Wednesday, January 10, 2007

On Not Taking Home A Stranger.


be honest, she kept saying.

fucking, with who? when? all the time?

life seems to be a beautiful game about using and abusing honesty.
it hurts, heals, it changes, it doesn't even fucking exist.
it exists as much as truth exists. it's relative and Not Real.

i was lonely tonight. i've been lonely for a while. i have my friends, my confidants, my intimates.
my secrets, my pains and worries, they don't go unshared.
but i do miss holding someone in bed, being close with someone, whispering things, doing lover-like things. i get my occasional fix, but it's small and rare and mostly insignificant.
it's been this way for years. i get glimpses, but i've more or less forgotten what it's like to have it on a regular basis.

there were two guys who came to the last three of four shows at the onion cellar. obvious fans. i liked them. they were sweet, we greeted and meeted and did the things that you do. the way to interact when you are rock-singer and fan. i found out they'd traveled all the way from the other side of the country for the show. they'd taken trains and busses and were staying in a hostel in boston, just to see our show.
this sort of thing still moves me, though it doesn't floor me as much as it used to. you get used to hearing things like this. "we came form australia just to see the play."
"we came from kansas city just to see the play."
"we came from germany just to see the play."
i hear it and try to let it all sink in, imagining the plane ride, the organizing, the amount of effort it took for this one person to be standing here in front of me. my imagination can never fully appreciate it, i know.

so when they came tonight, i recognized them. the quieter one, the dark-haired one with the hat, gave me a folded letter. i've gotten used to this too. i have. i could have guessed, by the weight of it, that it was going to say something more than "wonderful show, your fan, x". you just know. by the way something gets handed to you. by the way someone says nothing and presses something into your hand, shying away. you just learn.

the crowd had cleared out of the theater. i had stayed late tonight to finish an interview with NPR. i liked the reporter. he'd come to my house yesterday. to interview. we drank merlot and ended up really talking. that'll happen sometimes. it's rare. press = people , real. then you can talk and talk and talk. sometimes i miss talking to people.

so the theater was basically empty, the crew was still cleaning up, fireproofing the paper confessions, sweeping the floors. the dressing room was empty. it has a piano in it.

i don't play the piano anymore.

i've been noticing, through the show, that if you play some sad, slow chords underneath almost any dialogue, that you can make it seem sad and more meaningful, or add a depth of incredible profundity that wouldn't have otherwise been there. that's what music does. the soundtrack of our lives.

about a month ago, i was hit by the impulse to break out an old recording of my grandfather's 90-minute cassette-tape recording he made, right before he died, about his adventures at sea with the british merchant marine. just pressed play and pounded slow, minor piano chords while he talked. oh, it worked. his voice sounded all of a sudden weighty like it never had. so i knew.

i took the letter upstairs. went to the men's bathroom, like evry other night, and slathered my face with cold-cream and wiped off the excess with a towel. went back to the dressing room and put the letter on my arms at the piano and played e minor and c major with some random notes up top while i read. and of course

....of course it worked.

i mean, this would have been a sad and beautiful letter anyway, and anyone would have been able to guess by the length and the small hand-writing and the scratches-out that this was going to be a good one.

i wonder where they are, where;d they go? i wondered.

after the NPR reporter left my apartment yesterday i was too drunk with wine and conversation to do any work, so i took myself out to dinner, alone. i was feeling oddly depressed.
i ate and wrote and pondered my useless existence (this is fun!) and went home, watching the sidewal blur under my feet, all of a sudden light because i remembered lee had left a DVD copy of "adaptation" with nicholas cage on my desk and i'd been wanting to see it, and fuck the work and the catching up i had to do i could do anything i wanted i'm a free woman and it's a free country and i don't need to answer anybody i'm freeeeeeeeeeeee so i watched it. i paid later as i fought sleep realizing that i had neglected answering emails that had to be answered today and i had fucked myself.

it was a beautiful film. it reminded me of too much. how we try so hard to make meaning. you can make meaning out of anything, really, if you try. the idea is always better than the reality.

i kept trying to remember the writer of this letter, his hat, his hair, his sheepish grin as he handed me the paper. i've done this before. how many times? a lot. after so many shows. people hand you things. you know.

i played the chords and i read. i played a little soundtrack to this letter, a sad one, a perfect one.

when i got to the part, about halfway through, about his response to the pieces of paper, to be filled out by the audience, that the cast hands out in the play : "when was the last time you cried, and why". he didn't respond. he saved it (did he? or did he answer on the paper during the play?) for this letter. did he? i don't know. i read his story. him sitting there alone in the back room of the place he works, cursing himself. dragging that safety pin across.....but now, how much am i taking advantage of him? it's his story, his story. not mine. it is mine. he gave it to me. my heart cramped up.

my own little onion cellar, up in the dressing room and all alone. fucking, of course. My Own Private Onion Cellar starring amanda palmer and river phoenix. Ha - never on the stage, where i wanted it.

i imagined myself on closing night, fucking up the show, ignoring "coin-operated boy" and whipping out this letter, playing my sad chords and reading aloud. was this what i wanted. of course it was.
is this what anybody wants to watch, to hear?

i read, thinking already...will he leave a phone number at the end of the letter? sometimes they do. sometimes they do.....and if he did, i say to myself, i swear to fucking god, i'll call him. i will. i'll call him right now and pick him up from whatever bus or subway station or youth hostel he's at and i swear to god i'll drive him home, back to my apartment, pu thim on my comfortable couch and give him wine and tea and soup and a night he'll never forget, i'll hold him and hold him and stroke his back and hair and kiss his arms clean and unscratched and take all of his pain and hurt away and feed him breakfast and give him love he's never known.

this is where my brain hurts.

very funny, amanda.

can one really do that? isn't it impossible? i mean, wouldn't it be so impure? like: through his mind would be coursing Oh My God, I'm In Bed With Amanda Palmer From The Dresden Dolls, the girl to whom i wrote this long passionate fan letter, and she called me. (bad narcissist amanda! bad bad bad!). and now i'm in her bed. My Life Is Surreal. can kisses like that count? for real? feel real? or would i just be taking advantage of something...a modern day jimmy page ransacking a perfectly innocent person because of my own emptiness and need for a cuddle?

and could he even give up? could he forget who i am and just surrender to I'm A Boy You're A Girl and Here We Are....put your arms around me, hold me, forget everything, let's be Young and Free and Fucked and Spontaneous.....i don't know. i mean, really, there is no answer to this. people meet in the strangest ways.

i assume so.
he didn't leave a number.
there was just an email.
i found myself wondering....oh oh oh maybe he's one of those modern types, who has a blackberry, who has a treo, ga gah gah if i just email immediately he'll get this message on his phone and then we'll, and then i'll...
i stopped right there.

the idea is always better than the reality, isn't it.

it's probably better, i rationalized.
i don't Do Things like that.
funny, i never really have.
not in a long time. i've always gotten too caught, i think, in the terrifying poetry of it all. who wants an unbalanced relationship to Start Out With? they all end up that way, for fucks sake, but at least you have that few months of bliss where you feel like One. who wants to be in bed an feel like some kind of otherworldy god?

jimmy page,,,,,


i remember once i was walking down mass ave between harvard and central square. i must have been 21 or 22. i walked by this incredible-looking guy. eyelashes, lips to die for. we caught eyes as we passed each other. we kep walking, as you do. and we both tuned around at the same time, as you sometimes do, to catch that second glance. and i remember thinking to myself FUCK IT FUCK IT and i walked right up to him and kissed him square on the mouth, tongue and all, thinking this was probably the most romantic and gorgeous thing i'd ever done in my life. and he kissed me back, and i kissed him back.

but then, HAha.

then what do you do?

then we were FUCKED.

the kiss was over and we sort of stood there, gaping at each other. if i'd been smart, i would have walked away, never said another word, blown his a kiss his way and winked.
done something perfectly cinematic, but no.

instead i spoke. we chattered for a second.
want to get a drink?
we went across the street to The Cellar, a perfectly quaint bar with wooden tables.
could've been romantic, no?
wasn't romantic. he was from brazil. a student. he loved soccer. i was into music? oh yes cool. that is cool. very cool. so you. what do you really want to do in life? do?
oh nothing. i am in school but i have no interests. i like soccer. drinking is also good.

this was hell. i had destroyed the most romantic moment of my life by inviting it into a bar.
now it was talking to me about the world cup and i wanted to vomit.

we never exchanged numbers.

as i left the theater i stuffed the letter in my back pants pocket. i walked by cafe pamplona and the waiter was pulling in the table from the patio.

"i heard your show was great tonight".

eh? from who?

"that couple, they were here after the show. they were talking about you".

the two boys? my heart jumped.

"which way did they go. they just left? just now?"

