Doubt and shame. Tonight, I needed more peace
than is possible in a small apartment. With love
all around, my stress and tension only
showed me the noise and clutter.
Thirty-six years old and earning
not much more than I did as a
sixteen year old part-time pizza
deliverer. I get the joke. Not funny.
Tonight, I am short-tempered and
I'm not a good dad. I'm not bad, just
not good. I settle into hot solitude. In
the bath. I escape and soak and ruminate.
After several minutes of studying the
contours of my propped up feet, I smile
and remember the John Prine song. "That's
The Way That The World Goes 'Round."
A verse: I was sitting in the bathtub counting my toes,
when the radiator broke, water all froze.
I got stuck in the ice without my clothes,
naked as the eyes of a clown.
I was crying ice cubes hoping I'd croak,
when the sun come through the window, the ice all broke.
I stood up and laughed thought it was a joke
That's the way that the world goes 'round.
And I suppose I'll make it.
*John Prine once told the story of a woman who kept requesting a song called The Happy Enchilada at a concert. Puzzled, he told her that he had never written a song about a happy enchilada. She argued with him that indeed he had.
To prove her point, she recited a line from the song. She said, you know, "it's a happy enchilada and you think you're gonna drown." Laughing, John Prine told her that it was the song that I referenced above, "That's The Way That The World Goes 'Round."
The line in question was: It's half an inch of water and you think you're gonna drown. / That's the way that the world goes 'round.