To fit the 44 new iron bunks I had to paint, I was given 88 sheets of eight by four plywood to cut down to size. So I high-fived by best friend the table saw and set to work with two fingers missing. He likes to play rough.
There’s a radio in the lumber barn that sits sentinel over the doorway, watching subcontractors come and go like an ancient gargoyle watches mortal kings. They say the radio is as old as time itself, but actually it was purchased last year. Somebody dropped it in wet concrete, that’s all. The antennae was long ago broken off and the reception suffers, but it can channel classic rock with the best of them. However, for a long time it has been set smack dab in the middle between 103.5, the Christian station, and 103.9, the country station, so on Wednesday I heard the most stirring mashup, “How Great is Our Red Solo Cup.”
I’ve been disappointed with radios, lately. In the seven months I’ve been making my 45 minute, six a.m. drive, I have yet to settle on a program that I like. I’ve gone from right wing political commentary to repetitive football coverage, celebrity gossip and NPR’s Morning Edition. Even music has become a burden. I find myself chanting in whispers for a certain song and all I ever hear is Train.
Last week, painting bunks with our jack-of-all-trades Juan, I finally switched to country music becomes, percentage wise, less of those songs actively irk me. However, it was the day of the St. Jude’s Children’s Hospitial Call-a-thon. In between each song, there waited a subtly sorrowful clip of a parent remembering how wonderful their child was. Eventually Juan put a hand on my shoulder. “Amigo” – we’re on an amigo name basis now – “you okay?” I shrugged it off. “It’s the PAINT! It aggravates my tear ducts!”
Holly and I never had a song. The closest we have come is “Colder Weather” by the Zac Brown Band, about a man running away from the love of his life. Holly listened to it a lot during a really healthy time in our break-up. Since this thin strain was holding us together, musically, I rewrote the chorus for her and left it on her reading lamp.
I said I want to see you tonight
I’ll be driving down Blue Springs
Cause your love will give me wings
You turn me into a kite
She said you’re a crazy Persian
And I hope you’re never gonna change
Together we’ll be strange
And laugh away our burdens
Holly calls me a crazy Persian ofttimes; it came from an autocorrect mistake, when she was attempting to call me a crazy person. Obviously, the phone said, she meant to say Persian. Everyone makes that mistake at least once in their life. Now it’s the first inside joke of our marriage. Sometimes my parents ask me, “When are you going to have another inside joke? We’re not getting any younger,” and I’m like, “Geez, get off my back mom!” Parents. What can you do?