I don’t live today – The Jimi Hendrix Experience

When one gets married, the last thing they want to feel is invisible.

I remember that feeling as I walked behind him down that second floor hall.

He was taking our suitcases to his childhood bedroom.

Not only had he decided to go home to his parents after two weeks of marriage, but he went home to his boyhood room.

I thought at least he would bring his new bride up to the third floor, where there were rows of elegantly appointed guest rooms, and a little privacy.

He was making absolutely no concessions to me – it was if he had never met me.

His life went on exactly as planned.

Mine was turned upside down.

I wanted to keep walking up the stairs to the third floor, as if that were the only proper solution, but I just followed him into the room.

All I remember is the smell of the spermicide jelly on the diaphragm. 

Every year he’d come to me with a pile of papers all folded over, so only one line was visible.  He said “sign here,” and I signed.  They were our income tax forms, which he felt I had no business reading. 

I felt like one of those monkeys you see in cages so small that all they do is pace back and forth all day.  Back and forth, back and forth.

At the end of the marriage, one of their secretaries said to me, ‘You weren’t the pussycat they thought they were getting.’  I tried to explain that I wasn’t a domestic animal.  I was a human being.  But as nice as this lady was, she didn’t understand what I meant.  It was before the Women’s Movement and I was considered rebellious because I wanted to open my own mail, read things before I signed them, and other ‘unpussy-like’ things.

Years later, after so many changes, I heard Jimi’s line , ‘Ah, there ain’t no life nowhere.’  [from the album, The Jimi Hendrix Experience, I Don’t Live TodayAnd that’s how I felt back then.

Here’s the song, played by Jimi in Stockholm in 1967.

I was so miserable and frustrated in my marriage, and I had absolutely no one to talk to.

I asked my husband to see a marriage counselor with me and he said ‘I’m not going to see any marriage counselor.’  I tried to talk to my grandmother and she hung up on me.  My mother had already stolen my inheritance, claiming I ‘wouldn’t need it.’ Her track record was not one of wisdom.  And I had no father to go to.

After Steve and I separated, his mother called me on the phone (I had the feeling his father might be listening on an extension).  ‘You know Nancy,’ she finally said, ‘Steven is our first-born child.’

I was my parents’ first-born child too, but no one was calling Steve up to remind him of that or make him feel guilty.

Damned if you do, and damned if you don’t make the changes that should otherwise be for the better.  My father wasn’t there for her.  My father’s first wife, her mother, certainly wasn’t either.  Nobody was it seems.  How sad…..tragic even…..and indirectly I had a part.  Very indirect connection, admittedly.  So why do I feel so connected to Nancy, and so responsible for this enterprise of publicizing Nancy?  Your guess is as good as mine.  I’m open to any comments you might have regarding this.

Anyway, here are a few words from Hendrix’ song, which tells completely what Nancy must have been feeling.  .

No sun comin’ through my windows
Feel like I’m livin’ at the bottom of a grave
No sun comin’ through my windows
Feel like I’m livin’ at the bottom of a grave
I wish you’d hurry up and execute me
So I can be on my miserable way


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