And I for one, and you for two
I have a chronic disease. I've lived with it for a long time. Usually, it just hangs out, watches TV, eyes me coldly, then falls asleep. Lately, it's been wanting to be more active, more involved in my life. It wants my attention and my service. It makes my chest hurt, it hurts to breathe. This is a new development. I fall asleep imagining my heart exploding and in my dreams, when it does, it's like a magician producing a dozen roses; a sudden bloom of crimson fabric.
I know, I know. This is a little heavy for a Wednesday morning but this is a heavy song. Townes Van Zandt knew sick. He seems to have willed himself to become an itinerant alcoholic the way some kids wanna be astronauts. He also wrote some incredible numbers along the way like Nothing* (a gorgeous, haunting tune inspired by The Last Temptation of Christ, not that you'd know that from the lyrics) and Be Here To Love Me (covered wanly by Norah Jones.) When I listen to Van Zandt's songs, he sounds SO aware of how his choices affected his relationships, that living the way he did seems crueler and harsher because of its indifference. He documents things the way he saw them; barren, desolate and beautiful just the same, despite the absence of hope.
Lungs (Live)/Townes van Zandt (mp3)
Purchase A Gentle Evening with Townes Van Zandt by Townes Van Zandt.
Amazingly, despite my predilection for sad bastard music, I am a hopeful sort. My pessimism only goes so far. I'll continue to share my house with the unwanted roommate. Eventually, I'll figure out how to keep it out of my dreams.
* Definitely my favorite Van Zandt track. Highly recommended.