Tonight we went into LA to see Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer perform…Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer type things. I don’t think they were entirely clear when they planned this tour, and that was okay. While Amanda’s music is not my thing, there are gobs of things I admire about her, and I am an unabashed fangirl when it comes to Neil (see, e.g., the night I didn’t throw up on his shoes—made more poignant tonight by a story he told where he had such stage fright recently that he threw up). I also contributed to their Kickstarter campaign, which was to raise money to record all six nights of this tour.
There were readings by Neil, including one that he said we hadn’t heard before, and I turned to Ken and said “But didn’t we hear this when we saw him in Santa Barbara?” But it was different somehow; we think he read only the middle bit earlier. Still very spooky. Still made me wonder if people who hadn’t lived in the UK got the subtleties.
There was music by Amanda, some of which I knew, and while again her style doesn’t speak to me, I can still appreciate it and appreciate her talent and, for lack of a better word, energy. She wore the stunningly gorgeous vintage Deco dress from the Oscars, and I only wished I were closer (we were in about the 10th row, but there were tons of empty seats scattered before us, which made me a wee bit grumpy) so I could see it better.
There were also things by both Neil and Amanda, including a Q&A from Qs left in a box at the merch table, and a song or two. Oh, and a costume contest partially judged by Margaret Cho (!).
The show made me lament the lack of a literary salon in my life. I really do yearn for that. A perhaps monthly get-together, with wine or tea, to discuss concepts and ideas and brainstorm and create. I can get it in snippets, with some friends…just not quite to the level I’m craving. The problem, in large part, is that the best friends for something like this are scattered across the world. Still waiting for that transporter technology, kthnxbai.
Anyway, after the utterly wonderful show, we went out to the parking lot (after deciding not to stand in the loooooong line to get something signed; all I had was the t-shirt I’d just bought, anyway) to discover the car battery was dead.
The irony was that earlier that day I’d commented that the car seemed to take a bit longer to start, something I’d noticed the previous Thursday…oh well! AAA actually came quickly and we were back on the road. But the car was still acting funny when we grabbed In-n-Out, and as we wound our way up Highway 1, the headlights grew dimmer and dimmer until almost exactly 10 miles from home, we coasted over onto the shoulder.
This time it took AAA longer to arrive. Ken actually dozed as we sat there in the silence and dark. We could see the faint glow of Oxnard ahead and the stars above, but other than that, no light.
Sitting there at the side of the road, the cliff looming above us on our right, the ocean down a cliff just across the road, in the dark, on the night when the veil between the worlds is thinnest…let’s just say my brain was in overdrive, busily trying to creep myself out.
And that’s when I heard the voices. Faint, murmuring voices. Not constant—in fact, every time I convinced myself I was just hearing the wind or the surf, the sounds would become more voicelike again.
Thankfully Ken was awake when people actually appeared on the other side of the road on bicycles, in the dark, with just a glow stick. It was like the fucking scary men from Buffy that glide around and steal voices, because I could not see the bicycles. Gah.
Eventually AAA arrived and took my poor car to my fabulous Swedish Car Guy, and we caught an expensive taxi home. I think we got there about 3 am?
I did a brief Samhain ritual, lighting a candle for the ancestors, burning a slip of paper on which was written something I want to give up to make room for something positive in my life, and pulling a Tarot card for the year. Six of Pentacles. I’m good with that.
The Wheel Turns. Thank you all for sharing this journey with me.