The moon got dropped like a wish in the well

"Break out all Dan's records"

“Break out old Dan’s records”

By the time we got to Saturday I’d run out of things to complain about. Leonard Cohen was dead and Donald Trump President Elect—and it looked like rain the rest of the week, but that’s what you expect from November.

Anthony got a new record player I wanted, and with my birthday a few weeks away I thought I could get one too, but Dawn acted coy in the car and I thought fine, I’ll just buy it myself—and we crossed the bridge, I looked back, and the dog stared off at the lights across the water and Charlotte, passed out in her seat—and I thought isn’t this great, I said so much to Dawn and she smiled, she knew it too, we both did.

I checked the dimensions and Dawn was right, the book shelf in our garage is deep enough you could fit albums in it, and I have several hundred from my stepdad in the upper loft I’ve kept wanting to bring in and go through, but my record player sounds bad so I just keep putting it off.

Charlotte had her last soccer game and we got a sunbreak they call it, and though it was windy as hell and the sky kind of trippy, that mid-November effect with the light a volcanic orange, pink and yellow: we cheered them on but they got their asses kicked, and they’re at an age (we all are) it doesn’t matter a bit, and Dawn reserved the back room for us at the brewhouse for a celebration afterwards to thank our coach and hand out pictures, and when we got home we tried to nap but had to get up and on to the next thing—and later the moon was out, I went down in the den and turned the lights out and sat down to write, remembered some things about our day, the way the kids were and how we talked, our friends, and it seemed for once to be true, nothing matters much, the good or the bad, you choose to opt in or out, it depends on how much you want to feel about things, how much you’re willing to live.

I switched out the amp with a different one Mike gave me, and the record player worked great. I put on a Miles Davis album from ’72 and jacked the volume, and had to laugh. All those albums from my stepdad John, he kept them in some built-in cabinetry in their place in Pennsylvania and not once can I remember him playing even one of those albums. He played guitar and other instruments, didn’t have to play records. And when he couldn’t play anymore and it was time for him to go, he knew it, and that was it.

I grabbed more records from the loft (Sonny and Cher, Linda Ronstadt, Cat Stevens: it goes on and on). I lit a candle and listened to the space between the sides, with the clock ticking and the sound the dog makes, between dreams. It’s so gray here and damp, everything outside bent over, drooping. Nick Cave said about Leonard Cohen he was dark, but good-natured about it. It’s like that darkness is something we have to accept and understand we’re a part of too, it’s a part of us, no different than the light.

 

About pinklightsabre

William Pearse publishes memoir, travel journals, poetry and prose, and lives in the Pacific Northwest.
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34 Responses to The moon got dropped like a wish in the well

  1. The super moon brought us a stonking earthquake last night, in the dark. Suddenly Trump was last week for us in New Zealand. But at least Nick Cave is coming in January. You’re right, the darkness is part of the light.

    Liked by 1 person

    • pinklightsabre says:

      Wow. Lots to that. And man, what the heck time or day is it in New Zealand now? Wow, thanks for reading Angela. Glad you’ve got Nick Cave to look forward to (I guess?!). Ha, I’m going to put something benign on now, side 2 of this Cat Stevens record from the year I was born. Best to you and yours, thanks for reading. Bill

      Like

  2. Joy Pixley says:

    Lovely tribute to Leonard Cohen, and to letting things that don’t matter keep not mattering. Congrats on getting your turntable set up. Sure, you can probably find all the best of those songs online these days, but there’s something about sitting down and listening to the entire playlist, in the order in which the artist meant for them to be played. Sounds like you have some of the same albums I do, too, although I’ll bet I have a lot more embarrassing ones than your dad did. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • pinklightsabre says:

      Nice, thanks Joy…yes, we were at our close friends’ place in West Seattle last night, he got a sweet new record player and bought 7 albums (Stooges, Beatles, Big Star, Mingus, Grimes, Thee Oh Sees: cool assortment). We played six out of seven, back to back. Lovely. I am a bit spun with all my devices and formats. CDs, tapes in the garage…Spotify, lap tops, BlueTooth speakers, it goes on and on. Kind of nuts. Happy to be sunk into my sofa with Cat Stevens now, though. Perfect. Thank you for reading and spending a little time with me here! Bill

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      • Joy Pixley says:

        Turns out I went straight from cassettes of Leonard Cohen (now all gone) to CDs, without stopping at vinyl on the way; so that’s basically what I’ve been playing this week. Of course, now you’ve got me thinking about Cat Stevens; I know I have at least one album of his….

