Thursday, December 5, 2013

Said I Wouldn't Call - UPDATED

"I know it's two AM but ain't you still my friend? It's so hard to get you off my mind." Bat McGrath, "The Blue Eagle."
"It's a quarter after one, I'm a little drunk and I need you now." Lady Antebellum, "Need You Now."


Cici has had enough. The things she's seen, the jobs she's been asked to do - everything has changed. She leaves him, them.... The pain of losses contemplated and completed. Fleeing to the mountains she loves, riding her snowboard while her helmet's sound system bathes her in music. Hillary Scott and Charles Kelley weave their voices through Lady A's megahit. On the lift Cici reminds herself that she need not be drunk to crave the sound of his voice one more time....

Outside my door temperatures fall below zero. I'm trying to get the right tone, open Cici's soul to what (I hope) are the hearts of future readers. If she isn't real to them, this scene will seem contrived. "She left him and now she wants him back on her terms. And...?"

Almost forty years ago Bat McGrath wrote and recorded "The Blue Eagle." It was (and is) a ramshackle bar tucked in a small Keuka Lake town. The subject of his song is crying on the "back room phone," spending one more few moments hearing her voice, and imagining holding her again. The song plays on my laptop - several generations removed from the vinyl disk I all but wore out, a lonely Denver transplant.

I learned to play "Need You Now" in the company of my wonderful music teacher. The chords were easy, the key just about right for my old voice. We played it as work, but also as recreation. In it's simplicity..."I'd rather hurt than feel nothing at all."

"I'll understand if you want to go" sings Bat McGrath toward the end of the song. Does Cici really understand why she left? If she calls Kevin, to hear his voice one more time, will he understand when she tells him she has to go?

I don't know. Neither has revealed enough of themselves, even to me.

UPDATE - I'm listening to the acoustic version of Need You Now, embodying an awful longing was missing from the original, polished version. I get it now. I get both of them.

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