Toronto
3 min

Living release day to release day

How long can I wait for Kate?

Credit: Xtra files

Dear Jesus, You know how it is, when good things are happening, things that could and should mean completion and freedom from human torment, but it all just strikes you as base, as vulgar and pedestrian as Siegfried and Roy’s shared underwear drawer? When good fortune is perceived as kitsch – isn’t there a word for that… like “Oprah”?



Like when you rose from the dead, did a part of you maybe wish you were just another workaday, hippie-haired asshole, just another Cat Stevens look-alike in an all-weather housecoat, and not squeezed between the grave bookends of BC and AD?



That’s just how I felt, last year.



My lonely father, whose idea of romantic tenderness is to have a soft placemat for the lady’s head during table-top forced anal, finally found true love. With Lynn, 60, a fallen nun. They were so happy when I met them for the first time as a couple. And I was happy for them. So happy. Just as happy as “an elderly nun falling into the pit of hell, tethered by a bloody tendon to elderly ass-man with awful taste in whore/nuns.” That’s a lot to squeeze onto a postcard, given that I always write in fun, marshmallow letters.



I won the lottery and a Juno and, from a scratch ticket, another free scratch ticket, which begat another free scratch ticket again and again until the convenience store lady asked me if I’d like to get with her forever. Nothing moved me.



Why, Jesus, was I so listless? Oh, I know that you don’t have all the answers. That you sometimes put people into comas or saw them in half for the sake of one less prayer to not answer. But please, Jesus, just answer this one, mundane question and I’ll never ask another. No more “Dear Jesus, where’s my good ashtray?” No more “Dear Jesus, even though I wish cancer on anyone with an SUV, cell phone or an FCUK product, am I still New Age?”



I promise.



This just in from Jesus: The reason I was such a narcoleptic sourpuss last year? None of my fave pop stars had new records impending. No Stevie. No Kate. There was new Joni, but it was all cover songs, and her vocal range is now so narrow that she sounds like an alarm clock on its last bit of battery. Yes, I was adrift, on an ice flow, sad and low, a himbo, remembering how Jimmy Connors was commonly known as Jimbo. See how I should never write my own lyrics? See how I’m nothing without my troubadours?



Like most people who grew up without religion – save for the odd convo with you, sweet Jesus, and my father’s Catholicism, which we now know was just a means to a (fallen nun’s rear) end – I’ve always turned to cloying singer/songwriters to make the wonky hopscotch of my small life into a glittering grid of meaning and fun. I think back to 1985, when my sixth grade class voted me Fatty Most Likely To Star In A Snuff Film Just To Feel Wanted, and how I counted down the days to the release of Olivia Newton-John’s Soul Kiss to stay sane. It was the only thing that kept me alive. That, and the fact that I didn’t even get a call-back for the snuff film.



Does it matter that Soul Kiss was awful, with an audibly-nauseous Livvy walking through songs about three-ways with all the erotic simmer of a woman just waking up from a complete hysterectomy? Of course not. Fandom was and is my edifying little secret, the ethereal thing that gets me through. Like how someone who’s been buried alive pretends they’re actually at Cannes.



Probably the most wrenching wait for a new record was the four years between Kate Bush’s Hounds Of Love and her follow-up, The Sensual World. Waiting for her new record coincided with waiting for my first gay sexual experience. Crazed with need, I forgot which wish was which. I stood by the Bs at HMV, leg up on a record bin, shyly urging browsers to “eat.” I also sometimes forgot that I wasn’t Kate Bush. A quivering vagrant asked me if I’d like a gummer. I told him that I never did interviews.



But eventually the new Kate Bush did drop, the same week that, mystically, I lost my gay virginity (to the town mayor, who kept saying things like, “Why not?” “Here goes nothin!” and “What the hey!” as if he was a Mormon after one beer and I was karaoke.)



I see what you were trying to show me with that coincidence, Jesus, that when I ignore my real life and only focus on the work of famous people who wouldn’t give a two-penny damn if I died in a house fire, good things happen to me. And not fake good things like friends’ babies or my dad’s happiness, but real good things like bad sex.



The new Fleetwood Mac: Tue, April 15. The new Kate Bush: mid-September. That’s six months of light and sweet expectation. What’ll I do the rest of the time? Outreach for elderly shut-ins? Please.



On second thought: Does anyone know if Yoko Ono has a hard time getting out of the bathtub? Or maybe Buffy Sainte-Marie can no longer hook her own macramé bra?



* Greg Kearney’s column appears in every other issue. Greg welcomes e-mail at sweetbabygreg@hotmail.com.