Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Left Hanging

Keep commenting on my previous post...you guys have some interesting ideas...

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When I was in college Hubby and I had cassette players (for those of you who don't remember those, shut up and go to a younger person's blog, I have no time to educate you in defunct technology). Cassettes were a great tool for making copies of records (yes, I know, another defunct technology...but it's making a comeback!). Hubby was a fan of Harry Chapin and had made some cassette copies of albums. Unfortunately, he did a piss-poor job of figuring out how much tape there was to use in comparison to the album and the last song left us hanging....every g*ddamn time.

The song was: A Better Place to Be. And if you know Harry Chapin, you know that every song he writes is a well-crafted story - compelling characters, an arc, a life lesson.

This was the song we would listen to:

A Better Place To Be

It was an early morning bar room,
And the place just opened up.
And the little man came in so fast and
he Started at his cups.
And the broad who served the whisky
She was a big old friendly girl.
Who tried to fight her empty nights
By smilin' at the world.

And she said "Hey Bub, It's, It's been awhile
Since you been around.
Where the hell you been hidin'?
And why you look so down?"

Well the little man just sat there
like he'd never heard a sound.

The waitress she gave out with a cough,
And acting not the least put off,
She spoke once again.

She said, "I don't want to bother you,
Consider it's understood.
I know I'm not no beauty queen,
But I sure can listen good."

And the little man took his drink in his hand
And he raised it to his lips.
He took a couple of sips.
And then he told the waitress this story.

"I am the midnight watchman down at Miller's Tool and Die.
And I watch the metal rusting, I watch the time go by.
A week ago at the diner I stopped to get a bite.
And this here lovely lady she sat two seats from my right.
And Lord, Lord, Lord she was alright.

You see, she was so damned beautiful that she could warm a winter frost.
But she looked long past lonely, and well I on to lost.
Now I'm not much of a mover, or a pick-em-up easy guy,
But I decided to glide on over, and give her one good try.
And Lord, Lord, Lord she was worth a try.

Well I was "Tongued-tied like a school boy, I stammered out some words.
It did not seem to matter much, 'cause I don't think she heard.
She just looked clear on through me to a space back in my head.
It shamed me into silence, as quietly she said,
'If you want me to come with you, then that's all right with me.
Cause I know I'm going nowhere, and anywhere's a better place to be.
Anywhere's a better place to be.'

Well I drove her to my boarding house, and I took her up to my room.
And I went to turn on the only light to brighten up the gloom.
But she said, 'Please leave the light off, oh I don't mind the dark.'
And as her clothes all tumbled 'round her, I could hear my heart.
The moonlight shone upon her as she lay back in my bed.
It was the kind of scene I only had imagined in my head.
I just could not believe it, to think that she was real.
And as I tried to tell her she said 'Shhh.. I know just how you feel.
And if you want to come here with me, then that's all right with me.
'Cause I've been oh so lonely, lovin' someone is a better way to be.
anywhere's a better place to be.'

Well The morning come so swiftly I held her in my arms.
And she slept like a baby, snug and safe from harm.
I did not want to share her or dare to break the mood,
So before she woke I went out to buy us both some food.

"I came back with my paper bag, to find that she was gone.
She'd left a six word letter saying.....

ARGHH!!!! Saying WHAT??? What???? What????

This was the day before Internet folks. There was no Googling the answer. And yes, I supposed we could have gone to the RECORD STORE (yeah yeah, whatever - no Amazon or itunes either) but we were poor college students and for some reason we just continually tortured ourselves with not knowing the 6 words....

Imagine my frustration then, when my little blog reader posted a teasing entry from Erin at Poor Penmanship that went like this:

"So, I’m flying back to Iowa for Thanksgiving, and the woman in front of me at airport security has a bullet casing in her purse. A bullet casing. The TSA guy pulls it out of a makeup bag thingy and says..."

When I click on the link to read the post - it's not there!!!! A subsequent post indicated the previous post had been inadvertently deleted from a mobile device...but I'm sorry...I CANNOT go through that again. I must know! I must, I must. What did the TSA guy say? And how many words were in the sentence? I'm actively lobbying Erin for an answer....

***UPDATE*** Erin answered in the comments!

And for those of you who wish to know the end of Harry's song;

...'It's time that I moved on.'" (THE SIX WORDS!!!)

{and here's the life lesson...A whole 'nother section to the song I was without for all those years}

You know The waitress she took her bar rag, and she wiped it across her eyes. And as she spoke her voice came out as something like a sigh.
She said "I wish that I was beautiful, or that you were halfway blind.
And I wish I weren't so g*ddamn fat, I wish that you were mine.
And I wish that you'd come with me, when I leave for home.
For we both know all about emptiness, and livin' all alone."

And the little man, Looked at the empty glass in his hand.
And he smiled a crooked grin, He said, "I, I guess I'm out of gin.
And I know we both have been, so lonely. And if you want me to come with you, then that's all right with me. 'Cause I know I'm goin' nowhere and anywhere's a better place to be."

So much more satisfying to know the end of the story.

4 comments:

Erin said...

..."Oh, that's not good."

It turned out the casing was a blank from the woman's grandpa's military funeral. I initially thought it was a wartime souvenir she'd inherited after his death, and I wondered why he would have saved a blank. But my friend pointed out there would have been a gun salute at the funeral itself, and the blank was probably from that. So grandpa wasn't a weenie after all, and the woman made her flight!

Wenderina said...

Oh thank you Erin...now I can sleep peacefully tonight.

Suburban Correspondent said...

Ha! I've been haunted by Harry Chapin since yesterday, when I heard some Muzak with the song with Harry and Sue in it. You know? "After too many miles, and too many smiles..." That's Harry Chapin, right? And I only heard part of the song and I can't remember the rest of it.

Susan said...

I remember those abrupt cassette endings and I love Harry Cahpin.

I'll have to add him to my iPod!