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Right now I got not a complaint in the goddamn world. The banality of everyday life will resume for me soon, but today I ate an incredible filet de thon at a brasserie around the corner from Van Gogh's old apartment, walked along the Seine with a beautiful girl, and stayed up late drinking Talisker with manningkrull. If it was like this always, no one would ever have to die.

Sometimes, though, things aren't so life-affirming and joyful. Here's a song that saved my life at a time when I was thinking shit was too heavy to be borne. When I heard it, the image it revealed, of a man slowly going crazy, and of his friends who wanted to help him but couldn't understand him or who always said the wrong thing, seemed so perfect and real that I listened to it again and again. The last verse is such an amazing little word-picture that even today I can't hear it without losing breath. I heard it, and I thought, if this can hit me where I live in such a way -- this unknown song by an unknown band -- then maybe life will just be full of such surprises, and I might want to stick around to see what they are.

"Hey Swifty", the Ass Ponys

Gonna hold my hand right over that candle flame 'til I can't take it any longer
I swear I could hold it there all goddamn day if I wanted to
I say 'Hey, go on, go ahead and make my day', and I blow away the mother in the mirror
As I lay dying on that bedroom rug bleeding with all my heart

Someone says 'Hey, Swifty
You're gonna have to come around sometime'
And someone says 'Hey, Swifty
You're gonna have to come around sometime'

Took my car right out to the flats where I hit a big dog who had got out on the highway
So to find out what it was like when you hit a big dog, I ran over it a couple more times
Let it sit for a week or so until it got really ripe -- flat and hard in the middle of the highway
Then I found it and bound it up with some bailing twine; painted it up like an American flag

And someone says 'Hey, Swifty
You're gonna have to come around sometime'
Someone says 'Hey, Swifty
You're gonna have to come around sometime'

Last week I got so bored that I took a big ride; went out to the Mississippi
And I took this guy I know named Lou along, and he went because he wanted to
He said 'I can't believe we've driven all this way just to see a fuckin' river'
I said 'Goddamn! Goddamn! Goddamn it, man!', and I left him where he stood

And someone says 'Hey, Swifty
You're gonna have to come around sometime'
Someone says 'Hey, Swifty
You're gonna have to come around sometime'

And someone says 'Hey, Swifty
You're gonna have to come around sometime'
Someone says 'Hey, Swifty! What's the fucking deal?
You're gonna have to come around sometime'

I hope it's happy where you are, everybody. And if it's not, remember that there's about a million things out there that are worth waiting to see.


Mar. 24th, 2008 02:01 am (UTC)
That's good to hear, man.
Mar. 25th, 2008 06:15 am (UTC)
Ain't it? I gotta get on a plane and come back to fucking SATX in a couple of hours, but I just did something that I'll be talking about for the rest of my goddamn life, and that ain't bad.
Mar. 24th, 2008 02:51 pm (UTC)
Sneer disdainfully at American ignorance and provincialism for me before you leave, won't you?

If you can't fit it in 'til you return to San Antonio, that's ok too.
Mar. 25th, 2008 06:16 am (UTC)
Amazingly, I have only once encountered what I'd call ugly-American behavior during my stay here.

Outside of my own, that is.
Mar. 24th, 2008 07:54 pm (UTC)
It's so good to hear you're having such an awesome time. Is it too early for spring to be springing over there?
Mar. 25th, 2008 06:20 am (UTC)
It really has been an amazing trip, man -- I wish you'd have been here! I can't believe I have to come home today.

The weather has actually been one of the only downsides of the trip; there's really only been one gorgeous, sunny, spring-type day. The rest of the time it's been cold, cloudy and/or rainy, and it even hailed a couple of times.
Mar. 26th, 2008 11:50 am (UTC)
Hey Tami, Leonard and I were totally standing in front of Notre Dame and making fun of Catholics and Easter and then it started hailing really hard and it sucked and we were like, damn.
Mar. 26th, 2008 12:14 pm (UTC)
And I had just said something about how God always punishes me when I visit a church, too...


flavored with age
Gun-totin', Chronic-smokin' Hearse Initiator
Ludic Log


Leonard Pierce is a freelance writer wandering around Texas with no sleep or sense of direction. If you give him money he will write something for you. If you are nice to him he may come to your house and get drunk.

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