Tag Archives: American Girl Tom Petty

Adventures in Wild Weight Fluctuations!!

I’m still keeping this new bathroom scale. If only because I want to try to hack the code.

Apparently, I gained 5 pounds during the night. (After losing 9 pounds the previous day.)

At the very least, the scale reconnects me with everything I ate the day before. You know, it sort of acts as a grounding rod for my wildly dispersed reality. From moment to moment, I can no longer tell you what’s happening to my life. I am just so caught up in my head these days. Absolutely everything flies past me. So this new bathroom scale — its seeming slight relation to reality — sort of helps anchor me. I step on the scale. I look at that wildly unexpected number. And it makes me stop and think and remember yesterday: What was yesterday?  What did I do? What did I think? What did I eat?

So the new bathroom scale is sort of an adventure in consciousness.

An alert just came through on my laptop that the drummer Ginger Baker died. This also serves as an anchor in reality: a.) I did not know he was even still alive; b.) I can’t believe he was 80; and c.) another part of my girlhood — gone.

When these things happen, I immediately feel that I either have to die right away. Like, I don’t know, tomorrow maybe. Or just live for some stupidly long time so that the main point to my whole existence becomes: Everything and everyone I ever knew is gone. This “in between” business — where you watch everything you ever knew disappear in bits and pieces; that part gets hard to process. So I’d rather just deal with one extreme or the other. Die now, or live so very long that nothing has relevance anymore and everyone assumes I simply am just never going to die.

On a sort of similar note… I’ve been thinking the last couple days that I’d really like to take a drive to the old Civil War battle ground in Cynthiana, Kentucky, and visit my great-great-grandfather’s grave. He’s buried there in a Confederacy War Memorial. For some bizarre reason, google maps assures me this is only 3 and a 1/2 hours from Crazeysburg. I’m not sure how that could possibly be. It feels like it should be much farther away. So I think I’m going to set aside a couple days here in the fall and do that. Find some sort of a strange motel there and stay over for one night. Maybe even drink bourbon for the first time in a couple of years. (I can’t imagine being in Kentucky again and not drinking bourbon.)

I’ve listened to Ghosteen a few more times.  And that anchors me, too, actually. It has such a presence to it that I just hone right in and everything else in my mind and in my world simply stops.  I’m just listening. Picturing all this stuff that I don’t understand at all — meaning, the images just come because the lyrics are so precise and so intense, yet I have no idea what any of that whole first part of the record means. (I don’t necessarily know what the second part means, but I feel like I intuitively grasp it. The first part — any hope of concrete meaning flies away from me in all directions but it sustains such an intense beauty, regardless.)

It is enigmatic, to be sure. I feel like there is absolutely no way in. By that, I think I mean that this is sort of an operatic painting about his life, his family, his marriage — and how can you ever truly understand how the inside of someone else’s perspective of life really feels? Well, anyway, I can’t. So I can’t find my way into it. Which doesn’t mean it’s not beautiful or that I don’t love it, or that it doesn’t cause me to feel a lot of things.

Nick Cave has said things before about how songs speak to you, personally; you know, you feel like a song was written just for you and it becomes yours, in a way. Actually, there is no Nick Cave song, ever, that I felt spoke to me, personally. I do feel that way about pretty much every single song Tom Petty ever wrote — starting with “American Girl.” I heard that song in my teens and immediately wondered, “How come that guy knows how it feels to be me?” But with Nick Cave — he’s on this whole other planet from me. It’s one that I absolutely love, with all my being and all my soul, but it could not be more different from my planet if it tried. Yet I still love, basically, everything he ever wrote. Or likely will write.  Still, this new record goes even beyond that. Really, like discovering a whole new planet. Complete with a language that sounds remarkably similar to the one I know, and yet, eludes me. I think it’s just something I have to feel in my heart. And maybe meaning will come later. Or the “meaning” is simply that I feel it all very intensely. That is the meaning to it.

Okay. And on that note, the Conversations continue tonight in Austin. Maybe one lone photo appeared on Instagram from last night so, clearly this “put your phones away” idea is working. Eventually, I will no longer have any reason whatsoever to be on Instagram! But that’s okay.

All righty!! I’m gonna scoot and get Sunday underway here. Have a great day, wherever you are in the world. Thanks for visiting, gang. I love you guys. See ya.

“American Girl”

Well, she was an American girl
Raised on promises
She couldn’t help thinkin’
That there was a little more to life somewhere else
After all it was a great big world
With lots of places to run to
And if she had to die tryin’
She had one little promise she was gonna keep.

Oh yeah, all right
Take it easy, baby
Make it last all night
She was an American girl

Well it was kind of cold that night,
She stood alone on her balcony
Yeah, she could hear the cars roll by,
Out on 441 like waves crashin’ on the beach
And for one desperate moment there
He crept back in her memory
God it’s so painful when something that’s so close
Is still so far out of reach

Oh yeah, all right
Take it easy, baby
Make it last all night
She was an American girl

c- 1976 Tom Petty