I have several things on my mind, and all at once too. A few of them could be categorized under “heat.”

But meh, I have to get to it. I’m stuck on a live John Mayer performance of his song “Slow Dancing in a Burning Room” at the 02 Arena in London. The thing about it is, there’s this guy who always stands to Mayer’s left, playing backup guitar and vocals, causing no trouble there in the relative dark, but lucky to have this gig, a world tour with a big-hit sexpot who can play the wits out of himself and his instrument.

The guy to stage right is kind of thick in the middle and he wears a hat, probably to hide his bald head. But here he is in the spotlight, this David Ryan Howard always playing second fiddle, taking a deep breath now and emitting one of the most arrestingly beautiful sounds I’ve ever heard. “Baby…..” he starts. Simple enough, but there’s something about the tenor, or the tone, or the pitch or the way the sound gets all the way from his lungs to me, my ears, and resets my brain to euphoria. Soon enough Mayer appears, tip-toeing coolly under the big lights, and goes at it while David Ryan Howard retreats to back-up singer territory, and the dark. When Mayer starts, Howard clicks his own microphone back to second-guy level.

Mayer’s guitar gleams and his hair is careless perfect. He’s doing a new weird tippy-toe thing while he plays the bejesus out of his guitar but he’s still gorgeous and so is everything about the singing and the extended and frequent guitar solos and the fact that his custom-made earphones dangle around his neck instead of protecting his ears. Live for today, tonight, get the whole sound straight to the brain, always, night after night. And as it happens, his old love Katy Perry just declared him her best sex ever. Why do I know this? Here it is: I Google him every morning right after I read my email, and sometimes before.

Slow Dancing in a Burning Room has always been a seductive, sexy-death concept to me. Yeah, the relationship is dying but the house is going down in flames too. In any case, in the meta department it’s all several steps above foaming to death in pink bath water.

Then I came off my irrational sound-and-sex high and realized that my husband and I are slow dancing in a burning room too, but the slow dancing is because we can’t move any faster. The room is burning because the handyman who fixed the grill fan is also the only person I’ve ever heard of who tried to smoke his mom with his weed. For reasons not understood by me, he put his mom’s ashes in the same jar as his weed. Then he thought he could smoke her. He said it wasn’t pleasant and mentioned fragments of bone caught in his throat. It was a disappointing experience all around.

So it’s a good thing that tonight the dogs ate the raw flank steak that was going to be grilled for dinner. The big poodle got it off the counter where it had been left unattended for a few minutes by my husband whose fault it was entirely. At about the same time the Shiba got a used chicken leg out of a trash bag just minutes before the bag’s removal to the trash can outside. Also somehow my husband’s fault although I was the one who put the chicken in the trash and left the bag on the floor.

Looking on the bright side, the dogs shared!

So we had sandwiches. We worked our way through them with the hideous sounds of CNN screeching in the background, my husband huddled in his heavy black-and-red checked shirt because the air conditioning had been set by me and I like it cold. Slow chewing in a freezing room. The mood also changed slightly after the dogs ate our dinner since I’m a sap and my husband believed they should be punished and now they’re getting only kibble for dinner and no treats any other time either.

I don’t know how to end this. I don’t know how to end me. I guess I’d better figure it out.





One thought on “Burning

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