Sunday, March 05, 2006

Helen Wheels

Last week my wife and I watched a Paul McCartney special on PBS, and I haven't stopped thinking about it because it was both beautiful and horrible. He came strolling into a pretty junky-looking Abbey Road studio and started fooling around with a bunch of old four-track stuff and old instruments. It reminded me of a peppier version of Johnny Cash's "American Recordings." It was haunting and striking and not what I thought Paul McCartney would be doing right now. But it kind of shocked me into thinking that a lot of time has past. I think my sane childhood sort of died the day John Lennon died, my freshman year of high school, and that show reminded me of that.

Today my wife left to visit a sick friend and I did a lot of the bad things that I do when my wife is gone, like watch "Hellraiser" marathons on Sci-Fi and eat big bowls of ice cream and drowse on the sofa. When I was drowsing I had the most vivid memory of being a teenager driving home from my first rock concert. My best friend and I were dating two best friends and everything seemed fine. Later he would work for a major conservative political figure and his girlfriend would become a professional dominatrix. I'm not exactly sure what my old high school girlfriend is doing but it's probably not as funny a story as the other two. We were driving home from Adam Ant in Indianapolis and my girlfriend and I were dozing shoulder to shoulder in the back seat, while my best friend and his girlfriend murmured in the front seat, hoping it wouldn't rain as the windshield wipers were broke in my pal's old VW bug. They were talking about stuff that was important to us then, like was the song "Iran so far away" or "I ran so far away" and was Klaatu really the Beatles. It was a warm night, and the road seemed to stretch on forever.

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