Thursday, June 23, 2005

There's a Tear in my Beer

Jim Henley is cataloguing songs that make him cry.

I don't think that a song has ever come close to making me cry. There are songs to which I turned for empathy when I already happened to be crying, but a song has never triggered that kind of reaction from me of its own accord.

But then, I am kind of a robot. I am moving out of my apartment this weekend; granted, I've only lived in this one for two-and-a-half years, but that is the longest I've stayed in one dwelling since I lived with my parents in high school. I love my little apartment and I'm sad to leave it. As I gather the spillings of my life from the last few years and shove them into boxes, I keep waiting for the melancholy. It never comes.

I'm just not really much a cry-er. (With some exceptions, as chronicled previously.) But I have nostalgia like a motherfucker. I think I gird myself in the moment to resist sentiment, and store it all up for later. I confess that I am already devastatingly nostalgic for the year in Georgia that I have not yet had. That's right, I begin reminiscing events before they happen. In times like that, I think of Galway Kinnell and the advice he gave to people like me:

[from Little Sleep's Head Sprouting Hair in the Moonlight:]

If one day it happens
you find yourself with someone you love
in a café at one end
of the Pont Mirabeau, at the zinc bar
where white wine stands in upward opening glasses,

and if you commit then, as we did, the error
of thinking,
one day all this will only be memory,

as you stand
at this end of the bridge which arcs,
from love, you think, into enduring love,
learn to reach deeper
into the sorrows
to come – to touch
the almost imaginary bones
under the face, to hear under the laughter
the wind crying across the black stones. Kiss
the mouth
which tells you, here,
here is the world
. This mouth. This laughter. These temple bones.

The still undanced cadence of vanishing.


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