That's my answer.
David Byrne, like Nan Goldin, is so very brave. He is so extremely odd. It makes me exquisitely happy to see how odd he is. Take a listen to “Au Fond du Temple Saint” on his newest album Grown Backwards, and you will understand. It’s Byrne-esque opera, for one thing, and he is singing loudly. He may have perfect pitch, but it takes some kind of courage to push that voice to that decibel level. The way those strings build into the chorus almost brings tears to my eyes. Also, David Byrne is silver-haired, foxy, and stylish. Keats and I (and a horde of her relatives) are going to see him play at the Pier this Sunday. I almost cried when we saw him there in 2001. He is so odd, out in the world doing his own weird thing and making it work. Isn’t that what we all want for ourselves? His lyrics sometimes sound like instruction manuals. He puts clothing on furniture and calls it art, makes it to the Venice Bienniale. David Byrne, I want to work for you. Or be you.
In other quotidian news, I found myself in conversation today with a school friend who tells me that she has given up sugar. “It’s toxic,” she tells me, “Even worse than drinking or doing drugs!” Her eyes are wide, her tone insistent. “Don’t get me started,” she warns. She’s flailing her arms. She’s taking cod liver oil.
Now, we all have different bodies and different experiences of those different bodies. I know this, yes yes. Trite though it may sound, this body wants everything in moderation. Or usually in moderation. Usually. Food—contemplation of, preparation of, and consumption of—is a tremendous source of pleasure, both intellectual and sensual. From earthy Brussels sprouts to sweet green beans and crusty bread and gamey meat and runny-yolked eggs and barnyardy cheeses and cold apples and bitter chocolate, everything in its right place—but everything. Sugar tastes good, period, and it’s wickedly fun to not obsess over everything that crosses your lips. I will admit to having found diet/lifestyle guru Dr. Andrew Weil (e.g., Eating Well for Optimum Health) pretty sympathetic, but I can’t help but stray, no matter how sensible he is. He would look askance at the products of my weekend baking binges, and I just won’t stand for it. So onward I go. There is so much to be baked, roasted, braised, eaten! I wonder if David Byrne likes torta di ricotta. I've got the ingredients in the fridge, just waiting.