Lyric of the Day — August 30th 2015

“The smart money’s on Harlow
And the moon is in the street
And the shadow boys
Are breakin’ all the laws
Oh and it’s east of East St. Louis
And the wind is making speeches
And the rain sounds
Like a round of applause

And Napoleon is weeping
In a carnival saloon
His invisible fiancée
Is in the mirror
And the band is goin’ home
It’s raining hammers
It’s raining nails
It’s true there’s nothing
Left for him down here

And it’s time time time
And it is time
And it’s time
And it’s time time
That you love
And it’s time time time

And they all pretend they’re orphans
And their memory’s like a train
You can see them getting
Smaller as they pull away
Oh and the things you can’t remember
Tell the things you can’t forget
That history puts a saint
In every dream

Oh she said she’d stick around
Till the bandages came off
But these mama’s boys
Just don’t know when to quit
And Matilda asks the sailors
Are those dreams or are those prayers
Close your eyes son and this won’t hurt a bit

And it’s time time time
And it’s time time time
And it’s time time that you love
And it’s time time time

Oh and things are pretty lousy
For the calendar girls
The boys just dive right off the cars
And splash into the street
Oh and when she’s on a roll
She pulls a razor from her boot
And a thousand pigeons
Fall around her feet

So put a candle in the window
And a kiss upon my lips
As the dish outside the window
Fills with rain
Oh and just like a stranger
With the weeds in your heart
Pay the fiddler off
Till I come back again

And it’s time time time
And it is time time time
And it’s time time time that you love
And it’s time time time” — Tom Waits, “Time,” Rain Dogs (1985)

It’s Not The Same

Gare de Paris-Nord“We don’t have a razor blade!”
Her partners in crime try to quiet her. “But we don’t have a blade! We’ve got …” The shshes drown out the name of the drug.

Europe’s train stations. Home to the homeless. I spent the night of November 30th, 1983 in the shopping mall of Geneva’s train station.

I am at the Gare du Nord. During the day, it’s not obvious. At night it lives up to its reputation as the neighbourhood to get your drug of choice.

I had hope. The next day I would be starting a job and would be allowed to move in to employee housing.

I’m here to meet the Eurostar. I stop for a smoke. Only one request for a cigarette. Ink spots everywhere, one on the neck that goes up behind the ear, muscles starting to atrophy.

Moving to the city of my birth did not go as easily as dreamed. I had run out of money one day too soon. It was four-letter freezing. The granite bench cold, too small and hard. Waking up for work was not going to be the problem.

The board says the train is on-time. I notice the big dog first. I check her out. A little meaty in the thighs. She doesn’t have much experience making the ask for coins. On a more expressive face, you’d see surprise. I tell her no.

I didn’t belong. Earlier in the evening, my neighbours were asking me for spare change. That night was bottom. I busted my ass. Nowadays, I fake the suburban white-collar worker.

Her journey is starting. The circumstances are different. Another chink in my heart’s I-made-it-without-any-help armour.

A Little Bit of Anything


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