Monday, May 16, 2016

Currently Listening 5.16.16



Summer's almost here, even if it doesn't feel like it and it's got me thinking about free time. "Free time" has become so foreign of a concept to me that I couldn't remember if it were a compound word or not. Also, my free time and my not so free time look a lot alike because they both seem to be spent writing, only differing in the rate and the content and whether I bother to correct comma splices. I love my own comma splices. 

A couple of weeks ago Prof. Natov asked us interns what kind of music our parents listened to and I didn't answer then because I couldn't remember my parents listening to music when I was a kid. I'm sure they must have, but when posed with the question, the answer escaped me. And then recently I was in a department store and this song came on and I remembered cars. I remembered my Dad's blue  Ford Explorer and my mom's black Mazda Miata and hopping out the backseat of one and going directly into the other, and that this one song would be on in both cars. Thanks to the power of Siri and the mystery of memory, I was able to find the song-- Tracy Chapman's "Give Me One Reason."
According to iTunes, it was a pretty popular song in the summer of 1995, which would have made me three going on four years old, which also happened to be the first year of my parents' divorce, which would make that spotty image I had of being transferred, eerily accurate. 



So I kept digging. And although it probably would have been easier to just lookup Chapman's entire discography online, I wanted to know the specific songs or if it were just this one so I invaded my mother's iTunes library and went directly to her "Top Twenty Five Most Played," and low and behold there was another Chapman song sitting right there in the top spot: "Fast Car." This one was a little bit before my time, but still I felt that the song was somehow a parent to the type of stuff I like to write, even though I could have sworn I'd never heard it before. I know, I know, this is all very corny and bizarre but look at the lyrics:


                                                               "Fast Car"

You got a fast car
I want a ticket to anywhere
Maybe we make a deal
Maybe together we can get somewhere
Any place is better
Starting from zero got nothing to lose
Maybe we'll make something
Me myself I got nothing to prove

You got a fast car
I got a plan to get us out of here
I been working at the convenience store
Managed to save just a little bit of money
Won't have to drive too far
Just 'cross the border and into the city
You and I can both get jobs
And finally see what it means to be living

See my old man's got a problem
He live with the bottle that's the way it is
He says his body's too old for working
His body's too young to look like his
My mama went off and left him
She wanted more from life than he could give
I said somebody's got to take care of him
So I quit school and that's what I did

You got a fast car
Is it fast enough so we can fly away?
We gotta make a decision
Leave tonight or live and die this way

So remember when we were driving driving in your car
Speed so fast I felt like I was drunk
City lights lay out before us
And your arm felt nice wrapped 'round my shoulder
And I had a feeling that I belonged
I had a feeling I could be someone, be someone, be someone

You got a fast car
We go cruising, entertain ourselves
You still ain't got a job
And I work in a market as a checkout girl
I know things will get better
You'll find work and I'll get promoted
We'll move out of the shelter
Buy a bigger house and live in the suburbs

So remember when we were driving driving in your car
Speed so fast I felt like I was drunk
City lights lay out before us
And your arm felt nice wrapped 'round my shoulder
And I had a feeling that I belonged
I had a feeling I could be someone, be someone, be someone

You got a fast car
I got a job that pays all our bills
You stay out drinking late at the bar
See more of your friends than you do of your kids
I'd always hoped for better
Thought maybe together you and me find it
I got no plans I ain't going nowhere
So take your fast car and keep on driving

So remember when we were driving driving in your car
Speed so fast I felt like I was drunk
City lights lay out before us
And your arm felt nice wrapped 'round my shoulder
And I had a feeling that I belonged
I had a feeling I could be someone, be someone, be someone

You got a fast car
Is it fast enough so you can fly away?
You gotta make a decision
Leave tonight or live and die this way




I don't know man, memory is weird. I found my self questioning my own authenticity after this, but I shortly let that go. Post modernism says nothing is new and I'm cool with that, or I'm fake-- an unaware copycat, and I'm cool with that too.

I'll be spending this summer preparing for the first year of my MFA, trying to be the best copycat I can be, and hoping to remember more songs that have somehow made their way into my stories, or not. Who knows?

-Chante

P.S Here's Fast Car:


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