Friday, March 23, 2007

A little more nostalgia

Okay. So thinking about "Please Come to Boston," I figure I might as well get it all out of my system: all the Boston songs that seem to grab me by the heart and cause me to want to cry.

So how about Barry Manilow and "Time in New England":
Last night I waved goodbye.
Now its seems years.
I'm back in the city
Where nothing is clear.
But thoughts of me holding you
Bringing us near
And tell me . . .

When will our eyes meet?
When can I touch you?
When will this strong yearning end
And when will I hold you again?

Time in New England
Took me away
To long rocky beaches
And you by the bay.
We started a story
Whose end must now wait.
But tell me . . .
Somehow, that song has always caused me to think of my dad since soon after my mom died in 1985. I wonder if he has ever heard that song? If he did, I'm afraid it would break his heart.

But this Manilow song [what follows] breaks my heart. It's just too close to the truth, I'm afraid!
We walked to the sea
Just my father and me
And the dogs played around on the sand.
Winter cold cut the air
Hangin' still everywhere.
Dressed in gray, did he say,
"Hold my hand"?

I said, "Love's easier when it's far away."
We sat and watched a distant light.
We're two ships that pass in the night.
We both smile and we say it's all right.
We're still here;
It's just that we're out of sight--
Like those ships that pass in the night.

There's a boat on the line
Where the sea meets the sky.
There's another that rides far behind.
And it seems you and I are like strangers:
A wide ways apart as we drift on through time.

He said, "It's harder now, we're far away.
We only read you when you write."

We're two ships that pass in the night.
And we smile when we say it's all right.
We're still here;
It's just that we're out of sight--
Like those ships that pass in the night. . . .
Dad keeps saying it's all right.

It's not all right by me. I don't say it's all right. And I don't smile. Unless social conventions require me to. (Like at his upcoming wedding.)

Mostly I grieve the lost opportunities. And the possibility that there will be no future opportunities . . . because, I'm afraid, mostly, he's been unwilling.

More and more, I think: I wonder what I'll say at his funeral (whenever that will be)? [--I don't look forward to that day at all. But I sure wish I didn't feel as if I was "passing my dad in the night" right now . . . while he's still alive!]

--A reminder once more of Harry Chapin's "Cat's in the Cradle":
And the cat's in the cradle and the silver spoon,
Little boy blue and the man in the moon.
"When you coming home, dad?" "I don't know when,
But we'll get together then.
You know we'll have a good time then."
When will "then" come? . . . or will it?
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