Yes, indeedy! 3 of my favorite things!
I am of course, talking about:
And not necessarily in that order. In fact, if 1 or 2 of those things is going on, I don’t need rum at all!
I am, of course, just kidding – I don’t need the lash, either. (We’re certainly hoping, however, that the sparkle and allure of that 3rd thing goes on forever!)
Seriously. I am, of course, actually referring to that incredible Pogues album from 1985, Rum, Sodomy & the Lash.
(And YES!!!!! Most non-NYC-area, non Irish-Americans do not know who the Pogues were, who Shane MacGowan is, nor have they ever heard of that incredible album!!! America beyond the boundaries of NYC can be such a strange place.)
Even though it isn’t my favorite song on the album (mostly because Shane MacGowan didn’t write it), the Pogues still did an incredible version of “Dirty Old Town” that, for some inexplicable reason, I suddenly needed to listen to about 75 times yesterday – really loudly, while going really fast in the car.
I had a really weird day. I didn’t teach piano yesterday because the guy went on vacation. The day was just sort of mine, but I was extremely tired. Just exhausted from stuff that was on my mind and I was trying really hard not to let it get me down, you know?
It was a very humid day. Extremely overcast all day, but not too hot. Just sort of oppressively grey.
Yet Muskingum County looks incredible in all sorts of weather. Even with an oppressively grey sky, the pastures, dotted with cows, still look intensely green. And the thousands of green trees everywhere. The green hillsides surrounding everything for as far as the eye can see. There are ponds here and there, dotted with ducks and cranes and sometimes even with swans! And now the crops are coming in everywhere – corn, mostly – so all the fields in the valleys are green now, too.
Just getting out on that highway, up hills, down hills, twisty-turny, and then sometimes just really, really straight so that you can see clear to Coshocton County, too; just getting out on that highway becomes entrancing to me. And there’s nothing here that you can really call “traffic.” You really can just soar.
My heart was going through some shit yesterday. Even though my life couldn’t be better – actually, I’m happier right now than I’ve ever been. And if I can resist the temptation to wish that everything in my past had gone differently, I can’t complain about anything whatsoever.
Even so, I still have those yearnings, those desires that keep me wanting to evolve into something more, you know? Yesterday was one of those days. I was longing for evolution.
Even though I couldn’t be farther from living in a “dirty old town,” the song, the specific way the Pogues do it, was just really helping me feel shit. Just feel it and then get sort of entranced by everything I felt, and then, finally move past it. And I wound up having a really wonderful evening. Everything inside me eventually shifted.
Plus, for a few hours in the evening, the weather also shifted. It became sunny.
I sat at my kitchen table and watched the first episode of season 6 of Endeavor. It was really good. So fucking good. Those British guys can just act the heck out of themselves, you know? So fun to watch all that intensity. And the writing is just really, really good. There were only 2 lines of dialogue, right at the very end, that sort of jumped out as strictly “exposition,” but otherwise, the writing is incredible. So well-paced. It does everything it’s supposed to do; you hate this one, you’re disappointed in that one; you wonder wow, what’s up with her? and you know you’re going to find out before the season’s over. That kind of stuff, woven so nicely into the plot and you’re always, always, always rooting for Endeavor. Needing him to come out on top. Just great writing.
There are 3 more episodes left. I will probably watch them all this week. And then, I guess, wait another year before I watch TV again. (I find this kind of insane – that I don’t watch any TV anymore and I hadn’t even realized it had been a year. But, honestly, I just don’t have time or room in my brain these days to commit to television.)
Even though I was still really tired by evening, I was in the best mood. I just laid on my bed and listened to all the quiet outside my windows. Birds singing, an occasional car. That was it. The sun stayed out until past 9:30. It was so cool to just lie there and not do a single darn thing except be alive.
I’ve decided that I really love that new Springsteen song, “Hello Sunshine.” It really, really suits where my life is at these days. “Sunshine” of course, for me, being the return of the muse.
There are a handful of songs on the new album that I like, but “Hello Sunshine” is my favorite. So I streamed that a million times, while the sun went down and it started to rain.
