I’m spending this final
Song Lyric Sunday
of 2016, talking about a song that explains something about me.
What best describes me this time of year?
Well, this one is a part of a Christmas from my past, my childhood, which is part of a bigger picture of myself.
The memoir I’ve wanted to write for a long time had certain songs ingrained in the narrative, as so many feelings at specific moments of my life define where I was at various stages of growth and development through the years, filtered through the truths of song lyrics.
This one denotes a Christmas, twenty years ago, one where I was ill and had been for months by December, 1996, on kidney dialysis for six months by that time.
A long December and there’s reason to believe Maybe this year will be better than the last
I can’t remember the last thing that you said as you were leavin’ Now the days go by so fast
And it’s one more day up in the canyons And it’s one more night in Hollywood If you think that I could be forgiven…I wish you would
The smell of hospitals in winter And the feeling that it’s all a lot of oysters, but no pearls
All at once you look across a crowded room To see the way that light attaches to a girl
And it’s one more day up in the canyons And it’s one more night in Hollywood If you think you might come to California…I think you should
Drove up to Hillside Manor sometime after two a.m. And talked a little while about the year
I guess the winter makes you laugh a little slower, Makes you talk a little lower about the things you could not show her
And it’s been a long December and there’s reason to believe Maybe this year will be better than the last
I can’t remember all the times I tried to tell my myself To hold on to these moments as they pass
And it’s one more day up in the canyon And it’s one more night in Hollywood It’s been so long since I’ve seen the ocean…I guess I should
“The smell of hospitals in winter. And the feeling that it’s all a lot of oysters, but no pearls,” stands out strongly from the rest of the lyrics, but a long long December/year for sure was how it felt.
All that year I had felt like crap and had felt unheard by doctors and a world who didn’t understand, but frankly, neither did I, for a long time before I received a proper diagnosis.
I heard this song on repeat, a big radio hit at the time, driving back and forth to the hospital and by December, 1996 I was ready for that particular year to come to an end, but the song and the memories would always stay with me.
My luck had been bad and I could only hope for a much improved 1997 and beyond.
This song is a snapshot of me at age twelve and it’s only so poignant because I can look back now, some twenty years onward, from that sick girl I was, to the woman I am now.
Sometimes life feels like things will never be better, like we’re destined to always suffer with something, but time does reveal how that can change.