Infernal Blessings

For weeks, there's been a small sign on the expressway bridge I pass under as I drive to work: "I love you, Jesus." Today, I saw it had been replaced by another sign: "Lucifer is Light." This got a genuine belly laugh out of me, and seems a good portent for the day. Thousands of cars pass under the sign every day. How many drivers will look up? How many will feel blessed by the light?

The Davi Question

A number of readers have asked: is Davi a boy or a girl., both or neither? That's a hard one to answer. Given that Meet me in the Strange is told by Davi, we never get a solid "he" or "she" - only "I."

I see Davi through a retrofuturist lens. Glam rock, from its beginnings, blurred the boundaries between the sexes. I'd often see the word "androgynous" used to describe Bowie, Eno, Jobriath and other early glam rockers. Literally, "androgynous" means man-woman or masculine-feminine. When the first pioneers crossed the gender boundaries, fans, music writers and people gawking from the outside had fewer words than we do now to describe the phenomenon. And it was far more risky, even dangerous, to "take a walk on the wild side," (as Lou Reed put it.)

Some readers see Davi as a boy and some as a girl, some don't care, and some project onto Davi their own fears and desires. Meet me in the Strange started with Anna Z. - a girl at a concert, overwhelmed, blissed-out. Davi was the observer, the teller of the tale, and because they both live in a world of glam rock fantasy, Davi's sex, or gender, or whatever word you use, dissolves in the mist and music.


Meet Me in the Strange has been called a "retrofuturist novel." That is, it looks back and embraces much of the style, music, and attitudes of  '70s era glam rock. (And yes I was there, listening to Bowie, T Rex, Mott the Hoople, Roxy Music, Eno, New York Dolls.) It also looks to an alternate future - when the world (especially for two wild teenagers) is mutating into something strange, unpredictable and amazing.

Can a person be haunted by ghosts from the future? Why not? Can we send our minds (and eyes and ears) back to a time when things were better (or at least much cooler?) I say: absolutely. A very smart (and somewhat sad) person once said, "The past is where they keep all the good stuff." Music, books, art, movies, snazzy-looking clothes, heroes. This is partly cheap nostalgia. But here in the present we can look back at the past and recognize the really good things that will last.

What's ahead? One thing is for sure: new experiences. So Meet Me in the Strange exists in a weird limbo: forward and backward, there and not-here-yet, maybe and if only.

Dagon and the Hand-Jive


You got a crazy little finger, a crazy little thumb.
You got a crazy little organ, think I'm gonna get me some.
Everybody get religion. Everybody get a stick.
Everybody get some fish eggs and beat 'em till they're thick.

Hand-jive Dagon do the slime
digits working overtime
Come on all you Philistines
it's time to make the scene.

Sharkskin suit and cheaters too.
You got a mirror shine on a cloven shoe.
Up all night in the Temple of Cool,
worldwide champ of pocket pool.

Hand-jive Dagon do the slime
digits working overtime
Come on all you Philistines
it's time to make the scene.