Personal revisionism

An odd thing happened to me this week. It was one of those connective moments, when something you used to believe or think about when you were a kid gets re-illuminated or redefined much later on, when it's all but forgotten. Some mild examples are: The first time I saw Annie Hall, I didn't get how Alvy Singer was talking about therapy and that if didn't work, he was going to Lourdes. Later, I found out that Lourdes was a place of holy pilgrimage where people go for miraculous healing. Then I suddenly got Alvy. Or I never understood that in the Dead Milkmen song "Bitchin' Camaro," the Doors cover band described and the song they sang was actually a version of "Love Me Two Times" by a real band called The Doors. Later when I discovered the Lizard King and his crew, I realized Bitchin' Camaro made.. a tiny bit... more sense. I love these little mysteries we set ourselves as young people, simply by not fully understanding or absorbing the world yet. Then they are solved later in a lightning strike of amazement and realization. "OHHHHH! That's it!!!"

So here's what happened this time. I was listening to an audio-book called "Justice," narrated by the author, Dominick Dunne. (I'd always thought DD's Vanity Fair articles were a little high-falutin', but he's a great narrator and refreshingly frank about his gossip-collecting.) Anyway, the first piece in the book is a VF article published in 1984 about the murder of his daughter Dominique and the subsequent trial of her killer. While he was narrating, I suddenly realized that I'd actually read the article in 1984. I'd forgotten almost all of it except for one striking image: in his opening remarks, the DA held up a watch and timed off for the jury how long it took Dominique Dunne to die of strangulation. He did this for 4 agonizing minutes. That image hit me and I never forgot it. I even remember what song was playing on the radio after I finished the article and was mulling it over--it was "New Song," by Howard Jones. Whenever I hear it I think of that courtroom and that poor girl.

Now, in 2007, it's back. I was listening to the tape and I heard those lines and I realized where this image I'd been holding on to FIT into a bigger story. Maybe it doesn't sound that weird when I write it down. But it is fascinating to me to think that there are still little personal mysteries that I'll be stumbling on and unravelling throughout my whole life. I'm never going to "get it" all. I am grateful to have a good enough memory that when little pieces show up later on, glittering pennies on the sidewalk, they can be picked up and slotted into place, making my picture of the world a tiny bit more complete.

Radio news: Regular listeners will know that I took the evening off on Independence Day and there was no Beef Jerky Time broadcast. Here's what I played the week before though (sorry so late in this update!):
  • Silver Spoons theme
  • Sound of Silver; North American Scum; Someone Great: LCD Soundsystem
  • 1 2 3 4: Feist
  • New Day: Kate Hevnavik
  • Lightbulb: Mezzanine Owls
  • Backyards of Our Neighbours: Au Revoir Simone
  • Quero te Amar: Bonde Do Role
  • Destroy Everything You Touch: Ladytron
  • 5:55: Charlotte Gainsbourg
  • Warm Tears: Alsace
  • Winter in the Hamptons: Josh Rouse

No comments: