Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Perfect Moments

I was driving home from work this afternoon... it was a perfect late-fall afternoon. The sky was milky-blue... the sun bright, almost blinding at times, but not warm... clear and crisp as far as you could see. I turned the radio on at the exact moment that what is perhaps the best song of all-time started to play....

The screen door slams
Mary's dress waves
Like a vision she dances across the porch
As the radio plays

I've got this on several CD's and can listen to it anytime I want, but just happening upon it like that was like receiving an unexpected gift from an old friend. It was kismet... serendipity...something...

Roy Orbison singing for the lonely
Hey that's me and I want you only
Don't turn me home again
I just can't face myself alone again

All the crap just fell away.

Don't run back inside
darling you know just what I'm here for
So you're scared and you're thinking
That maybe you ain't that young anymore

The holidays are upon us, and I hate the holidays. They've always been a letdown for me, because they were never picture-perfect gatherings of family and friends, laughing and enjoying each other. I'm hard-wired to always long for what I don't have, rather than to be thankful for the blessings that I'm surrounded by everyday, and I don't know if I'll ever be able to change that.

Show a little faith, there's magic in the night
You ain't a beauty but hey you're alright
Oh and that's alright with me

You can hide 'neath your covers
And study your pain
Make crosses from your lovers
Throw roses in the rain

I miss my parents. It stabs like a blade. The day my father died sometimes plays in my head like a looped video... over and over and over... the phone on my desk at work rang... it was one of the nurses at the hospital... the doctor needed to speak to me. My dad was in cardiac arrest. They'd used the paddles on him three times, but he wasn't responding. The doctor needed to know if I wanted them to keep trying. Then the doctor on the line, saying the same things, saying it didn't look good. I told him my dad had a DNR in place. The doctor knew that, he said, but procedure was to call the next of kin for a decision once they'd shocked the person three times and gotten no response. Did I want them to keep trying?

No. He wouldn't have wanted that. He was ready to go. He'd told me that just two days before. I know it was the right thing, but that conversation will haunt me always, as nothing else ever will.

Waste your summer praying in vain
For a savior to rise from these streets
Well now I'm no hero
That's understood
All the redemption I can offer, girl
Is beneath this dirty hood
With a chance to make it good somehow
Hey what else can we do now
Except roll down the window
And let the wind blow back your hair
Well the night's busting open
These two lanes will take us anywhere
We got one last chance to make it real
To trade in these wings on some wheels

I hate to say it, but right now I'm honestly not sure if my marriage is going to survive my husband being in school. It's not money - we're fine financially. Sure, it's tight living on just my income and the pittance he gets from unemployment, but we're making it. We have what we need. I'd be lying, though, if I didn't say that being the bread-winner, the main source of family support and the only source of family health insurance wasn't weighing me down. The husband seems to think that's the fact that he's out of a job and in school is only stressful on him, because he has to be home all day with the boy, the go out for the evening to go to class or study. We've had so many arguments about all this... laundry and dirty dishes everywhere, bathrooms not cleaned, blah, blah, blah. I don't have the energy to argue about it. I'm not even sure if I want my marriage to last beyond his graduating from school. I have a year and three months to decide... I told him he has a year and three months to show me what reason there is to stay...

Climb in back
Heaven's waiting on down the tracks
Oh oh come take my hand
Riding out tonight to case the promised land
Oh oh Thunder Road, oh Thunder Road
oh Thunder Road
Lying out there like a killer in the sun
Hey I know it's late we can make it if we run
Oh Thunder Road, sit tight take hold
Thunder Road

Well I got this guitar
And I learned how to make it talk
And my car's out back
If you're ready to take that long walk
From your front porch to my front seat
The door's open but the ride it ain't free
And I know you're lonely
For words that I ain't spoken
But tonight we'll be free
All the promises'll be broken
There were ghosts in the eyes
Of all the boys you sent away
They haunt this dusty beach road
In the skeleton frames of burned out Chevrolets

They scream your name at night in the street
Your graduation gown lies in rags at their feet
And in the lonely cool before dawn
You hear their engines roaring on
But when you get to the porch they're gone
On the wind, so Mary climb in
It's a town full of losers
And I'm pulling out of here to win.

For 4 minutes and 49 seconds, life disappeared, and I flew down the road, and belted out those lyrics that I've known now for as long as I can remember it seems. I couldn't turn my radio up loud enough. Nothing else mattered. It felt so good, even for a short while, to just be.


Twyla said...

That was one of the most REAL, beautiful entries I've ever read.

Ruth said...

Thanks, Twyla. Unfortunately, those moments just don't come along often enough. I even reached over and quickly turned off the ringer on my cell phone, so that nothing would interrupt it.

justrose said...

this song takes me to all the same places, and away from them. great post.

Cookie said...

Hi Ruth, you don't know me but I am Twylas friend. Something in this post really hit home with me, the part where you said you got the phone call about your dad, well we got the same call from the dr's about my grampy (more like a dad to me!) We knew what to say because we knew what he wanted but to this day sometimes it feels like we told the dr's to kill him. I know that is not true deep down but sometimes it really makes me sick to my tummy thinking about it. I guess we just have to realize as we get older we will have to make more than one decision that will haunt us forever. Good luck and you have a really nice blog! :)