June 2024


Claudine Jones | Scene4 Magazin

Claudine Jones

It's 2:00 a.m. Just got up and rubbed some CBD lotion up by my ribs where I'm still sore from pulling something a week ago. I had this plan to make chicken pot pies several days ago thinking I would be okay to do it but my damn side pain, a hitch in my git-along we used to say.

So I'm attempting to read while I wait to get sleepy again. The Orphan Master's Son. I picked it up from another little library in the neighborhood.  It's a Pulitzer Prize winner. I find it well written but so intensely harsh I try not to read it at night for sure I'll get nightmares.

In my present mood, I can see clearly what my approach to this particular novel has perpetrated. A little bit like when I avoid spoilers in the visual arts, TV movies, etc., I haven't even read the remarks on the back of the book. I just notice them and then immediately stop myself from reading them. I could have picked any book; it's a random choice I just grabbed from the stash next to the bed. Been at it for a month or so and only 150 pages in. This means it's a bit like rich food and so I need to take it in little bites. Where does that emanate from?

Well. Sorry to say, as much as I try to avoid politics, I am acutely aware of its effect on my everyday life. There is a sense I have just this much tolerance. No more no less. Now add in the subject matter of my book—loosely North Korea—and my resolute attitude of going in blind. It almost seems like every time I turn a page or two, I get something like the equivalent of a slap or a punch, which for an English language book is, I suspect, thoroughly calculated on the part of the author. The literary equivalent of, let's admit it, the horror of the main character's existence.

Like today’s news.


For some inexplicable reason I was struck earlier today by a surge of guilt. I was walking down the hallway to the back room where I have my couch for naps and computer for working on music, and it seemed in a split second I was suffused by an acute awareness of everything I've ever collected. All around me.

That feeling has faded, but I still have the memory of how ashamed and claustrophobic I felt. It suddenly appeared as though everything I've done for decades has been pointing toward a source of pain, dealt with in the same way my mother did. Going through her belongings after her death certainly brought that home.

Like my vintage books lined up. Hugh Walpole's Herries series for example, I fell in love just by reading book number 2 and then backed up and collected and read all 7 of them and now they sit on top of the second landing bookcase. Mainfloor hallway bookcase: all eleven early Tarzan books hardbound edition, and all of Maritta Wolff (1918-2002) author of some pretty damn steamy (for the times) hardboiled fiction with strong female protagonists, nine in total the last one of which was published posthumously after it was found stored in her refrigerator. Since I was in Grand Hotel the Musical, and Vicki Baum, the author of Grand Hotel actually wrote a buttload of books mostly in German, I've got four of the translated ones. (Did y’all know she was also a boxer?) I just ordered this next two in a series of Police Inspector murder mysteries by this guy who writes with his mother. I read one of them and then decided to research what else he wrote and realized holy mackerel, and the next thing I've got 17. There are 28 I believe, and he adds another one every year.

What the hell. A mere sample.

That's only books.

I don't have to inventory everything, but acknowledgment I've got this hoarding-adjacent Vice is dispiriting. I mean for crying out loud, I'm deep into non-duality and yet I get most of my pleasure from, let's face it, my physical surroundings.

It's been documented that going down rabbit holes at 2:00 a.m. is usually ill-advised. Gives me pause and yet, once again it's the week leading up to deadline. Dictating is my treat. I don't even have to go to Trader Joe's to buy it and it’s zero calories.

Yeah. I'm enjoying this, not knowing where it's going—hellokrishnamurti—so there's that. It's possible the CBD is kicking in—been 20 minutes or so. I like the sound of my voice and I'm liking the heading-forwards not going too much backwards into stories kinda vibe.

But I did make my chicken pot pies. Prep started around 5:30 pm, but got all eight of them in the oven a little after 9:00. So instead of that for dinner, I had a big cup of chai flavored decaf with lots of fluffy hot milk. Stole the heel off of my son's sandwich bread and made toast.

I'm not sure how this could have exacerbated my owie. I didn't even actually make the pie dough, I faked it with some TJ's pizza dough cuz stupid seasonal products they didn't have any puff pastry. I don't know must have been something else. I'm notoriously slow on food prep. I listen to something on my phone or tablet and get absorbed in the process. It's enjoyable or I wouldn't do it. Sad I didn't have any Sherry left though cuz that goes great with chicken. So I threw in some kitchen wine, leftover Cabernet. And the last of the coconut milk.


And here I am. Waiting for tomorrow which is today.

My little pies.



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Claudine Jones | Scene4 Magazin

Claudine Jones has a long, full career as an Actor/Singer/Dancer. She writes a monthly column
and is a Senior Writer and columnist for Scene4.
For more of her commentary and articles, check the Archives.

©2024 Claudine Jones
©2024 Publication Scene4 Magazine




June 2024

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