At 7:00 on the morning of December 3, 1999,
in the bed we shared, Julie Showalter,
my beloved, fiercely smart, wickedly sexy wife,
died from cancer diagnosed the week
of our wedding nearly 20 years earlier.
I miss her every day.
And, After 14 Years, …
This annual post on December 3rd, the date Julie died,1 is the only recurring ceremony marking her life and death.
I don’t visit her grave. I long ago fulfilled her wish that her ashes be scattered in a number of distant locations important to us – a task that required significant travel and, as it turned out in more than one case, some illegal activity.
As far as I can determine, our sons, both of whom greatly miss their mother, don’t commemorate December 3rd – nor do I urge them to do so.
Julie’s mother and my mother, both of whom helped care for Julie in the weeks before she died and both of whom would call on December 3rd to lend their support, have themselves passed now.
I am, however, not alone. I am profoundly, unabashedly, recklessly in love with Penny, who became my wife two years ago. Nonetheless, I remain in love with Julie, and, indeed, I still miss her every day.
Now, Penny misses her, too.
The remainder of this entry is from the 2012 commemoration post. I can’t find a way to improve it.
In My Not So Secret Life
There is a certain cognitive dissonance implicit in posting a video called “And We’re Still Making Love In My Secret Life – A Video For Julie” as a public video on YouTube – and then writing blog entries about it.2 Nonetheless, the underlying theme – my passion for Julie since the moment I met her – remains valid. Beside, “In My Intrapsychic Life” doesn’t scan as well.
In fact, Julie was a vital part of the core of my interior reality from the day I met her, although she was, during the first eight years of that time, a singularly chaste component of my private universe, as I pointed out in the first part of Julie’s Story, This Is How A Love Story Began:
And, starting then, we spent time together, at first studying together, sharing lunch, and, most often, just talking. It was all quite innocent, because, as I would glibly but accurately note when retelling our story to friends — at that point, Julie was still married, and I was still Christian.
But all that was to change.
That change included not only the two of us living together for almost 20 years in an outrageously happy marriage but also her continued presence in my thoughts in the years since her death.
Julie Showalter was a spectacular woman and, for far too brief a time, the center of my life. The strange and wondrous story of how Julie and I met, fell in love, and – 9 years, 2 husbands, 1 wife, and 2 careers later – got together to spend a magnficient20 years together before her death, her prize-winning writing, and the life we shared are featured in many posts at this site. See Julie Showalter FAQ. [↩]
Of course, the same notion of cognitive dissonance applies to writing and then performing “In My Secret Life” all over the world to thousands of people, but Mr Cohen and Ms Robinson would, I suppose, claim artistic license. [↩]
I found, however, that this tactic became more understandable and even laudable when I came across a couple of references to the 1HeckOfAGuy.com blog.
Now, referring to 1HeckOfAGuy.com as “incredibly detailed” seems an oversimplification, but perhaps Lewes was paying by the word and, in a cost-saving frenzy, edited out the other adjectives that were almost certainly present in the original draft: “provocative,” “erudite,” “perceptive,” “witty,” …
Credit Due Department: I was alerted to this articled through a Facebook post by Gordana Stupar
Near the beginning of Going Home Leonard sang this line ‘He just doesn’t have the cojones to refuse‘ [Emphasis mine]
That line in the original lyrics reads “He just doesn’t have the freedom to refuse”
Like many Cohen admirers, I’m intrigued by the changes he frequently makes in his lyrics. I am especially taken with the subsitutuion of “cojones” for “freedom” because – well, mostly because it’s just so damn cool.
And, it’s not a trivial change. “He just doesn’t have the freedom to refuse” could, for example, be legitimately interpreted as a Calvinistic declaration that refusal is not and never could be an option because every human’s life and behavior has long ago been predetermined and free will is an illusion. The ability to refuse – if one has the courage – is, however, implicit in “He just doesn’t have the cojones to refuse.”
