Sunday, September 23, 2007

Un-Bearable Lightness of Being

Remember the words? More than the words, remember what's behind them? They're not just soundbites that sold records. They are straight from the heart.

This is a sequel to the ''Tupelo Honey'' blog, which shows how my mind works –- hop, skip and jump from one part of the map to another.What I started to do was simply listen to some of those old Elvis songs.
Problem is, some of them are like songwads stuck in my brain from a not-so-distant experience, and I cannot, no matter what else I do, get them to go away. Simple. Remember Elvis doing ''My Baby Left Me:''

Yes my baby left me,Never said a word.Was it something I done,Something that she heard?
My baby left me,My baby left me.My baby even left me,Never said a word.
Now I stand at my window,Wring my hands and cry.I hate to lose that woman,Hate to say goodbye.
You know she left me,Yes, she left me.My baby even left me,Never said a word.

A little video interlude here, just to remind you what it was like:

And then there is, inevitably, for all the Elvis songs, ''Heartbreak Hotel:'’
Well, since my baby left me, I found a new place to dwell.Its down at the end of lonely street at Heartbreak Hotel.
Although its always crowded,You still can find some room. Where broken hearted loversCry away their gloom.

See the original 1956 TV performance hre:

Yes, for those of you who asked after the last few entries, I am keeping busy, and my health is preternaturally good:
Lots of good cholesterol, very little bad cholesterol, not enough exercise, but way better than many 64-year-old sedentary bastards.
But, and this is a big-ass but...

.. I do still come back to the empty, dark apartment that I got for the two of us.
And yes, I am lonely, more than I would have expected. This morning, I was...what's the word? startled? Jolted awake by a vivid and too-realistic dream that she was beside me, and then I had another jolt in which I felt her hit me, then run away again. This keeps replaying in my brain.

Even with the company of other nice people, I fall back on the basic fact that she’s gone and I have too much time on my hands.
So I got a new CD player, so I can sing along with some of those generational songs that recall the things you and I and everyone we know has shared when we felt so desperately, pathetically alone, even in the company of our dear friends. I didn't just lose a person I shared the apartment with. I lost my dearest friend (Yes, I lost other friends in the process, but if so, they were not true friend anyway, so sayonara. But SHE matters!!
And even when we realize that our dearest of all dear friends is the one who left, we are stuck. The musicians, like Elvis, and the composers who saw and experienced and felt the stuff that went into the lyrics Elvis and others have sung about what it is like to be on the wrong end of a breakup, it is tough to get a grip on. (There was Arthur Crudup, a prolific Country & Western dude waaay before even my time on ‘’That’s All Right Mama’’ and ‘’My Baby Left Me,’’ for example, and Tommy Durden and Mae Boren Axton for ‘’Heartbreak Hotel,’’ the first song Elvis made for RCA after Sun Records sold the rights to his work for $35,000—the best deal RCA Victor ever made!

So I was listening to my birthday gift to myself and then shifted fast-forward 20 or 30 years to the Chicago era—so How about them Bears, eh? I once made my former partner a CD that included Chicago and the Beach Boys doing ‘’Wishing You Were Here’’ Before she left, she broke it and some others into shards and threw them at me. It hurt—cut, in fact—but it did not diminish my feeling for her one bit. There are so many Chicago lyrics that cut right to the car crash when it comes to burrowing through emotional stuff. Love, about to happen, happening, in danger, gone, hoping to get it back……all that stuff. So it is nice to have the performers and the creators behind them, through the generations. They remind us we are not alone. However lonely we may be, either hoping for love, hoping it is real, fearing we’re gonna lose it, losing it, hoping to get it back, on the brink of despair at not getting it back and all the shades in between. God love you all.

Steve Kipner and Jay Parker’s ‘’Hard Habit To Break’’ makes people think more carefully about the importance of someone more special than anyone else in our lives—even our own selfish friggin selves!!. To that someone:
I guess I thought you’d be here forever/

Another illusion I chose to create
You don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone
And I found out just a little too late/
Now being without you takes a lot of getting used to
Should learn to live with it, but I don’t want to.
Now living without you is all a big mistake/
Instead of getting easier, it’s the hardest thing to take.
I’m addicted to you baby, you’re a hard habit to break.

The performance:
From Tupelo to Memphis and Chicago and Fukuoka and Tokyo and beyond—way beyond.

I know you’re out there somewhere
(Omygod, Moody Blues?

For Chicago and the Beach Boys doing a live version of ‘’Wishing You Were Here,’’ check this:

If you have read this far, by now, you must know I love you!
And Peter Parker brings it home:

1 comment:

Oz said...

This is the kind of thing that happens to all of us at one time or another I guess. You tell it well. If there's a chance you can get it back, I wish you the best. If not, I wish you the best.