And I was thinking about how albums like The Wild, The Innocent & the E Street Shuffle, or Darkness on the Edge of Town, and Born in the USA just blew me away and solidify certain eras of my life for me. From a long time ago, obviously. I liked Born to Run, too, but it was released while I was still in the mental hospital so it has some shaky memories for me.
In fact, when I was released from the mental hospital, a boy I had become friendly with in there, who had been released before I had, came over to see me to give me that album as a gift. He said, “You’re really gonna love this album, Marilyn.”
And he was right, I did. And it was such an unexpected and wonderful gift. But it still was a shaky time for me. I don’t think I found my footing, post-mental hospital, until I was about 25. (10 years later.)
Last night, though, as I was listening to “Hello Sunshine” and thinking how it’s been a long time since an entire Springsteen album could blow me away; I suddenly remembered that boy who’d given me Born to Run. We became really good friends for a couple of years, until we graduated high school, went off to our respective colleges and never saw each other again. (I stayed in college for about 14 seconds before dashing off to find my life instead.)
Anyway, last evening, I suddenly remembered how, when we were about 17, that boy was really, really frustrated with still being a virgin and he thought that if he weren’t a virgin, he could get more dates with girls. I’m not entirely sure what the thinking behind that was, but it is what he believed. And, of course, me being me – exceptionally cavalier about the state of virginity – I said, “Oh I can take care of that for you, if you want.”
He was absolutely stupefied. I mean, we had never even kissed or anything. We were just friends. But I was serious. To me, it was an absolute no-brainer. It would only take a few minutes, really. Technically. I wasn’t saying, “let’s have a date, ” or “let’s make love.” I was only talking about doing that one specific thing. So we did it! We went off to my room. Did it. And he was really happy. And then we went out and rode our bikes.
Too funny. However. What I also remembered last night, was that I did have a boyfriend at that time. A serious boyfriend, too. We were in love. He lived in West Virginia though, and I didn’t get to see him all the time. But we were definitely in love – wore rings and such.
When he found out what I’d done, he was so mad at me: “Why did you do that, Marilyn??!!”
And I was astounded that he got mad. I had considered myself strictly as a problem-solver in that whole “lose the virginity” thing and could not understand why my boyfriend had gotten so mad at me.
Last night, it really made me laugh – remembering all that. It had been, literally, 40 years since I’d thought about any of that stuff. It’s amazing what I just presume people will put up with from me.
Anyhow. While I was listening to “Hello Sunshine,” I was also remembering that song “I’m On Fire” from Born in the USA and how much I used to just fucking love that song. I just loved it. And I had kind of forgotten all about it. So I’m gonna leave you with that one today.
But before, I do, I just wanna mention that people in Birmingham, England are apparently way more law-abiding than I would have guessed. There were not that many photos posted to Instagram from the Conversation Nick Cave had there last night. And at the very start of the evening, someone posted a photo to Instagram showing a sign at the front of theater, that stated how you weren’t allowed to record any of the Conversation, including with your phone.
I guess most people took that seriously, as odd as that seems in this day & age. There were a couple photos of the theater itself, before the show started. It looked like a really cool place. But I can’t say a whole lot more than that, except that perhaps two people did post photos and said they really loved it. But that was all.
Okay. I’m in such a better space today, gang. So I’m going to make use of that and get some writing done here. I did absolutely none yesterday. I’m thinking that I might even finish Blessed By Light this week. So I’m off.
Have a terrific Tuesday, wherever you are in the world! Thanks for visiting. I love you, guys. See ya!
“I’m On Fire”
Hey, little girl, is your daddy home?
Did he go away and leave you all alone?
I got a bad desire
Oh-oh-oh, I’m on fire
Tell me now, baby, is he good to you?
And can he do to you the things that I do? Oh, no
I can take you higher
Oh-oh-oh, I’m on fire
Sometimes it’s like someone took a knife, baby, edgy and dull
And cut a six-inch valley through the middle of my skull
At night I wake up with the sheets soaking wet
And a freight train running through the middle of my head
Only you can cool my desire
Oh-oh-oh, I’m on fire
Oh-oh-oh, I’m on fire
Oh-oh-oh, I’m on fire
c – 1985 Bruce Springsteen