June 7, 2000
Bees Came Upon Me

[and other musical scenes from the relationship]

8 a.m. Wednesday morning

"Hey! It's our song!" David says, as we wind our way through downtown Oakland traffic on the way to work.  We both reach  for the volume knob at the same time: the Subaru is instantly filled with the soaring vocals and gloriously overblown guitars of The Hollies. Smiling, I lay my hand on his thigh and listen to the song, awash in waves of romance and tenderness and togetherness and stuff.  David sings along.

"Bees came upon me, and they leeeave me weeeak," he sings, in his big voice.

I have waited my entire life to have an *Our Song* with somebody I am madly, passionately in love with. Now I have one.

(Flashback to Newly-Married Secra, circa 1981, attempting to convince her young husband that "Keep On Loving You" would be a perfect *Our Song.*

"Doesn't this make you want to slow-dance?" sighs Newly-Married Secra, starry-eyed.

"Hey! Let's listen to 'Paranoid,' " says New Husband.)

David breaks the reverie. "Tell me again why we picked a chick song to be *Our Song*?" he asks rhetorically (and teasingly). And then of course he answers himself before I have a chance to open my mouth. "It's because I'm a secret lesbian, isn't it?"

"Yes, honey," I reply. "That's exactly why we picked it. Because you are a secret lesbian."

Actually, we settled on "The Air That I Breathe" a few months ago, after we'd bought a compilation CD of Seventies hits and discovered that we shared a secret fondness for this song.  Basically, he was the first guy I've ever been involved with who didn't automatically dismiss it as a "chick song." He threw it onto one of his mix tapes  --  wedged weirdly but comfortably between Cracker's "Low" and "Cherry Oh Baby" by Eric Donaldson  --  and we listened to it in the Subaru a few times. The more we listened to it, the more it seemed to sum up everything we felt about "us." 

Eventually I declared it *Our Song* ... and that was pretty much that.

9 p.m. Tuesday night

I saunter into the bedroom. David is laying on the bed with the Rickenbacker laying across his chest, practicing the five-note opening lick to Freddy King's "Hideaway."

"Penelope Houston wrote to me," I tell him. I am deliberately, deliciously casual.

He doesn't even stop playing the guitar. "Yeah I know," he says. "She wrote to me too." When we went to the Fab Mab Reunion last month, we signed up for Penelope's mailing list. Now we both receive periodic e-mail updates on her concert and recording schedule. (She's playing this Saturday, as a matter of the fact, at The Starry Plough in Berkeley.)

"No," I say, a little more firmly. "I mean, Penelope Houston wrote to me."


He stops playing. He looks at me. He blinks. I smile sweetly.

"What do you mean, she 'wrote' to you?" he asks, very very slowly.

"Come see for yourself," I say, and he lays his guitar on the pillow and follows me over to the computer. He stands there and reads over my shoulder:

Hi Terri,

Surfed across your review of the "Mab Reunion" and was happily amused. I kept waiting for a slam...
anyway, I linked it in my news page penelope.net/news for all to see.

Glad you're a new fan!


He exhales ... slowly, noisily, disbelievingly. "If I didn't love you so much," he says, "I would probably hate you right now."  Imagine. HIS Wet Dream/Slam Dance/Punk Rock Fantasy Girl from the Seventies ... writing to ME.


I suppose the equivalent would be if Lindsey Buckingham or Jeff Lynne or Freddy Mercury [eighteen year old Secra didn't know he was GAY, alright?? shut up] suddenly dropped DRaftervoi a line, complimenting him on 21st Century Rock & Roll Boy, out of the clear blue sky.

I mean, it could happen.


All kidding aside, I really was flattered, and thrilled  --  and relieved  --  to get her very nice e-mail. (And after I sort of called her a "bitch," too. The lady is a class act.)
The awesome Penelope Houston

I'm more of a fan now than ever.

Side note:

This reminds me: Steven Rappaport from the Ran-Dells wrote last year, thanking me for referring to "The Martian Hop" as a "personal cultural influence."

I was thrilled to pieces when he wrote: I immediately forwarded his e-mail to everybody and their Great-Aunt Theodora, bragging about my vast reserves of grooviness.  And then I stoopidly/accidentally lost his e-mail address, probably when I was making the switch from the Acer to David's computer last fall. I never even had a chance to write back to him and say thanks.

Mr. Rappaport? If, by some remote chance, you're ever reading this?

Thank you. For the e-mail AND for The Martian Hop.

That song was the background music of my childhood, basically. Which probably explains a lot.

Any Saturday afternoon

We have already outgrown the "new" CD bookcase we bought last fall. (Remember? Nine shelves for "his" CDs ... two shelves for "hers?") This is due mainly to the fact that DRaftervoi and SecraTerri are single-handedly supporting the *previously-owned music* industry in the East Bay. Every time we head to Berkeley on a sunny Saturday afternoon, stopping off at Amoeba Records or Rasputins Music, we swear we'll only buy one or two CDs, tops.

And then we walk out with half the store.

This past weekend was no exception. We went to Berkeley to buy a birthday book for David's four year old nephew, nd we wound up dropping more than a hundred bucks at Amoeba.

Here is what we bought.  See if you can guess which CDs are DRaftervoi-purchases ... and which go on the top two shelves:

  • "Let's Hide Away and Dance Away with Freddy King"
  • "The British Invasion, Vol. 5"
  • The Grassroots, "All Time Greatest Hits"
  • Prince Buster, "Fabulous Greatest Hits"
  • "The Best of Stealer's Wheel"
  • Savage Garden 
  • Sophie B. Hawkins, "Whaler"
  • "Melody Fair: Songs of the Bee Gees" (Various Artists)
  • David Bowie, "The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars"
  • Burning Spear, "Special Release to Celebrate the 100th Anniversary of Marcus Garvey's Birth"

Special prize for the first person to guess all ten correctly? Your very own personal copy of "The Air That I Breathe" ... lovingly hand-taped by DRaftervoi himself!

Special GRAND prize for the first person who can tell me where the hell we're going to find ROOM for all of these new CDs?

Penelope Houston's autograph.  She and I are PEN PALS, y'know.

[DRaftervoi: "Grrrrrrrrrr ......"]

P.S. "Please write about somthing ELSE tonight," said Daughter #1 ... weary of the spotlight.
So I am honoring her wishes.
[Thank you to everyone who wrote & asked about her, btw.]

throw a rock