Sometimes I wonder,
what I'm gonna do,
cause there ain't no cure
for the wintertime blues
So I'm in the car the other night and I'm yawning at the same time my mind is racing a million miles an hour, all I want to do is go home, just go home, so I can eat and rest. It occurs to me I cannot figure out from what I need to rest. I don't mine coal or pick vegetables or work on high steel. My ass sits at a desk most days and I push buttons and move a mouse and draw stuff on tracing paper.
Oh, and I use a lot of Post-its.
Anyway, I'm in the car trying to stay awake and the radio is on
"and the radioman says it's a beautiful night out there
And the radioman says rock and roll lives
And the radioman says its a beautiful night out there in Los Angeles..."
AIIIIGGGH...no, that's "Screenwriter's Blues" by Soul Coughing, which is a good song but it is not even what was playing on the radio. The radio. The radio plays almost all the time while I'm in my car because I like music and songs and lyrics...
...and I am, in all honesty, sometimes afraid of the quiet...
...because that means I'll have to listen to the noise of my own head. I suppose that is why I have always been easily distracted and irritated by outside noise. I'm sensitized to it, and I struggle to control the internal stuff and outside noise is just more rocks in the pond. I am getting better at disregarding the noise and embracing the silence. I am practicing, I get help. Just not right now...
See? So, like I said I was in the car, sitting at a stop light, listening to the radio and
"Radio is a sound salvation,
Radio is cleaning up the nation
They say you better listen to the voice of reason..."
DAMMIT! There it goes again! "Radio, Radio" by Elvis Costello. You see what I mean? You see what I am up against? That kind of crap happens all the time. Some days I can't seem to finish a thought because my mind constantly gets sucked in by all these tangents and eddies and sidebars and asides and really, folks, sometimes I wish it would stop, STOP, STOP so I could at least remember what it was I set out to accomplish.
SO, I'm in the car, at the light, blah, blah, blah, and this amazing song comes on. It was amazing not only for the classic rock song that it is, but also because I hadn't heard it in years. YEARS. I was amazed and stunned and yes, even had some little tears in my eyes while I was smiling.
"Pinball Wizard" by The Who. I heard that opening guitar strumming sequence, followed by that power chord...and the lyrics just started spilling out of me and there I was in my brother's room at home listening to the stereo (yes, people, an honest-to-god turntable along with dual cassette decks) or maybe we were in the car with the volume up way too high but it really didn't matter, no it didn't, it didn't, because what really mattered was that Big Bro and I and some friends were strumming that air guitar and windmilling just like Pete Townshend onstage and...
"Ever since I was a young boy,
I played that silver ball
From Soho down to Brighton,
I must have played them all
But I ain't seen nothing like him
In any amusement hall..."
...was spilling from our lips like we were born to sing it, rock it, just they did and I realized that I was singing it, loud, just like we used to and that's when I choked up and out of the corner of my eye Big Bro was playing his guitar and grinning like a possum and I realized then and there that yes, I ain't seen nothing like him, ever, and never will again.
But he sure played a mean guitar. And on the stage in my mind, I'm leaning into the mic and he's in front of that huge Marshall stack and he hits that chord again and plays, plays, plays and I sing, sing, sing. I surprised myself because I remembered all the lyrics. After all these years...
"How do you think he does it?
(I don't know)
What makes him so good?
I drove on down the road, a rolling one (or maybe two) man rock and roll band singing badly at the top of my lungs. It was perfect. How could it not be? With backup like his, I always sound good.