It became obvious she wondered what I was doing, and why I was there. In fact, it could be said he too was driven by obsession, that his code of living was informed by obsession and generosity and self-deletion. It was the kind thing to do, to leave him alone and to respect his privacy, to respect the lock on his door.Almost ten years ago, my brother drove his car from Milwaukee to my bullet-ridden apartment building in a rough part of Minneapolis. There was a layer of dark green paint underneath a thin coating of beige, some of the paint flaking and chipped, which imparted a sick hopelessness. She had never been obsessed with anything in her life, not even a man.
My brother drove the car to Milwaukee and paid for the gas. Everyone loves to believe lies that are beautiful and generous. I was so exhausted from working full-time in New York City, I told myself, “Tomorrow or the next day or maybe next week I will write back to him.” I never did.
“I’m going to help you financially,” he had said to me. One day, I’m going to make at least $150,000 a year, and I won’t need all of it.” When he said that, I think even he believed it. A few years ago, he reached out to me one night through an email. To this day, I feel a sense of shame for being such a self-absorbed parasite caught up in numerous tiny dramas that meant nothing to me or to anyone.
Swaying like the Holy Ghost had descended upon me, I closed my eyes till the battle cry ended, chill bumps dotting my arms as her fury turned the song into a howling tempest — and then again when, just like that, she tamed it, banging out such blissed-out piano chords that tears wet my cheeks.
A few years ago at the Greek Theater in Los Angeles, I finally caught Fiona live.
Her tour bus was parked in front of the hotel entrance.