I bumped upon this painting by Ben Smith: Leonard Cohen pouring that kid in his lap - Nick Cave - a glass of red. Life and death. Cave lives. Cohen died. Cave’s son died. Marianne died too.
I’m holding an old Cohen songbook, 1969. Scores and pictures. And quotes. “When I see a woman transformed by the orgasm we reached, then I know we’ve met. Anything else is fiction. That’s the vocabulary we speak in today. It’s the only language left.”
The 60s. Times long gone. “I wish the women would hurry up and take over. It’s going to happen, so let’s get it over with.” “I really am for the matriarchy.” I’m too. Just a little extra push and off we go.
“Radishes scream when they are pulled from the earth,” he says. So, for a full year, he –the vegetarian - prefers meat.
In the 60s he spends most of his time with Marianne on Hydra, the Greek island without cars. I went there once- Times long gone, too. We knew we weren’t in love, but we acted as if and had loads of fun: where are you now, Ingrid, girl? Hope life has been treating you well. Remember us wining and dining in that small, filthy Piraeus joint serving the most wonderful fried fish ever, and getting ouzo drunk and almost missing that hydrofoil?
Hydra.A half hour boat trip, did he go fast and we were sitting front row and, to be honest, we were both suffering some minor depression caused by dumping our boy-resp. girlfriend - but the liquor soothed the pain.
Looking out over the waves you were elucidating your mind blowing ideas about that ‘soon-to-be-published’ ‘ultimate tourist guide’. Do you recall? You would go for ‘the unexpected detail’ no other guide would ever write about. So, for your readers’ sake, you started trying every front row seat in that goddamned hovercraft. You smart crazy sweet borderliner. And yes, fun was that easy, those days.
And then you whispered “errrr, honey… Think i’ve got to throw it all out.” And it all came out, spread over at least 7 seats: the fish, the booze, the feta, the olives even. Green and black ones. Unexpected details indeed, and the giggles, again.
When that boat finally moored, it was almost night and it rained over Hydra’s fishing port, remember, and you had to pee, and someone gave us a room under the roof and as you were a Zappa fan you kept on calling that bottle of ouzo yawza yawza yawza, and i whispered in your ear THAT was the main reason i kissed you: to shut your mouth in a very sweet way. “Okay,” you answered, “we’ve got an agreement.” And then you fell asleep and in the dead of night you suddenly were upon me, dancing me to the end of love, and those masts outside chinking, and jingling and tinkling and the low Aegean sky weeping, weeping, weeping.
(to be continued)
(more pics in our Instagram post March 1st 2020)
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