"they drove home, i think. the couple, you know...."

heart sank. oh, i know. this was the older couple i'd met in the cafe before the show. they were beautiful, this couple, in their sixties and making non-profit theater for woman and children with HIV and talking talking talking about pierrot and make-up.

i walked to my car and kept seeing shadows across the streets.
i'd seen them leave, these two boys, one of them my romantic letter-writer with the dark hair and the hat, they'd waved good-bye through the window. they were going back to the other side of the country. they'd said.

every time i saw a pair of people walking, i wondered: is it them? what would i do? accost them? tell his friend to wait in the living room with a glass of wine while i romanced his friend to DEATH in the next room?

i started thinking about writing this blog, looking at the bricks blurring under my feet. i thought about the film. i'm caught in my own screenplay, i laughed, i can never leave. i'm constantly writing myself into it.
i just played a soundtrack to a sad and beautiful and perfect letter, and the music is stuck in my head, and the last thing i am thinking about is taking home to the piano and writing a song. no. i want to blog. i knew it would come to this. i am no longer a song-writer, i smirk to myself, i'm a blog-writer. i'm made the switch to the dark side. and so i was thinking as i fished the car-key out and started the engine and drove home, calling pope on the way to see if he had a cigarette so that i could have something smoking in my hand so i could kick-start myself to combat the blank screen. better to write SOMETHIng, i said. better to blog than to sleep. better to blog than to go to the bar. who needs songs? you've written plenty of songs. when you need more, more will come? do you need more songs? right now? fuck no. what would you even do with them.

this is how i know i'm fucked. i used to only smoke at home while writing songs, now it's acceptable to smoke while blogging.
god, it's pathetic. i feel like nicholas cage except i'm not losing my hair. i'm losing my self. my hair is going gray. i dye it dark red.

i came home and poured myself a sam adams lager and started to write.

here we are. hi. hi. hi.

time for bed.

maybe this is better than a song?
instead of applause, i get comments.
sometimes they feel the same.
]sometimes i like the comments more than the applause.
i can read the comments, they're human. they make sense.
the applause. sometimes it just sounds like noise.

cross-posted to


Andreas said...

well, i'm sure you just made his day.

the Kate said...

Amanda! Come on!

-columbus Kate

mdhatter said...

I was at the Onion Cellar tonight, seated over by the entrance. Thanks for the liquor license. I took your encouragement to drink, in the same vein as I was once directed to read a novel. A forgotten man saw a 17-year old me reading 'on the road' and told me to read the Keroac novel 'tristessa' - in one sitting, with a good bottle of dark red.

the 17 year old me did so, and I remember that day as so perfect.

tonight the 33-year old me gets another one to go in that same place. thank you for that rare treat.

You were brilliant. Your show is abso-fucking-lutely brilliant.

The guy in the red suit - brilliant.

Brian (who I must admit is my favorite) - his drum solo moved the woman in front of me to tears. literally. I don't kid about such things. It. Was. Awesome.

Also, sad to hear about the Pan9 space. I was familiar with the building but not really the people (except MadOak and the cranky building super). I am very suspicious because I know some very bad things about that place (the building, certainly not Pan9)

As for the fan thing. I'm not either of the guys you noticed at the show, but I've seen the Dresden Dolls a few times over the last couple years, and you occasionally look at me like you recognise me. It's a nice feeling - you search out my eyes for a couple seconds and really look. You once asked me if we had met. We haven't, but I'd love to. I like the way you look, and because it is very very late I feel it necessary to point out the double meaning intended.

As for the scraps of paper - I only hope you can read mine.

At least I remember her name. The part I didn't take the time to add was that it was on a sort of dare, well before I understood anything about anything. I never saw her before that day, nor ever again.

Also, blogging is only a 'bad' thing if you cry out to be taken seriously and every syllable must be a masterwork. I don't get that vibe from your blog, and if it's okay I may stop by again sometime.

Again though, thank you for the show. It recharged a part of me that needed some juice, and it also threw a couple internal conversations into a new light.

a rare place, your Onion Cellar.

broken0wish said...

Wow...this is your most real and raw entry yet. If he's such a fan, he'd read this. You'd know that Amanda. I wonder what he will do. I wonder what it is like to feel so alone when so many people love you, admire you, just want to be in your presence. Overwhelming I imagine. I hope you find a lover for it is different to love itself. I hope you find happiness.

Anonymous said...

I think that's a shame. Whilst I understand and respect what you did and your reasons for doing it, I can't help thinking that if you were attracted to him and moved by his story... then surely it's worth taking the chance? If you spend too long over-thinking all the reasons not to, yes, it's possible it'd have turned out like the example you gave with the Brazilian guy, but even those of us who aren't rock stars have to face those kinds of possibilities... furthermore, most of my friends frequently ruin potentially good opportunities by over-thinking on all the reasons *not* to go through with them instead of just going with their initial gut feelings, even without the crutches of being in a band to consider.

On the other hand, I think it's very moving to think that you care so much that you would so carefully consider whether or not you were doing the right thing so as not to just take advantage of one of your fans, which I think is characteristically one of the reasons why we (your fans) love and appreciate you as much as we do and what sets you apart from the other artists we pin up on our walls.

I wish I could give you a hug! x

Jevon said...


Thank you Amanda, that is the most stunningly beautiful and romantic thing I've ever read. I'm sure you hear this all the time, but you and everything you do inspires me more than I can describe. Thank you!

Sorry, I really don't know what else to say. *hugs*

feral_sherryl said...

Like broken0wish said, if he’s a true fan, he would read this. For your sake, I hope he gets in contact with you.
When something moves you like that, then you HAVE to take the chance.
It’s like something out of a daydream. You can sit and picture something romantic happening to you for your whole life and for some people, a majority of people, that romantic gesture will never come.
I know that this wasn’t a romantic gesture of sorts, but it’s still something that moved you in such a way that you will forever be thinking of the “what ifs”. So take the chance. See what happens.

A blog is just like a song. They are both personal to the author. They both tell a story. You are a poet. With words and with lyrics.
But applause is only temporary, comments last forever. Your songs deserve more than applause.
In a way, I think you have received that. If it weren’t for your songs, the guy in the hat would never have driven across America to personally hand you that letter. That’s better than any applause or comment. Cherish it.


Emily said...

hi Amanda(!),
i'm the girl in the red coat who gave you flowers maybe a month ago. thank you so much for talking with me after the show. perhaps you picked up on the massive fame-crush i'd developed on you and Brian?
but here's the thing: i walked away from that conversation with you having learned maybe the simplest thing in the world: oh my god, Amanda Palmer is a person. and I'm a person. what can I not achieve?
i think you're the most human public person out there, which is a big part of why you inspire me so damn much. it's easy to skew up your viewpoint when you've got so much machinery of fame around you, but i highly doubt it would have gotten in the way for your letter-writing fellow.
thank you amanda, for everything you do - applause, applause, noise, noise!

Amber said...

I saw them there, the pair you talk about. It was my second time seeing the show last night. I bought my father and I tickets for this Saturday before knowing I was going last night (a friend in town wanted to go). I'm looking forward to watching him react. I know it's not all you wanted it to be, but the two of you shine through, the intention is there, and I've cried every time (usually because of the bartender and the bear, but also at the drum solo..and on and on). Thank You.

Noam Plum said...

There's a story in this. Well.. a couple hundred or so - one real, continuing to write itself at this very moment, many fictional. I'd like to write one of the fictional ones. I might. I should. I will (I think). I keep envisioning the incomparable experience of reading this entry as the letter writer. The surreality, tension, panic, desperation, confusion, elation, cripling fear, excitement (emotional and physical), curiosity, fantasy, and overwhelming mass of other emotions that would be (are.. perhaps at this very moment)involved in the process. The same wave of emotions returning with every email check. There is a story here. I intend to steal copiously from your actual post. I can't imagine topping it - just adding the other side.

The First Born Fish said...

I can't count how many perfect moments I've ruined by speaking...

I think you should do something "different", like read letters to music, for the last show. But that's what I think.

Shira said...

mm songs and blogs are really have a lot in common when i think about it..
but i think it's not easy to write all your raw thoughts and feelings and let people you don't even know read it.. i guess you have a lot of confidence.

and i think that if you'll find someone to hold in bed i think it should be someone who'll know you as Amanda Palmer and not as Amanda Palmer from the Dresden Dolls.. 'cause fans are.. well, they're fans, they think of you [most of them] as a "rock star" or whatever and they always will in one way or another. at least that's what i think.


Gloria said...

Thank you. I've been reading your blog for months now, but just now felt the need to comment. With something, anything, really, just because you put there, into tiny words, something that I already had inside of me.

I feel too old, and too useless, and too alone. I'm 26. Isn't it sad? LOL, sometimes our realities become so distorted that right now my whole happiness depends on the fact that some random, ridiculously philosophic nickname in the lower part of my screen is NOT blinking in bright orange. People were too loud in the coffee shop today, and I wanted to read his voice. But lets face it, he's not here. Not yet, at least.

But I'm going to be honest. So it'll be real, at least one second, duh, I'll clap my hands and pretend I believe in fucking fairies. Maybe it'll work. And maybe you could write him. It is better to ruin some romantic moment, that to wonder if it was the unruinable one... and you fucked it up by not believing it could happen.

Because it CAN happen. You're someone, not useless, and not alone. I'm not, either, I know... Its just that sometime to walk around being so grotesquely honest and raw, like turned inside out, gets you in trouble. I know.

Maybe it can get you someplace better than anyplace anyone has ever been in. Who knows...

Thank you.
And Love.

