Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Bits and Pieces (as my dad would say)

It's 1:00 AM and I'm out of my work uniform and into my sitting-at-home-listening-to-music duds.

Khaki shorts? Check.

Black Van Halen shirt? Check.

Tall, green bottle of Heineken? Oh yeah.

Home from work and listening to Tom Waits sing "Bend Down The Branches." It's the sweetest little lullabye. I sing it to my daughter from time to time, but I think I get more out of it than she does.

I started reading the most wonderful piece on Paul McCartney in the New Yorker last night and I finished it tonight. A few paragraphs are here, but you'll have to buy the issue to read it in its entirety. My dad often says that my youngest son has Paul McCartney's eyes. I see my mom and my dad's whole generation in Paul's eyes. As well as I know my parents and as well as I've always related to them, I often feel that I'm looking for and finding bits of them when I listen to Beatles songs or read interviews with members of the Beatles.

I'm nocturnal and nostalgic, but for days that preceded my 1969 birth. As my parents like to say, I was a child of the sixties -- born in December of '69, with two weeks to spare. I hope that I am to my children what my parents were (and are) to me. It'd be nice to think that at 37 years of age, they'll think of me with the same curiosities and respect that I hold for Granddad and Grandma Foxy (named by my oldest in reference to her dog whose name was Foxy).

I hope I'm not working 40+ hours a week away from their at-home routines just to be an absent father. It's for them and yet it takes me away from them. One is fast approaching adulthood with a lot of my own bad habits at hand. I'm so far away from him, both geographically and emotionally. I'm the weekend dad, but I work most weekends and lately he does as well. I should make more time to at least call him during the week, but my second shift hotel work makes it difficult. Not impossible, just difficult.

At the very least, these quiet nighttime hours find me at peace as I reflect and hope. Scarlett Johansson will finish her album of Tom Waits covers soon I trust. I am as anxious to hear her spin on his songs as I am to learn which songs she has chosen for the project. And then Southside Johnny is doing an album of Waits covers in a big band style. While I wait for those releases, I type and ponder while listening to Tom sing "Goodnight Irene."

By the way, if tonight's lottery ticket is The One, drinks are on me at East Nashville's Lipstick Lounge. Here's hoping.

(I'm missing a Finn. Be well, sweet Milla. Thanks for being my friend. I'd rather be...well, you know.)

Bend Down The Branches

The sky's as deep as it can be
Bend down the branches
Close your eyes and you will see
Bend down the branches

You're like a willow
Once you were gold
We're made for bending
Even beauty gets old
Climb the stairs they're not so steep
Bend down the branches

Close your eyes and go to sleep
Bend down the branches

Written by: Tom Waits and Kathleen Waits-Brennan
Published by: Jalma Music (ASCAP), © 1998/ 2006
Recorded at Prairie Sun Recording studios. Cotati, CA/ USA, 1998

1 comment:

Milla said...

...swimming, I know...