Friday, January 30, 2009

Lucinda Williams: Side of the Road

I'm a Libra. And something about Libras: We don't like to be alone. I especially don't like to be alone, not since.

But Sue's not here tonight, on a Friday; she's with her mom tonight since it's her birthday and she was operated on yesterday, so Sue drove down to the Cape tonight to be with her, and she's leaving for a couple of days for Mexico next week, so I've got some alone time to deal with.

I thought about calling a buddy to come on over, cook something to eat, have a few drinks, talk like we used to. But then I thought I'd take the time for myself. I was chatting with Allison the other day, and I told her I don't like to be alone anymore, don't like to do things alone anymore, have done enough in my life alone and I've gotten to the point where I want to share the time. You know?

And she got all up on that, she's young and just learning about herself and the world, and she said I should be my own best company, I should do something nice for myself, get dressed up and take myself out to dinner. Yeah, that's something a goat like me is going to do.

I told her I've been by myself so many times even I bore myself.

Anyway, years and years ago, I don't even think I was married yet, the woman who eventually became the mother of my girls had a job where one long weekend a month she'd work from Friday night to Monday morning. I wasn't going to just sit around and pine for her, so I used my T pass to learn Boston, all over. Rode the T from one end to the other. When I was seventeen I traveled all through Europe alone for three months. I've always liked the freedom of traveling alone, not worrying about another person, their likes and dislikes, schedules, and quirks.

And back then, I'd go to parties and movies alone. And I'd read cookbooks and go to place like Haymarket and get ingredients for dinners and that's how I learned to cook.

We got married and unfortunately it all turned into two people leading two separate lives under one roof. I did a lot of things by myself, then, too.

Once--Sue and I were already going out--I went hiking up in the Whites with Bob like we used to. It was supposed to be for a couple of days and we ended up on top of Mount Bondcliff the first night with the sun going down and I threw down my tent up there and one point I looked up and the moon was coming up over the Presidentials in front of me and the sun was setting over over my shoulder over the Franconian Ridge, and I thought to myself, dammnit, I've done this so many times by myself, I'd like Sue to see this. I came home the next day. I just wasn't mentally prepared to be up there alone, although I've done that so many times.

But tonight I just wanted to be alone. And in a funny way, sitting here writing these words I don't feel so alone knowing somebody's going to be reading them soon. That's what I keep harping about, about how we're all connected, so connected we don't even know how connected we are. If we aren't, I ask you, how come I don't feel alone knowing people will read these words and that will connect us? Again, just because you can't see it or explain it logically doesn't mean it doesn't exist or happen. Aristotle and all those logical Greeks didn't know it all, you know.

Anyway, tonight I made something new: Southern okra (as if there's any other kind.) And I intend to read and play a little guitar. Just feel my own skin for awhile. And I feel pretty good. It's nice to be alone with yourself for a short time.

It's also nice knowing Sue will be back tomorrow. That's real nice knowing that.

Lucinda Williams wrote a real nice song about all this. It's called, Side of the Road. Once you hear it, it's all pretty self-explanatory. If it's not, well, I feel sorry for you.

You wait in the car on the side of the road
Lemme go and stand awhile, I wanna know you're there but I wanna be alone
If only for a minute or two
I wanna see what it feels like to be without you
I wanna know the touch of my own skin
Against the sun, against the wind

I walked out in a field, the grass was high, it brushed against my legs
I just stood and looked out at the open space and a farmhouse out a ways
And I wondered about the people who lived in it
And I wondered if they were happy and content
Were there children and a man and a wife?
Did she love him and take her hair down at night?

If I stray away too far from you, don't go and try to find me
It doesn't mean I don't love you, it doesn't mean I won't come back and
stay beside you
It only means I need a little time
To follow that unbroken line
To a place where the wild things grow
To a place where I used to always go

La la la, la la la, la la la, la la la
La la la la, la la la, la la la, la la la
If only for a minute or two
I wanna see what it feels like to be without you
I wanna know the touch of my own skin
Against the sun, against the wind.

1 comment:

dee said...

Thanks for putting that to words for me, it surely is what keeps me online so much. I don't feel so alone knowing my friends will be reading it soon.

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