PS: Please excuse my english, I'm from Spain, and right now can't revise this incoveniently long comment because I'm in a hurry to invite some stupid guy I happen to love to come see a movie with me tomorrow... Got free tickets.
Now clap your hands if you may, and maybe magic will happen... I'd do so for you anytime.

mdhatter said...

I'm clapping for you gloria

artist said...

Hello, fun blog.. You don't need these guys from never-neverland, you have Markus Surrealius in Mental square land, he talks really highly of you...............

andrea said...

i was recently feeling lonely myself. well, really, honestly. not lonely. but rather...afraid of myself because i didn't feel lonely when i thought i should. i mean, yes, i somtimes miss having someone to hold, and share little things with, and just being together with someone but those feelings are instantly followed by a warm blanket of calmness that covers me and somehow speaks and says, "but look at you, you don't have it and you're ok".
i'm ok being alone. some people, many of my friends, need someone to feel complete. i don't.
that's not to say that i don't enjoy being with someone. i do enjoy those lover-like things. but it's like you said. if you only have it in small doses, you forget.
and i think i was afraid of becoming too ok with being alone, adapting to lonliness. i also felt like i was missing out. there's all of these people around me who have someone TO BE WITH. and i'm just me.
and then things changed. i met someone. a nice guy, someone i enjoy spending time with. i felt excited that i wouldn't be "lonely" anymore. i was with someone and i still am. but, to be honest, i still feel the same way. if he left right now i would be ok. i would recover quickly. and to me, that's what's scary. and i only tell this little tale because, even though i'm probably wrong, having experienced that it makes me wonder if you're really lonely, or if you're afraid that you're becoming too ok with being alone?, which, i guess, honestly, could make you feel even lonlier.

and now i feel like i've been too depressing and negative, when really, i'm a positive person who always tries to look towards the brighter side of things. oh fuck it all and just do what'll make you happy, but that's what everyone always says though, isn't it? easier said than done. we have those nagging things called responsibilities.

you know i'm in your corner,
rooting you on all the way.
still planning on going email free for a month in 07?

all my love,


[Lucent][Victrola] said...

I think people get too caught up in the fear of messing up to do what they want

I'm the same way

I can't swim, never learned, because I've never been able to get over that I-can't-float-I'm-too-heavy-I'll-drown-I'll-die and let go of the wall

I've never let go of the wall of an ice-skating rink

I don't talk to new people because I'm afraid I'll say something stupid

I'm afraid to ask for things from my parents because I think they'll laugh

I kept my hairstyle the same for years because I was afraid it would look bad when I changed it

I'm 14 and never as much as held hands with a boy, maybe because I'm ugly or maybe because I'm too afraid to look at them or talk to them

We all have our irrational fears holding us back; the brave ones, the real ones, let go and do, rather than think.

Yes, this has consequences

Yes, you can end up listening to someone droning on about the World Cup

Yes, you could drown or slip and break your leg or be laughed at or denied

But isn't it worth it to do what you love?

On another note

God, I wish I could go to The Onion Cellar

I wish I didn't live in Arizona and have relatively un-rich musician parents who I'm afraid to ask if I can fly across the country to see a show that I'm not sure if I'm allowed into (because of age) or would be embarrassed to see with my parents

There's those fears again

I wish I could brigade, but people would laugh

I wish I could meet you and Brian, but I'd probably be tongue-tied or puke from the excitement or say something really stupid

Most of all I wish I was older and free to fly to fucking Antarctica if I wanted to, let alone Boston

I guess everyone has these things holding them back. Some are in our control, some are not, but usually all it takes is that leap of faith.


Beautiful_Wretched_Liar said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Beautiful_Wretched_Liar said...

Hi. I don't know how to response to this post because it is too personal and too beautiful to be fucked up with gushing "Amanda you're beautiful in every possible way imaginable..." So I guess... Hi.
Come to Cape Cod before the tourists come back and pollute it with their Hummers for the summer. Hell, I even have a full empty apartment that you can use whenever you need to get away from life in general... Why am I posting this as a comment?

Beautiful_Wretched_Liar said...

PS: its freeeeeeeeeee...

Hunger For The Great Light said...

Love is a funny son of a bitch. I hope you manage to get in contact with your mystery man soon enough. It's different than the Brazilian. He's a fan of yours, so at least you know you have something in common. You've already heard something strait from his heart so you know there's more than a physical connection.

Amanda, you have thousands of male fans that would kill for the chance to take you out for an evening (even if it didn't end up in bed). Hell, I'm one of 'em. We met at a show in October and you kissed my cheek. I nearly died. It felt childish on my part, but I guess it's just the effect you have on a lot of people. But I'm sure you've gotten used to hearing things like that by now.

But HE'S different.

He's not another one of us fanboys. He touched you. He meant something to you. E-mail him.


Mhoram said...

This post reminds me of a Rorschach Test. Those of us who play it too cautious wishing Amanda had leaped. Those of us who fell instead of flying too many times agreeing that the thought is better than the reality. Some of us are touched by your loneliness, and some of us are just happy to listen to your stories and feel a part of it.

I'm cheating of course. I should cough up a point of view of my own, or else I'm just being a jackass meta-ing everyone else.

Something that I responded to was your fantasy about what it would mean to him, fucking together. Would you be 'Oh my god, it's Amanda Palmer' or would he lose that and just be himself with a girl he likes.

It's one of those things that none of us can control, why other people want us. Why they want to fuck us, or to kiss us, or to keep us. We can decide whether to, and with whom, but never why.

The truth is, I don't think I've often thought about why I want someone, myself. I usually know whether I do, and I often know why I don't want someone. But why I do, that's nothing I've ever looked at very closely. I think I'll think about that some.

Thanks, Amanda.

Damien said...

Your being you, being Amanda "Oh My Gods You're In The Dresden Dolls" Palmer is part of it all, isn't it? At least the part where he found you intense enough to need to write those words.

He wouldn't have found that, now, otherwise. Maybe sooner, maybe later, maybe never. But likely not Now, and not This. This wretched and wonderful melancholy.

That perfect terrible rending thing in your chest...

Have a good night.

Dream Well.

Len Tower Jr. said...


one thing you and the ART could do to improve The Onion Cellar would be to include lyrics that fans and non-fans @ Zero Arrow could use to sing along.

definitely "Sing", hopefully "Coin-Operated Boy", and perhaps some of the others.

kinda like 4th of July on the Esplande, Christmas POPS at Symphony Hall. camp fires...

one way to get the audience much more involved.

even just the last show.

best -len

PS: any chance the ART would let you throw an impromtu concert at Zero Arrow on Sun 14 Jan?
before they strike the set? would the liquor license allow that? though just non-liquor at the bar would be enough.
you could also provide onions. sell them at a ticket each, as a benefit for Pan9?

it's just me, diana. said...

after reading this incredible striking blog, i scrolled to the bottom and realized.

cross-posted to

we've officially progressed from lame to lamer. we cross-post.


Len Tower Jr. said...


i have some understanding of lonliness, and the lack of both small and large intimacies in life when one doesn't have the companionship of an SO.

one of the most creative people i know (probably the most unusual non-friendship in my life) complains of "crushing lonliness".

often seems to be a process of trial and error to find someone that lasts for a long time. i have some envy for those that make it for a lifetime.

i suspect one of the reasons that Hollywood stars marry one another is to get beyond the fame vs fan problem. they like most of us, want to be loved for whom they are.

trust your self to make the right decisions.

little more then musings before bed-time -
best -len

Ramsey said...
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Joshua said...

Hello. A few friends and I came to see your show last Wednesday (from Toronto). I felt so out of place, as I was the only person to 'dress up' for your show in the whole crowd (my friends I kind of bribed to take the trip with me, so I wouldn't feel like a loser, ha! they love you now). After the show I kind of lingered around to see if I could talk to you and Brian, but I was too shy to ask for directions, and I kept getting wierd looks from various people... so I left. Anyways... your rendition of Mein Lieber Herr as the second encore sent me into a state of ecstasy, which I return to every time I even picture it in my mind. Pirate Jenny for me the next time you come to Toronto? Pleeease? Fine! I'll stop asking.

atonalruss said...

First, in my twenties I often had the fantasy that on a crowded New Years Eve in Boston, at midnight, a beautiful woman would appear out of the crowd, look deep into my eyes, kiss me like I've never been kissed, and then turn away, disappearing into the crowd. I spent some time attempting to craft a short story or novel around this idea, but I was never able to get it to click. Maybe a song or blog entry would do. I just smile at the fact that there are women, such as you, who have done this - though you made the choice not to disappear into the crowd, and now regret it.

Secondly, I once dated a woman, when I was 19 and she was 18, that you remind me of in many ways. It was, without question, the craziest, most romantic and amazing two-and-a-half months of my life - my second year of college in Boston. I know that it would never have worked, and it ended badly, as these things so often do, but I still, once in a while, throw on my headphones and listen to my "Becky playlist" on my Zen, close my eyes, and immediately go back to that moment in 1987 when I was young and in love with the most beautiful girl I've ever met. My soundtrack - Love and Rockets, Cocteau Twins, Morrissey and Elton John's Tiny Dancer which she once wrote the lyrics to and pressed into the palm of my hand in much they way your fan did. She once said to me, "What will you do when I show up at your door in twenty years and you are married with kids and I say 'Let's run away together.'" Well, twenty years have arrived, and there are days, though not many, when I wait for the doorbell to ring.
Not much of a direct response to your post, but that is my internal reaction. And it is very real to me.

