This is all your fault. I have decided you owe me. And now I have a request.
See, a few weeks ago, while under the influence of prescription cough syrup, I made this necklace out of pearls and fingernails. Fierce right? Then I went and wrote an unreasonably long post about why I made the aforementioned necklace. Why? Because, frankly, the cough syrup went to my head and who else is going to listen to me spill my guts on these things? Blogging is free and cheaper than therapy. You should totally try it sometime.
My post was the story of a raging former beauty queen and her children’s lemming like capacity for common sense. It even included a “pre pubescent Texan stripper” reference that generated a lovely email from a real-life not-so-pubescent former Texan stripper named Jacqueline (hey Jax!), who, I might add, has promised to teach me to dance something called the rocket ship if I come to Fort Worth and show her how to make crepe paper flowers. I am really looking forward to it.
I also got some other emails, including three about you, Mr. Diamond. See, somewhere in the middle of my epic and Tolstoy-esque eloquence, I mentioned that my Mom loved your music. It played non-stop in our house for years. When she got sick, my dad installed speakers and stereo wires all over our house so she could hear your music playing in every room. Even the bathroom. Have you ever listened to the Jungletime in the shower? No? Let me tell you something: it’s Friggin Rad.
Thing is, Mr. Diamond, that line about your music was scarcely more than a mention in a very long story. No one gave a hoot about that fingernail necklace. It’s all about you, you, you.
Then, last week, again I mentioned your song Porcupine Pie and got more emails, all about you. Don’t get me wrong, I love your music almost as much as I love getting emails, but dude, Mr. Diamond, you stole my thunder.
I am mad at you.
Fast forward to tonight. It’s nearly midnight and and I’m watching your recent appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live chumming it up and talking about your new album of cover songs. Must admit, I prefer your original work, but who am I pass up a new version of Desperado? Thought I would take a quick glace at your stuff on Itunes…new, old, and otherwise.
Fast forward ten minutes later, to me, right now, on the living room floor, listening to your version of Midnight Train to Georgia, blowing my nose in my shirt, blubbering to the cat about a simpler place and time.
Now the cat is mad at you too.
Mr. Diamond, sir, knock it off. I have work to do. I could be doing something important like glue-gunning sequins to a hippopotamus Christmas tree topper, but instead, now I’m cruising ITunes for songs I haven’t listened to in years and drudging up all kinds of angry, festering emotional dust bunnies. Twenty seconds scanning this list, thinking of all the times and places in my life where you have played a part….
When I scan this list and look at your catalog of work and the course of my life, it becomes plain as day: you, Mr. Diamond, are everywhere.
You were there playing Kentucky Woman in the lobby of the restaurant where I saw my ex-fiancé out with his new girlfriend NOT EVEN THREE WEEKS after we broke up. I hated her. She was a size zero and made a casual reference to Kierkegaard in the first five minutes. You would hate her too. I didn’t eat anything at the restaurant that night, or for the next week, for that matter….blah blah blah….now I’m over it, but, Mr. Diamond, if you ever decide to write a song called Up Yours Kentucky Woman, that would be really awesome.
You were there in an army bar in Bishkek, Kyrgystan on New Years Eve 2004. I know, I had never heard of Kyrgyzstan either. It was impressive. Most of the bar patrons smelled like camels and grain alcohol and no one batted an eyelash when the bar keeper hired an exotic dancer to drop by for a live show. So there she was, wearing a bikini made of scrap leather and fur, shaking her tail feather, making freakishly strong eye contact, carrying a boom box with her song of choice: We’re Coming to America.
You were there the one time I ever saw my father cry. It was a random morning when I heard him go out to the car and play Hello Again louder than that car stereo had even been played before. From the corner of my window I could see he had his elbows up on the steering wheel with his head in his hands. When the song ended, he grabbed the cassette tape and turned it back to AM radio like nothing ever happened. He never saw me through the window. I never asked him about it. I really wish I could go back and ask him.
You were there with me on my first real baby sitting job as I sang Sweet Caroline to the 16-month-old little girl whose diaper I was changing at the time. Sweet Caroline is just the sort of upbeat, bouncy song that is good for distracting babies when they are having their private parts cleaned by a strange new babysitter. The crescendo peaked with the line about …reaching out, touching me, touching you… and a sudden explosion of butterscotch sludge. An explosion. I’m not even kidding. It got in my hair, Mr. Diamond. I heard you wrote that song about Caroline Kennedy, but did you know that song has that effect on babies?
You were there when Miss Kimmy, Washington County’s most enchanting 23-year-old tattooed tap dancing teacher, chose the music to the annual recital. Have you ever seen a pack of chubby eight-year-olds shuffle-ball-change to Brother Love’s Traveling Salvation Show? Yeah, me neither. And neither did Zynetta Hughes’ Mom. She didn’t know your music and thought you were making fun of Christians. Don’t be offended, she was one of those snake dancing church goers. That’s a lie. Mrs. Hughes didn’t dance with snakes, it’s just an expression. Actually, come to think of it, there was a real snake dancing church two counties over but Mrs. Hughes was not a member. Mrs. Hughes was very normal, just uptight. Although, she named her kid Zynetta, so, not that normal.
Well, it’s hard to pin point that exact moment in time, but I’m guessing you were there too.
I could fill a book with memories of your songs and their attachments to people and places that you have never heard of…but I digress. There is work to be done and a hippopotamus tree topper to sequin. I cannot stumble down memory lane with you and your Two-Bit Manchild music any further this evening, Mr. Diamond.
However, before I go, I would like to make a small request. Since it is now abundantly clear you will be writing the soundtrack to my life, past, present, and future, I for one would like to hear more harmonicas. You hardly ever incorporate them in your music and they are my favorite instrument. Don’t get me wrong, you know how to write a song just dandy without my two cents, but, if I’m going to be hearing you at nearly every pivotal moment in my life, I feel that I am entitled to some input.
More harmonicas please.
Thank you for your attention to this matter.