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Strange Days Chapter 1

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Having Evanescensed the shit out of us, Kennealy now thankfully dips back into the late 1960s, when rock ruled the world, hippies existed and Keith Richards didn't look like the Cryptkeeper yet.

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Oh Keef, you so awesome. Even if you now look like a pirate mummy.

So it opens in January 1969, with Patricia Kennealy entering the Plaza Hotel in New York. We are also told about every stitch of clothing she's wearing, which is even less interesting than it sounds.


As I do so, I note rather than like the fact that several groupies--clad way more exotically than I--have checked out my tape recorder and notebook, and, nodding to one another, are casually closing in from three different directions.

See? I was SO not a groupie! Even the groupies could tell I was for real LEGITZ!

Yes, we're supposed to think of Kennealy as being the professional one who is there for journalistic purposes... until she immediately has a fangasm upon hearing Morrison's voice. ... a sleepy soft California voice comes through the receiver and almost buckles my knees. I know immediately who it is. Your knees are supposed to buckle AFTER you get to the big rock star's room and he demands a blowjob, not before. Procedure!


"Hi! Want to talk to me?"

"To talk to Jim Morrison, press 1. To talk to his evil twin from a parallel dimension, press 2. To hear him humming through his nose, press 3..."

Kennealy asks to talk to someone named Diane, but Morrison is more interested in finding out what her accent is. Yeah, he's in New York surrounded by New Yorkers, but he's having trouble placing a NEW YORK accent.


"That is no New York accent."
"Sure it is. New York Irish."

Has she mentioned how completely and utterly Irish she is? She's so Irish she shits shamrocks!

Also, I have heard New York Irish accents. Maybe they sound distinctive if you're FROM New York and are regularly exposed to all the dialects, but to people outside NYC (yes, New Yorkers - they do exist! The mythical people from ELSEWHERE! We're like faeries!) they don't sound that different.


"Yeah, she's here. But, Pa-tr-r-r-r-i-s-s-e-e-e-a-a-a-a"--the voice draws my name out to about seventeen caressing syllables--"you did come to talk to me, you know. Why don't you just come up and we'll, you know, talk. I'll be waiting."

"We've already got the deluxe tub of butter AND the wombats. We're just waiting for the Buddha statues to be delivered."

Also...

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So Kennealy starts wandering upstairs, and immediately starts thinking about the night before. Which is... told in flashback. So we're being shown a flashback WITHIN a flashback WITHIN a story being told thirty years after the fact. DAMMIT, we're on the second page of the first chapter and already it's turning into Inception!


"Ladies and gentleman, THE DOORS!"

"Opening for THE WINDOWS and THE DRYER VENTS!"

As for who the Doors were, since they were never as famous as the Beatles or the Rolling Stones, here's the wiki page on them. It's not strictly necessary to know much about them, but their frontman/vocalist is the main focus of this book, it helps to know at least a little about them. PKM seems to be pretty uninterested - both artistically and personally - in the others.

Anyway, there's not much actually that's relevant about this except to communicate three things:

  1. The Doors were a rock band.
  2. They tapped into some deep, primal urge for sex/death/rioting that drew people to Jim Morrison.
  3. PKM was SO totally not one of those screaming fans, because she was FOR REAL LEGITZ. She mentions that she was sitting right near the label president with all the other FOR REAL LEGITZ rock journalists.


Oh, and Morrison yells THIS at the audience: who is just this minute pointing to my side of the arena and shouting, "You are life!" Then, turning and pointing to the other side: "You are death!" Another tiny pause, and I can hear the grin in his voice: "I straddle the fence - and my balls hurt!" Ah, be charmed by the joke about balls. Because balls = funny.

And what is Kennealy - who characterizes herself as a strong independent woman of culture - to think of this? Could be an interesting conversation, I think. Why do I also have the strangest feeling that it is going to change my life forever?Yes, that's what I think when attractive men make jokes about testicles.

