Wednesday, November 30, 2011

"Last Time I Saw Her She was Howling at the Moon"

A couple of days ago a friend said she thought that moving back to Kimberley had made me "mellow".

I thought her text was a generous and perceptive compliment given that my life feels a lot more meaningful now.

I sat back in my morning chair where I was having breakfast and folded my arms thinking how nice she was to call me "mellow".

Of course I could see my adversarial friend, the Guru, thumbing his nose and blowing caustic smoke in my direction.  So, I hit my newly-installed personal virus protection button and sent the b*tch packing.

Then I picked up my nice new cell phone and sent the beautiful one a kind reply saying that no-one has ever called me "mellow", ever.

I put the cell down.  Sighed out the calmness that is now me and thought it was gonna be a wonderful day.

The kind of day where stuff just fits.  When your fists are unclenched and the paragraphs flow easily from your fingers across the keyboard.

The kind of day when love and butterflies float your magic carpet.

I poured another slow cup of coffee and contemplated a nice long run in the late afternoon.  You know, the kind of run where you stay inside your fitness level because you like how feeling close to tired is sometimes more meaningful than coughing up a lung.

As I settled to taste the nectar of the gods, my cell offered a gentle beep that suggested the beautiful one may want to add a sentence, or perhaps two, to emphasize my balanced "mellow".

I opened the screen to let the revealing light flow towards my eyes and there it was, her ego sapping and ass-kicking response:
"Lol.  Not a good thing.  Mellow is a step away from comatose."

Did the sista just retract the compliment?  Am I doomed to just about get there all the time only to be turned around?

Or, was I just needy and buying into the delusional calmness some say I have embraced on my return pilgrimage to hell by the hole?

I did not put up too much of a fight to reclaim my "mellow" me delusion.  She is right.  That damn sanctimonious Guru dude who has more money than the gods is right too.

The Manhattans used to say "there is no me without you" and I guess there is no me without being pissed off and grumpy.  

I mentioned to the beautiful one that her comment reminded me of a Tears for Fears song in more than one way.  She did not respond but I felt her rolling eyes walk over my aging consciousness.

Now I know some of you who know me 'long time' think I think there is a Tears for Fears song for just about everything and you are right.

I like their self-absorbed meaningless post-modern white-boy drivel.  It defines my vacuous American youth.

Oh did I tell you they touring and making big cash in South America as I write?  OK I know you don't care but humus a brother.

The song, "Call me Mellow", is on their last album entitled  "Everyone Loves a Happy Ending".

I have spent many years thinking about the lyrics because it speaks to the dread of running out of being cool.


Boet I was cool once upon a time.  Around the time that other dude lit a dubie and walked across the lake in a flannel robe.

The dude, by the way, was my boy Mark and the lake in north Canada was frozen.  And you were thinking blasphemy!

OK OK ... the dudes in the band are about my age and the lyrics are about being taken by a much younger woman calling a middle-aged man "mellow".

They obviously took it as a compliment.  Maybe I should just forward the deconstruction text from the beautiful one, no?

OK this video is live from the Conan O'Brien show in the US.  

If only I was half my age and she was older
We'd live on ice-cream on Coney Island
And though it's gravity that drags down my balloon
She stays in orbit way after midnight

Woah slip and slide
Does she go all dewey-eyed?

But then she knows it's like a curse
To find our chosen roles reversed
To unify my universe
To call me mellow

Middle-age sucks big time. Especially when half the sh*t I want to do still lays way out there.

No time for being "mellow", huh Guru?


Ps. An angry man is a creative man.  Ask the soul sapping Guru - he knows first hand.


Kweli said...

I remember that party you went to when you met those strange fans of your blog and you still had that brick-phone, you know, the one that makes the womens think you're excited to seem em.

Ridwan said...

I still have that phone but strangely the fine hostess has never called me again - who knows huh ;0)

peace Kweli,

Tony said...

"Which is ten steps more alive than you bitch." should have been the reply.
Tell a Jazz man that he is not mellow.....that he is not laid back. Even when the ivories are smokin' from a frenetic tempo, the double bass string melt with the hot pluck of fever pitched fingers - the jazz man is...MELLOW. Or am I just drunk?, I'm mellow.
Where the hell did I pull that Jazz shit from - no I'm not really drunk, but I think that I may change that within the next hour or so.

Ridwan said...

Cheers Tony or salut or bottoms up :0)

We define a different kind of mellow hey - the on the burn mellow from a time when snoozing meant your ass could be on the line with the boere.

I think that the homecoming thing is part of relaxing. Sometimes you get a chance to feel through the angst of your youth and try to re-figure.

There are no guarantees.

Yesterday Berri (our neighbour you may remember) stopped by to say goodbye.

Literally, she was about to get in her car and drive away from the house she lived in since she was 4!

48 years later and she must drive off while new people move in.

Boet I could not sleep all night. She is such a big part of the routine of life in West End - even if we have hardly talked for more than an hour in the last decade.

She is familiar - a part of permanent for me.

When I look out of my bedroom window on the second floor I see her house.

I was 9 when my family moved here. And in all those years it was Berri and her family that was the familiar scene from my window.

Now it is not. She was teary eyed and called my mom over to say she was leaving but would not be gone from us.

It was sad. Both her parents are gone and now she will be displaced inside of the dustbin by the hole.

Alien inside of the familiar.

Cliff never drives past his old house when he comes to visit here at number 11.

It has been hard for him to come to terms with leaving this West End space where we grew up and thought time never ends.

But it does. The new faces around here are unfamiliar. The sounds are not the same, for me.

When Berri turned to walk away all I could say was "I wish you luck".

What is left to say Herman?

In the end not even luck is enough hey.

I am not mellow in Kimberley. Have not come to terms or gained any more insight about who I am or what I lost to three decades in the US.

Truth be told, it is my mom that is here.

If it were not so, I would be riding motorbikes on another continent.

Home my broer is in your head - all we need to do is make peace with those who love us more than life.

Have a few beers for me too - it is Halal don't worry :0)