Monday, December 07, 2009
"Magic of the melancholy tear in your eye": Happy Birthday, Tom Waits
I walked into the little joint--more like a shed, something out back of a farmhouse, ramshackle leaning, door half-off in a half-smile--and someone was playing an old-timey phonograph--Victrola scratching her soft nails along my back, making me grin and shiver--but no, it was a real person singing--OK, not so much "real" as really imagined, a sight for sore eyes, skinny guy slouched at the piano, little hat on his head, something golden glinting in a glass always nearby--and I've stayed there for decades, and I can't tell you how often that fellow has made my throat catch and my eyes well up--and then he steps right up and I'm happy at last, knowing a little rain never hurt no one--"and the rain it raineth every day"--and he knows it, so he keeps singing, with that big smile and those sad eyes, pursing his lips at the naughty world, but ready to forgive it, down there by the train, blood money in our pockets--but we're innocent when we dream, he insists, and lets us off the hook--just long enough for us to slip out the back, Ruby still asleep, and take the long way home, all the way around the world.
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