!


Wasted lead singer of opening band still in the dressing room, now wearing Gini’s Indian headdress. Guitarist’s ex-gf continues to harass Donna who pleads with her eyes to me for rescue. I interject that Donna’s senile and can’t be expected to remember everything and hand her a bottle of whiskey for comfort.

Imbibe afore-mentioned tequila while Drew cracks jokes about being married to the eye of Sauron.

Midget (little person?) from circus performers decides to get naked in the middle of the room, then flips out on Electric Dave for looking at her and tells Johnny T that Dave’s a little people pervert. Johnny T shouts at Dave for looking at naked little people. Dave looks confused.

Fabulous and talented girl who does acrobatics on a swing above the dance floor tells me she’s a fan and I tell her no, I’m HER fan and we squeal and get really girlie and take pictures together and swear our undying love. T’s so wasted she keeps poking her head in the corner of the photos we’re trying to take.

Some goofball calls me Joyce and then says I look like his ex-girlfriend named Joyce. As if. I sic T on him, she slurs curses and kicks bottles off the table and he wanders off.

My supermodel bff doses us with her special supermodel uber-mushrooms. She and her also-model boyfriend are dressed as Sid and Nancy but because they’re so pretty Drew dubs them Sid and Fancy. Since we’re now high on mushrooms this is the funniest joke ever told.

Wind up at Three of Cups licking Mike’s head (which tastes of substances) as he hops around with my leopard bag hanging from his neck, shouting “You are the greatest performer that ever lived!!” Drew says he’s like one of those toads you can lick and get high off of. Another incredibly hilarious joke brought to you by drug abuse. I realize it doesn’t taste that good, I’m only hurting myself and cut it out.

Dano blesses us all in his priest costume, which I find oddly comforting. I think he should wear it all the time.

Aforementioned shapewear item is found.

Miki shouts last call and it takes me ten minutes to figure out which side of my coat goes up.

Pets are glowing when we get home.

I get a message from Donna that she forgot Stonehenge at the club.


Life is good. Thank you everyone for coming out and making it one of the funnest nights of my life. I’ll post photos in another blog once they’re all in.

Shut It, Lovey

For those of you who don’t know, I have a sister named Lisa who is six years younger than me. Now if you don’t know her don’t get too nuts stalking her because she doesn’t have a lot of computer time. But I feel like writing about her today.

I have always been very lucky with female friendships. Men are my drug of choice, and I have a history of all kinds of territory and trust issues and crappy romances, but for some reason my female friendships have remained unscathed by my nonsense with the opposite sex. I have always been able to choose strong, trustworthy, giving women to surround myself with, and I think it’s probably because of my sister. Don’t tell her I told you that though.

I hated her guts when we were kids. Seriously, if I could have figured out a way to hide the body she wouldn’t be here now. She was so incredibly cute and outgoing as a little girl, just around the time I started feeling truly uncomfortable in the world, and the way people reacted to her with joy while merely tolerating me made me loathe being at family gatherings and public places with her. She charmed everyone she met. Our father nicknamed her Lovey and her light laid bare and magnified my own sadness.

To make matters worse we had to share a bedroom and a bed at a time when our age gap felt very wide. She was still almost a baby and I was a pre-teen desperate to protect my model horse collection, which I knew she coveted. She left her shit all over my side of the room. She still wet the bed, and I was the one who would wake up lying in it. I would cry with rage and wake my mother up, and she would sleepily put a towel down and tell me it wasn’t that bad. I would crawl back into the bed, teetering uncomfortably as far on the edge as I could manage and seething with the injustice of the situation.

The last time it happened I simply bent my knees into my chest, put my feet on her back, and kicked her as hard as I could out of the bed. She landed on the floor with a thud and woke up crying. It was one of the most satisfying moments of my life.

My sister and I have often joked that Welcome to the Dollhouse is a pretty good representation of what our relationship was like. I was in the house all angsty and unattractive and cutting the heads off dolls while she pirouetted blissfully on the lawn. It’s an exaggeration, but it comes close.

However, things changed when we reached adulthood. Lisa was living in LA for a short period and CSFH went out there to play, and it was then that I realized she wasn’t a little girl anymore. And we actually had fun hanging out. And when her roommate turned out to be a speed freak and almost got them caught up in a white slavery ring (at least that’s how I remember it? Correct me if I’m wrong, Lovey), it was decided that she would come and live with me in New York.