So then we snap out of the flashback... actually, the flashback within the flashback that is flashed back to from another flashback. Flashbackception!

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This book is so confusing.

You see what I mean about this feeling like a novel? We're in the first chapter, and already we've gotten a framing device worthy of a movie, plus flashbacks conveniently placed so we can "see" what's going on! Actually, this feels more like a screenplay than a biography.

... is it a screenplay? I actually wonder if PKM wrote her own movie script about her "epic romance", then turned it into a book when she couldn't sell it.

And now we're back on the morning when PKM is heading off to meet Hottie McRockLeatherpants, in the most melodramatic way possible. You would expect her to be excited or at least impressed, especially since interviewing a big rock star would be a big accomplishment even for her cough "national" magazine.

But no, she declares that it's what seems like my last mile, the walk to the scaffold. Oh no, she's possessed by the melodramatic spirit of LKH! Even though she was apparently interested in meeting him the previous DAY, now she's apprehensive because everybody has told her what a bad, bad boy he is. And even though we later find out Kennealy has dealt with much badder rockers like Led Zeppelin, she's now all worried and intimidated.


Like Byron, they all dourly cautioned me

"Just don't mention his club foot. He's sensitive about that."

And really, ALL the people she encountered compared him to Byron? Were they a Greek chorus? (Yes, PKM, I can do the smartypants lit-rate references too!)


and like a good Lit. major I cap the quotation now in my mind: "Mad, bad, and dangerous to know."

Did she mention how literate she is? If not, please notice! She has read about BYRON! She only trotted out the most obvious and notorious quote about him EVER.

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I wonder what Lady Caroline Lamb, lover of Byron, would have thought of James Douglas Morrison.

  1. "Time to stalk another famous hottie!"
  2. Actually, it's kind of ironic considering the way Kennealy comes across.
  3. And yes, anyone who knows ANYTHING about Byron knows who Lady Caroline Lamb is, lady. It's not secret or esoteric knowledge. They made a MOVIE about her. Please assume your readers are not TOTAL idiots merely because you took college lit classes.


So the door is opened by Diane Gardiner, who is apparently a publicist for the Doors. I wouldn't want her as MY publicist, because she sounds completely overexcited by NOTHING.


"Oh Patricia, I'm so glad you got here all right. Jim's really psyched to meet you, he's read some of your stuff and he really likes it so much, I just know everything is going to be fantastic!"

"Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to have lunch. I'm going to have a giant taco with shredded cheese and maybe some lettuce. I might even wash it down with a Coke while emphasizing all the wrong words! I know lunch will be fantastic!"

Apparently PKM doesn't trust her judgement much, because she doesn't seem to think this assertion means much. This woman only KNOWS Morrison and WORKS with him all the time. Why would she know anything about his attitude towards anything?

PKM goes tramping into the hotel room, which inexplicably has no naked groupies draped over the furniture. Nope, just untidy sheets and bottles of water. No booze! He didn't drink like a fish, dammit! And when she's walking into the living room, she has... I need a new phrase for this. She has a destinygasm!

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I have trouble even remembering to put one foot in front of the other. I know you, I want to cry out.

Not to be overly cynical, but why do people never feel this way about pudgy middle-aged postal employees? Why do people only feel a sense of destiny when they meet hot rich celebrities?

So Jim Morrison is there, and... sigh, when they shake hands, there is a giant explosion of sparks. Not a little zap of static electricity, but BRIGHT BLUE FRICKING SPARKS flying in all directions. Holy fuck, you couldn't get that kind of reaction from jerking off Zeus, let alone shaking a rock star's hand! You think she's exaggerating just a LITTLE bit?


Carpet friction, combination of suede boots and fur coat and dry room air and cold weather

Holy fuck, use a comma occasionally! BREATHE!

