THE LAST FIVE ...

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101 in 1001
American Road Trip, 1998


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Chupatintas
Dancing Brave
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Kitty Sandwich
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Sideways Rain
Ultratart
Velcrometer


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2001-06-07 - 1:17 a.m.

No surrender

This is entry No. 242
To go until the Dano 250th Entry Celebration: 7

Sometimes there is nothing so lonely as logging onto AOL and not hearing a single door opening. Sometimes, before climbing into bed alone, I hope for a fun little conversation, an uplifting end to the day to send me to bed with a smile on my face. sigh ...

I walked to my car just before 9 p.m. to get some change for the snack machines during a break at work tonight, and the sky was a wonderful, dark, dark blue on the clouds the nearly black shade of navy that hangs just before darkness envelopes the night. The clouds stretched from the treeline across the parking lot toward the building before breaking, and straight above, the sky was a slightly lighter shade of blue. A single streak of jet exhaust extended across the heavens, almost illuminated by some unseen light source either the far-off and now hidden sun, or the rising moon, one day past full. The sprinklers saturated the shrubs by the patio off the cafeteria and the grass medians running parallel across the parking lot. The air was pleasant but cooling after a warm high-70s June day the first hint of summer aromas carried on the breeze. I could've sat there on that patio and looked out at the sky, blocking the parking lot and the cars and imagining myself on the back porch of some Appalachian cabin.

I absolutely wanted to jump in the car and drive off on such a perfect night for "Pink Moon" by Nick Drake, or at the least a run through David Gray's White Ladder. Those are the kinds of songs you listen to on a drive in the lingering dusk. Like Bruce Springsteen's "I'm On Fire," or the slow live version of "No Surrender"

Now young faces grow sad and old
and hearts of fire grow cold
We swore blood brothers against the wind
Now I'm ready to grow young again
and hear your sister's voice calling us home
Across the open yards
Well maybe we could cut some place of our own
with these drums and these guitars

Or "What A Good Boy" or "Harvest Moon" or even the Lyle Lovett version of "Pass Me Not," from that soundtrack to "Leap of Faith." I would've gone west on Route 33, speeding through the trees until I reached the small old town of Freehold, and then out into the fields, the open farmlands and horse pastures where the sky would open up and I'd gaze through the roof at the brightening stars and wish I could drive forever into the night, finding warmth and comfort somewhere along the road. (Bruce ...)

I want to sleep beneath peaceful skies in my lover's bed
With a wide open country in my eyes and these romantic dreams in my head

That last line always sends a chill down my spine with the vision of someone lying next to me on a blanket in a Maine hayfield or along some quiet deserted beach.

When I finally left work a little after 12:30 a.m., the night had grown cooler, the sky now black, the clouds having increased to block the moon but still broken, allowing for little pockets of brighter sky where the moonlight shone. I put on my sweatshirt not because it was cold, but because it was the first night of the approaching summer that begged for a windy ride home. I opened the windows and the sunroof and went with the peaceful folk songs of Nanci Griffith, the slices of Americana that form the perfect soundtrack to driving lonely deserted streets through small towns in the early morning hours.

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