Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Pretender

I was at work yesterday and I heard the long version of Jackson Browne's "The Load Out / Stay" while I was on my way back from a delivery. I hear "Stay" quite frequently on the radio but never the full version; it's especially poignant if you've ever been in a band that's played a show or if you've ever loaded a Marshall 4x12 cabinet into a van or hauled it up three flights of stairs for a show. Those things weigh about 90 pounds and the only thing that I can imagine that would be more awkward to carry that that would be a dead body. That's a carefully and importantly placed "imagine".

I got home from work last night and headed straight to bed for a nap. This is the sort of thing that happens to a man when he works more than Aimee Romero 60 hours in a week: you get tired and irritable and ornery. These are three words that can be and far too often are used to describe me anyway. This is like amplifying it. See what I did there? Amplifying? Marshall cabinet? Ah, crap...

I went out to 3Crow with Josiah last night and met with some of his friends and friends of those friends; one of whom deserved nothing more nor less than a swift kick in the teeth. She talked about her crazy sexual escapades and the times she smoked "all that weed" and... Well, you get the idea. At one point, she pulled out her camera, took some pictures of the people at the table and then immediately said that I "looked pissed" in all of them. I was.

I woke up early this morning and went to the laundromat. I hate going to the laundromat. Strange smells, strange sounds, stranger people... Present company included. I must admit that I had to have looked peculiar in my camouflage green shorts and my Detroit Catholic Central class of 1998 sweater combination that I was donning. This was however tempered by the fact that I was able to put on my headphones and listen to Jackson Browne's Solo Acoustic volumes 1&2 album. This was certainly inspired by my run-in with his track yesterday afternoon.

There's always been something pleasing about Jackson Browne's music to me. The chords are innocuous, his voice isn't of an outstanding timbre, he almost seems like a shy performer. As I get a little older, I'm starting to appreciate the subtleties in music a little bit more than I did when I was much more impetuous and, paradoxically, much more impressionable. Jackson Browne's music is certainly no exception to this.

Anyway, as I was sitting on the folding table staring at my boxer shorts rotating in the quarter-eating drum before me, the track "The Pretender" came on. This song has, for years, been a personal favorite of mine. He wrote it about, quite simply about being "caught between the longing for love and the struggle for the legal tender." I find this to be particularly apropos considering that I am writing this blog about those two very things.

Here comes the dose truth; the shot straight to the heart, from the heart: I think the reason that I'm not dating anyone seriously (other than the what seems to be the Deific comedic situations that I find myself in and are indeed stranger than fiction) is that I am simply a recovering romantic. Having worn my heart on my sleeve for far too long only exposes it to the elements. That's certainly not my best piece of writing but I find that my most honest and introspective rarely is and tends to be cliche' riddled. I'm not really writing this for anyone but I'm also savvy enough to know that someone is probably going to stumble across it.

I'm aware of my limitations as a writer, as a boyfriend, as a man. And there are times where I ramble when I tell stories, much like I feel I am doing right now. And there are times when I need to defer to a shy, unassuming, German-born American who's been writing songs about women for the past 30-some years...

I'm headed out in a little bit. Robbie and I are going to be in Hillsboro Village for a bit tonight. A place full of bars with women that want me to buy them a bottle of Miller Lite and then never talk to them again...

Out into the cool of the evening...

1 comment:

  1. 1. I should listen to more Jackson Browne.

    2. I'm convinced that dating in Nashville sucks. I never had any luck and a rad guy like you has never had any luck. I blame the women.


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