November 11, 2013

Song Sung Blue

Sunday afternoon. My room was a mountainous topography of laundry. Piles and piles of it. I went on a clothes folding extravaganza. To entertain myself while i tackled it, i watched a documentary about Neil Diamond. It wasn't the best of documentaries yet it took me back, way way back to when i was a small child...

My very first 'favorite song' was 'Song Sung Blue' by Neil Diamond. Mom bought me the single and thus  it was the very first record i owned. I'm guessing i was about 5 and Mom and i had our first little house alone together. Till then we had shared a room in my grandparents house. We had now ventured out on our own and lived in a little cottage at the back of grandma and grandpa's property right in front of a little patch of woods. It was very exciting. The cottage had just 3 small rooms. A bedroom with a built in closet, a bathroom with shower and a combination living-kitchen-dining space. It also had a black naugahyde chair that swiveled around and in our bedroom there was a window across from the bed we shared through which we would watch for falling stars.

She would let me stay up really late and we would watch old horror movies together which i was too young to see, making it all the more thrilling. Frankenstein, Dracula, Phantom of the Opera...

Mom had a really old Ford Falcon that had once probably been some shade of green but now had a mottled mossy matt finish. It also had an AM radio with ivory-colored, jutting knobs to adjust the tuning and volume and push buttons set to local radio stations.

I have a faint memory of a particular drive in that car. We were on our way to visit a friend of mama's in Bay St. Louis. I'm not sure but i think her name was Judy. What i do remember is that she had a huge Raggedy Anne Doll laying on her bed that was even bigger than me. Judy pulled up her dress and showed me the big heart with the words 'I Love You' printed on the dolls chest. It was like being shown someone's secret tattoo.

Along the way, somewhere around Henderson Point, my favorite song came on the radio. There's an old, rickety, short yet high bridge you had to go over at the Point right before crossing over the bay. It's deteriorating concrete slabs no longer fit snuggly and the gabs between them made your car bounce up up and down. While we were crossing that bridge on this particular day we noticed that the car was bouncing to the exact rhythm of the song on the radio.. my favorite song. We just thought that was so neat.

Funny the seemingly small things you remember isn't it? Yet I can still remember how Mom looked to me then, sitting next to me behind the thin steering wheel of that beat up Ford Falcon. Blonde Hair rolled up at the ends hanging just above her shoulders, black liquid eyeliner, gorgeous long legs. The most beautiful woman in the world to me. And we laughed together as we bumped across that bridge singing 'Song Sung Blue'. 

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