On The Stereo

Yesterday was a strange, aimless, meandering day. I was kinda’ lost from the start.

Chris and I were supposed to go running at nine a.m. This was an ambitious plan for both of us, me having stayed out watching trans-gender karaoke ’til midnight, he having edited VH1’s “Rocknroll Hall of Fame” show ’til 6am. I rose with my alarm, took some Advil, pulled on my tights (yes, tights), and began stretching. But Chris (not surprisingly) never called. And so, as is often the case of late, I traded running for writing. Songwriting, that is.

The result? A new song called “On The Radio,” and it’s pretty good. Not perfect, but pretty good. It was, in part, inspired, by Rina’s suggestion that iPod playlists are no place for melancholy. Of course, my iPod playlist is almost exclusively populated melancholy songs. And I’ve been listening to lots of country songs, which are all about heartbreak and drinking. Both of which may well have contributed to the aimless, meandering nature of my Sunday, and of the song. Anyway, “On The Stereo” goes a little something like this:

Turn down that song on the stereo
Pour me another shot of the afterglow
Show me the door please I have to go
I have to move on, from that song

Which I do. My song. That kind of song.

So I walked to brunch (with my mom), then took a long, slow walk back via Tower, Borders, Lincoln Center, Gap, Daffy’s (you never know if they’ll have some $20 Pro Keds), and the like, and by the time I’d gotten back to my guitar, I’d forgot how the song went. I struggled and struggled to find the melody and the groove again, but with no luck. But I liked the lyrics too much, so kept on trying…

Now, you know it’s a lazy Sunday at 447 West 56th Street when I draw the curtains in the living room, pull out the futon, roll the TV to the end of it, and turn on a Frank Capra film. I watched “Mr. Smith Goes To Washington” (with a brief intermission for a nap), which I love love loved. He may be one of my all-time favorite directors for solely for his feel-good optimism.

Back to my guitar, fresh from Jimmy Stewart, and a dreamless nap on my futon, I finally figured “On The Stereo” out. If only I could figure out ProTools well enough to record it.

In the waning hours of my weekend, I microwaved some frozen vegetables and a soy burger, whipped up a health shake, and had dinner by the light of my laptop. I still couldn’t really shake the headache, or the heartache, that had been dogging me all day. Neither was major or specific: more a dull, low-level, gnawing sorta’ thing. Like a gnat buzzing in your ear. Or a cold, constant draft blowing through the cracks in the wall. So, you cut your losses, and you call it a day. Some are better than others, and this one wasn’t all that bad. It just was what it was: aimless, meandering. And by 10:57 or so, it was over.

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