That New Year’s Eve, WNED, the public station here, was showing “Doctor Zhivago”. That had been “our” movie (it had been “her” movie and she had persuaded me to make it ours) and as I happened to catch the beginning before I went out – the funeral procession for young Yuri’s mother moving along a broad cold plain on the windswept Steppes – I almost called her, but figured she certainly already knew it was on.
I had last connected with her when I stopped by on December 13 for her birthday. We had broken up years ago, but I still visited her, made “ice cream runs” for her when her MS was too much for her to get out herself. The year before I had given her a 2004 “Kitten a Day” wall calendar, and this year I had gotten her the 2o05 edition. When I had called her a couple days before and told her I had a little birthday gift for her, she asked “Is it a new kitty calendar like last year? I loved that!”
I had then gotten her a cute little useless toy for Christmas – but as Christmas came, I couldn’t find it. I knew it was somewhere in my apartment. I decided to forgo a Christmas call or visit until I found it – I knew she had plans with friends to keep her busy, even if her current beau was with his children and extended family, and neither of us were Christian anyway.
So I didn’t visit her, and I didn’t call her on New Year’s Eve.
A week later I got a call from her best friend. “I have some bad news about Marilyn. Are you sitting down…?”
Marilyn had died of a massive heart attack the morning of December 28, while television was filled with coverage of the 2004 tsunami. That’s not unusual with people with MS because of the strong steroids they take. Her friend, and her mother and sister who arrived from out of town, could only find an old telephone number for me in her apartment. I was listed in the phonebook, but none of the poor women connected “Larry” with “Lawrence”; a week later, her friend had decided to just call all the ten or so people in it with my last name, came to my parents before me and they directed her to me before she made any more calls.
At the time, my hobby was creating tunes with samples – splicing drumbeats, cutting and stretching basslines, bending notes on guitar riffs, pitchshifting synthesizer sweeps, trying to create my own music. I called myself Scajaquada.
I had been working on something for a song remix contest – more using the vocals, and a couple squelchy synth lines offered from the original – to drape my own ideas on.
And over the next few days, as I helped the women clean Marilyn’s apartment, and find a new home for her frightened feline Rudy, I changed up the song a bit, and finished it. Eerily prescient; I think I only started working on it after she had died.
The song is “Everyday” by Lounge. I haven’t heard of them before or since either. The vocals and the synth squelch are from the samples offered by the contest. The rest are samples and bits I got from other sources, the composition is mine.
To listen to it, with the Sony Acidplanet website’s pop-up streaming player:
And here is the song’s webpage on my Acidplanet mini-site.