On Repeat

“You will never live if you are looking for the meaning of life.” Albert Camus

One of my favorite songs is Star Witness, by Neko Case
It came to me via a sampler CD
Back when the waves of life were crashing
Laying waste to anything that I thought at the time.

I find the song beautiful,
Her voice, deep and truthful,
The instruments playing together
Making music that touches me each time I hear the song.

How many times have I heard this song?
The words tell a tale that is so wrong for beauty,
A drive-by shooting, the death of a loved one.

How many times have I heard this song
The final notes leaving me wanting more
Before death of love or whatever comes
From confidence destroyed and defenses that have gone awry.

Tonight I can’t stop listening, it plays on repeat,
I wonder about the wolves in my life
Those inner demons that eat away at confidence,
That sucks the life from the past and present.

How many times will I listen tonight
Trying any trick to reset my brain
Like it’s a computer ready for a reboot
To defrag the bits of emotion that have frayed.

For a moment, I can my reflection in a Wyeth print,
The one of the farmhouse over on Ring Road
In late fall or winter when everything is sparse,
Only on light shines through a single window.

Then my dog pushes me in the back,
His misperceived reputation as a fighter
Given a true purpose in his insistence that I play
Yet I can’t understand what he is offering

Because I’m still lost in Star Witness
With its haunting lyrics and contradictory music
That has given me more comfort over the years
Than the cheerful sort could ever understand.

Still, though, he won’t give in,
When I turn from my desk to see what he is doing,
His ears are up, tail wagging,
And I wonder what’s wrong with me.

A great family.
Great kids.
Great job.
S#!@ for brains or soul, whichever it is.

And I’m here
Looking for better feelings
In a song about a shooting, one
That has consoled me for over twelve years.

Maybe this, too, will pass.
The Earth will still spin.
The sun will come up when I get to work tomorrow.
I’ll still be loving this song.

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