I look forward to Saturday's show. Throw caution to the wind and make it a memorable one.

Liamus said...

Dear Amanda..

Im 16 but please dont feel bad, or start re-thinking about your audience. I read your blogs often and am quite a fan of the work you do off stage and on the site. The way you describe your day to day experiences is like poetry. It really hits me to think someone can put into words the daily feelings, emotions and obstacles one goes through, in such detail and truth.

I'm a tad young to relate to all the experiences you have blogged and described on this page but i can still imagine how it must feel. Im glad to hear that you read the comments from your fans. Its good to know there are some famous people in the world who actually take the liberty to read and write back to the people who look up to them.

Im sorry if im not the most intellectual person who has ever commented you. But im sure i will get better as i age.

In reply to your blogs, i think its these obstacles and challenges in life which make you live at all. Alot of people wish for the easy life but if we had it, would we really be a living at all? I know in my life i like things such as heartbreak, confusion and deep thought to know im living a life. its good to see someone of such status showing how human they are through blogs and song-writing.

I wish i could have seen you guys when you came to Perth, Australia. i know its not my fault but im sorry the security were arseholes, their not always like that i swear. But from what i heard about the Gig At HEAT it was a great performance. Hopefully i will be 18 when you guys come back so i can hand you a note of appreciation in hopes you might read it..

you never know..

From Liam

L said...

Heh... *insert phone number here*

Hari Om Tat Sat...


Innuendo said...

i struggle with the idea of "meaning". i think i am always in search of beautiful meaningful moments in life. in THE moment they mean so much, but in 10 minutes, an hour, a day, they fade. it makes me feel crazy, immature, because i see how others might view me that way. they don't get wrapped up in "meaning". they don't replay things in their head and analyze the meaning, the feeling, whether the moment is directing them somewhere. if you don't take the MOMENT'S advice, you lose the window of timing....or maybe that's all an illusion. maybe there is no meaning. maybe it's all a series of accidents and nothing matters. maybe the little moments don't add up to any big idea. maybe it's good enough just to have the meaningful experiences, hold them for a while and then let go. it's hard because i am so often convinced that i'm on this earth to feel and think, learn and grow, but everyone else seems so happy with their straight-forward, obvious, task-oriented lives. sometimes i grieve for the accidental meaningful moments: the ones that affect me so much but i know will fade away. i wish i could strongly remember all of them forever, but wouldn't that slowly KILL a person? :)

Clive said...

Don't be so tough on yourself, eveyone goes through the same shit.

The Onion Cellar is one of the best things I've seen at the ART in a long time (an I've seen a LOT!) and judging by the reviews and the audience reaction I'm not the only one that likes it. It might not be exactly what you intended, but its great nonetheless.

Your songs remind me a bit of Sondheim's, something about the counterpoint and lyrics, so after the success of Onion Cellar I think you should write some songs for an original musical. Man I wish the ART would do a production of "Sweeney Todd" probably expensive though.

Thanks for the music.

PS to any Brazillian guy soccer is an art

steph g said...

It's a weird thing, blogging. In a way it's the great equalizer, and it reduces everyone to acutely human. Including you. Thing is, it's not that everyone isn't human all the time, including yourself, but we work so hard to not wear it on the outside that by opening up and showing the inside, it becomes even more achingly real.

The show was amazing. I know it got away from what you intended with it, and to someone watching closely that was apparent, but really is a thing of beauty. It's the kind of theatre that isn't being made nearly enough, and if it is being made it's the kind people shun. It's work that demands something of you as an audience member, and to most people it's easier to just go sit in the dark of a movie theater and watch the latest schlock and not be concerned with having to really involve yourself in something. The Onion Cellar was just the opposite--so swirlingly, beautifully the opposite. It was beautiful the same way that this particular blog entry is, because it strips away facades, humanizes the people involved.

That was the best part...that the show pointed out that everyone has a story.Thank you for sharing it with us. I like to collect beautiful things and keep them inside my heart, and your show nestles in nicely alongside all the others. The show Mattered. What you do Matters. And I can imagine that is both a blessing and a curse.

Emil said...

I know from similiar experiences that the most precious moments can be those where you almost made a connection with somebody. Whether anything happens or not, you can never forget that first meeting.

When your eyes first meet, or when you read that letter, you experienced something that is unforgettable. For that brief moment, Anything Is Possible. A splendid one-night shagfest, a lifelong friend, lover, enemy, even a happy ending?

Sometimes I think that the most succesful couples are the ones that can keep secrets from each other. There is still an element of unpredictability and a chance for good or bad changes.
In the end, if somebody knew you completely, what would be the point in existing?

Anyways, thanks so much for your blogging. I've been reading for 2 years now and I've always been moved and provoked by what you have to say. I'm not very good at writing down my feelings and experiences but it gives me hope to see others writing things I can sympathize with.

p.s. I could not come to see the onion cellar because of distance. So I can't say much, but please don't be discouraged if it isn't perfect. The thing that makes you and the dresden dolls so special is that what the audience sees is messy and real.

Eden27 said...

Amanda you are wonderful, but not only famous people like the bliss of lists of commments, note me back, ruin it by speaking and make my day. You are wonderful. I love you. I think you are fantastic. Your songs, your writing, everything about you... I am in awe.

Ramsey said...

I just want to counterpoint something emil said.

I think the best couples don't have any secrets from each other.
What's the point of having someone if they aren't going to kiss you where you flinch?

Plus it shows a lack of a sense of humor. Nobody's perfect.

And it always is in the back of your head, dragging you down.

And if they are someone special, they already know, the words just aren't there. Although I am speaking hypothetically on some level.

As for all this existential stuff about loneliness, honesty and meaning, I can't say. Don't know. I never have had what you missed, so I don't know what I'm missing. Ignorance is bliss.

Sometimes I think the missing verse in the bible goes something like this,

And god looked to his son christ and spoke,

"Aw christ, just don't break anything. Leave the world a little cleaner then when you got here."

holly said...

you'll get him next time, ooh aye (does nauty little wink).. if thats what you want, that is

get a man tho, or a woman, either really but it seems like you kinda want someone so just do it, stop being so damn pessimistic, hold your breath and jump in, lifes too short, you should savour every human experience and love is a big thing to miss out

just do it

dooooo ittttt

youre a very beautiful person amanda and im sure thats not the first time someones said that to you, the only thing holding you back is you

Katie said...

Amanda, after reading this, I cannot believe how real you are. I mean, most people in famous bands are full of themselves, are too good for their fans, and only get with other celebrities. But not you. You're real. This only deepens my adoration for you.

I can actually sort of relate to your situation. I don't get love letters, but I am in need of love. I miss having someone to hold, and be held by. So I feel your pain. Slightly. Only slightly. Because let's face it. I'm not famous, nor am I beautiful, so that knocks out some of the complications for me.

But anyway. Take care, and I wish you the best of luck.

cursed out said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
cursed out said...

not that you aren't completely right, but...

it's kinda funny how you never thought for a second how he turned you into his fan...

Kat from Sugar said...

amanda, that is all beautiful, but you have to be seriously careful, even if you do wan to reach out. i think that's very human of you. and i'm sure he's a wonderful guy and you could have had a moment. you did the right thing. and he can read this blog and know you care.

i know how you feel about the whole lonesome thing too. i'm in a band that tours a lot and i'm never home and i feel guilty if i spend time on a date instead of being shut up in my room writing. and all i really want to do is spoon. but then you end up with a guy who is TERRIBLE at making out and you wish you had just had a night with your instrument.

....but then, what do you write about when you're shut in your room and not experiencing things. it's a vicious cycle. nice to know i'm not the only one in it.

-[[delete. said...

Amanda, you need to get back in touch with yourself. You could have almost loved him, by why analyse the could haves? Amanda i hope to become like you, lost in the poetry of life, but not the poetry of depression. loneliness is a hard emotion to feel i feel it all the time. but one day you will go for the cinematic romance, and it will blossom.
Get in touch with yourself again and it will happen.
And another thing, writing music will always be better then blogging. but what you said about comments and applause sounds right, it could hurt a lot. I wouldn't know.
You're an inspiration, Amanda.

Steven said...


Isn't it hard to show your true emotions? How you feel? I feel the same way most of the time, like you just can't show your true colors, the honest topics haunting your mind... To be stuck in an artistic mind, nevertheless being famous, I could imagine to be unbearable at times.

You do have to realize however, that there is always hope for something in the future. Concering romance- there is always someone out in the world for everyone. Dont waste your time trying to find "him" because if it is meant to be then it will take care of itself. Appear and be the most pleasent surprise.

That guy, that guy you mentioned at the concert- was a situation that could arise signifigant? Just an exageration of the imagination? To be trapped in a poets mind... its like living a different life. They have a life they live in the mind of "what I done" and what really happened.