And yes, those are all possible reasons for static electricity during a handshake, but Kennealy ain't buying that. She claims that it's Actual apocalyptic storybook sparks, although I can't think of any apocalyptic storybooks (storybooks are usually for children), and definitely none where people's hands practically catch fire. Maybe she reads different picture books than I do. Uh, forget you read that.


where the prince and the princess touch hands for the first time not the last time.

  1. She hasn't even exchanged a word with this man, and yet already she's comparing them to a prince and princess.
  2. COMMAS. How can this woman have been a journalist without knowing where commas go? How can she constantly trumpet her lit-rary background while not knowing where the fuck punctuation goes?
  3. Here, I'll fix it: "where the prince and the princess touch hands for the first time, but not the last time."
  4. And I'm a random schmuck on the Interbutts. This was a REAL BOOK by a major publisher!


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Of course, Jim Morrison doesn't have the normal reaction of anyone who has just had a giant shower of sparks come out of his hand, which is "Holy fuck, what was that?!" No, he smiles and gazes into her eyes. Take a shot for a moment that sounds like a cheesy romance novel instead of REAL LIFE.


"Portent," he says in that impossibly soft voice.

That there is a totally natural first reaction. Either he's soused or this is another Romance Novel Moment. Take a shot. A small one, or you'll be dead of alcohol poisoning by the book's end.

Naturally, PKM agrees because... well, when you have a Cosmic Sign with a hot rich celebrity, who's gonna say, "Nah, I think it was just the shag carpet"? He holds out a chair for her, plus he apparently rose when she came into the room, and this causes another fangasm.


not only did his mother teach him good manners, but I can't believe he actually remembers them!

This reminds me of those celebrity magazines that almost wet their pants with joy when a celebrity is seen buying their own celery or helping an old lady across the street. They don't hold famous people to the same standards as the rest of humanity - basic activities suddenly become SPECIAL and HUMBLE.

That is what PKM is doing here. She isn't saying, "Yeah, he should treat women that way." It's "OMG, he has BASIC MANNERS! So awesome! I bet he doesn't throw his poo either!"

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At this point, even PKM is questioning why she's gone more fangirly than any of those groupies downstairs, but for less reason. Why? Because she's PROFESSIONAL, dammit! She's no groupie! She's a serious writer!


I am, at twenty-two, the editor of a national and highly respected music magazine

... which has pretty much been forgotten except for the pieces they produced on certain old-timey rockers like the Grateful Dead, Zappa, and some jazz guy called Jim Pepper. It ain't no Rolling Stone. Even when Rolling Stone was Rolling Stone.... which was a long time ago.

So she reasons out there there is no reason for her panties to liquefy (DAMN YOU, TALIA GRYPHON) especially since Morrison has a well-earned reputation as a colossal tool. And yet she knows that this is so different, that he is different, that I am different with him. Ah, Stephenie Meyer herself couldn't have written it better.


This is not editor and interview subject

Editors don't interview. They MAY interview if they have multiple jobs, but she hasn't made that clear.


nor is it star and starstruck groupie, as it would have been with those little girls downstairs.

"I may be goggling at how glorious he is and unable to walk or talk properly because of his presence, but I am NOT a starstruck groupie! I'm a totally serious writer and stuff! I have PROFESSIONALISM! I know who Lord Byron was!"

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And much like with the sudden explosion of sparks, they both magically know that this is a For Reelz Destined-To-Be moment: it will be nothing like anything else there has ever been before. Yes, all those billions of romantic relationships throughout history PALE besides the romance of a rock star and a not-groupie. Their is the greatest!

I'm starting to wonder if this book inspired Smeyer.

Morrison then wanders off to make Kennealy a drink, or maybe he just has an excuse to chug entire bottles. Either way, Kennealy has the chance to gawp at him like a fangirl, and I'm pretty sure she soaks the carpet. With her drool. Or possibly something else.

Yeah, despite PKM's assurances that She Is A Professional, Dammit and that she only reacted this way because they were soulmates bound by a cosmic red string... this entire scene feels like the fanfic of a young woman who has just attracted the interest of a guy she was already hot for.

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