        Liked by 1 person

      • pinklightsabre says:

        His voice has a healing quality, Cat Stevens. Give it a go.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Tony Burgess says:

    You can still complain about Trump….for a long time.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. ksbeth says:

    i think everyone has a bit of dark within them, some more than others. ) dark side of the moon

    Liked by 1 person

  5. kingmidget says:

    You do what I’ve never been able to do. As my kids grew up, as we have all gone through our lives, I have thought of how to write about a day’s events — the soccer games, the rain falling, the way your kid looks at you and it makes you think of your dad — and about all of those little things that come in between and around the day’s events. I still do this. Things happen and I think that I should blog about it. But I can only imagine how to do so in the most pedestrian of ways.

    You, on the other hand, turn the day’s events into an art. Well done, sir, well done.

    It’s been a couple of decades since I owned a record player, but lately I have been thinking of the one that my parents still have. I’ve decided that I want it. I want to experience music from a vinyl disc rather than the sterile digital music we have now.

    Liked by 2 people

    • pinklightsabre says:

      Mark, that’s so cool of you to call that out the way you did. That’s really what I am trying to do, to take the slice of life moments and elevate them. It helps me keep my writing fresh and serves as a kind of photo album too, and I’m just so pleased you enjoy it. That’s really, really awesome. There’s nothing stopping you from doing the same, but “you” I suppose. You don’t need my advice but I’ll put it out there — I regret the times I didn’t take the time to write about it and now they feel kind of lost. Go get a record player too. Why not. Thanks for the kind words and for reading. Bill

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Lynn Love says:

    My husband has a stack of old vinyl – lots of Killing Joke, The Smiths, Fugazi, Palehead, Siouxsie and Nirvana and random, indie stuff no one has ever heard of – and is always saying about a record player and how it sounds different. And even now I listen to a lot of stuff on CD (I’m not onto download yet!) my head still fills in the pause where you turned the record over.
    Gorgeous writing as always – you elevating the everyday, as you say and making me feel sad I’ve not done the same and missed so much of the little stuff that makes the days worthwhile.
    And Cat Stevens? I adore Cat Stevens! That voice takes me elsewhere … You’re right. Sad Lisa’s my favourite, probably because it’s minor key and I’m a minor key kinda gal 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • pinklightsabre says:

      I have to look up Sad Lisa, I don’t know that one. I think my tastes with him are from the more obvious albums. But it’s true, analogue sounds so much different. I had a reel-to-reel player for a short spell one time too, couldn’t believe how could the tape sounded (like a record). But I foolishly kept it on the fireplace mantel and one of my cats pushed it over, face-down on the floor, and it bent one of the nubs you fit the reel on, and that was that. Swiss-made even, I think. Thanks for the note and telling me about your cool husband’s vinyl collection.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Lynn Love says:

        Sad lisa’s on you tube I think – lovely and a bit ‘other’ :). The reel to reel sounds fantastic! Did it sound like vinyl then? There’s something lovely about the hands on, mechanical nature of these things. A few years a go we picked up some old 8mm cine cameras in their leather cases. Never used them, but there’s something lovely about the levers and mechanisms, the physicality of them, that means I can’t bear to part with them.
        And yes, husband’s record collection is cool – and weird. Ever lisetened to Swans?

