[Carmen Delzell lives in Mexico, travels to India, and does occasional audio essays for us. Here’s another post in her: Bag Lady’s Guide to What’s Left of the Planet…]
This time alone living in the luxury of Martha’s house has helped me relax enough to see myself and my circumstances a little more clearly.
I’m sick of Mexico. Sick of living in fear, of poverty, of the (mostly) assholes I know there and most of all sick of loneliness.
So tonight I’ve decided to head out into the night with my digital recorder and start doing a story on loneliness. You know, loneliness is probably the hardest thing to admit and for sure the hardest thing to bear.
I was inspired last weekend by a singer songwriter named Steve, who is sadly, dead.
#1 Bar Noise at a place called Buttons.
So here I am again alone in a bar waiting for this Dave Millsap to come on stage and sing the songs of Steve Bruton whose life was loosely depicted in Crazy Heart, the movie with Jeff Bridges.
I actually cried when I saw his beat up old truck drive down one of these breath-taking New Mexico highways because God Damn It that’s me driving up from the Matehuala Desert towards Saltillo, Coahuila in my beat-up Jeep and whatever it is that’s sent me down those lonely Mexican and New Mexican roads, I’m pretty sure it has something to do with movies like this.
The difference is that I’m a woman and don’t play the guitar or paint or anything except live and write about being alienated and sad and, yes, lonely.
Broken trucks, broken hearts, leaking roofs and falling apart is my favorite subject and I suspect that’s why country music is so popular. It’s about all that and almost everyone I know has lived at least one of them.
I am still living ‘em all.
But tonight I can take it away from myself and listen to Dave Millsap play the songs of the loneliest guy in the world.
Back in Mexico where I live in the middle of nowhere with 14 dogs I sometimes pretend that I’ve been sent into exile to atone for my sins.
For the past month or two I’ve really tried to take a step back and get some perspective on who I’ve been for the past 15 years and why I chose such a rocky road to hoe.
There are lots of ways to look at it.
See that old lady at the bar? Yeah, the one in the tight black pants and the sequined sandals. She’s been commin’ here lately when that band plays Dave Millsap I think his name is. She isn’t from around here but after a few drinks she gets up and shakes that thing with another old lady named Ozell.
Madam, the hotel owner said, Oh madam, where are your children? You are far too elderly to be traveling alone.
Well — le’ me tell you I wouldn’t trade any of the pain and (dare I call it) adventure for a life of predictable security and it’s no coincidence that my favorite hangouts are either the slums of Jaipur or the homeless shelters of Fort Worth.
Alienation is a drug but it’s a kind of magnet for the artist and that’s why I’m here.
But there’s a fine line between artistic temperament and outright insanity and I fear I may have crossed it.