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Sleeping on the Couch

Sometimes it’s nice to sleep on the couch because it feels like staying at someone else’s house. It freshens up your sleep. You can stretch out (or maybe you can’t, if the couch is short). In other words, you have to sleep differently. Sometimes this is what my sleep wants: to change.

But for me, nostalgia plays a role in couch sleeping. It reminds me of Selma, Alabama, where my dad was born in 1946. Where his cousin, and probably his best friend, Jim lived in a spooky old house deeply saturated with cigarette smoke. There were Egyptian knick-knacks, pyramid and Sphinx paperweights amongst the ashtrays. Jim was big and boisterous, chain-smoking, binge-drinking, uncouth, very racist. He bought me gifts from the Marlboro catalog–binoculars, pocket knife. I always read a book there called 13 Alabama Ghosts (and Jeffry!) which was written in Selma, and seemed all the more real for it. At night, when I slept on the couch–overstuffed tweed by the wood-framed TV–the neighborhood dogs would bark all night. It was terrifying. But somehow I felt safe, because I was finally alone after a day of feeling scared, and feeling scared alone was more comforting than being with my Selma cousins. One day was done, and here was a moment of rest all to myself. If only those damn dogs would stop barking.

Last night I slept on the couch, remembering the dogs and the island of safety amongst the strangeness and fear that was Jim’s house and Selma. I’m not sure why this memory, saturated with heavy weirdness, has become one of my most nostalgic. Sleeping on couches has something to do with the comfort of loneliness, knowing that I won’t always be in this place, that I’m a visitor here, even in my own home.

Embarrassed

I am often embarrassed. I have always been embarrassed. I am white and my cheeks get red when I am embarrassed. It happens even when there is really nothing to get embarrassed about. I used to be the young kid who always got embarrassed and now I’m the older person who is always embarrassed and the young kids look at me with pity and accomplish things in real life.

Sometimes being embarrassed is enjoyable if you hold on to eye contact and don’t worry about it. It can feel almost like being strong if you just let it happen and show it to anyone, even a stranger, nakedly. Imagine being completely naked in public. It’s a bit cold and people are laughing at you. You know it is embarrassing. You are embarrassed. But you know how you feel and there is no point in hiding it. So you show everyone your private parts, your tattoos if you have them (I don’t).

Some people seem to have a clear grasp on the things you are supposed to say and the things you are supposed to not mention. I don’t. That is perhaps one of the ways I have maintained a sensitivity to embarrassment well into my adulthood. Another reason for this is I occasionally feel as though I am blending in and forget that I don’t understand what people are saying and why they are saying it, what they are doing and why they are doing it, and I begin to imitate them. Then, in expressing confidence I do something embarrassing. I have boogers hanging out of my nose. I am a kindergarten baby. But there’s nothing I can do about it. At least I know how I feel!

So if you are easily embarrassed, please write me because I don’t want to feel as though I’m alone.

The Christmas I Met Elton John

A humorous holiday tale put to music about one of the most interesting performers of the 20th century (and the present), Elton John. I like it when people ask me if I really did meet Elton John after I sing this song. The answer is: Not Yet, but I hope to soon. I hope you enjoy this video and your holidays. It was very interesting to make. I made a lot of photocopies and did a lot of watercolor painting with my wife, Yuri Hoshino (yurihoshino.com) who is a very talented artist, and our 5-year-old daughter, who is also quite talented. Then I photographed all these paintings with my rather low-quality smartphone camera. This was a part in the process which really allows the DIY nature of this project to shine through, because I am completely out of my element with photography and don’t possess adequate equipment. The final step in the production of the video was editing it all together via iMovie, which was very fun for me. I love the combination of music and video.

The production of the completely electronic backing music was finished two years ago, during the Christmas of 2016, for live performances. I’ve performed it many times all over the United States and always get a great reaction from the song. Now that I’m here in Spain, I have a great recording set-up that I recorded the final vocals on, using a Universal Audio Arrow input, an Audio Technica condenser microphone and Logic Pro X. I double-tracked the vocal very methodically and was very pleased with the sound. I didn’t venture into any vocal processing (compression, reverb, etc), feeling happy with the effect produced by double-tracking.

Thanks and I hope you enjoy this video!

Clark

Hello all!

Hello! This is the first entry of this delicious new website for Clark Williams. You may know him as Big Kitty, you may simply know him as Clark Williams, or you may know him as someone you haven’t met yet but perhaps will one of these days if events conspire to bring him to you or, on the other hand, to bring you to him.

I hope you will enjoy this website, which I hope to be my greatest yet. I hope to include much writing in English, French, and Spanish, and a lot of great content that you’re simply going to adore. I am making this website in an effort to lead humanity to a beautiful future in which we care about one another, we love beauty more than money, we have more time to relax and come to know this glorious existence, the poor do not suffer and the rich do not smite them cruelly, and other things in that vein.

I love you deeply, more deeply than the water runs in the deep old Marianas Trench, which is supposedly the deepest, at least in this world.

At any moment the aliens should be arriving.