Sunday, May 18, 2014

Todays Free Fall with the help of Steve Lopezès The Soloist

I’m on foot today, of course I’m on foot; I’m always on foot, unless someone drives me. But that only happens on the weekends. I’m in B town, on the corner of empire and pleasant, I’m heading to do my laundry. My pretty beige dress is the only clean clothes to my name and I’m walking up the hill with bags of dirty laundry praying to god that my clothes don’t fall out of the bag or that dirty undergarments don’t start waving like a flag out of the little cart I drag, the black one with the wheels.
I was promised a washer when I moved in, so I looked no further.
There were no other options.
They would let me have cats and the floors appeared to meet the walls until I signed the lease.
There were no other options.
They would let me have cats and the last power bill was only 90 dollars.
There were no other options.
I would have chosen the place for many reasons, the sun porch, the cats, the location, not the power bill or the long walks up the hill on Sundays.
That’s when I saw him, Billy Joel, standing on the street corner, serenading. When I was walking he was singing Good Night Saigon. My singing teacher refused to let me sing it when I was young. There’s nothing more reprehensible that your sixteen year old singing student talking about passing the hash pipe and playing the doors tape. I didn’t care I liked the story.
As I was walking past Billy Joel He sang “We met in spastic like tame less horses, we left in plastic as numbered corpse.” Tears were coming down his eyes. I didn’t think that he was supposed to cry he’s sung the song a million times. I could sing it without crying so I started to sing it; I knew all the words, from start to finish.  
He was playing his guitar in the rain.
“Hey Billy,” screamed a teenager out of his car window; “where’s your piano?” like it was normal to see Billy Joel on the street corner, dressed in a tuxedo, singing “We will all go down together,” a well dressed, very lost, prophet.
He held out his arms as part of his crucifixion and said “But I’m Billy Fuckin Joel.”
The laundry basket, the place where I do laundry was fill and everyone was talking in circles, some about like some about death. Some of the laundry looked like it came from dumpsters some of it looked like it came from Harrods in London, there were all sorts of people and smells and conversations.
“Did you walk here?” the owner asked flicking her cigarette out the door as I walked in.
I nodded
“Some guy is on the corner of empire and pleasant stopping traffic.”
“Umm.” I said, only wanting to get my laundry done. “Billy Joel, He’s in town. I guess.”
I put my laundry in the washer and sat down and watched TV. The show was about all the veterans of the war and I was being fed by tv. They talked to daughters and granddaughters about their fathers lives and grandfathers lives and how some of them never came home.
I got tired and went to play on facebook, my friend was sticking silverware to her nose with random candy and sugar substances. I laughed.
I took my clothes from the dryer and headed down to the corner of pleasant and empire. “We met as spastic, we left in plastic, the words went over and over in my head.
Wow, I get it, and I sat down where this Billy guy was singing and a single tear dropped from my eyes.

I could have stopped and listened
There were other options
I could have learned from him but instead I watched TV
There were other options
I could have shared with other people I could have cried with him
There were other options.


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