To the blog or whoever

On August 21st of this year I did something I’ve never done before: I walked into a record store to buy an album that had been released that day. I remember flicking through the CDs, not finding it, and wandering around aimlessly, too embarrassed to ask for help. There were so many unfamiliar names printed in square black letters, whole genres I’d never even heard of. (Was it indeed “Pop/Rock” I was after?) I circled back and resolved to give it one more go, and . . . wait . . . There it was, in the back, so slender I must have missed it before. One copy. My copy. I smiled. I think I laughed out loud. This was sort of exciting.

I carried it to the cash register as though entrusted with a precious secret. Placing it on the counter, I searched the clerk’s face for recognition, for a twinkle of eye to meet my own. There was none. Pretty soon the conviction that everyone must hear would eclipse my shyness, and I would embrace evangelism, but that day I kept silent. I stepped out into the sunshine feeling excited and proud and cool—this always a novelty—and connected to something great, somehow.

Then I waited a few weeks to open the CD.

I stowed it in my suitcase and brought it on vacation to my parents’ cabin in northern Michigan in September. On the first night I took the stairs down to the lake and lowered my head onto the boards of the dock. In the incredibly harried and hectic preceding weeks, I’d envisioned that moment a number of times. I watched the harvest moon.

I listened to the album, but only part of it, because by the time I had the sudden, shiver-inducing sense that someone—something—was standing nearby, I had repeated the opening song maybe five times. It devastated me. I lurched up on my elbows and twisted round to find my mother at the end of the dock, white nightgown glowing eerily. She was talking and waving her arms. I yanked the earphones out of my ears.

I got into bed and listened a little more. Then I fell asleep, and the next morning I rolled over and wrote gladden a gun.

I don’t know what to say about the below. I keep starting sentences and turning back again. So I guess it’s just this: I had a great time writing it. I love To the Dogs or Whoever. It will likely inspire some (more) reading. And as I told a friend when she found me giggling and scribbling in my notebook at the coffee shop: I’m really beginning to understand why I love the things I love.

I think that goes to the heart of being a fan.

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Just the Ghost of a Trace

Deep in the great north woods I found him
Wrapped with the Milky Way around him
Lifting my eyes to the night’s chandelier
Daddy, do you think he’ll ever come down here?

I love the way your songs win but don’t fight.
I lose my fear and my doubt and some sleep, then I write.
You make the most of your words, and you’ve taught me plenty.
When you want to come home, I’m here and I’m ready.

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Her united kingdom a horror museum
Through the roar of a train wreck she thought she could hear him
Like laughter he sang to the heart sick and broke
Just a silver bell ringing through a thunderstroke
There was blood on the tracks and it started to storm
She was begging for the notes of the final chord
He sang to her often, she was sure she was dying
But it was hard to stay down when he never stopped smiling. I thought I heard somebody

calling.

In the dark

I thought I heard somebody’s song.
.
.

Butch never cared about the played out scenes
They’re still waiting on a train in the Land of Hope and Dreams
Said, “Christ walked on water, I’ll take the Kid for a swim.”
He asks but I won’t show him where Bolivia is.
Bring me a love

.
.
Was it Peter Parker or that kid from the Shore
Who could rescue us all and still live next door?
He’ll kiss your hand, and he’ll conquer the world
And this empty heart—it’s too much for a girl.
So pity the tickets and pity the fans
Who all find their place in the same sad plan
We sit pretty and pining, all lined up in a row
We think, If Kathleen won’t, take me. I’ll go. I thought I heard somebody

calling.

In the dark

I thought I heard somebody’s song.
.
.

Now the girl begins her day to the scream of the steam
She wipes the sleep from her eyes and gets back to her dreams
Out stretches the trail, against a blue sea clouds sail
She says, “I love the way the sun is a’sparklin’ on the rails.”

Will wrote lyrics to be sung by the page
I was thinking of him when you came on stage
Serenade on your breath, the spot in your hair
Did I mention how I love you in that suit you wear? Deep in the great north woods I found him
Wrapped with the Milky Way around him
Lifting my eyes to the night’s chandelier
Daddy, do you think he’ll ever come down here? I thought I heard somebody

calling.

In the dark

I thought I heard somebody’s song.

Your thoughts most welcome.

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