Mailboxes, good samaritans, etc
Hey my love. Today is a whole ass travel day and I literally have 2% left of battery on my last device (great planning, t!) and am using WiFi in the sky to send this, so I am very proud of myself for still meeting my Sunday deadline.
First things first: THANK YOU to many of you who alerted me that the comments have been off for weeks on these here ttalks. It was getting so quiet and I was so confused. It also doesn’t work if you write back an email reply, apparently, so please know that if you’ve been replying to these I have not been ignoring you. I just haven’t seen it - comments are the best way and they are now back on. Yay internet success!
Phew. Now that I feel (slightly) less inept, let’s get back to the important subject, which is: If you did not find a way to request a postcard last week, comment away and I will email to get your mailing address and then send you one.
If you happened to take the initiative, I did indeed write about 65 postcards while in Spain. It was a glorious part of our little mini pre vacation. When I arrived from Tenerife to Ferrol the hotel could not send postcards, so I went on a long journey in search of the elusive Spanish mailbox aka buzón.
I knew a little about said buzón due to the magic of the interwebs and the broken English help of very nice hotel staff. I knew they were bright yellow and unpredictably placed.
But that’s about all I knew. I left my sneakers in Gran Canaria and walked for miles in flats in search of the yellow bobi. Just as I was about to exhaustedly give up there it was like a shining beacon of ridiculousness: This very yellow very phallic Spanish buzón.
Now. I had been walking for hours and this buzón had precisely zero indication that your international postcards could go in it.
I posted a question to my Instagram followers, hoping for some quick Spanish knowledge. No dice.
I looked around. I considered options. Etc.
In the end I waited another ten minutes like a very lame very confused tourist until I saw someone who seemed nice enough to help me.
His name was Samuel. Here is the photo I put on my Instagram of our Spanish mail angel.
I think Samuel was a little scared of me. I exuberantly offered to send him a postcard and he did his very best to politely decline. I then didn’t take the hint and exuberantly offered him guest list to our show the next night and he did his very best to not back away. Samuel definitely/probably rightly thought I was a fake musician and very enthusiastic murderer.
In the end I did not murder Samuel, and though he did not get the privilege of what was an excellent show/postcard, he is the reason that many of you will receive a pony express delight soon.
I’m heading to Greece now, typing / sending in the air. We’ll land at midnight in Athens, stay at an airport hotel and then go to Crete for the next few weeks tomorrow morning. Who knows what Grecian mailboxes look like. Perhaps taalitalk will just turn into an exploration of international mailboxes from now on.
Either way, I’m grateful for the little three day semi-vacation so that I now may actually vacation. I did a good job on the three days in the islands, but I scheduled lots of work things, thinking they’d be easier by the beach.
Just like last week, yer girl t needs a vacation. These flights have been low key excruciating. COVID travel with full planes full of Karens is… a thing.
Our first flight was delayed. The predictable anarchy of gloriously loose Spanish time + what felt to be a very rigid Lufthansa crowd did not mix well. I know they can’t help themselves, but frustrated people in line have a real … shtick. They crane their neck, they walk up and try to pretend they’re not upset, they want to speak to the manager, they want to do the most.
Normally I have an array of defenses so that my extremely permeable empathy absorption doesn’t kick in. But today I was tired. And the ladies and gents won.
I spent both the first flight and its layover grumbling to José about people who think they’re better than lines. I missed a much needed scheduled call with my dad, one of if not my most favorite human being on earth. This was a real loss, because he always has the best remedies for nonsense tension and nonsense people.
But either way I’m now on the flight two to Athens, listening to this album through.
Wander themes. Left and right. I thought it would be self titled, but lately I’m trying to think through some sort of title that conveys the idea of both storm and triumph.
My current favorite song is untitled but also is a fucking BOP, to quote the youths. After years of writing pop songs for other humans, I wrote one for myself. The beat, amplified by king Dustin Kaufman, is delish.
I remember writing it. I was staying in my little brother’s apartment at the time. José kept throwing me ideas but none of them quite fit. And then there we were, with this insanely good band in LA. They murdered the bass and drums and Dylan can confirm it for you: I folded into some inhuman position and wrote almost all the lyrics right then and there. The lyrics remain RIGHT on the line of perfect and terribly cheese stick which, as far as I’m concerned, is the very best kind of pop song.
The song is an ode to me, to José, to you, to us. To those of us just shy of a home base. To those of us simultaneously lost and found.
I wrote it to honor the part of me who left Orchard Street and thought it was the largest mistake of my life, despite the glaring evidence that I was headed somewhere better.
I ended up finishing the lyrics while driving through the streets of Manhattan. Thinking how that used to be my whole universe. How much I clung to its rules, how much I treasured being a real New Yorker, and how much I hated when people didn’t follow those rules. That shit used to make my blood boil. I looked like one of the ladies or gents in the Lufthansa line today if, say, you didn’t let people exit the subway before you entered or tried to push past people without taking a number at Russ and Daughters.
Though I still do treasure that badass New Yorker, I wrote this song as a prayer, to grow from that state. It lives on an entire album of new prayers. Full of the voices, instruments, lyrical ideas and hand claps of my favorite people on earth.
I hope that these little previews, little telegrams of the future, will stick with you when you first listen. I truly can’t wait to share it with you.
Until then, wish me luck on this next temporary home base. One more flight and then it’s real vacation time. Love you most.
ps: if you’re new here or have been perusing and now want to join the community, the below helps these go straight to your inbox like the letter they’re intended to be.