Sunday, March 12, 2006

I felt the same way I felt as a child when a night out at dinner went too long and I would lay my head on my mother’s lap and listen to her voice muffle and murmur like an FM radio host broadcasting from inside a sock.  I found Court and Spark in her enormously oversized rubber CD case.  “Can we play it?” I asked, already inserting the musical pop-tart into the player.
 
We had been driving for hours in her remote control car that had a pungent cigarette stench which dangled like a huge pocket watch in front of my face.  I didn’t mind, but I kept checking my clothes, as the smell of nicotine is something that I like to sit in, but not take with me.  It’s the the most bizarre thing to drive around Staten Island at night.  It seems to be in a constant identity flux: stately traditional mansions regally overlook the Brooklyn Bridge from their San Franciscan hills and crummy duplexes drunkenly crawl up to the edge of the water just to stare at their reflection and wonder what the hell happened.  But the darkness equalizes the contrasts, so that it seems to be only a lot of volkswagen microbuses in which some are red, some are blue, but all of them overlong and awkward.  Stray cats are the reigning royalty, and they dart from their porch thrones to their streetlight courts.  Joni:
 
It seemed like he read my mind
He saw me mistrusting him
And still acting kind
He saw how I worried sometimes
I worry sometimes
 
But this was the second time we’d heard this lyric.  The whole album had gone by and we were back at the start again. 
 
She had told me a lot of things that I already knew and didn’t want to know again.  I didn’t resent her for them, but I resented them for existing.  I suppose it’s only “he did this and the she did that” stuff but the problem is the hes and shes have names.  I wish they didn’t, because it makes me think they can change.
 
Especially you.  I thought you had changed, somehow.  Even though I’ve only partially believed you, because I don’t trust someone who speaks sincerely and takes his cues from the sympathy in other’s eyes.  You’re an instigator or a bystander, but you can’t be both.  In fact, to me, you can’t be either.  You are only a he.

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