How many of you out there are secret horoscope readers? Rational, politically active left-wing intelligent liberals who look down on astrologists and palm-readers but consult their daily vague cheap paragraphs written by people maybe in bathrobes watching daytime soaps and eating Doritos while they bank a weekly check from some news agency?
Okay, I occasionally look. Maybe more. The cynic who sneers at friends who won't travel or make decisions when Mercury is in retrograde which have you noticed seems like constantly these days?
I remember a one-night stand when I was around 20-- about to have this romantic night with some rock musician and as the guy takes his shirt off, there's a libra-charm around his neck...and I start to look for the exit, wonder how I'll get through until morning. Well, maybe I was tougher then.
Besides... what if you're born premature, were scheduled to be a Capricorn and you emerge a Scorpio? Who are you then? Or say the doctor gives you chemicals to speed up your labor--- or magnesium to slow contractions--- are we playing with fate? Shouldn't the sign be based upon conception-- the moment of conception? Then there would at least be some scientific consistency here...
I think the fact that Bob Marley shares a birthday with Ronald Reagan, and Hitler with Carmen Electra---kind of kills the credibility factor for me. Of course, astrologists all defend this with rising signs, moon phases, etc.... but Jerry Hall and I were in labor simultaneously at the same hospital... and I couldn't help thinking about our babies' futures. She certainly had better drugs and 300-tpi sheets and still screamed louder than anyone on the ward, so go figure.
I was looking at the moon on the way home from a gig last night--- a big old misty near-full summer moon that undoubtedly was overseeing plenty of heartache. It looked tired and sort of about to drop. I wondered what sign the moon is---I mean, that's something to wrap your brain around--- under what astrological circumstances did that chunk of planetary mystery break away and ally itself with our complicated planet for life, love-struck lunatic that it must have been?
I just came back from a trip to my old neighborhood which, like most of Manhattan, has had one of those facelifts that doesn't quite suit its bone structure. Some of the shops--- like an old diner, a Betsey Johnson boutique, were just vacant, with the sign still there. I went by my old building--- trying not to reminisce about all the great parties and amazing sex I had in there--- and in the lobby, next to the hideous pseudo-impressionist pastel oil painting of Central Park, someone had tacked up an American flag. Not a real one--- a cheap reprint on cloth that looked fake. It wasn't even hung up straight-- it looked like some kind of republican bad graffiti there... or a sign that designated the building as marked or condemned. It looked pretentious and absurd-- inappropriate and sort of obscene, in the way a moon never does. Just an observation.
The whole neighborhood looked as though it had briefly tried to become upscale, and then failed. Empty restaurants, pretentious shops and markets--even a hotel. But everything looked sad and old-new. I observed some locals coping with the economy; a guy emptying a dumpster of shoes, lamps-- someone's apartment contents. At first glance the stuff looked cool, I was thinking--- but he'll soon find out the leopard print is screened on, and the leather is Chinese composite material. He was very cool, though, the scavenger--- was not getting excited or remarking on anything which might call attention to his potential treasure. Further down the block a skinny man with no teeth was stretched out with a box of Newports on the sidewalk like a summer pastiche. What possible astrological configuration might have influenced his choice of cigarettes, because this looked major montaged, out-of-context--- like something you'd find on a beach, surfy and turquoise to bring out your tan--- not the choice of your average black homeless man. Maybe it was an art exhibit, I thought. Fringe performance stuff. But real life isn't staged or photo-shopped.
My brain has been so altered by the way I've learned to think. I guess it is fairly obvious to non-lunatics that all memories are mostly of things lost. But I don't want to find new regrets. My son is driving me crazy today-- moping around, making memories of what he might have lost last weekend. Still, I am glad I didn't forget to have children, although I miss the ones I've lost; I try to shield them from too much sunlight and from the catastrophes that they won't suffer.
A woman on the street the other day stopped me--- like an ancient seer--- and she said -Don't FEEL so much--it doesn't do you any good. Oh but it does, it does. For those of us who haven't yet succumbed to the philosophical and emotional flabbiness that is America now-- it does matter. It is our way of working out, of warding off blindness. And if our aging eyes are less sharp, and our ears ringing, let it be from too much looking and too much listening. My old moon knows what I mean. I'm beginning to think he's a fellow Aquarian after all.