Monday, June 12, 2006

The Singing Scooterer

"The sad irony of love is how seldom you feel it/Yet it's all you dream about night and day..."
-Jim White

Maybe I'll get out of bed this week. Maybe I won't. For me, life is more and more like that great Jim White song: "They say it's better to be blessed than it is to be clever but I don't care./'Cause I got 10 miles to go on a 9 mile road and it's a rocky rough road/but I don't care./For life's nothing if not a blind rambling prayer/You keep your head held high a'walking and a'talking/'til the power of Love delivers you there."

During a normal week if you're lucky (or blessed) enough to live in the Como Park area, or anywhere between Minneapolis and St. Paul, you might open up your drapes and windows one morning and happen to hear the warbling of an aging Asian fellow wearing a great big white helmet scooting by your home.

Those familiar with scooter riding know that the A-number one thing to keep in mind at all times is "safety first." Thus no matter how tempting it might be to plug in one's iPod underneath that great big white helmet, ears, hearing, and listening are needed for other things like keeping track of the traffic around you.

To make up for the lack of music, I've taken to singing. Singing my lungs and heart and spleen out. I don't care what looks I get. I don't care if the car next to me is bouncing up and down from the woofers and bass and blaring rap music. I don't care if there's someone standing waiting for a bus that can in all likelihood hear me. Along with my kitty blog, and this weekly column, and little else, singing on my scooter is my outlet, my forum.

My scooter singing song selection isn't varying much these days. I just watched (and re-watched) the musical episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Every time I see it I marvel at how effectively writer Joss Whedon demonstrates the art and power of music by how well he is able to capture the place each and every cast member was at at that point in time in the series' impressive flowing fluid storyline.

My secret wish is that somewhere in the near future some smart and creative and in tune high school drama teacher will choose "Once More with Feeling" as his/her choice for the fall or spring musical stage presentation. I truly believe that the Buffy musical would make one hell of a terrific high school stage show The music is great and the emotion of the story and music ranks right up there with my favorite plays, Oklahoma, The Sound of Music, and West Side Story.

So there I am most mornings scooting down the streets of the Twin Cities, just waiting for an inattentive driver to hit me, and still able to feel a lot of joy and pleasure in all the fresh air and fresh scenes. And I wonder, why is it that I can so relate to Buffy's big songs? In the musical having been pulled by magic down from heaven Buffy is feeling quite dead inside, a feeling only made worse by the cold harsh reality of this world.

"Still I always feel the strangest estrangement/Nothing here is real, nothing here is right..." "I've been going through the motions/Walking through the part/Nothing seems to penetrate my heart..." "I can't even see/If this is really me/And I just want to be alive..."

"Life's a song you don't get to rehearse/and every single verse/can make it that much worse/And still my friends don't know why I ignore/the million things or more/I should be dancing for/All the joy life sends/family and friends/All the twists and bends/Knowing that it ends/Well that depends/on if they let you go..."

I've also featured in my repertoire for my involuntary audience Xander and Anya's risqué retro-ditty (did Rock Hudson and Doris Day ever break into song?) "I'll Never Tell."

"He snores/She wheezes/Say housework and he freezes/She eats these squeazy cheeses that I can't describe/I talk, he breezes/She doesn't know what please is/His penis got diseases from a Shumosh tribe..."

Or how about the relevance of Giles and Tara's duet, "Under Your Spell"?

"Believe me I don't want to go/And it will grieve me because I love you so/But we both know/Wish I could say the right words to lead you through this land..."

It's been a lifelong dream that just once every one around me will break out into song and that life would be like the one I've on occasion witnessed in the dark, on stage with clean resolutions and meanings. Since that doesn't seem to be happening I guess my scooter riding singing will have to suffice. Wouldn't be a kick if once, just once someone would join in the song? If nothing else that spontaneous music would make me feel again and make whatever feelings I should be feeling a shared experience once more.

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