coffee banner and more information than anyone really needs : san francisco (2012)
so this morning i was thinking about givers and the methods and ways in which they figure out how to give.
givers are from many origins. some give because they want friends. some give because they have too much and feel bad. some give because someone else gave to them and changed their life in a positive way. some give because others didn't. some give because they don't want the planet to crash. some give because they are getting rid of something and want to be perceived as generous.
and this last part made me stop.
literally, a wildly unabashed naked madonna ran across the living room in my mind. i could hear her high heels and then her whole entourage from 1992 -- all the lavish characters from her book called SEX -- pursued her, laughing quite joyously.
but here's why...
i had a friend that i met my second year in college. she was a fascinating character with long flowing curly red hair and the personality to match it. but even though she appeared boisterous and wild on the outside, inside she was actually painfully shy and had an extremely difficult time trying to get what she wanted or express herself to others.
our friendship had a 12 year lifetime. during its life, we both moved away to different parts of the world and she became overwhelmed with alcohol and despair. but we were united once again in the last two years of our friendship. sadly, we had made so many adventures together at the beginning that in the end, just sitting around and drinking and talking/reliving all those fantastic journeys became irrelevant. i gave up and mostly because i don't like over-drinking.
i didn't want alcoholic friends who couldn't move forward. and even after the drinking stopped and the recovery took effect, we didn't have any memories that didn't involve the history of her drinking heavily. so, in all fairness, i would forever be a spiritual reminder of those younger, faster, more dangerous/less consequential days. i would be a gateway memory to the volatile past.
anyway, in one of our last moments, several of her close friends helped her cart a bunch of stuff to the good will. she was moving back up to the city to take a job in her father's business -- her ultimate self-proclaimed defeat. it shamed her because it made her feel like she was making the exact same sacrifice that her mother had made. and she was making that same sacrifice and it was killing her, so those last days were clouded by her own disappointment and self absorption.
in one of the boxes, as i was unloading at the thrift store, i found the book SEX. i was flabbergasted. it was only 1999 at the time, but i looked through the rest of the boxes and they were filled with treasures of the same ilk. highly personal things, but real rarities of sentimental value.
anyway, the other folks/friends who were helping with her move and the clean up process got wind of the boxes and started going through them as well. in general, it was a sad moment because all these people were generously helping this person with her move and she could easily have gifted any and all of them with a seriously cool memento or treasure for their help and friendship and love. instead, cold heartedly, she boxed it up and gave it away to strangers.
this made me mad and i'm bad with anger. i grabbed the book SEX from the box and thanked her for her strange lack of generosity which had left her throwaways in my vehicle and legally mine. i gave the others a shot at anything they might have wanted to. then i told her how the book would've made the most lovely of all gifts if it had come from her heart. it would have been something i never would forget and always value and treasure.
today the book is worth 400$
to me, that book is worth the friend i lost.
but it's not the money, it was the lesson of giving and the power of withholding.
however, the book did come out during the zenith of our best years together when we weren't mainstream. we were freer than madonna and the top 100.
we had access to the top 1000 and went our own way.
we dug into a different topsoil of music and dance and party.
for us, madonna was tamed down for the public eye and campy with bubblegum relish. her brazen sexuality was glamorous but stylized into personal irrelevance. she was a floozy, not a great artist. she was a sexual shapeshifter, not an icon. she donned guises instead of tearing the meat off the bone with her bare teeth.
but in the book SEX, things got spicy. madonna told a story that was much closer to a life path that we were curious about. and the photos were/are excellent. she worked with really great artists to create the book.
and i guess i'll probably always keep this book if i can.
it was/is utter genius and pure fantasy.
i am already doing a version of it that i can present here without copyright infringement since so few people have seen/read it.
SEX is based a lot on artistically sharing shame without fear.
it's so outrageous as to be startling and shocking.
it's also so spiritually shocking and revealing as to be great literature.
either way, only one million books written by madonna were made that year :-)
and that's not a lot of books for the world's biggest living star