There in front of me was the Senator on the floor being held by the busboy. There was nobody else around, and I made my first frame, and I forgot to focus the camera. The second frame was a little more in focus... then just for a second, while everything was open, the busboy looked up, and he had this look in his eye. I made that picture, and then suddenly the whole situation closed in again. And it became bedlam.(On the 1968 shooting of U.S. presidential candidate Bobby Kennedy.)
I had a lot of different jobs between fifteen and nineteen. I'd moved out of my house way, way younger than I should have. So I was living out on my own with my brother when I'd just turned sixteen. I did busboy stuff, and worked in warehouses, and did odd jobs, and stuff. I earned me some Pesos.
I've done a lot of odd jobs, including waitressing, which most actors have done. I was a busboy - girl - when I was younger and sold things at little fairs when I was younger. I mostly related the role to being a waitress and having to deal with customers. There are good people and some not-so-good people.
I said, "I'll take the T-bone steak." A soft voice mooed, "Oh wow." And I looked up and realized The waitress was a cow. I cried, "Mistake--forget the the steak. I'll take the chicken then." I heard a cluck--'twas just my luck The busboy was a hen. I said, "Okay no, fowl today. I'll have the seafood dish." Then I saw through the kitchen door The cook--he was a fish. I screamed, "Is there anyone workin' here Who's an onion or a beet? No? Your're sure? Okay then friends, A salad's what I'll eat." They looked at me. "Oh,no," they said, "The owner is a cabbage head.
I said, "I'll take the T-bone steak." A soft voice mooed, "Oh wow." And I looked up and realized The waitress was a cow. I cried, "Mistake-forget the the steak. I'll take the chicken then." I heard a cluck-'twas just my luck The busboy was a hen. I said, "Okay no, fowl today. I'll have the seafood dish." Then I saw through the kitchen door The cook-he was a fish. I screamed, "Is there anyone workin' here Who's an onion or a beet? No? Your're sure? Okay then friends, A salad's what I'll eat." They looked at me. "Oh, no, " they said, "The owner is a cabbage head.
I was a really good waitress. Waitressing takes a certain gusto. You need a good memory and an ability to connect with people fast. You have to learn how to treat the kitchen as well as you treat the customers. You have to figure out which crazy people to listen to and which crazy people to ignore. I loved waiting tables because when you cashed out at the end of the night your job was truly over. You wiped down your section and paid out your busboy and you knew your work was done.
I stretched out on the bed and slept. It was twilight when I awakened and turned on the light. I felt better, no longer tired. I went to the typewriter and sat before it. My thought was to write a sentence, a single perfect sentence. If I could write one good sentence I could write two and if I could write two I could write three, and if I could write three I could write forever. But suppose I failed? Suppose I had lost all of my beautiful talent? Suppose it had burned up in the fire of Biff Newhouse smashing my nose or Helen Brownell dead forever? What would happen to me? Would I go to Abe Marx and become a busboy again? I had seventeen dollars in my wallet. Seventeen dollars and the fear of writing. I sat erect before the typewriter and blew on my fingers. Please God, please Knut Hamsun, don't desert me now. I started to write and I wrote: 'The time has come, ' the Walrus said, 'To talk of many things: Of shoes-and ships-and sealing wax- Of cabbages-and kings-' I looked at it and wet my lips. It wasn't mine, but what the hell, a man had to start someplace.
The efficacy of psychedelics with regard to art has to do with their ability to render language weightless, as fluid and ephemeral as those famous "bubble letters" of the sixties. Psychedelics, I think, disconnect both the signifier and the signified from their purported referents in the phenomenal world - simultaneously bestowing upon us a visceral insight into the cultural mechanics of language, and a terrifying inference of the tumultuous nature that swirls beyond it. In my own experience, it always seemed as if language were a tablecloth positioned neatly upon the table until some celestial busboy suddenly shook it out, fluttering and floating it, and letting it fall back upon the world in not quite the same position as before - thereby giving me a vertiginous glimpse into the abyss that divides the world from our knowing of it. And it is into this abyss that the horror vacui of psychedelic art deploys itself like an incandescent bridge. Because it is one thing to believe, on theoretical evidence, that we live in a prison-house of language. It is quite another to know it, to actually peek into the slippery emptiness as the Bastille explodes around you. Yet psychedelic art takes this apparent occasion for despair and celebrates our escape from linguistic control by flowing out, filling that rippling void with meaningful light, laughter, and a gorgeous profusion.