It has been a quiet week here at the Alchemy HQ, although we have been more than a little up to our navels in rehearsal time for the album and trying to care for our respective bodies in anticipation of the fact. All of which could be my way of apologising, in a round about way for the resulting radio silence.
Rockstar seem intent on blowing this thing wide open with a new gameplay expose for Red Dead Redemption Part Deux and I cannot tear my eyes away. I may have watched it in excess of three, five, nay ten times already. There’s so much detail and so much love evident in every single frame and I wonder if it may be the closest thing we yet have to Westworld. Twelve-hundred precent in its favour, it also is possessing of far fewer opportunities for the House of Houser’s creations to rise up against their fleshy patrons.
I cannot possibly claim acclaim for having ordered this particular morsel. That honour should only be attributed to Her Will, although She may want to interrogate the exact degree to which that will extends, seeing as how it has only now just arrived; two. months. after. ordering. I don’t know how I feel about that punctuation. I do. It’s complicated and had I known what she was ordering, I should have demanded proverbial heads on proverbial plates for such extravagant lead time. My Salome would be a sight to behold.
I’ve whirled somewhat over how best to put this; ‘Nothing but a Circus’ is almost literally the legal equivalent of James Herriot’s ‘If Only They Could Talk’ and - as that comparison might suggest - it is both funny and fascinating at the same time. Levin is a perfect foil for our own, most reasonable rejection/irritation/contempt, asserting early on that self-importance and ineptitude are inevitable frenemies throughout the sandy columns of power. I was going for something a little less layered there but decided whole-pig over half-pig.
What else are we left with when the best of us die young. That’s so very much not a question; this is something I’m absolutely enjoying reading and yet it makes me feel both tired and not alone at the same exact time. In light of that, it is perhaps true that, like Levin, the only thing I have learned thus far is that I learn nothing from my mistakes. And that’s just page one, motherfuckers. I’ve found a level circa twenty-thirty percent through and can meet you there and we can talk, promise.
Anya Silver was 49 and I think it’s entirely reasonable to say that’s too young. I certainly feel that way. I have a few of her books at home on the top shelf and I climb there from time to time, curl up among some dust bunnies and rest in the half light.
Her poem ‘Born Melancholy’ is, I think, the poem I have been feeling my way around the edges of for a long time. Probably since I was old enough to know that one day I would miss things - people, places, moments - long before they were even gone and although I never knew her in person, I miss Anya now. That’s the thing about melancholy; it has the power to suffuse your past, present and future for light years in any direction, in something that’s not quite depression and more a sometime awareness of the horizon both before and behind you. It is also true that the road not taken is always there although it was never to be.
JD - TACOCAT