I found a cd that belongs to phoenix in my closet a couple of weeks back. It didn't have a case. It was just thrown into a bag of miscellaneous bits and pieces. It was a red hot chili peppers greatest hits cd. I played it and so much came back. See, this was the cd I played over and over again in the six days immediately preceding the Shmolian's birth. My effacing, dialating, waiting and prepping music.
But they're disgusting. :)
Yeah, I know.
But they're so high schoolish.
Yeah, I know.
But they're so testosterone-ish.
Yeah, I know.
They're not interesting and avant garde. Everyone knows them.
There's a voice inside that chastises me for not having played something more unique...
Like something more "authentically" "black"...jazz, jill scott, tracey chapman, nina simone, motown...
There's a voice inside that clucks its tongue and wags its finger at me for not having played pop that seems more womanist ani, tori, tracey (she keeps popping up), sarah, sweet honey, zap mama, sinead...
There's a voice inside that says: "If you wanted rock, why wasn't it rage or in living color or skunkanansi or even white girl obsessed lenny or an obscure indy bar band from the suburbs of wawa?"
And I answer back to the disparit bits of identity/ self/ voice/ perspective that make me who I am:
hutupshutup and get your judgemental selves off my experience...as long as you keep buggin my ass, i'm gonna keep outting all of us and our supposed contradictions which aren't really contradictions because we're just human and complicated and imperfect...
Why didn't I listen to more appropriate birthing music?
Why didn't I listne to more appropriate race music?
Why didn't I listen to more appropriate feminist pop music?
Just because I could. Just because there wasn't supposed to be anyone I had to impress in that moment. Just because I wasn't supposed to be performing according to anyone else's specifications at that time. Just because this was not an experience that needed witnessing and validating by anyone but me.
When labour finally began the room was silent at my request. But before, as I slide toward that time, a cacaphony raging as always inside me, a steady stream of images flashing my life before me, the tirade of voices all me speaking loud inside'a me, I wanted something...I had a craving...
I craved something melodic, yet not limp, sweet and endearing. I craved something with moments of easily accessible layered staccato hardness that would fuck/strum/play my clit, my erotic, my nerves, my memories, my sadness, my rage, my bile, my shrieks, my sarcasm at the same time...something that didn't privilege the rhythm or the beat or the bass over the whole song. I craved something slightly melancholy, ballzy (literally) and irreverent all at the same time.
I craved someone singing off key in my range who didn't have to enunciate and please or amaze with their tonality so I could sing along, grunt, hit really low register notes and feel my diaphram ripple and resonate. I craved an instrument/vehicle I could play to tickle my inner ear sparking a journey that would allow me just enough space to slip beneath my own surface.
I needed lyrics just open enough, just nonsensical enough, just open enough for me to inject my own images and ideas, bringing the barrage of emotions, the mess...I didn't want it all to come for me during the main part of my labour, unbidden, unwanted, unexpected while I was otherwise occupied...I would bring them now, to me and me to them voluntarily while I flew and swayed and jumped and bobbed and drew and wrote, trippin, free fallin...
Would'a been, could'a been, should'a been dead if I didn't get the message flowin' through my head...I am what I am...
How long, how long, will I slide, separate my side? I don't, don't believe it's fair. Slight my throat it's all I ever...
What I got you gotta get it put it in you...
Deep inside of a parallel universe, It's getting harder and harder to tell what came first...Underwater where thoughts can breathe easily...far away you were made in a sea...Just like me