I can see a satellite from where I’m lying. At first I think, “Oh my god, that’s a UFO!” It would be easy to chalk up that thought to my belly, which is full of psychedelic mushrooms, but I always seem to think I see UFOs in the sky. Maybe I’m just always looking up. This particular satellite — it’s traveling at an ungoogleable speed. It’s the kind of speed that your brain can’t really put a number to because either you’re too stupid or you’ve just never gone that fucking fast. It passes through the entire length of my vision before I can appreciate it.
“Hexes on my satellite.”
What? What is that? Is that already a lyric from something? Definitely not. Goddamn, that’s a good lyric. Don’t forget that. Think really hard and don’t forget that. I always forget things when I’m high. OK, well if I forget it, it’s probably not something worth remembering anyway. I’m too comfortable…
…but it’s a really good line, Jordan. I’ll make it easier for you. These are your choices; remember how to walk like some prehistoric lizard fish, or stay with your head comfortably nestled near the fire that you built! You’re on mushrooms. You can let this idea go. It’s probably not all that good anyway. You have twenty more.
“X’s on my eyes, hexes on my satellite.”
Fuck. That’s great. You can’t waste that. But I don’t even know where I put the fucking phone. If I want to remember this, I’ll have to wander back toward the cabin and away from the safety of this fire. I’ll have to search through the belly of the cabin, which has been pulsing in amniotic warmth for the last eight hours with a guitar drone that I created to relax myself before I started eating all these mushrooms. I’ll try to recall how my fingers work to turn on the fucking phone, and if I’m not vaporized by the blinding light it will undoubtedly emit, I will somehow figure out if I can even sing or play guitar anymore. Fuck it. My body feels like the earth. I am an earthworm. I breathe through every porous crevice on my body. I can see the goddamn arm of the galaxy right in front of my eyes, I am nothing and my ideas are dust. I’m supposed to be learning.
What am I supposed to be learning?
Who’s teaching me? It’s only me in here. The only thing I know for sure is that I wish that I could let the world go. What a bunch of sad bullshit. Lies.
I think I’m hungry. All I’ve been eating all day is poison. There is peanut brittle inside, and that shit is banging.
“X’s on my eyes, hexes on my satellite, oracle lies”
My legs are trees. I’m on my feet and into the cabin before I can even register what just happened. I don’t feel a thing. I know exactly where I put the phone when I turned it off and tucked it away. Just as quickly as I find it, it’s on, and I retrieve the voice memo app. A flurry of texts rushes in. My mind processes them at a speed that I must’ve nicked from the Verizon Wireless cum Virgin Galactic cum NSA Space Station Freedom X1 that just passed overhead. Exes on my phone. I swipe them away. You aren’t real. I sing my idea and clumsily hum chord structures and names. I sound crazy. I don’t care. When I die, if I’m not loved enough to be turned into a hologram, maybe I’ll be loved enough by someone who will unfortunately release all of my tens of thousands of voice memo bombs. The ones where I’m humming ideas when I’m half asleep, or high, or on mushrooms, or in a public bathroom, or in an airport, or on an airplane. You’re bound to find one or one hundred shapes that you recognize. I wrote “Blue” like that. I was on a plane flying from Los Angeles to New York to meet Beyoncé for the first time. I had an idea for a song, so I sang it into the phone for the duration of the flight. I obsessed over the song in my head the entire time. I feel sorry for that person sitting next to me.
No, I don’t. I don’t fucking care. People have stared at me in public as if I were crazy my entire life. Maybe I’ll just go with it now.
But I digress. By the time I sat down at a computer — or in front of the piano — that song burst out of me like a bacteria-laced shrimp cocktail. I “produced” it in fifteen minutes. Well, twenty-six years and fifteen minutes. The hard part was waiting around on a fucking plane. My dad once told me the story of when Marvin Gaye finally finished the arrangement for “What’s Going On.” He was in a hotel room at 2 or 3 AM. He called up everyone and told them to get to the studio. But they couldn’t find James Jamerson. They searched all of the local bars and found him shit-faced at one. When they got him to the studio he couldn’t sit straight in his chair; he kept sliding out to lie on the floor. They finally held the chart over his head and he played the song verbatim, stone drunk, on the first or second take. For most people, that’s the interesting part of the story. But the thought that truly interests me is that Marvin Gaye had to sit around and imagine this masterpiece in his head for hours — maybe days — before being able to record it.
A text pops in right as I finish my thought.
twigs: how u?
me: i feel like i’m in the womb right now
twigs: haha what??
The frequency of conversation between twigs and me has increased a hundredfold in the last week. We tell each other secrets. We’re both good at keeping secrets. She tells me that she’s coming to N.Y.C. soon to escape. That seems backward to me. Currently, I feel all sorts of Snake Plissken trapped in New York. But it’s late summer, and the city starts to become more pleasant around then. We make a plan, and we stick by it. She shows up at my spot and we ride the freight elevator up in complete silence. She grabs her drum machine and we make “mothercreep” in no time at all. It’s perfect. We go to Vogue Knights every Monday that she’s in town and I feel the electric energy of people competitive-dancing for the first time since I was 12. Spirits still exist in some shape, in some form, somewhere. The MC ends each competition seed with a stuttered “1, 2, 3, now hold that pose for me!” And they do.
“You have to make that a hook,” I suggest. We make “Glass & Patron” on a Tuesday. We will have finished her next EP in two weeks. I tell her that those two weeks will never exist again. I was right.
The next time I see her is in London to finish up some vocals. I go to France after that. La Fabrique. The mecca of all recording dreams. It’s here that I break as a person.