Song Of The Day 3/27/2017: The Divine Comedy – “Charmed Life”
The Final 3
A guy’s gotta have his priorities.
We played eight rounds. All inside our house, which is comparatively small. Lately I’ve been getting trickier, hiding myself under blankets on the bed, or standing like a statue in the corner of the living room with my coat draped over my head.
Johnny’s getting better too, but I still can find him pretty quickly, because he can’t keep himself from laughing. Every time he’s “it,” he laughs while I’m seeking him. I can tell where he’s hiding by following that laugh.
I’ve tried to educate him on the time-honored strategies of hide-and-seek, principal among them being “If you laugh, they’re probably going to find you.”
But he can’t help himself. He laughs. And then the onus is on me to make my discovery of him that much more drawn out and elongated—because that him laugh even harder.
“John, you realize your laughing all the time makes it a snap to find you, right?”
And then he screams with laughter.
I don’t scream, but I sure do laugh.
Meanwhile, Hank is being a superhero.
It’s usually not a good idea to interrupt Hank when he’s being a superhero.
I realize our superhero culture has gone through several evolutions since I was a kid, and that they’re not the perfect moral champions they used to be. They’re more complicated now. Still, I would think, if you’re going to be a superhero you might consider working on your patience in the face of changing plans.
But Hank’s got his own way of doing things. For a long time he just acted out every physical impulse he used to have without a lot of commentary. He didn’t like extraneous words. Even now he tends to prefer linguistic economy, not stilted over-phrasings like… well, like “linguistic economy” and “stilted over-phrasings.”
Lately, though, I’ve noticed him thinking things through, and verbalizing them a little bit more. I think he figured out that, for the most part, this is a family that likes its words.
When he’s being a superhero, running in from the kitchen to stop a global threat that’s lying in sinister wait in the living room, I lay off the advice. Maybe superheroes aren’t as monolithic and impenetrable as they were in my time. But they still get things done.
Someday, Hank, you’re gonna pull all this together. It’ll be a whirlwind. And then no one will stop you.
Meanwhile, Lucie’s in her room, where she is most of the time.
There are weekends when we don’t hear a peep from her except for mealtimes. I’ve looked this up on webMD and found they call this condition “being 12.”
I hear it’s hard for a lot of parents to let go of their earliest impressions of their children. Lucie was pretty much the gold standard for babies when she was one. “An advertisement for childhood,” Kate would say. She was playful, communicative and interested in everything that crossed her plane of vision.
So now she’s a bit of a hibernator. I might be more concerned about it if I didn’t know what she was doing half the time, which is listening to music. That worked okay for me. I figured I’d let her develop that with less supervision than I got. She’s always free to ask me any questions about the more, well, questionable material.
But I think she can handle it. She’s gotten incredibly literate, in a street-smart way, and I haven’t been monitoring it that closely. It’s almost happened on its own.
Her favorite artists, right now, are Macklemore & Ryan Lewis and Nirvana. I’m very pleased about that. Not so much because of how I feel about the artists’ work, but because they cover such a wide range. She’s interested in the variety.
I do note that she’s sticking close to home with those artists, though. She loves Seattle. I think. She doesn’t say so. But the city’s name is on half the clothes she wears. Or so it seems.
Don’t laugh, but for years I felt like I’d be the torch-bearer of art in the Pearson bloodline. I’m sort of relieved now in believing Lucie’s taken that role over. And she might not even have to do karaoke to prove herself.
Meanwhile, Kate is in the other room writing.
I’m jealous of her work ethic. She has these poster boards. They’ve got Post-Its all over them.
I love those notes. I don’t even know what’s on them. I haven’t taken a close look. I’m not sure it would mean anything to me anyway. I’m just happy about their presence in the house where I live, knowing they’re there and that things are being created in this room.
Kate's writing process reminds me of this quote from Tom Waits—also from Bill Flanagan’s Written In My Soul: “When you’re writing, your life is like an aquarium. Some things float and some things don’t. Some things breathe and some drown. Some look better and some worse. That’s the moment I know I’m writing—when I’ve filled the room with water.”
Luckily we have flood insurance.
It was hard to imagine back in the early days, fourteen years ago, when we were both going through our respective “things,” that there would be a point where life would be normal. But it’s pretty damn normal. The noises in our heads have stopped. Or turned themselves down enough so we can appreciate what we have, like those inspirational pamphlets say we need to do.
Well, you know, sometimes those pamphlets aren’t wrong.
Meanwhile, I’m writing this.
Earlier tonight I commenced working on a script for the sequel to Sincerely Yours, Sunbrite.
Later on this week I’m going to be listening to an old favorite album of mine and taking notes for a podcast I’m participating in. I’m going to take lots of notes.
Then I have to get back in touch with an interview subject I spoke at length with recently, because I have some follow-up questions.
I’m getting Facebook messages from my KPP partners about April’s karaoke theme. This is very crucial stuff that we have to arrange in advance. There are no accidents.
I’m also editing an episode of Star Time and sending it out mid-week. I have some voice-over matters to edit in.
My professional life is in a bit of chaos at the moment. I’m not fearful about it, but I’m going to have to have some sort of plan after mid-April.
Looks like I’ll be able to squeeze in an episode of The Path before I go to bed tonight. The third this weekend.
And I’ll probably listen to some music before I turn in.
I know that this is a charmed life.