It’s been awhile since I’ve written something. Anything. Anything other than a simple Facebook post. “What does it take,” I ask myself, “to see the light?” Silence. Crickets, as a cynic might remark. Even from these lead sentences I’m reminded of a few song titles and the name of a 50s rock ‘n’ roll band. That’s my brain at work. A few words overheard in conversation, not necessarily even involving me, are enough to cause a song thought. A tune bubble. Perhaps not always, but more often than not.
So, how do I respond to this musical word association game habitually playing out in my head? I try to write about it. There’s one problem, though. (Only one?) The song thoughts swirling around inside my skull are fleeting. The speed with which they stream through my consciousness make it nearly impossible to capture them on a page, stiffened fingers tapping on a keyboard, hesitating as auto-correct either fulfills creation of an anticipated word, or makes mincemeat of a particular thought attempting to be conveyed. It’s happening now. Welcome to my nightmare.
I’ve tried voice recorders. But then I’m forced to listen to myself ramble on about whatever nonsense I’m talking about. Then comes the inevitable pause. A long pause. An eighteen-minute gap of a pause. I’ve lost my train of thought. It’s almost laughable. As Dylan said, “It takes a lot to laugh, it takes a train to cry.” See? There, I’ve said it again. Help! Stop the world and let me off.
On second thought, don’t ever let it stop.
That playlist in my head:
- It’s been awhile
Staind, from Break the Cycle (Elektra) 2001
- I saw the light
Todd Rundgren, from Something/Anything? (Bearsville) 1972
- What does it take (to win your love)?
Junior Walker and the All-Stars, single (Tamla Motown) 1969
- Silence is golden
The Tremoloes, single (Epic) 1967
- Welcome to my nightmare
Alice Cooper, from Welcome To My Nightmare (Atlantic) 1975
- Ramble on
Led Zeppelin, from Led Zeppelin II (Atlantic) 1969
- It takes a lot to laugh, it takes a train to cry
Bob Dylan, from Highway 61 Revisited (Columbia) 1965
- There I’ve said it again
Bobby Vinton, single (Epic) 1963
The Beatles, live, 1965
- Stop the world and let me off
Patsy Cline, from Patsy Cline’s Golden Hits (Everest) 1962