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Another Slow Start

20 May 2005

Cedar Park, Texas

I spent my last full day in winter quarters Thursday with Sean, trying to navigate the subtle transition from bad poetry to something singable. Of course some workmen showed up unexpectedly, having picked THAT DAY to install new windows in his apartment. Rock saws and hammers. Yikes. So much for using the computer and keyboard. We salvaged a dusty guitar out of the wreck and beat a hasty retreat over to Ellen's apartment.

In a couple of hours we knocked out a couple of tunes. Or rather Sean did. I can coddle a rhyme, but all I know about music is what I hear on the radio. Here's our patented sure-fire method:

1. I bellow out the way I think it should sound, just like in the shower.

2. Sean grimaces slightly, says "What about this?", and proceeds to make actual music.

3. We drink to that.

4. Repeat 1-3.

Amazingly, this procedure works pretty well. I'm a little vague now on some of the details, but I think I can say with some confidence that a good time was had by all. Did you know you can get a pretty good bass line going by blowing on the top of an empty bottle of Sam Adam's Boston Lager?

Here's some samples. First, a little of "One Hit Wonder", whose title I hope is not entirely prophetic:

"I'm a One Hit Wonder,
Sitting in an empty garage.
Just a One Hit Wonder,
Chasin' an old mirage.

    I keep tryin' something new,
    But all I want to do
    is cover your heart,
    cover your heart,
    cover your heart."

Okay. If you're still with me, here's something from my redneck attempt at a "rap" song, "Bumps in the Dark". Sean improved it from rap to "that's a wrap".

"Three in the morning.
You wake with a start.
She's still in your head.
But not in your heart.

    Love is a liquor.
    Goes straight to your head.
    You fall down drunk.
    You wake up dead."

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you vurra much. Finally, a bit of a bit of the blues. The musical arrangement will have to wait for a day when the workmen call in sick. Something with a wandering saxophone and a smoky ruin of a bass voice, with a background trio of slightly soiled doves, in slit skirts, cooing the refrain, in the back of your mind, again and again, forever.

"My baby lies. My baby lies with me.
And I believe her. I do believe her.
She would not lie so if she did not love me.

    So I believe her. I do believe her.

She says "Honey, you've got your youth."
I say "Baby, you speak the truth."
She would not lie so if she did not love me.

    So I believe her. I do believe her."

Etc. Three more verses.

Right now the working title is "138", after one of Old Will's sonnets. All this and more is coming, sooner or later, to Open Mike Nite at a Grunt 'N Swill franchise near you. You know, one of those places where they have chicken wire around the stage in lieu of liability insurance.

So, what's all this in aid of? Just to show I had a lot of last minute stuff to do, which is why once again I got off to a slow start. Spent Friday morning wresting a Canada calling plan from Verizon. Then I phoned around for a traveling O2 bottle, in case I get another heart attack out in the woods, and have to drive 50 miles through Outer Angina for help. I managed to remember to get a prescription for this, last time I saw the cardiologist, but then promptly forgot about it until the penultimate moment.

There's a lot of variation in price. One place wanted $64 a month for a C bottle. "But you get an extra bottle." Whoop-ti-doo. Another wanted $45/mo. Finally I found what I wanted for 20 bucks flat, no monthly charge, including regulator and a couple of nasal cannoli. Had to drive clear to Cedar Park to get it, though.

No problemo. That puts me right out on Hwy 183, house all shut up, trailer packed and in tow, pointed north, and wahoo on my way.

At 3 PM. Alaska or bust.

Watch my dust.


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