Saturday, April 14, 2007

Bad Explicatin' on Saturday Night....

Come to my world and witness
The way things have changed
'Cause I finally did it, baby
I got out of La Grange

Got in my Mercury and drove out west
Pedal to the metal and my luck to the test
Baby, sweet baby

...Lucinda Williams
“Fruits of My Labors”


This song has been running through my head for several days now, and the first two lines in particular seem relevant to my last substantive post.

That first word, the imperative “come,” the stronger-than-asking call to action…gets me every time. It’s ripe and lush with so much potential. Is the voice hopeful? Angry? Didactic? Think for a minute: to just how many people would you like to issue that strong invitation? Family? Friends? Old lovers?

And the next verb, “witness,” with its don’t-take-my word-for-it tone. How many times have you tried to explain? To justify? To plead? Did it make any difference? Of course not. And even “witnessing” isn’t a sure thing, as the observer may see another scene, through other eyes altogether.

The singer wants to show, to demonstrate, to share –somehow- being new.

And then the she claims it all, with that triumphant first person “I.” Come or don’t come, witness or don’t bother – doesn’t really matter, does it?

Getting "in [your] Mercury" is always a solitary endeavor, no matter how many people you have in your life or your work. Until you let the layers fall away, discard the excess crap, and head “out west” – wherever or whatever west is for you – you’ll be explaining, justifying, and pleading.

And if you’re lucky, when you finally make it from 0 to 60, you won’t be alone in the car.

Special note: I got rid of my Mercury, literally, in 1985; when I finally headed out west, in 1995, I bought a Subaru. And things have changed yet again.

1 comment:

Beth said...

"And if you're lucky, when you finally make it from 0 to 60, you won't be alone in the car."

If you're lucky.
I have resisted getting in the car, er, minivan, because of being afraid to do it alone. No more, honey. Now I think you gotta do it that way. Luck has nothing to do with it, in the end.