The pain is gone. The real bad pain I had five years ago, 2002, 2003. When 2004 rolled around I thought OK, this must be enough. Two years is enough, right? C'mon. Well you can put me out. Put me out. I fell asleep watching the movie I grabbed tonight. The Way of the Gun. I love Benicio del Toro. I woke up and thought: the pain is gone. Five years later, five and a half. Not really gone, but gone enough. The thrill too, but that's the price you pay. I thought well it's Friday night, nowhere to be tomorrow. I could make another cup of coffee. I could write.
Put me out of mis-er-y. Yeah hipshake snap it's the brand new me. Up on the stage like I never was, guitar slung low in case I need a chord. Talking to the mike as it comes to me. Like that. Or maybe... yeah, maybe more like this. Pathological mourning, what rhymes with that? I was always big on nomenclature. Every word in its place and a place in every word. Some forever not for better. Three years, four. Not supposed to last that long. If I can just hold on I thought, till the screaming stops. But I knew all the time I wasn't screaming. I was thinking one day I'll write it. Get it in, get it on, get it down the way it really was. Get it over with. Here's a chord right now. All casual like. Just saying.
So what's this? One day you wake up and you're a lounge act? If only you could have been what I dreamed you were. And you say no, that's wrong, that's not the way it goes, you were just projecting. And I say what, were you born yesterday? Of course I was projecting. Can't dance, too wet to plow. What else is there to do here? Are you scared? And you say are you high? We're all scared. But it's my mike tonight, my chords, my world. I thought one day I'd say I thought you'd like who I thought you were. It was a hell of a dream.
Eventually you do get over it though, huh? Nothing left to prove, to hold onto, to mourn. I thought I'd maybe have some sort of breakthrough, catharsis, but it wasn't like that. After a while blue turns to gray. So many lines I wish I'd written. I miss the anger most sometimes, the white-hot grandiosity of survival as revenge, like balling you up against a wall in a dark alley, your skirt hiked up, your heels askew, breath coming hot, my teeth at your neck. All I ever wanted was to push you over the edge. Another chord here. Offhand, diminished, as if I cared.
Somewhere I still hear the screaming. But it's farther away now, down the canyon, someone else. Moonrise, morning star. Those things are really there, you know. I wasn't just imagining. You realize it finally stops because you erase it. Sand down the sharp edges first, the broken jagged parts sticking into your heart. The image blurs a bit, flickers. Hell, you can't hold it anyway. That's the whole point. It would be quicker if you could just admit it didn't matter. Why hang onto these illusions? Why not get some other ones instead? Why are you so invested in this she said. And me thinking how can you miss someone so bad you never even knew? Hello, hello... distant ship smoke etc, nothing comfortable about it. Probably because I did it straight no chaser. My way way more Vicious than Sinatra. So I like his voice, she said, so what. The final fuck you moment.
I woke up halfway through the movie. The pain is gone I was thinking, the first line of something. Only a familiar ache where the agony was. It's a kind of gratitude, don't get me wrong. A kind of almost joy. That those who have not found their breath may find it. Echoes of bodhisattva best wishes rattling around in a can. Old dog fully up to his old tricks. A chord for you here, a flash of lightning in a summer cloud. All stolen, all tinker bricolage. The fiddler now steps to the road, pennywhistles from high windows, something about Juarez. You can't feel it and say it at the same time, that's the problem. Or maybe you can. But that was my problem. Too close to the flame, the strings too hot to touch. Let me stand.
Next to your fire nothing burned so bright. But I knew that was bullshit even then. You were nothing that I didn't make you. Love me for who I am you said, sort of, maybe would have said had it occurred to you. But who you were seemed so much less than who you might have been. I can understand fear. I can understand confusion. Betrayal though, that's something else. Cowardice. Look into my eyes, read my lips: screw forgiveness. You only get the one chance to step up. Illusion or not, here I come. You have to believe it's worth the candle.
Pathological is just a more social way of saying too intense. The candle is worth too much. The candle is burning at both ends. The wind is freshening. The moon is rising through the clouds. You know this could go on forever if you don't let go. But you also know that if you do let go, that's the end of forever. Which happens anyway soon enough. I took a ride on you is all, long as I could make it last. And I thought one day I'd tell you what it was like, how it felt to lose everything. Here I am one day tonight, dropping guitar chords down a well, writing lyrics inside upside down around the beat, the bend, the riverrun past Eve and Adam, baby. Can't you hear me knockin? Nothing to recant.