Monthly Archives: September 2011

It’s All in a Song

Someone knocking at the door.  Somebody ringing the bell.  Someone knocking at the door.  Somebody’s ringing the bell.  Do me a favor, open the door and let ’em in.

I start this blog with the lyrics from Paul McCartney’s “Let “Em In” song for a reason.  Even musical geniuses can have a miss every once in a while.   The funny part though is I still love that song.  It reminds me of a trip I took  with my mother one time in 1977.  Songs can transport us back to another place and time.   Hell, I have such vivid recollections of memories with musical accompaniment that they come with smells!  If you are a steady reader of my blog you should have noticed by now that the pieces have song titles sprinkled in them.  I will be at my office or in my car and a song will come on the radio and I will write a blog entry in about 5-10 minutes….in my head…then once I get in front of my computer the words just come spilling out.  It’s all in the song.

All of us remember the songs played at our weddings or the class song played at the senior prom.  But I think I have some measure of savant syndrome…my expertise being an uncanny memory where music plays in the background of every scene.  I saw a 60 Minute episode recently where they found 6 people in the U.S. that have absolute recall….meaning they remember every detail of every minute of their life…it was unbelievable.  One of the confirmed people with this ability is the actress, Mary Lou Henner.  She can tell you what shirt she was wearing on March 3, 1983, where she was, what she was eating, etc.  In no way I am saying that I have that gift.  I am simply saying that I have decided my personal history is better with a soundtrack and for some reason have chosen to remember every note.  I am not saying the songs would make my top 20, they just happen to be the mental imprints that came with the day….my neuro-synapses took the jump to their beat.

Pizza eating days of my 10th summer?  That’s easy….Seals and Croft are singing Summer Breeze….and it did make me feel fine.

Practicing with my volleyball team at Hurst Jr. High in 1976?  That would be “Right Back to Where we Started From.”  Maxine Nightingale.

Driving with a car load of friends from high school graduation to a party at my parents’ lake house?  “Another One Bites the Dust”  Queen

Studying for law school final exam in 1996?  “No Diggity”  Blackstreet with Dr. Dre.  I break into a sweat every time I hear this, even now 15 years later….it equals STRESS.

I also associate songs with people in my life.  I have never told anyone this before…confession right here.  The songs are not commentary on the person or their personality…or their place in my life.  For example, my spouse Linda is forever in my mind as one tune I heard in 2000 about the time I met her.  There is nothing I can do to change this….Linda is forever linked to this melody.  The song is “Yellow” by Coldplay.  I friggin hate Coldplay.

I am listening to my new vice at my office while I write this blog today…Spotify.  It is a music sharing site that I have on all day as I work.  I had it playing a random selection of some downloaded songs that I like.  This blog and this five minutes will forever be linked with….”I Can’t Stand the Rain.” by the fabulous Tina Turner.

I will end with a mean trick.  I am about to give you a “brain worm.”  You know, like the song you hear the first thing in the morning that is stuck in you all day…you find yourself humming it and you don’t even like it!??  Yeah, one of those……I am giving you a brain worm so that forevermore you will remember this blog as being associated with it.  Well, maybe not for forever….but I will settle until about 6pm tonight.  I will end where I began…

Someones knockin at the door
Somebodys ringin the bell
Someones knockin at the door
Somebodys ringin the bell
Do me a favor,
Open the door and let em in
Sister suzie, brother john,
Martin luther, phil and don,
Brother michael, auntie gin,
Open the door and let em in.

Someones knockin at the door
Somebodys ringin the bell
Someones knockin at the door
Somebodys ringin the bell

Do me a favor,
Open the door and let em in.

September

Some people swore that the house was haunted. Pedestrians, heads down, felt an odd shiver as they passed it, on the way to their ordinary lives. The feeling that went up their spines was not the result of a poltergeist however, and would never have made the plot of a Hitchcock movie. The thing that repelled most people from this house, the palpable thing in the air that chilled one, was sadness.

The house had the look of a grieving soul. It’s frame looking ready to collapse, burdened by some unseen weight. She looked out her front window and longed for ordinary. She prayed for her ordinary life to come back on a daily basis. She remembered rushing to go to the grocery store after work, the kiss at the back steps every evening. The smell of his neck as they embraced…she wanted to smell him again. Drowning in grief and self-pity, she wondered if this was the day it would all stop.

She had locked herself in a suburban prison for the last five years, hell-bent on a life sentence. She had created her own form of cosmic punishment for living, for breathing in and out every day. In her world food had no taste, flowers were devoid of color and sadness was a badge she wore on a dirty smock. Self-loathing was her hobby and she had become quite adept at it. She didn’t abuse drugs or alcohol, they would mask the sadness…she wanted to feel every particle of it. She wallowed in sadness and refused to allow anything or anyone to deny her. Sadness welcomed her to each new day and was lying beside her each night.

Like the rest of the world, she was stunned to see the second plane hit the tower. Anger flushed her face as she, like everyone else, surmised this was a planned terror attack on America. She watched TV non-stop most days, but even for her, leaving it on for three straight days was unusual. The pictures were what did it, the photographs stuck to every sign, telephone pole, and wall in New York. The faces of the lost met her gaze in the sad house. She heard her own voice come out of the survivors on the television. The desperation, the prayers, the tears flowed from them over loved ones that were never coming home. She ached for the people she did not know, she cried for America.

After a couple of days of being mesmerized at the television, she realized something. She had stopped wallowing in self-pity and was actually thinking of others. Her hands started to shake as she began to think about leaving the house. She would drive as far as they would allow her, and then set out on foot. She didn’t know what she would do, hand out water, pick up trash, it didn’t matter. She had to get down there and lend a hand to help the people of New York.

Pulling out of the drive-way she looked at the front of the house and slammed on the brakes, exited the car, and ran back inside.  She unfurled the flag and placed it in the holder mounted on her porch. The stars and stripes flapped sharply in the September air. She trotted back to her car and took off towards the city. The man walked by and looked at the house with the flag out front; she passed him in her car. The two of them exchanged waves and knowing smiles. Nothing was ever the same again after that.