Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Oooh Baby I Like it R-A-W

Raw food, raw passion, raw talent, raw emotion: Some of the most basic things in life are best with as few additives as possible. Some, but not all. As far as raw food is concerned, that one comes with an asterisk for me. I'm all about raw veggies, especially when they're blended into beet, carrot, apple and cucumber ginger juice. Trident Booksellers on Newbury Street is one of my favorite places to grab one of those, but I shut it down when it comes to raw meat. That makes sushi about a 50% experience for me. I just eat the avocado rolls and whatever else is veggie. But eel? Raw eel?!?!?! Absolutely not. The best I can do is a medium rare burger from an excellent kitchen. That's delicious. Steak tartare, however, is a hell no.

Raw passion is another easy one. Whether it makes you money or not, it's about drive and the relentless pursuit of something. I just finished reading a recent article on Ted Turner in The Hollywood Reporter. I'd say that passion pretty much sums up his entire life. It's hard to create something like, oh I don't know, the cable industry as we know it without an incredible amount of passionate mania. Other passionate manics (PM'S) are Oprah, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, the Obamas, Mozart...Carol Channing. Look, whatever. Libra that I am, I see the benefits and drawbacks to that type of success. "Great. So I definitively created the information superhighway and I have 90 katrillion US dollars in the bank. Fine. Where's my bowl of greens, copy of Bob and Silent Jay and my nap?" Problem is, people who are that passionate and successful rarely nap. And that's racist. Black people love to nap. There's a band dedicated to rapping about napping: the Nappy Roots. Maybe you've heard of them. I don't know. Too soon? I can't be funny and fire up the bowl. Wait. Yes I can. (Thank you, President Obama. And I will be voting for you again.)

Raw talent is another. Anybody who's listened to Aretha Franklin sing Sky Lark in her early days or even watched Katharine McPhee's audition tape knows how raw talent sounds. Anyone who's seen Blake Griffin or A-Rod do their thing knows raw cuteness...talent. Talent! I'm saying raw here as opposed to the result of years and years of refinement that eventually must come to ensure the bigger deals, bigger venues and bigger audiences, of course. But one has to have the talent to even get to that level. Just to know that Jay Z has always been able to create lyrics, never write them down and yet remember them is nothing short of astounding. I can see doing that shit when You've Arrived. It's your world; that studio becomes home. It can be more comfortable in there than in public sometimes. But even in the very beginning, while having no experience in the studio, no experience with label execs and no experience with that kind of pressure, he must've had nerves of steel. Then again, he wasn't running from drug dealers and gang members like he had been. So yeah. Piece of cake. (This moment has been brought to you by Perspective.)

Raw emotion is another, but I don't think most people, myself included, really want to have too many of these moments. They come with an asterisk because they sound hard and, I don't know, unfiltered. Filtering can be a very good thing. Case in point, your brother calls and says, "Me and Katie are pregnant!" Bothersome on a few different levels, right? I mean, do you correct his misguided syntax (it's Katie and I)? Do you ask the obvious question: "how the hell are you both pregnant when only one of you has ovaries?" (I understand "we're pregnant" on a theoretical level, but still...) Or do you just get right to saying, "whoop-de-damn-doo. You stuck your dick in her, busted a nut, now you're both going to probably be really poor, aggravated, poor, sleep-deprived and poor for the next 30 years. Congrats, assholes." (Pluralizing the noun in this example is grammatically correct because, even though you're just speaking to your brother, it's true that both of them wear the Ass Hat title.) The answer? This is a trick question. You are not allowed to say any of those things. Nope. Nuh uh. Shut it. Your only possible response is "ohmygodthat'swonderfulnews!" But perhaps I'm being just a skosh too cynical.

No, that really wasn't an example of raw emotion. But I do remember being a senior in college when my actor boyfriend told me over the phone that he was moving to New York the next semester. Keep in mind we were sort of fighting, and longing for each other, and hurting each other, and wanting to fuck each other, and still being in love with each other, and still having to see each other in class every damned day...too much! So we were in the middle of that kind of situation when he called and gave me the news one night. I still can't think of that moment without my eyes welling up (like now). I don't even like that guy anymore and I've seen him within the last few years. He told me he had to hang up because his other boyfriend (longer story) had just gotten home. I hung up, laid on the floor next to my bed and wept like I hadn't in maybe 10 years. Up until that point, I guess I never really felt like I had anything to cry about. Yes, life was hardly all good, but it was still worth living. It was good enough, right? Things worked out enough of the time, right?

All of a sudden, I just didn't know anymore. North Carolina is Left Behindsville in contrast to NYC in terms of performing opportunities. To be fair, I had my share of chances to step up and be in his life in a major way. I just didn't know how to at the time. So it was what it had to be. It's almost funny to describe this in retrospect because I feel like I'm casting Kenneth Branaugh and Idris Elba in the East Boston High production of Catcher in the Rye. The height of pretension. Stipulated. Nevertheless, I cried so intensely I felt drunk. Have you ever cried like that? I was psychically, emotionally and physically exhausted. My abs felt like I'd gone a round in the ring; so did my head. But I think the worst part of all was the emptiness I felt. At. That. Very. Instant.

In a flicker, I saw the dozens of wintry days and nights we'd spent in his two-seater, listening to music, driving somewhere to just be together somewhere else. I saw the time I fucked him in a tiny piano room on our college campus (NC Central) where I was supposed to be practicing. Unfortunately, I also remember how ill-prepared he'd always be to bottom. Fucking ALWAYS! Anal sex was a rare part of our short relationship, anyway. I saw the hundreds of times I kissed him, the places I kissed him, what color his hair was that particular day (blue, green, yellow or all three). I heard and felt the countless times I told him I loved him, hearing him say it back and knowing that nothing could EVER make me happier. I also saw how we always seemed to be walking away from each other in one way or another. Again, was never going to work. Yadda yadda yadda.

I called him back and begged to see him that night. It was his time with the other guy, but I had to. The clock never stops. We don't get a second chance at making this moment. If it was over, it needed to happen face to face so we could both have closure: face-to-face closure, not over-the-phone closure. It stirred up a little shit at home, but the boyfriend eventually relented. We met in a parking lot somewhere just to get it over with. Yeah. It hurt, but you know what? I got my closure. And I never looked back. There haven't been too many of those moments in my life, but their echos still sting. So yeah. I think I know a little something about raw emotion and why I'll take mine filtered. I suspect that my literary partner in (rhyme) prose knows a thing or three about it, too.

Music served up R-A-W
Blog with Enough Juice to Last All Week
This dude is hot and funny. Again, he's my current porn inspiration.
The (Not-So-Raw) Politics Now do they both come in Magnum, or...
Cream pie a la mode
Worn out "pussy"


  1. Very well said,and thought provocing. Thank you.

  2. DW, you know I appreciate how smart you know I think I am ;)


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