Leaving Town

Currently Listening: Dexter Freebish - Leaving Town

This particular Dexter Freebish song is a guilty pleasure. Catchy, infectious, easy to sing along with, and containing a completely vapid and edgy-pop feel.

The lyrics don't match the upbeat drum, distorted guitar or absurd studio-remix effects in the least.

Oh your reputation's so golden
you're never lonely and you're never home
I know you've been talking about leaving
you've lost all your feelings for this town.
Paint your nails and put your lipstick
you don't want to miss your ticket out.
Just because you graduate from school
so high in the gene pool that's your point of view.

This song has always made me think of a couple of specific people. One of them would have followed this advice but never saw the need, and one always spoke as if the need was deep and whole and real, but never got up the guts to act on it.

Both of them make me nostalgic for times when it mattered deeply to me what happened to them.

But when you're broken down and no one else is around
You'll come running back to this town and
I'll be there, yeah I'll be there.

I used to intend to be there whenever they needed me. To convey to them as clearly as I could that I was as dependable as the sunlight and as stubborn as a mule.

But in truth, it never matters how available you are if they don't think they need you. You'll stay warming the bench while they live lives full of adventure and danger and you'll always be ready to help but never asked, even if they need it.

Cause I remember how we drank time together
and how you used to say that the stars are forever.
And daydreamed about how to make your life better by
leaving town, leaving town.

I have wonderful memories. Important moments when nothing seemed capable of worrying me or making the day any better.

Pristine afternoons spent making such memories are a noble time, when you're young enough for them to matter.

Pack your bags, your smokes in your pocket
Your wearing my locket around your neck
Take a drag and wait for the Greyhound
the world is your playground and you want to win.

I have a flawless mental image of an event that never happened, watching you standing at the bus station with a rucksack and a cigarette. You're not coming to visit me, and you're not running away. You're just leaving town.

It is a memory that makes me smile.

You don't smoke, of course, and you never left, so the image is a figment of an imagination that was obsessed with you when I first heard this song. But it is still an image I intend to keep.

. . .Cause I remember how we drank time together. . .

We did that once. A long time ago. I still remember the date. And the words exchanged. I still remember how your attention made me feel.

We drank time.

Nothing in life will ever come that easy.
Doesn't mean it has to be that hard.
I know you will find out who you are

I used to tell one of my now-ex's that she would find someone better than me. And she would always say "I don't want anyone better. I want you. That's all." It was one of the only things she said right the entire time we were together.

But it was a powerful anchor and a good feeling. It makes me realize something now looking back, which was that we never needed each other. You certainly didn't need me, and I didn't really know what I needed. Both of us wanted something more, but it never worked out and the important thing for me to remember is: that's o.k. with me.

I don't expect you'll ever appear on my radar again unless I make the effort. And there is a tempting opportunity that has presented itself. Perhaps next spring I'll reconsider the chance and take it after all.

For now, I'm considering it tabled as a flight of fancy, which isn't really my department anymore.

But when you're broken down and no one else is around.
You'll come running back to this town and
I'll be there, yeah I'll be there.

But it is still true, y'know. That's the funny part.

After seven years of waiting, and four years of freedom from that same waiting, if you called me right now and told me that you wanted to get together, I'd change heaven and earth to make that meeting happen.

Nothing changes in this town. Maybe that's why it is for the best that I'm leaving.

Maybe Specter Alabama is finally losing its hold on me, and maybe that is more a mental trip than a physical transportation. Maybe this time I'll weigh anchor for real.

Maybe I'm the one standing at the bus stop this time, cigarette in hand?

Take a drag and wait. . .

Monday, October 17, 2005


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