Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Remember Me Like This

One week back in the States... one week of losing my lovely hard earned Sydney tan under the harsh hospital flourescents I've been subjected to since last Tuesday. When your mom is in the hospital, you go. Differences, grievances, difficulties aside to be dealt with later.

I knew my mom was sick the day I flew out. I found out that day... "Go," said Dad. "We'll just be doing tests, nothing much will change." Sadly, that wasn't true. Alot changed, and my mom was hospitalized the day after I returned.

My hometown, Encinitas, is alot like small towns in Australia. In fact, I've often told people that I think what I like so much about Australia is that it reminds me of the San Diego I grew up in. The beaches for sure. My parents' place is about 3 miles off the coast - we used to ride our bikes to the beach as kids. Grab some Mexican food for lunch, stay there all day...

The hospital is right by my high school, both of which have ocean views. It's colder here than it was in Sydney (well, it is summer down there) and a bit cloudy, but that Pacific sparkles just the same for me. It has always been a calming thing for me, my ocean, my private beach, my Encinitas.

Having the memories of my recent Sydney sensory overload crashing with my current surreal family beachfront drama is making one song stick in my head... It doesn't really have much to do with either, but it's there anyway. It's beautiful Van Morrison rip off by an Australian band, the Triffids, called "New Year's Greeting (The Country Widower)." When I was in Sydney in 1999, leaving on December 30th (I was determined to do the year 2000 with my friends back home in Cali), this was the last song I heard on the radio (Triple J, yum). It's on their last album, The Black Swan ('89), which is long out of print... I heard they were being reissued in the UK, but God knows... Singer/songwriter David McComb passed away after a car accident in 1999.

I have it on a tattered old mixed tape my ex-boyfriend Tim made for me to listen to the first time I traveled to Australia and New Zealand. If you can find it, give it a listen. It's beautiful. Thunderstorms and peace, moonlight and chaos, sort of how things seem to be right now...

New Year's Greeting (The Country Widower)

I got a little place to myself up on Stony Ridge
I got it made in the shade
Sleep in till the afternoon - leave my bed unmade...
No one breathing down my neck,
Black coffee in the shade
Whistle a little of whatever AM radio plays
As for letters and provisions -
Well, it's a long walk to the cornershop
It's January - it's a big decision
To either think of you, or not

And I'll send you a new year's kiss and I hope you will remember me like this...
I'll send you a new year's kiss...

I've got two good arms one bad leg,
One weekly social security check
I can make an honest dollar but I can't keep track of where it went
I got a good black dog, so I don't need a phone
He smells bad weather coming in his old dog bones
Don't need no eyewitness news, no 7/11
No eyewitness news, no 7/11
No southern fried chicken, no man from Prudential give me
Good times, easy terms, eyewitness news...

In the evening when the skyline is cut in two
By a figure closely resembling you
When matches won't light, and I'll double take
Wind shudders to a halt, and maiden roads are washed out
And all around, as far as the eye can see
And all around, as far as the eye can see
And all around, as far as the night can see
just the gaping mouths of you and me

(I'll send you a new year's kiss... I'll send you a new year's kiss...)

Well I hear you're riding a new horse in the sun
I hear you're riding a new horse in the sun
Sure hope those Sydney shoeshine boys don't take you for a run
I still want you back when it's all said and done

Let the sky roll back
Let the ground give way
The season's upside down
The wind has turned around
To either think of you
...or not

(ps: RIP Juli's mom)