Saturday, December 10, 2005

saturday nite free associating with pris... (this is also my Sunday post)

just past sunset...saturday.....I'm on my puter music box listening to the mamas and the papas sing 'dream a little dream of me'. the dog is asleep by the door, the cat on the sofa. the house is dark except in the kitchen and back here. husband isn't home yet. i don't mind. I've been eating my seeds and nuts from my trip to the health food store (yes, my second outing now in 8 months on my own after this long horrid health seige...hooray!), and one dip with spinach and artichoke hearts in it.

i remember the summer the mamas and papas were especially big. it was my last summer of grad school. I'd finished my prelims, my internship and had to write up a few last things on my dissertation, but basically it was the first free time I'd had in four years. I was living with P, my ex roommate who lives in St. Louis and is now dying of cancer. The other half of the house was rented by three service guys. they loved music, just as I did, and would invite me over ever so often just to listen to music and drink cheap red wine. none of us had any money and lived on macaroni and cheese most of the time. we played the mamas and papas a lot.

it was that summer that i met H., who became my first husband midway during his tour of Nam after I'd moved to Hawaii to work and wait to see if the 14 months apart had changed our minds.... i'd decided before then that i'd never meet anybody i trusted enough to marry and , god knows, i'd had enough proposals.

the only reason i went on the blind date was that a young secretary there had befriended me and she was just uncomplicated and fun to do things with. she'd dated one of H's friends and got pregnant. this was before legalized abortions. the guy had already stopped dating her, but he didn't step in and try to help , either. K begged me to go out with H on a double date and maybe she could win this guy back. she was still crazy about him. reluctantly, i did. their relationship didn't go any further than that night. she tried to abort herself with a hanger and nearly bled to death, but didn't. i never saw the jerk again, but did continue to date H and somehow sensed that i could marry him. the music of that summer weaves in and out, reminding me.... 'father and son' is coming on. Cat Stevens.... i was living in the commune by then with R after my marriage ended. i so identified with that song..... my parents wanted me to settle down and be 'normal', ie live in a regular house, remarry. i remember playing this song over and over...son sings...''how can i's the same old story...from the moment I was born I was ordered to listen....I know I have to go away..." music bridge..... father now.."It's not time to make a change..sit down and take it're so young, it's not your fault. find a girl..settle down..look at me..I'm old, but I'm happy"...son responds..".......there's a way..I know I have to go away. I know I have to go.

now..'morning has broken' , also by Cat Stevens, one of the most beautiful songs written "..morning has broken, like the first morning....mine is the sunlight, mine is the morning....."yes.

ELO starting "'s magic....ohhhhh.....higher and higher,'s a living thing. it's a terrible thing to bridge....making believe this is what you can see from your worse day....." I'm in a car with B, a mental health tech from the ward across the hall from where I work at the VA, and we're driving to lunch. this song comes on the radio and I turn it up. LOUD! it's such an exciting piece of music. he says 'i've never met anybody like you!' and later falls in love with me. who knows why? i was a dream. he didn't even know me. didn't have a clue.

and now coming on....'I don't want to talk about' it by rod stewart...from the 'slow side' of his album, popular, again when I was in the commune with R.... we would light candles and listen to that album a lot..and dance was in the golden days when i still believed he loved me. in all honesty, i'm really not sure he ever did..."...I don't want to talk about you broke my heart..what if I stay here just a little bit longer...won't you listen to my heart..." we lasted five and a half years. haven't seen him now in almost 25 years.

well, husband is home and the trip down memory lane is over.

(from a letter just written to an unnamed friend)

***Name two or three songs that bring back the most vivid memories for you. If they're not too private, share them?****


Berenice said...

Thank you for posting this Pris. It is worth sharing.

Michelle e o said...

Pris, loved the stroll down memory lane. The part that struck me the most was the abortion attempt. Imagine, it's a possibility women could have to face that again in our future.

Pris said...

Hi Michelle
Since clinics are now being bombed, as you know, and doctors's lives being threatened, or worse, I'm nervous even discussing abortion when I don't know who will read my post, but yes, you're right. Thirteen year olds raped by their fathers, women raped in general, women who could die having a baby, and women who for other reasons can't bear a child safely would all be forced to do so. It's not a black and white issue at all. My friend was desparate. She had no women's clinic to go to to discuss options with a counseler. Those clinics don't indiscriminately just abort because a woman walks in and asks. They talk to the women first, sometimes for several visits, to see if there are other feasable choices. K could've died in that attempt.

And please, anybody else who comments...I don't want Michelle's and my post back and forth to turn this into a pro or con abortion argument. Thanks in advance.

inlow said...

Very nice keyboarding on those reminiscences Pris...songs are like thumb drives, they flash ...a little like volatile storage though....

"a successful musical must have at least three good songs", I don’t recall who coined that, but hey? When “Pris The Musical “ opens on Broadway what earworms would invade us that opening night.

