It’s August 7, 2020 and I’m up at the crack of dawn drinking coffee and listening to a British band I discovered in college, The Jam. Thanks be to the masters of the universe! Today, I can stream all of the band’s music (and their remastered versions too!) at any time I desire. I began today’s birthday beat with The Jam’s “Girl on the Phone.”
As I listen to lyrics from these 1980’s songs, I wonder how much the music influenced me, either overtly or covertly. The Jam’s members were bold in their opinions and although I could not identify with many of them, I liked their sound. In retrospect, many of their songs were downers. Take for instance, “Private Hell” from the band’s 1979 album Setting Sons. It’s a dirge-like number and the lyrics are a dark, dismissive look at domestic life. See for yourself:
“The man who you once loved is bald and fat,
And seldom in,
working late as usual.”
The man I love is bald. I’m ok with that. Honestly, I can’t even imagine him with hair.
But the song has a good beat and as the coffee hit my bloodstream, I danced around on the Oriental runner in my hallway. (Is it ok to say “Oriental runner” anymore?)
I had a different vision for my 56th birthday. I wanted to wake up in the Canaervon Room at the The Norumbega in Camden, maybe hike up Mount Battie, eat something delicious from Dot’s in Lincolnville, and then stop in at The Dollar General in Montville to pick up some detergent and paper products. Instead, I’ll soon check in with Palm Beach Perry at my job for pay. We’ll kibitz about work for a bit and then put the hammer down on the day. The Jam had a song about working in an office, being part of the production line. “Smithers-Jones.” A song from a different time, with different and the same politics. I don’t know. I took the lyrics and worked them into my own reality, then as now. The music had a good beat and I could dance to it.
I’m not going to overthink it today. No thoughts on the politics of coffee and whether I should be drinking so much of it. I’m going to put the hammer down on the production line and get done early. (I’m on my way up to the office, Perry!!!) Then maybe I’ll go out on the river in a kayak with the bald man. I might even bake some chicken drumsticks for a picnic.
He is not fat.
How lucky am I to have a friend who lives on a cove on the shark-infested waters of Maine? She has a delicious recipe for chocolate zucchini cake, too. Here’s to another year of life, love, friends, beauty, and all things glorious. (And the Oxford comma. Google it yourself.)
Happy Birthday to me!