This has been a strange week: besides my seemingly healthy nephew, Anders, being rushed into surgery with a collapsed lung (thank you for your notes of concern by the way: he's home and fine now), we've also had the Summer Stolstice and something my brother still hasn't had time to explain apart from a cryptic message about a 't-square' (anyone know what he means?) and of course the trilogy of Wimbledon, Glastonbury and the World Cup occurring at the same time.
We only have one television at home. And this weekend, when England was still in the World Cup, we had a little domestic conflict: Jackson Browne was playing live at Glastonbury on BBC4, and simultaneously, USA was playing Ghana in Sun City. And Mr. Dot holds the remote. You do the math.
Every time he'd get bored with the game, he'd let me see a minute or two of Jackson, but this is how the conversation went:
Mr Dot: This music is for girls who, two years earlier, would have wanted a pony.
Polka Dot doesn't reply, so he continues, pretending to be a teenage girl: 'My parents don't understand me, but Jackson does.' (pause, no reply)
You can't watch your country play in the world cup, but you can watch Jackson Browne singing children's music.
Mr. Dot wanders out of the room, as Polka Dot calls out to him: 'I bet XX (an ex) would let me watch it.'
'I bet he wouldn't', said Mr. Dot. And as he walks away, he amuses himself by singing 'Oooh, Jackson, you're so sensitive, let me tell you all about my dreams...'
And you know what? He's probably right. Mr. Ex is now married and has kids and lives in Connecticutt. There was a time when he wasn't going to sell out to The Man, and now he IS The Man. Times change, we grow up. We forget that we wanted the pony, and instead, we want pony skin Louboutins. But I'll tell you this much: Jackson Browne hasn't changed a bit. He's still fit and cute as ever. (I know who he reminds me of: Jesus! : )
I mean, can you beat these lyrics: 'Everyone's trying to wait for the one who can give them the answers, and lead them back to the place in the warmth of the sun... where he'll come along, and hold out that strong, but gentle father's hand..' or what about 'I'm not trying to tell you that I've seen the plan, turn and walk away if you think I am, but don't think too badly about one left holding sand. He's just another dreamer dreaming of everyman.'
I was talking last night with my friend Lisa, in NY (the ORIGINAL Polka Dot: back in the days before God invented Blogs, she and I used to email daily: our email titles were hilarious, it will make a brillaint book one day). She was wondering why her Mr. Wonderful (that was the title of her email) wasn't acting so wonderful, hence the call. He had seemed all sensitive and understanding, and was suddenly being.. not so much. It's always a question of balance, isn't it? We're drawn to the bad boys, then are surprised when they act like bad boys. I wonder if even Jackson Browne has days when he's not Mr. Wonderful.
This version doesn't show how totally cute he was (and still is), but it's the original version, with my favourite all time album cover, an homage to Magritte:
I mean, is anyone today writing lyrics that beat this? 'I saw you thru the laughter and the noise, you were talking to the soldiers and the boys, while they scuffled thru your weary smiles I thought of all the empty miles, and the years that I spent looking for your eyes..'
After all, isn't that all anyone, in the end, wants? To be truly seen?
Photos of me, last week, outside the V&A, shot by my sweet friend Little Claire, visiting from Chicago. Top by Topshop, shorts, H&M, shoes, god knows, they're ancient (possibly Barneys NY?), ankle socks, menswear dept Marks & Sparks. Sunglasses: RayBans. Vintage, i.e., I bought them right around the time I was listening to Jackson Browne.
'You go and pack your sorrow, the trash man comes tomorrow, leave it at the curb, and we'll just float away.'