        Like

      • pinklightsabre says:

        Swans. I tried, but that is a bit nuts for me. I like nutty music but that seems to be a frequency I don’t get and don’t want to. But I can appreciate the damaged, desperate souls who gather around it. Really, I can. Mine is just a different god I bow to, I guess. To answer your question: yes, the reel to reel totally sounded vinyl. It was strange. I wish I had had more time with it. I recall listening to a Joy Division, modernized remix of a song through that reel system that sounded just perfect. They have a warmth and other-worldliness that really comes through on analogue, gets stripped out when it’s digitized. Radiohead on the other hand seems to understand how to convey that warmth digitally, I don’t know how.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Lynn Love says:

        Yes, fortunately husband has only one Swans album and that was played rarely – to say it’s an aquired taste … 🙂 The reel to reel sounds wonderful the way you describe it. A lot of music sounds flat when digitized, it’s true. I can do a bit of Radiohead – could listen to Street Spirit all day. There’s me and my minor key again. Mind you, not sure Radiohead often move out of the minor key … Did you watch Control, the movie about Ian Curtis? What a tragic, tragic young man he was.

        Liked by 1 person

      • pinklightsabre says:

        Didn’t watch Control, no: might be too hard to take from what I’ve read about him. Martin Hannett seemed a bit bent too, those drugs…ah, the minor key. Must be my frequency, too.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Lynn Love says:

        Yes, all those daft lads and their drugs. You would think people would learn from the early deaths of others, wouldn’t you? It’s not a happy watch, Control, it’s true. A songs in the key of life 🙂

        Like

      • pinklightsabre says:

        I feel like I’ve seen that same movie elsewhere and I’m kind of not interested. Christ, Trainspotting? Never again. Couldn’t even go to Glasgow it scarred me, such.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Lynn Love says:

        Haha! No, I know what you mean.Heroin chic is definitely not for me. You’re not going to see the second one, then? 🙂

        Like

  7. rossmurray1 says:

    I like to think of Leonard Cohen as a stranger in a dark alley you don’t mind bumping into.
    The dog escaped her leash in the early morning. I was tromping across neighbour’s lawns at 5:30 in the moonlight looking for her, just in sweatpants and sweatshirts. With my new glasses, I can suddenly see the stars as pinpoints again. There are worse lives.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I’m envying you that record collection! All my LPs got damaged in a flood about 20 years ago, and though they’re still playable they don’t sound the same. For a while I was converting them to mp3s but that was way too time-consuming, so now I just cue them up on Spotify. There really was something ritualistic about the way you put an LP on the turntable and set the needle down …

    By the way, speaking of Cat Stevens, I still love to listen to his lesser-known album Mona Bone Jakon. I didn’t used to know what the title meant, but now I do: it’s his nickname for his penis. Disappointing.

    Like

    • pinklightsabre says:

      Insane: that’s the Cat Stevens record I have here, that I first played/heard last night. Funny! Too bad about the title though, I guess that shows he’s just one of us.

      Like

      • A lot of the songs on MBJ, incidentally, appeared in the movie Harold and Maude. I always like re-watching that one, if only for the music.

        Like

      • pinklightsabre says:

        Ah, that makes sense. I grew up with “Teaser,” even had a Cat Stevens calendar in my room I remember as a 5 year old: all that hair and sweat.

        Like

  9. Always thought Leonard was a little dark, but I like Mr. Cave’s appraisal. It’s a pretty good compliment coming from Nick Cave, too.

    Has November’s temperature been as surreal as its skies? It has in decidedly-weird-weather-wise Idaho. Maybe the whole Pac NW.

    Like

    • pinklightsabre says:

      Cave’s a bit dark for me. I’m dark, too. Yes it’s surreal here, the weather. I mistakenly thought you were in Portland for some reason I’m sorry! The eastern edge of the Pac NW instead, got it. Bill

      Liked by 1 person

      • Not a mistake. I’m from Portland, originally, and usually claim it as my home town. Wifey and I moved to Boise for the real estate scenario, cost of living, vicinity to nature, safety, etc. Fortunately, it’s all beer-friendly. Where are you again? I thought you were Canada, but that’s probably because I discovered your blog from a Canadian’s (Drinking Tips for Teens).

        Liked by 1 person

      • pinklightsabre says:

        I’m east of Seattle in the suburbs, though rural enough we have bear, and beer.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Aw, land of Kirk; home of the Hook; location of… l-coffee and rain and trees. And bears! That’s pretty cool.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Love the atmosphere you created here. So damp, cold, and droopy, perfect for the season and future four years.

    Liked by 1 person

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