High Lonesome

DeadRoses
Dead Flowers

Well, when you’re sitting there
In your silk upholstered chair
Talking to some rich folk that you know
Well, I hope you won’t see me
In my ragged company
You know I could never be alone

Take me down, little Susie, take me down
I know you think you’re the queen of the underground
And you can send me dead flowers every morning
Send me dead flowers by the mail
Send me dead flowers to my wedding
And I won’t forget to put roses on your grave

Well, when you’re sitting back
In your rose pink Cadillac
Making bets on Kentucky Derby Day
I’ll be in my basement room
With a needle and a spoon
And another girl to take my pain away

Take me down, little Susie, take me down
I know you think you’re the queen of the underground
And you can send me dead flowers every morning
Send me dead flowers by the mail
Send me dead flowers to my wedding
And I won’t forget to put roses on your grave

Take me down, little Susie, take me down
I know you think you’re the queen of the underground
And you can send me dead flowers every morning
Send me dead flowers by the US mail
Say it with dead flowers at my wedding
And I won’t forget to put roses on your grave
No, I won’t forget to put roses on your grave

-Jagger & Richards-

Above is the best honky tonk song ever written by two fellas from Britain. And as a matter of respect there are only three people who can justifiably play it. The Rolling Stones, Steve Earle and Townes Van Zandt. Anyone else needs to have their guitar busted across their head and the pieces fed to them. It’s just one of those songs that if you ain’t felt it, don’t sing it.

Man today I climbed out of bed after a night of restless sleep. Seems I’ve been dreaming someone else’s life for a little while now. Dreaming of places I’ve never been, men I never knew and women I’ve never laid with. But they’re all right there. Real as the moon. Living lives there in my dreams. Last night I even sat on the floor of a bedroom the was mine, but wasn’t and looked at the lacy things a woman sleeping in bed behind me left laying there. She was a pretty thing and I think maybe I loved her. At least for a while.

And it left me with this feeling that them old cowboy singers used to call “The High Lonesome”. That’s the feeling of the horizon pulling you away from where you are. To someplace you never have been or someplace you have been but don’t remember, but you got a tingle inside that says it’s worth seeing again. Brother, don’t I have a few places like that. A few women like that and maybe a few wandering souls like that too. The crossroads and whipping wind whipped wires of a wandering life. A Hardcore Troubadour.

But beneath that there is a bit of blackness. An evil shadow that dips and swirls and I can’t never see till it swirls away like a black smoke trail. See a life lived as a wanderer and an addict means you make a deal with The Beast. The Beast is the hard truth and bloody reality most people never have the courage to turn around and see. But it’s there behind you right now. It’s the pretty girl saying too much to a married man. The secret bottle in the back of the cupboard to the tired mother. The man with too much money rolling in his car real slow to look at the young girl on the corner, waging on if he wants to or not. The clenched fist of the young man who has been hurt and broken and is only swinging at ghosts but hitting the jaw of some unfortunate stand-in. The woman curled up in the corner of her bedroom hoping tonight the drinking he’s doing don’t go bitter and he’ll need to take a strip off her for anger’s sake. You get it now. Most people never look clear at it. Most never get much farther than seeing it in peripheral vision. Not out of cruelty or ignorance. At least I pray not. I think The Beast is just to scary to square up to except to them that got no choice. Because believe me I never once stared him down with anything like willing. It was just my lot in life to be what I am and to be the one to write it all down. See it’s the artists and wild men that can look at him and not turn it to fear and horror. We turn it to the pen, brush and song.

Though it scars me. When I hurt like this, when I feel this loneliness and when I am so lovelorn I can hear it twang in my heart. I got this tangling whisper The Beast makes. It says “Come on boy, you know just how to ease this pain. You know how to make it through, to make the sleeping come.” and it’s right about then that I can feel the pinprick, the aftertaste of the handful of little white pills, the lingering tang of the whiskey or the ringing noise in my ears. The urge to turn back into the dark is strongest then. Because it’s like having the worst sickness in the world and knowing that in just a few seconds it can all be cured and you’d be grinning, greased and gassed. It’s just some kind of evil that I’ve come to embrace.

Will I do it? Will I go back? Probably not today. That’s the best promise I can make. It’s the best promise anyone can make. We just got today. And as it stands I just won’t cut myself that deep right now. I’m not that weak yet. Maybe tomorrow I might be, hell as it is turning it feels pretty sure I will be. But then again I probably would have said that yesterday. So I’ll just let todays keep pushing tomorrows out of reach and it might be okay. With God and the angels abiding.

And in there is a secret somehow.

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