Some day, you will meet someone who understands this, and more importantly you, completely. Sure that run in on the street with the Brazilian was all sexy as hell, but was it something that you really wanted? Was it something that was going to make you happy in the long run, knowing that if you walked away you would ask, "Was he that guy that I was supposed to be with?" I think that the conversation in the bar was important, reassurance that he is not the right man and moreover that he symbolizes everything you dont want (besides looks)

I know it sounds weird, me commenting like this, its just that i read your blog (the first blog I read) and it truly touched me. I do however, disagree with you about you not writing music anymore. Writing music (let it be famous or just sung to yourself) is a personal expression, as is a blog. Maybe you should do both? If you write music, you can keep it private, but to destroy an outlet of creativity, especially of someone as talented and brilliant as you, seems like such a horrible waste.

Stay true Amanda, and more importantly, stay true to yourself. Keep your chin high and do what makes you happy, and only you.


Rudy said...

A week ago, at your 7:30 show on the 4th, there was a boy at the bar in back who kept making a lot of loud annoying Woo Woos during all the sappy applause moments. He read in your blog that all the artsy fartsy people were too quiet, and you wanted the fans (that's him) to "make some noise." So he did, a bunch of times, even though everyone in the whole venue was probably annoyed with him. Well, I just wanted to let you know those Woo Woos of his were sincere, and that he wishes other people had loudly Woo Wood with him.

Also, you stopped in front of him and gave his girlfriend a funny look, and he wishes he had a photo of that quick exchange (he spent most of that moment hoping he was about to be handed a flower, since no one had).

Well, that boy was me. But the story seemed more important in third person so I thought I'd try my hand at it.

My girlfriend's going to laugh when she sees this. :(

Anonymous said...

I used to be a songwriter. Then I had a kid. He has autism and now I'm a carer. The songs dried up and went, like they knew I wasn't going to be able to take them any further than the bundle of lyrics in my chest of drawers.

Now I blog instead, it keeps me sane.

I've applauded at your gigs. It's never just noise. :)

tyler said...

He's not the only person you've affected just by being who you are.

Last year when you and Brian put on that roller-skating benefit in Dorchester I spoke with you for a few minutes outside afterwards. From your perspective it must've been utterly insignificant, but a few words from you helped me to find the courage to pursue my own ambitions in music. I've hoped to see you once more so that I might thank you. Yours is a unique type of energy.

Skye said...


not only did i read this blog, but all 47 comments that came before mine.

it is so amazing to me that someone (you) is able to throw a part of themselves in to the blogging abyss and have it be met by so many other parts of different people.

you're writing was beautiful. the comments were beautiful.

i think in the grand scheme of things, we are all just Boys and Girls looking to connect with one another.

ckyriakos said...

Amanda, I love you.
Your music is amazing, and everything about you makes it that way.
You're a beautiful person. I really want to meet you.
I hope someday very soon, you'll make it back to California in San Francisco, Oakland, or San Jose.

Your blog really shocked me, I was actually moved by it. My eyes were glued to the screen, and every sentence gave me a sad smile.

I feel so strongly connected to you =]
Yeah, cheesey. But it's true, and I think that's just one of the many reasons I love the Dresden Dolls. I can relate to you.

I really hope one day we can meet up in San Francisco and sit down and have one nice big delicious piece of chocolate zucchini cake!

=P xoxoxo

<33333333 LOVE YOU,

Natalie Rose said...

“At least Amanda will never break my heart.”

I read. I read. And now I feel sick.

Why do I feel this way?

Spinning, hot. I stand up. I walk to my room, I can feel my heart pounding hard. I flop onto my twin sized bed that’s too short for me like I always do, and it rolls forward into my bookshelf. A few things topple over. A book shifts here or there, the wooden flute my Grandad bought me in Nepal (though it plays a D major scale) rattles around, and the blue vibrator that my friends bought me as a gag gift for my 20th birthday (it matches my desk set) nearly hits me in the head. And I am annoyed, as I pick it up, that that—of all things—is what fell off the shelf.

Am I… upset? I shouldn’t be. It doesn’t make sense. What now? What now?

I go out the backdoor, looking for stars. Dead tree branches block the way, and the mixed-matched fences from our three neighbors do not aesthetically please me. I wander around the apartment, through the dark, past the car Dad parked onto the lawn, and into the cul du sac. It sounds pretentious—it’s just a dead end as far as I’m concerned. There’s a single, dim star in the sky. The sky is plum colored, at best.

I wander around the asphalt circle. Walking, meandering, limping. Why am I limping? I can’t seem to walk straight all the sudden. I can’t walk… just like her. Except, her refusal to address her emotional stress has escalated to the point where she uses a cane now, most of the time, even though she knows the pain is all in her head. FUCK. I don’t want to be like her. I don’t want to be like Sasha. I’m not even upset, I’m just… spinning. Though I’m quickly making myself upset, thinking of her again. And soon enough I’m thinking about Halloween when we painted our faces white. I remember sitting there, watching her do her make-up in the mirror, and being surprised over how sexy I thought she looked. I wanted her to be my Brian, so badly. But in the end we couldn’t even handle being near each other.

I’ve even lost the desire to call her, which is for the best. The last time I called her she hung up on me before I could get a word out. Not that I need to know what’s changed in her life—I already know that nothing has. She prefers to be stagnant, while I force myself to move forward, to evolve, to grow. She is still dating two guys, one of whom still complains about things he could change if he only got off his ass to change them, but doesn’t. They still fight everyday and make each other miserable. They’ll still be together tomorrow because she knows he’s safe and won’t leave her, even if she still isn’t in love with him anymore. And she’s still dating the other one, who’s still gay and still freaks out every time they do more than kiss. And she still won’t date me, even after telling me how much she loved me, because my love is just too good for her. I loved her the way she was, I didn’t want to change her. It wasn’t toxic enough for her. But she was poison for me.

And only last July I took her to Fuck the Backrow! And the show in Philadelphia where our favorite band was opening for Panic! At the Disco. She brought her cane to FTBR! We met you after the show. You leaned over and signed her T-shirt while she was wearing it; I’ll never forget the look on her face, the way her eyes rolled into the back of her head. She hugged you, she was giddy and gushing fangirl, and I wish I could’ve been. I reacted exactly how I thought I would—incapacitated. I could barely get a word out. But a few days later, I asked you for a hug and received one. But I couldn’t help wondering how many requests for those you got everyday and if I was asking you for a chore instead. My friend Julie got one as well, and was able to actually say something to you, something constructive and real about how “Half Jack” had helped her through her girlfriend’s transition. I wished I could’ve said something… real. I wish I could say something real now. Julie mentioned Bennington, and how you should come back, and you looked at me funny, and touched my arm. My Mum is convinced you recognized me then, and I like to believe that’s true. I’m not sure if I do, really. I don’t know what it meant.

Wouldn’t we all like to be the ones to be rescued by Ms. Amanda Palmer?

I’ve been making music, slowly, laboredly—probably the same as any musician does, but I’m convinced I’m doing it wrong. I’ve been making it since as long as I can remember. I wanted to be a professional musician, a concert flutist. But, when it came down to it, I didn’t even bother to apply to a conservatory. Having seen so much of that world, I told everyone I didn’t want to work with people who were only going to prostitute my art. However true that may be, that’s not why I didn’t go to a conservatory. I didn’t go, because secretly, I’ve always known I wasn’t good enough. I’m a writer, I’m a musician, I’m a dime a dozen. But I work hard. I’d given up on being any sort of performing artist.

But then, there was Amanda. And somewhere along the line I decided I wanted to be a rock star—well, not a rock star. Not a star at all. But a musician, in the same vain as The Dresden Dolls, with a unique sound of dichotomy and a cabaret act to go along. When I was in Philadelphia again this fall and the Red Paintings and Sxip Shirey were there, I settled into the intimate theatre and felt, for a fleeting second, that I could belong there. I thought about how these people, you, had taken that silly kid dream of making art, of enjoying music, of sharing it, of that real, raw emotion given directly to the audience, and truly made it your life. Could I do that too? But what I really want, really, is to meet you. Really meet you. I thought, maybe if I have my own band and am just known enough… maybe Amanda will come to my show, maybe she’ll stay after to say hello, maybe we’ll chat, have a drink, and become friends. Maybe she’ll love me too.

I’ll wear a felt black top hat, with a purple ribbon, and a black tailcoat like a ringmaster would wear. A corset underneath, short boy shorts, a garter belt, some sexy thigh-highs (Lord knows I have enough of them to choose from), and some high-heeled Mary Jane pumps. I’ll pull my hair back, but not up, and color my lips like rainbows. I’ll sing, I’ll play my flute, an alto flute as well, my guitar, my keyboard. I’ll make it an act. And I’ll do what I’m best at—I’ll tell stories. I’ll have a few friends by my side, who will dance and sing and play what they play, dress up too, and make jokes with me on stage. And maybe Amanda will see us, and she will love us. And she’ll meet me, and before too long, we’ll be making music together, writing songs, and maybe we’ll do our own show. But in the end, you usually wind up back with Brian. One cannot compete with a musical soulmate, of course. I wouldn’t want to. I wouldn’t want to take that away, I am, after all, still a fan.