She came during what was an incredibly rough period for me. the band was happening but my personal life was a mess. I was in the process of splitting up with my on again/off again husband but only moving to the apartment directly below him. I’ve already written in detail about how much fun that particular insanity was.

Lisa helped me carry my shit downstairs and we set up house in the tiny one bedroom apartment. We were completely on top of each other but the domesticity kept me grounded. I cooked and cleaned and yelled at her for being such a slob and she sat on my bed watching tv with me for hours while I smoked and brooded. We both got Pomeranians and ate brunches at sidewalk cafés with the dogs in tow. One night I walked in and there was a Doberman puppy snuffling around in my bed. And I didn’t really mind.

Lisa walked into a pretty decent set of circumstances though. Cycle Sluts were getting large amounts of attention and she had a backstage pass and free entrance to anywhere she wanted to go. I had worked for years to get the standing that she got overnight through being related to me, and I think she enjoyed it mightily.

One of her favorite moments was walking onto the stage balcony at the Limelight on a night we were headlining. The crowd went crazy thinking it was me, and she smiled and waved and tossed her hair. It was a nonstop party and there was a regular train of hot long-haired guys and partying female friends traveling in and out of our tiny place, dogs underfoot, music blasting. And she never seemed to mind that the situation had reversed itself, now she was the one in the background while I pirouetted on the lawn.

My mother is very involved in spiritual healing and because of that we have regular access to quality psychic readers and channelers. One of the people reading my sister told her that she has been with me through many lives and in fact came to New York to help me heal. And in fact it did seem that way because after 7 years she decided it was time to go home again. This was prompted by a broken heart:

Lisa, picking up the phone, sounding muffled: “Mfff…hello…”
Me: What are you doing?
Lisa: Oh…nothing…just laying face down on the bed.

You get the picture. But it also just felt like her time here was done. So she jammed up a beater car she bought through a friend with all her shit, a guinea pig, Jane the Doberman, and my rotten little Pom named Bean. Bean liked it so much at my mother’s house in the country that I didn’t have the heart to keep her in the city. So I waved goodbye as the car drove away with my dog yapping wildly out the back window. And of course right after that she got horribly sick and cost Lisa large sums of money and constant medical attention to keep her alive.

Once she left I realized how much I had depended on her for all my day-to-day activities. My social life changed, I no longer had someone I could automatically drag to parties or order Burritoville with or watch tv with while making snide comments.

Lisa and I have the same rotten sense of humor, people will look at us in genuine horror at some of the things we snicker to each other. Whenever a gorgeous girl walks past us we usually turn to each other and say in unison, “Whore.” It’s really about making fun of our own insecurities but sometimes people don’t get it.

And she was one of only two people up until recently who understood that I was far more fragile than appearances belied. Even though it looked like I was the one with all the power and control, I was always veering on the edge and she protected me in ways that I didn’t fully understand until much later. When 9/11 hit and my sister couldn’t get through on the phone she got completely hysterical and I was touched that she was so worried about me.

Recently I went through something very heavy and private, and before I had a chance to talk to her about it in depth she started dreaming about what was happening with me. It was unbelievable. One time she even managed to get into my body/brain somehow, and the next morning described to me what it looked like where I was the night before and exactly what I was feeling and seeing. That’s when we both realized that we are more deeply connected than the surface relationship of being born to the same parents. It’s comforting to know that I have that and it’s interesting to me that I spent so much time feeling so alone when in actuality I wasn’t. I suspect that this is true for many of us.

We lead very different lives now. She lives in Michigan with her son and husband and goes to bed at 10 pm to make it to playgroups early in the morning. That is a lifestyle that would make me suicidal. And she’s not interested in participating in my mode of arrested development either. Last time Drew and I visited, a combination of alcohol and fireworks (and one stick of dynamite, interestingly enough) developed and brought the cops to her place. She was not amused and not surprised. She often expresses the fear that one day I will be Baby Jane, covered in pancake makeup and wearing old hot shorts trying to run her over with a car.

Lisa and I only say nice things to each other when buildings are collapsing; our primary form of communication is abuse. And nothing’s really going on right now to merit a whole blog so I’m setting myself up for all kinds of annoying gloating. But today I’ve gotten a couple of emails from people asking about her, and I had a hangover and it made me wish she’d been here to eat spaghetti and watch Clueless for the 9 millionth time.

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