Break a leg and regards

so after writing this comment in an off-line editor , I return to your blog and find your addendum:

***Name two or three songs that bring back the most vivid memories for you. If they're not too private, share them?****

keeping fath with the above , “Inlow The Musical”, opening off off off broadway, would include but not be limited to:

“My Back Pages” by Bob Dylan

“Rebellion” by The Arcade Fire

“It’s Only Love “ The Beatles ..from Rubber Soul

“Work It” by Missy Elliott

“The Warmth Of The Sun” Brian Wilson

“Try Me” James Brown

“At The Bottom Of Everything” by Conor Oberst and Bright Eyes

and the running refrain ....Tired Of Being Alone... By The Rev. Al Green

Pris said...

Pris the Musical....I like the sound of that.

On the InLow musical, 'It's Only Love' and 'Tired of Being Alone'...yes! I could play those over and over, so you'd find me in the audience. Like several of the others, but those two are the stand outs for me.

mouse said...

Pris, I got here through my blog as I finally managed to figure out links (at least the easy ones)! My first big joy in the music world would have to have been Gordon Lightfoot's Canadian Trilogy. I think it was called that. It was about the people that built the railroad across Canada. I would play that song over and over again. I still am a railroad buff. It's in my blood. Especially, steam trains! My second really big musical memory would be Led Zepplin's "Gonna Give You My Love". I remember listening to this with my very first love. He wanted to do me now and marry me in 2 years. This was before I had even heard of the pill. I had to say don't me now and marry me in 2 years. He was too much of a horney young man, and not enough of a young man in love, so we parted. I started smoking over that! Man, was I dumb back then. Dumb about the smoking, not about the walking away part.

Geoff Sanderson said...

I love your rambling reminiscences Pris - seems like a roller-coaster ride through all the Hollywood movies I ever watched. When 'Pris, The Movie' (Now It Can Be Told - a Story of Searing Passion......?) is released, I shall be in the front row; wouldn't miss it for anything :-)

Your 'Morning has broken' track touched a chord with me. It took me back to a wild drive across the North York Moors one winter, having collected our younger son from boarding school on the East Coast.
We were driving him home for the Christmas holidays - he was about nine years old then, and had just been singing in his school choir. As we drove over those wild moors, he sang 'Morning has broken, like the first morning ...' in his sweet treble voice.
Jeremy is in his forties now, with a Japanese wife and baby, and is a director of three companies in Tokyo, so we don't see him very often. But whenever that song is played, it takes me straight back to that car drive long ago.

As Bob Hope used to sing 'Thanks for the memory ...'

Pris said...

hi mouse
I'm familiar with the singers, but not the songs (tho I NEVER remember titles)..I'll have to look those up, and no, coercion never should work.

having 'known' Jeremy through your email and his and photos, your comment has meaning to me, too. Thanks. And yes, you'll have front row seats when the movie comes out:-) Jill, too!

Shane said...

I use to sing along with "Joy to the World" by Three Dog Night when I was 4. Jeremiah was a Bullfrog ba dum bump.

My brother and I loved Bennie and the Jets by Elton John and we would sing that as kids when it would play on the radio.

Pris said...

I love both of those songs. PERFECT for singing along with.

Rae Pater said...

I don't know what this song was called, but it was by Bobby Goldsboro and it went,

'It was a hot afternoon, last day of June, and the sun was a demon. i go back in my mind, to the very first time, feel the touch of her fingers....'

I love that song.

And donna Summer's MacArthur's Park. It always reminds me of going to see the movie, Thank God It's Friday with my sister Dawn. We both loved the movie and went to see it again, which is something I very rarely do.
Eyvonne Eliman singing I don't Know How To Love Him from Jesus Christ Superstar is another one I loved. So much beautiful music over the years. i remember growing up with the sound of my mother thundering out Beethoven on the piano, or tinkling Mozart. I neber realised how good a pianist she was until years later when I heard Daniel Barenboim(sp?) play one of her favourite pieces. Every note, beat, pause, exactly as she would play it.

Pris said...

Isn't that 'I don't Know How to Love Him' a wonderful song? I didn't know your mother played piano. I used to play and it's a wonderful thing to have music you generate yourself in the house. I remember times when I still played (the hand-eye coordination is too hard now) on a weekend afternoon in cooler weather with the windows open. My husband would describe driving home from somewhere and seeing neighbors standing in their yards, looking towards the house, listening. No, I wasn't that good, but I was good enough, I suppose.

Lyle Daggett said...

Cat Stevens' song "Wild World" (or whatever the exact title is) evokes certain evenings with a certain person many years ago, and that's all I should say about that one. I don't even like the song that much, but it's unbelievably evocative for me.

And Joni Mitchell's early version of "Woodstock" (the one on her album Ladies of the Canyon) which time-travels me immediately back to one summer during high school (early '70's). Warm muggy summer mornings, the air thick with juniper.

James Taylor's song Fire and Rain was all over the radio one winter when I was in high school -- I immediately think of waking up too damn early for school on some icebound January morning in Minneapolis.

And the Three Dog Night singing "Joy to the World." And almost anything by the Beatles, although the one that comes to mind right now is "Here Comes the Sun" which suddenly evokes an all-night party in St. Paul decades ago.

Joe Cocker singing "With a Little Help from my Friends" at Woodstock. Mary Hopkin singing "Goodbye."

And, last but not least, Mason Williams playing "Classical Gas," which will take me far from planet earth whenever I hear it.

Pris said...

Oh god, several of those bring instant memories back to me, too. It's wonderful and amazing how sound and scents can do that.