207. Two years/Lou Reed/Erin & God


Black Holy BibleNo, this is not a Biblical explication. I just thought it would be nice to start with a picture of the Good Book. Suddenly I have acquired borrowed credibility… or damnation. Depends on where you look and how you digest what you find. Don’t worry:  I will return it properly.

I started blogging two years ago, unsure of where it would meander. Here it is two years later and 200+ posts behind me. I think it was a good move; no, make that a therapeutic move for me. Stuff builds up in my mind and soul and nervous system, wordless stuff that has to be captured and organized somewhat, cooled like humidity turning to dew. I try to capture this strange dew and put it into concepts and sentences and paragraphs and hit 1,000 words for some reason. Lou Reed’s song, “I’m beginning to see the light” comes to mind. It’s simple but like a simple nail or screw, it holds something larger together.  He didn’t take himself too seriously nor do I. I just spew what’s condensed in my life– whimsical, goofy, tender, poignant, harsh, odd, eccentric, shameful stuff.  You decide if it’s a waste of time or valuable. I trust that no one is holding you hostage and forcing you to read my blog. If this is the case, please log off and call 911.

Well, I’m beginning to see the light

Well, I’m beginning to see the light

Some people work very hard                But still they never get it right

Well, I’m beginning to see the light

Wanna tell all you people now, now, now Baby,

I’m beginning to see the light Hey, now, baby, I’m beginning to see the light

Wine in the morning and some breakfast at night Well, I’m beginning to see the light

Here we go again, playing the fool again Here we go again, acting hard again, alright

Well, I’m beginning to see the light, I wanna tell you Hey now, baby, I’m beginning to see the light

It’s kinda softer now I wore my teeth in my hands So I could mess the hair of the night

Hey, well, I’m beginning to see the light Now, now, now, now, now, now, now, now Baby,

I’m beginning to see the light, now It’s kinda softer, hey, now, baby I’m beginning to see the light

I met myself in a dream And I just wanna tell you, everything was alright Hey now, baby, I’m beginning to see the light

Here comes two of you Which one will you choose? One is black and one is blue Don’t know just what to do, alright

Well, I’m beginning to see the light Alright, here she comes Hey, hey, baby, I’m beginning to see the light

Some people work very hard But still they never get it right

Well, I’m beginning to see the light Oh, it’s getting a little softer in here now Now, now, baby I’m beginning to see the light

Oh, it’s coming ’round again”  Lou Reed, 1969

 

It was my oldest daughter Erin, way back in her teens, who told me that she found Lou Reed reassuring because he says “It will be alright” in various songs. Okay, I like reassurance and I love that my precious daughter might feel reassured also. I guess that I believe this simple truth, “It’s going to be alright.” There is a simple faith or self delusion underneath this belief.

Lou-Reed-rp04.jpg Erin saw him once in a parade at Coney Island, a place in one of his many songs, “Coney Island Baby”.  Lou was the parade marshall being drawn in a rickshaw by a drag queen. Anyone surprised? It’s funny… she also played his epic song “Sweet Jane” in her high school talent show,  back in Turtle Town. That was brave now that I think about it. She’s a pretty brave young lady. Then again, Lou was pretty brave in a passive sort of way.
Look at that mug. Doesn’t he look like a lost Corleone brother? Or Satan’s cousin? Michael thirty pounds and thirty years later.  A bad Corleone, but they were all bad. Inside a big black Lincoln Towncar–
“Lou, Sonny says I gotta kill ya and then dump ya body in Jersey. And then be home for dinner. I think we’re having lasagna tonight.”
“Is this about the heroin, Vinny?”
“Yeah, so’s there’s like two pounds missin from the Bayonne shipment what you picked up, Louie Boy.”
“MMMMM, well, it was worth it, man. It was like, I don’t know, pharmaceutical lasagna, man. The Mafiglio family got me hooked on it, Vin. And honestly, I’m digging it.”
“Well Sonny sayz you shouldna oughta don nat.”
“Okay Vinny… but one last favor, huh, from one good ole boy to another? Capiche?”
“All right, Capiche. You know I don’t like killing you, right?  I always liked you, Lou. And I’m outta Tums for the stomach acid I get whenever I gotta whack a friend.”
“No, no, it’s alright, Vinny. Just one last request, okay? Let me play my songs one last time.”
“Aw shure, Lou. For old times sake, yeah, go ahead while I pick out a dump site for ya.”
Ladies and gentlemen, he never stopped until he died. I’m not sure what became of Vinny. And so, my blogging heart goes out there minus the Godfather allusions, the heroin, and the repertoire. I will keep slogging on until one day like an old lounge singer who was semi-famous in the early Sixties, maybe like my neighbor Ronnie Dove, I will carry on till I fall over onto the front row tables of a Ramada Inn bar in Charlotte with a burst aorta. I’m not sure if that’s a promise or a threat. But I both threaten and promise you to carry on faithfully to that end.
Lou saw the light of nuclear explosions behind his eyelids, I’m afraid, like those awful black and white videos of the desert atomic bomb detonations where buildings and things were vaporized by an abysmal wind.
But that’s not the light I’m beginning to see. No sir. I’m looking at the light in John 1:5, “The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.” Yeah, I’m beginning to see that light.
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