Oh Amanda, what have you done to me? I love music, I obsess over music, but never the musicians. If I know the names of the band members, it’s a great achievement. I listen to so much music… and I love so much music, so many bands, so many artists, and I can tell you everything about their music, but nothing about them. And then there were The Dresden Dolls. And it was like a spell. One night, I woke up, and went to the website for the first time… and read just about everything on it. Then I found the ShadowBox, I found out about Brigading, the whole community, and was willing to travel whatever distance just to see The Dresden Dolls. I read this blog somewhat religiously nowadays, and think of the Companion as a holy tome. What is it? What is it that makes The Dresden Dolls, especially dear Amanda, so special?

I feel like I’ve known you my whole life. A whole past life, a whole future life too. The music makes so much sense to me, too much sense to me. There’s something about Amanda, something about how she bites her nails, about how she pins up her hair, about how she draws on her eyebrows, about how she drinks tea, about how she doesn’t shave, about how she has a grudge against proper capitalization, about how she plays the keyboard the same way I always have but makes something real out of it. There’s something about the way she walked right up to a stranger and kissed him, the way I’ve always dreamed of doing. And there’s something about the way she fucked it up, that I know I would’ve fucked it up too.

Be honest? You can’t stop being honest. Everyone writes about pain, everyone feels pain, but no one makes art of it, no one makes sense of it. Except, perhaps, you. Relationships, life, it’s all very messy. None of it fits into the neat little box we’d like it too. “She…” Sasha, made that very clear. “I’m trying to stick you back in the ‘friend box,’ but your arm sticks out.” Artists, I think, got tired of looking for beauty, for sense, for logic, for justice, and try to make their own instead. And they, inevitably, fail. Can they make anything? Can you make anything? Can I make anything? Can we make anything?

Amanda, why am I saying any of this? Somewhere, somehow, I know I’m so desperately jumping up and down in the back of the crowd, screaming and waving my arms, hoping you'll notice me instead of them. Hoping you’ll look at me and see the completely indescribable “something” I see when I look at you. That you’ll remember me. That something, some fucking thing I say, will somehow make you understand me. Will make sense to you, and that you’ll know me, in that private instant, as well as I know you. While I know how fucking ridiculous it is, part of me is convinced that if I just keep typing, if I just keep being more honest that is ever comfortable, some magic word I’ll say will… What will it do? I don’t even know.

To my mother, who just asked what I was doing, “I’m blogging. Sort of. I’m trying very hard to write a decent reply to Amanda, but it’s not working.”

It’s not working, Amanda.

Don’t you see? You might be Amanda Palmer of The Dresden Dolls, you might be that amazing… but you can’t save that boy. I can’t save Sasha. Believe me, I TRIED. And I’m the world’s biggest fool for trying. She will not listen to a word I say until she is ready. And she, as much as I love her, is as dense as our biblical Jonah, who needed to be eaten by a whale and regurgitated before he opened his eyes and ears and saw and listened and understood. I cannot save her, and the words I give her only make it worse. She hears what she wants to. And in the end, she’d rather shit all over our relationship instead of admitting she might have made a mistake. And all I can keep thinking about is the last time she kissed me on the lips, over a year ago now, and how she looked putting on white face paint while we blasted The Dresden Dolls through her laptop speakers.

I can’t save her, you can’t save him, and you most certainly cannot save me either. The only person any of us can save is ourselves. And all we have to do, to save ourselves, is make a choice. Since Sasha has gone away… well, I stopped bleeding over her, for one. I don’t know if I’m done crying over her, mourning over this relationship… but I do know, when I’m not thinking about her, I feel better than I have in a very long time. And I’m learning to like myself, very slowly. And I’ve discovered that I feel a lot less lonely a lot more of the time because I enjoy spending time with myself. I enjoy the way I walk out of the public library with a stack of books that are almost too awkward for me to carry, when I only planned to check out one. I love that my key ring is a gigantic mess of keys to other people’s cars, keys I no longer need, and funny key chains. I love that I still rinse my toothbrush, after putting toothpaste on it, before I brush my teeth because when I was younger the toothpaste was too strong for me otherwise. I love that I leave the bathroom door open just a little when I go in because I’m used to my cat following me in there. I love that I take very long showers and get the floor all wet in the process. I love I’m 21 years old and I still suck my thumb—and will never give it up. I love that despite this habit, I have fantastic teeth and I never had braces. I love that more than half of my speech is composed of “silly noises,” and that I am an expert in self-depreciating humour. I love that sometimes I spell humour and colour with a “u,” and sometimes I don’t. I love that my handwriting is half-print, half-script and still neater than everyone else’s I know. I love that I have more pens than I will ever need (well, I might need them). I love that I’m half Christian and half Jewish, that I’m equally as attracted to women as I am to men, and that I am this perfect hybrid of my parents, which makes me half a passionate lunatic and half a logical, calm person—and I love that these halves are all a very important part of my identity. I love that I have more socks than I do pairs of underwear and bras combined. I love that I watch people, that I notice things I know most people don’t, and that I fall in love with strangers. I love that I almost always remember my dreams, and that I’ve never had a dream where I was falling, flying, being chased, etc., and that my dreams come in both black and white and color and often somewhere in between.

And up until a few weeks ago, the most I may have liked about myself was my eyes.

I do not like, though, that I always fall in love with people I’m trying to save… because, they need me, and for a little while I am validated. But in the end, they take and take and take and are incapable of giving back.

You used to be in my dreams quite often. The last one I remember was me and, ironically, Sasha were milling about after a show. She ran off somewhere, as did the entire crowd, and there were only me and you left. And despite the fact that you were standing directly in front of me, the only way I could communicate with you was through a computer screen, also in front of me. It is probably the most sense a dream as ever made to me.

I make more sense to myself when I am by myself. And while I used to be lonely, and I still miss having someone to hold, someone to love… that it’s been so long that I don’t really remember what a kiss feels like (though, I remember Sasha kissed so VERY hard). But is love so cut and dry as this? I can’t believe there’s only one word for “love” in the English language. It’s one of the stupider things we as a society have done, shove love into all the same category. It’s not that simple. Ask Sasha.

Part of me wants to always be independent, never be held down. Is convinced that I will make a huge difference, lead a movement… help people. Help them tell their stories, if nothing else. And part of me is enamored with the 50s housewife ideal, where I’ll be a good little mother and wife and wear a cute apron.

Being happy is so very hard. Much harder than being depressed. (This coming from someone who’s been depressed most of her life.) Being depressed isn’t easy emotionally, but it requires much less effort than being happy. Being happy is risky; if you fail, you only have yourself to blame. And no one can be happy all the time, flowers and sunshine. That’s as pointless as being miserable all the time. I would not want a life without pain, it would be too boring, too trivial. And I am glad for my mistakes, for they are another chance to learn and grow. We can, though, if we really try, be content. Smiling, forcing yourself to smile, I’ve recently discovered, helps. A lot. But, I’ve begun to worry about being… “happy.” It is, in fact, as pointless as being miserable. Life is balance, and we need both up and down for anything to be worthwhile. I am thankful for this, especially since pain, just enough of it, feeds my art.

Being happy seems dangerous, though. All the happy people I know/knew die(d). Or maybe it’s just that once they’re dead, if they didn’t kill themselves, we conveniently chose to omit all the unhappy moments and memories of them, and think of them only as happy people. Maybe isn’t not that the happy people are robbed from us, leaving the rest of us to rot in our misery. Maybe that’s just how we choose to remember it. But, when you’ve lost so many people… you realize how pointless it is to hold grudges or stay angry or to lose someone who is still living…

It is so easy for you to feel lonely, Amanda, even though you are not alone. Because, you’re not with yourself… you’re out wandering the stars, the limits… so it doesn’t matter how many people fill a room, an audience, a bed, if you’re not really there to begin with.

The irony, of course, though, is… none of this matters. Not a single word. Because, I can’t save you either. And I highly doubt anything I have said here is glaring enough to make you remember me or to make me stand out or, ideally, make a difference to you. Even though I’m screaming on the inside, on the outside I am quietly grinning, sighing, wondering what could’ve been if this were a different lifetime.

I was going to send you a letter. I was going to send you an album of pictures and journal entries, telling you about our (Sasha and I) story. I was going to send you gifts, DVDs of a show that changed my life, thigh-highs and other hosiery, books, CDs, who knows? I was going to send you the song I wrote about you, but it’s not done yet. I was going to write you something, draw you something. I was going to make an artistic representation of my soul, put it in a jar and send it to you. It was going to move you. It was going to make a difference. …would it have? Would any of it have meant anything at all?

The sky overhead is clearing a little. Now I see 10 or 12 stars, instead of just one. The sky moves from plum to charcoal. I have phlegm in my mouth. I spit on the asphalt, and hurry myself inside where my Dad is simultaneously looking around the apartment and wondering where I went.

My heart nearly stopped when I read the entry title of “The State of the Bride.” It took me a minute to realize you meant the 8-foot Bride. I had thought, for a split second, you meant something very different. And this entry split my heart the same way. When Sasha left, I dove into the only thing that can comfort me when all is lost, Music, and thought, “At least Amanda will never break my heart.” And I thought it was true because, we’ve never sat down and had a real conversation, and even if something happened, if the band broke up, if you dyed your hair blonde and became a “happy person” and ran off and got married suddenly, I could still dive into the Music and remember when.