Do I Have To Dance All Night Surpasses 70,000 Views
"Do I Have To Dance All Night" was performed many times in concerts but was never released in the US.
As part of my crusade to popularize this song, I've cobbled together 2 videos - one for the semi-funky 1976 version with Laura Branigan and one for the 1980 more gypsy, less disco version - that kinda sorta fit the music.
As of Dec 19, 2012, the video of the 1976 version of Do I Have To Dance All Night has been viewed 70,152 times.
Leonard Cohen’s Elegy For Janis Joplin – Chelsea Hotel #1
This video features the first version of the song Leonard Cohen would later revise into "Chelsea Hotel #2" along with images of Leonard Cohen, Janis Joplin - whose liaison with Cohen at the Chelsea Hotel led to the creation of the song, the Hotel itself, and other associated people & places.
Joni Mitchell and Leonard Cohen had a fling in the 1960s that, for unspecified reasons, was short-lived, with Cohen instigating the parting.
It was then and is now a complex connection. In 1988, Cohen said, I'm still very friendly with Joni - I had dinner with her before the tour, and I have the same admiration for her as you do. But I think it was Noel Harrison who came up to me in the LA Troubadour and said "How do you like living with Beethoven?"
Photos of or related to Leonard Cohen that fall into specific themes have been among the ongoing features at DrHGuy, HOAG's sibling site. Galleries displaying collected images of 3 of these themes are now available at
The Leonard Cohen-Jennifer Warnes duet of Silent Night with Raffi Hakopian on violin was performed and recorded at the December 15, 1979 Brighton, England concert. Hear the song with a complementary video montage at
And We’re Still Making Love In My Secret Life – Julie’s Story & Video
... I never had a chance. I was - and this is the only word that fits - smitten. I still am.
She was smart and quick-witted, although it would take me 3 years to recognize that she was, in fact, much smarter than me, and then another 2 years to forgive her for that. She was also good-looking and unabashedly sexy.
And, we fell madly, irredeemably, unflinchingly in love.
Complementing the unlikely story of how Julie and I met, fell in love, and - 9 years, 2 husbands, 1 wife, and 2 careers later - got together to spend an outrageously wonderful 20 years together before her death, a video, set to the poignant "In My Secret Life" by Leonard Cohen and Sharon Robinson, is now available that evokes the role Julie, who died 10 years ago, continues to play in my life.
This Heck Of A Guy compilation includes unreleased Leonard Cohen performances over a 30+ year period.
Track List: Vol 1
1. Feels So Good (The Other Blues Song)
2. Book Of Longing
3. The Darkness
6. Do I Have to Dance All Night (1976)
7. Blues By The Jews
Track List: Vol 2
1. Red River Valley
2. Never Got To Love You (Duet with Anjani)
3. Can't Help Falling In Love
4. Ride Around
5. The Union Makes Us Strong
6. We Shall Not Be Moved
7. To Love Somebody
8. The Hypnotist (Poem)
9. Chelsea Hotel #1
10. There's No Reason Why You Should Remember Me
11. Streets Of Laredo
12. Do I Have To Dance All Night (1980)
Now, Another Other Leonard Cohen Album, the second collection of unreleased Leonard Cohen songs joins the popular The Other Leonard Cohen Album to offer fans of the iconic singer-songwriter a total of 3 CDs of musical treats. Another Other Leonard Cohen Album includes the following tracks plus liner notes by Sylvie Simmons.
1. Je Veux Vivre Tout Seul
2. Kevin Barry
3. Die Gedanken Sind Frei
4. Store Room
5. As Time Goes By
6. Don’t Go Home with Your Hard-on
7. Blessed is the Memory
8. Silent Night
9. Dead Song
10. Another Saturday Night
11. Ballad of the Absent Mare
13. The Butcher
14. Un As Der Rebbe Singt
15. Song to the Machines
16. If It Be Your Will
17. Thirsty for the Kiss
18. A Thousand Kisses Deep
19. I Tried To Leave You
20. Whither Thou Goest
21. Mr Cohen Must Be Going