But I have discovered that you are so very capable of breaking my heart. How is this possible? How can you change me when you don’t even know me? Can you? Can I… can I change you too? I do not understand the nature of this relationship. Can I say something right, something honest, something… anything that’ll make a different to you, to her, to anyone? Can one, single, fucking word I say mean something, for a change? Can it matter?

I don’t know.

But, I suppose all there is left to say is the only thing I ever said to Sasha that she took to heart: “If life has taught me anything, it’s that, in the end, everything will be OK. The catch is, ‘OK’ is rarely what we wanted or what we expected.”

Maire said...

so this is odd for me to even write down and i know no one will give a shit about it, but my obsession with amanda has become extremly unhealthy. it has gotton so bad that i can't even talk to people normaly any more infact i drive my sister crazy with this "Amanda Palmer" obsession until the point she is screaming at me and i start crying. and i could not stand the fact that i am liveing now only because of my love of amanda but yet all this time i put into this frantic loveing of Palmer she could care less about the fact that i am alive, and she dose not even acknowladge my existence. so goddamnit ACKNOWLADGE MY EXISTENCE!

the Kate said...

Maire, I will be your friend.

David said...

I'm new to you Amanda, Dresden Dolls, and your blog. I'm an old guy- 50. I love your piano as much as your lyrics- what great work you have done, thank you! I hope that you're really not done yet, but if you are, then I wish you the best. Cannot possibly imagine the feelings you are trying to share in your blog as well as in some of your music, but it's very compelling to hear and read. The struggle to love and be loved, isn't it the greatest struggle of all of our lives? What I keep wondering is what are we really after? Is it the beauty of love or is it the love of beauty? Or is this type of pondering just more masturbation? Cheer up amanda palmer, it IS that bad.

Natalie Rose said...

I have been reconsidering what I said, mainly about one person's inability to save another person. Directly, I do think that's true. The people who "need" to be saved the most are usually those most unwilling to be and anything you say or do they interpret as an attack. In the end, the best anyone can do is give another person the strength to save themselves.

But somewhere along the line, Amanda, I knew I had to make music my life. Because my has saved my life so many times I can no longer keep track. You're right, it is the soundtrack of our lives. But it's also a comfort, a confidante, and a reminder that at least one other person out there, somewhere, knows how we feel in that moment. It can lift us up, it can bring us down, it can trasmit nearly any emotion without the intellectual interferance of a medium, like a canvas, if we so choose. It can, in fact, suspend intellect.

So I tell you that music has saved me, and many a times it has been your music, Amanda. You can reach such a broad and diverse audience just by playing your piano and singing. And I mean, you can reach them. Sometimes you'll be reminded of this, like with the letter... but most of the time...

You will never know about the people you saved. You will never have the opportunity to hear their story, or how you changed their lives.

My song to you is pretty awful, but, it's not about "Oh, look at Amanda, she's so great!" It's about the very strange relationship a musician has with a fan where the musician can change and touch the life of the fan without even knowing it, and all they had to do... was play.

I'm angry at myself because I used to make music when I was upset. It was an amazing stress reliever and creative outlet... Of course, at some point, for some reason, I decided taking it out on myself physicially was a better solution. Luckily, I've come to realize how destructive that is (no one is worth that much pain). But, I haven't picked up my flute again, yet. Maybe I'm afraid I won't reach anybody anymore, not even myself.

I know it sounds awful of me to say you can't directly save anybody, grab them off the street and magically change their life. It's true. But you can give them the tools. Don't do anything you don't want to, Amanda, but you have so much more power than you realize.

"...and all you have to was play."

senzafine said...

This is the first time i've ever posted on any kind of a blog. And yours is the first blog i've ever read, i just find you fascinating very sincere. Im very mad that i didn't watch you play when I had a chance, you played at leeds festival in the uk and i hadn't heard your music but thought you might be good, and now im madly in love with your music and wish i'd seen you play! what i'm trying to say is do what you want to do all i ever do is over analyse everything and anything one comment or one facial expression from a friend or family member will stay in my head for weeks... and i think what did they mean by that??!

Joshua said...

I think the general consensus is that we, your fans, are all jealous of that fan that you noticed.

But we know you love us, so you are forgiven.

maia got new stitches said...

thank you for the part where you get honest and continue to be. it kind of scares me because you think like me. i love you.
i have because a socialist.

the_skyisfalling said...

Hi Amanda,
I just wanted to thank you for being one of the only honest human beings out there.
Anyone else would have been the narcissist - you are the realist.

Thank Jeebus.

eli said...

"the applause. sometimes it just sounds like noise." perfect. just how i felt...wanting so much to have a connection to you -"Patti Smith's long lost little sister..." because of that burning slow dazzle peformance and how it tore me up so blissed-out and raw. and when it was over...there's something ephemeral about getting hit that deep and hard, and wanting to hold onto...invisible arms...and then having the lights turned on and crowds of people scattering like buckshot around me. rushed. then crushed by a wave, trying to float on my back just a little bit fissure my head. what i mean is you blew-up a thousand tulips. machine-gunned a hundred daisy's. wild-fire'd a million wild-flowers. exploded all the snow globes in all the boutiques and burst all poor Saturn's moons. turned Venus red and made the horizon blush- and people think it's the sun that makes it all so pretty to watch- they just weren't all that noise, i felt it, how to express what has just destroyed you, yet given you life- stitched you up just at the moment you were ready to open the box with the razor-etched adjectives on it again- to the One who did it, the nurse with the white-peach-porcelain powdered face. and black, blood-red-hot. honey virgin vinyl lips, moving about the stage like a jaguar on the jungle floor, how to's a rare mix of vulnerability and confrontation...trying to get the words out in all that noise- like trying to crawl through the Cat's Claw vine, it's thorns stab with exquisite pain... but all that noise still echoeing(sp?) around the i searched the square for some of my favorite film/music/book-type things that i thought you might enjoy- for your pleasure Doll...Julien Donkey-Boy, Big Star, Oracle Night and one of those letters in a Planet records bag- can't even remember what i wrote. you broke the only bulb in my space. i think. but it's hard to think in this dark place, the forty-watt just shards free-falling through this abandoned asylum- yr voice still playing in my head, yr image burned to my retina's...but that's so fucking OK. i forgive. but don't forget. so in the back of the cafe i write another letter- 'bout a love lost to one last high, and how you sang about her and i how my heart broke and i felt her there somewhere around me and i cried for her, out of my soul, through a crack in yr voice- not the night you were on the verge of losing it, but by the way you just tipped it, so perfect. whatta fit. and i wrote this letter, put in a picture. got up to go get a ticket but missed it cause i get lost when i write. and Time runs off with someone more concerned with It's impatient needs, so gave it addressed to both you and Brian but really meant it for you (didn't want to come-off as a big dummy fan cliche, so was diplomatic, though i probably did anyway. come across that way.) so maybe not so ephemeral, because i still carry that night around with me, and here and there my eyes swell and i fall into that resevoir. again and again. and sink to the bottom as slow and still as i can...-and i left an email, only cause i hate cell phones and but i do love to communicate-gotta write, you know- so what are ya gonna do? (re-reading this last part makes me want to say that wasn't some kind of weird dare- just in case it doesn't read like how i spoke it in my head) so much love and gratitude-

Zixi Lebrouge said...

God, after reading this I feel... Well kinda confused, enlightened, and some other crappe, that I'm rather not sure about. You are, in short, amazing. Blah, boring and all that, I know, so im going to bed. Nighty night.

Paolo said...

You've chosen to talk about your problems to your fans.That's an admirable thing 'cause it shows the trust you put in us. I think (like many people said in their comments)that he'll find a way to contact you again or at least he will read what you have written in this blog . If he has traveled so much to give you the letter he definitely cares about you and you should not waste the opportunity to hear from him again .
I know what it feels like to be completely lost and lonely even if you have many people near you .I don't know if this can cheer you up ,but let me tell you one thing.
When I felt that way , your songs (and also this post in some way) helped me to express the loneliness and the anger I had inside , making them a little more bearable,so thank you for all do and did for me . I hope this and all the other comments will have the same effect on you .

Luis Chavarria said...

I was in your last show at the Onion. I want to thank you for the feelings i had in the show. I wasn't expecting something like that.

About your story, I remember long time ago, and very far from here, in a lost island in my beloved Chile, were there is not time. I spent many days with my friends (real friends), between cigars, guitars and bottles of wine, around a good fire, creating bad songs and discovering how funny a story can be if you put some music on it......good times...

Huges, Luis.

I have some photos from your show in Bonnaroo if you want to look:

June Miller said...

I know you read all the comments already. I took extra long thinking about what I wanted to say to this, in particular. I wasn't even too sure if I wanted to reply at all. I'm about to speak of something quite personal to me, and...I don't know. I'm paranoid. But, I also figure this is an alias, so fuck it.

I fell very deeply in love with my first girlfriend. It was one of those relationships that are truly fucked from the start, like you spoke of, but I was wild for her in the end. I wanted to do anything for her. So, I flew across the country to see her, and stayed where she was for a week. I saw her one day out of that week. The rest of the time she avoided me. It didn't help that my period started in the middle of the week.

I was sixteen. Because I was so young, my parents...decided to come along. They pretty much got to see me at my worst. I also hadn't come out to them, yet, but I doubt they were that blind back then.

I can safely say she was the biggest heartbreak I ever had. I had a string of relationships after her, but all of them were pretty shitty. I gave up for a good while there.

That big paragraph you wrote about, speaking of someone to lie next to, to feel against you: I've never got to have that. I'd like to, though. It's simply that I can't.

Not right now.

I met a someone, once. A long while after I started given up on dating. She held my hand and looked right into my eyes. I stared back. She treated me better than any other woman I'd been with, and she didn't really even have to say anything. She probably didn't even know it, but she didn't have to. She was just there. That's all that mattered to me. She's led me to believe that there are genuine, good people in the world.

I want that person next to me too, you see. I'd like that more than anything else right now. I'm not kidding. There's very little to no gay population in my town. The fact of the matter is, though, I just can't. Not now. But because I can't, that only fuels me to want to better myself, and get out of this po-dunk town so that I can actually FIND them and be with them. So help me, I will work my damn ass off to get out of here.

Hopefully, one day, the both of us won't be so lonely. Cheers.

xmyplasticfantasyx said...

Amanda, honey. I know you're confused. I'm at a very similar place in my life right now. i've chosen to stay away from those people who i would normally be throwing myself at. i naturally want to be close to people. whether it's hugging or kissing passionately, just because i feel like it. and it's been so long since i've actually been able to hold someone the way you speak of. i'm in college and have a young child so i've decided not to date.not even get close to anyone until i feel i might be with them for a very long time. it's been nearly 5 years. and i always say i'm fine i'm fine. and i was until recently. i now feel the need to hold someone close to me. maybe a one night thinkg will fix this. or maybe i'm ready for that relationship part of my life i've been avoiding all this time. well i guess ther's only one way to find out. so what i'm saying is..."Amanda, i'll let you love me." ok i'm sure you think i'm such a freak right now but the things that you wrote about wanting to do to that guy..i want someone to do that for me. and i think your'e an amazing artist and person. hey you should check out my myspace if you're into that sort of're on my top list. so it's course, i don't expect you to write me. i know you're hella busy. but it would be great if you could just check it out. maybe leave a comment?lol. my pics are very cool as well.ok i'm going now. hope to hear from you sometime. have a great day, amanda.

darkbast said...

Halfway down the stairs
is a stair
where i sit.
there isn't any
other stair
quite like
i'm not at the bottom,
i'm not at the top;
so this is the stair
I always

Halfway up the stairs
Isn't up
And it isn't down.
It isn't in the nursery,
It isn't in town.
And all sorts of funny thoughts
Run round my head.
It isn't really
It's somewhere else

- A. A. Milne -

Andy said...

I've got nothing prolific to say, then again I don't think anyone who's 18 like me really does. The music is good without saying, but I'm just glad to know that you're for lack of a better word, exceptionally human, with highs and lows.

No one really wants to be alone, nothing changes that and I hope you can find someone to do all the stupid and cheesey couple things people (me) take advantage of, like that sort of language that couples have without words or in my case argue the proper pronunciation of the word "withdrawl".

Sarah said...

I love your writing, I love your music. We were at the same party a few months ago, and I wanted to go up to you, to introduce myself, and to tell you how much your writing affected me. Delilah...
I didn't approach you because I imagined that tons of fans do that to you and I didn't want to bother you.

I always question the reason random people want to get to know me, want to befriend me.
If we ever happen to be at the same party, I think I might introduce myself to you. I just want you to know that I'm not going to approach you with the state of mind of: "oh my god, it's Amanda Palmer from the Dresden Dolls- a rock star!!!"
but rather, "this is the woman who has provided me with writings which have helped out of an abusive relationship, and who has captured the exact feelings I have whenever I see a jeep pass me by."

I'm certain you hear this all the time, but the first time I heard "Delilah" at the Orpheum this past spring, I sobbed the rest of the night. "and if you take him home, you get what you deserve," I finally understood what I was doing to my best friend and how frustrated she felt every time I went back to this guy... I stopped. I didn't go back.
Thank you.
thank you, thank you, thank you.

Samantha said...

I've only recently found my way to your blog and your work, and it's a damn shame on both fronts. i just about wept reading this entry, partly for what you were saying and partly for all the connections I could immediately draw to my own goings-on .. you speak in a language so much like my own mindmutter, it comforts me. I don't feel so alone... thank you for the blog-soup.

notnow said...

I cried.
I cried.
I cried.
I never cry.
Other people's lives don't make me cry.
Especially other people's lives that so so many other people read about and cry about and love.
But I cried.
I want someone to tell me their life.
To tell me what they want, and what they're afraid of, and who they want and need and hate.
I want to know.
The boy that gave you the letter, I hope so very badly that he is okay, that telling you all his hurt made him better.
I want to be able to tell someone.
My best friend took her own life one month ago this Wednesday.
I can't tell anyone.
I can tell them what happened, I can say I'm upset and confused and fucked up, but I can't tell them what it's like.
I want to.
I want to somehow tell them what my brain feels.
What my heart feels.
I want to write it in a song, I want to paint it in a picture, I want to sew it into a dress.
She was so important.
I want to paint a billboard in the city for her.
I want to skywrite.
I want the world to know that Claire Margaret Bailey is the most beautiful creature I've known.
No words.
So I cried through media class.
I cried through the bus trip.
I cried at dinner.
It's been a month and I still cried.
I cried and thought about all the hurting people in the world and all the people who love them and how much it burns holes in my heart to know that I couldn't save her, or any other person who hurts.
I want to save them.
I don't want anyone to ever have to feel the stabbing of losing someone to their own demons.
This is so not a good place to be writing this, but I couldn't think of anywhere else.
No words.
Nobody has to read this, so long as it got out of my brain.
And if you hurt..tell someone what it does to your heart and mind and soul, please.
Tell anyone.
I'm telling an anonymous group of random people, tell -anyone-.
Just don't let your hurt suffocate you.


Hanna said...

I'm just a girl... a brazilian one.
But i whish i could be this boy...

Hanna said...

oh... just one more thing... "Good Day" saved my life yestarday... thank you.

Mad Joy said...

I've never actually heard any of your music, but I've certainly heard of you, mostly because I'm a Wesleyan student and we like to talk about all our relatively famous alumni on a regular basis to remind ourselves that we have our fair share of them, comfort our insecurities, remind ourselves that we're just as good as any Ivy League school. But anyway, I somehow stumbled upon your blog just now and read this entry, and was moved, not as a fan, but just as a blog-reader bored over spring break.

I hope that the boy you mention never reads this. Because a perfect moment can be ruined, because a perfect moment never exists, and as long as he never hears your perspective and realizes (deeply) that you are truly human as well, the perfect moment of pressing the letter into your hand and the imaganationing of all that would follow will remain precisely as perfect as he intended. The truth, your truth, is beautiful, but not quite what he imagined. It's like in Nausea - anny's idea of a "perfect moment" - and she matures and realizes they can never exist, that she can't engineer them, that as soon as she sees something as a possible perfect moment it's already ruined, because it can never be.

In film, you see a kiss turn passionate and you see them fall down onto a bed and then it fades out and you see them lying together the next morning. You don't see the sweat, the slightly awkward little "should we change positions now?", the "oops, i thrusted and missed your vagina, can you guide it in," the slight snoring while sleeping, the waking up in the middle of the night and kind of having to go to the bathroom but having a your partner's leg wrapped around you and not wanting to wake hir. Once I had sex with someone who I'd been interested in from afar for a long time, and I remember that night as completely and utterly beautiful. And yet, when I think back to it, I can't remember the specifics; all I remember is the first kiss and his pushing me gently onto the bed with hands roaming everywhere. I don't know what happened next. I suppose it must have been nice. I can imagine it anyway I like. Maybe that's why I remember it as so beautiful.

Ah, well, I'm rambling. Thanks for having an interesting blog worth reading. Your description of the encounter with the Brazilian man was especially... poetic. I suppose a failed perfect moment is an archetype, a sort of perfect moment, in itself. Sweet. :)

Chessie said...

Ok, I have a story for you. At a show of yours last summer in Edinburgh (the one where they played Nosfratau), we were all squozed in tight to see you. This lonely-looking fellow with a backpack is right in front of me, so something gets a hold of me and I put my hand right up on his back, between his shoulderblades. I just kind of held his arms for the whole show, and not once did he move. Then at the end I put my hand in front of him and he holds it, a little bit, before returning it to me. "I'm sorry," he just said. That's all. So to you, Amanda, I just wanted to give my thanks for making my movie moment possible (I've had others like that: once at the ART's production of Wings of Desire, another with a stranger sitting accross the stage from me at the last night of The Onion Cellar). Maybe you'll get this, I don't know.

Anonymous said...


Brian said...

You guys sound amazing, I've made all my friends buy your Cds, Please never stop making music or I'll never listen to a thing again! I can't wait for more music from you, and any album you release I'll of course buy, because I love your music.

God I'm such an idiot. I actually said laugh out loud the other day when I was talking to someone. It was embarrassing. AIM is ruining the universe.

But back on subject you are my heroes!