Thursday, September 15, 2011


Bob Dylan was a confused young man who did a lot of drinking and drugging and sexing and then one day he met Sara. He loved her so much he gave up that part of his life and made a home with her. He wrote this song for her:

With your mercury mouth in the missionary times,
And your eyes like smoke and your prayers like rhymes,
And your silver cross, and your voice like chimes,
Oh, who among them do they think could bury you?
With your pockets well protected at last,
And your streetcar visions which you place on the grass,
And your flesh like silk, and your face like glass,
Who among them do they think could carry you?
Sad-eyed lady of the lowlands,
Where the sad-eyed prophet says that no man comes,
My warehouse eyes, my Arabian drums,
Should I leave them by your gate,
Or, sad-eyed lady, should I wait?

With your sheets like metal and your belt like lace,
And your deck of cards missing the jack and the ace,
And your basement clothes and your hollow face,
Who among them can think he could outguess you?
With your silhouette when the sunlight dims
Into your eyes where the moonlight swims,
And your match-book songs and your gypsy hymns,
Who among them would try to impress you?
Sad-eyed lady of the lowlands,
Where the sad-eyed prophet says that no man comes,
My warehouse eyes, my Arabian drums,
Should I leave them by your gate,
Or, sad-eyed lady, should I wait?

The kings of Tyrus with their convict list
Are waiting in line for their geranium kiss,
And you wouldn't know it would happen like this,
But who among them really wants just to kiss you?
With your childhood flames on your midnight rug,
And your Spanish manners and your mother's drugs,
And your cowboy mouth and your curfew plugs,
Who among them do you think could resist you?
Sad-eyed lady of the lowlands,
Where the sad-eyed prophet says that no man comes,
My warehouse eyes, my Arabian drums,
Should I leave them by your gate,
Or, sad-eyed lady, should I wait?

Oh, the farmers and the businessmen, they all did decide
To show you the dead angels that they used to hide.
But why did they pick you to sympathize with their side?
Oh, how could they ever mistake you?
They wished you'd accepted the blame for the farm,
But with the sea at your feet and the phony false alarm,
And with the child of a hoodlum wrapped up in your arms,
How could they ever, ever persuade you?
Sad-eyed lady of the lowlands,
Where the sad-eyed prophet says that no man comes,
My warehouse eyes, my Arabian drums,
Should I leave them by your gate,
Or, sad-eyed lady, should I wait?

With your sheet-metal memory of Cannery Row,
And your magazine-husband who one day just had to go,
And your gentleness now, which you just can't help but show,
Who among them do you think would employ you?
Now you stand with your thief, you're on his parole
With your holy medallion which your fingertips fold,
And your saintlike face and your ghostlike soul,
Oh, who among them do you think could destroy you
Sad-eyed lady of the lowlands,
Where the sad-eyed prophet says that no man comes,
My warehouse eyes, my Arabian drums,
Should I leave them by your gate,
Or, sad-eyed lady, should I wait?

They loved each other very passionately and fiercely which we all know results in some fighting and making up. He went back on tour and left her and how ever many children they had with promises of a clean life on the road and returning to her the same sane good man. He never came home. He started up with the same lifestyle and told her horrible things late in the evenings when she finally could get him on the phone. He wasn't coming home.

He got in a horrible, horrible motorcycle accident and Sara rushed to his side. Some people might think she was idiotic, I think she was brave. She nursed him back to health and they had more children and more idyllic years together in their charming home in Woodstock NY. Then he went on the road again and he didn't come home again. This time she followed him and confronted him. He agreed to let her out on the road with him.

The drank and fought and were messy and unhappy. Sara returned home and he said he didn't want to be with her ever again, he was never coming home. He hated her. She told everyone, even her children that he was never coming home again. Then he came home. She relented and said just one more time. Then he wrote this for her:

I laid on a dune I looked at the sky
When the children were babies and played on the beach
You came up behind me, I saw you go by
You were always so close and still within reach.

Sara, Sara
Whatever made you want to change your mind
Sara, Sara
So easy to look at, so hard to define.

I can still see them playing with their pails in the sand
They run to the water their buckets to fill
I can still see the shells falling out of their hands
As they follow each other back up the hill.

Sara, Sara
Sweet virgin angel, sweet love of my life
Sara, Sara
Radiant jewel, mystical wife.

Sleeping in the woods by a fire in the night
Drinking white rum in a Portugal bar
Them playing leapfrog and hearing about Snow White
You in the marketplace in Savanna-la-Mar.

Sara, Sara
It's all so clear, I could never forget
Sara, Sara
Loving you is the one thing I'll never regret.

I can still hear the sounds of those Methodist bells
I'd taken the cure and had just gotten through
Staying up for day in the Chelsea Hotel
Writing "Sad-Eyed Lady of the Lowlands" for you.

Sara, Sara
Wherever we travel we're never apart
Sara, Sara
Beautiful lady, so dear to my heart.
How did I meet you ? I don't know
A messenger sent me in a tropical storm
You were there in the winter, moonlight on the snow
And on Lily Pond Lane when the weather was warm.

Sara, Sara
Scorpio Sphinx in a calico dress
Sara, Sara
You must forgive me my unworthiness.

Now the beach is deserted except for some kelp
And a piece of an old ship that lies on the shore
You always responded when I needed your help
You gimme a map and a key to your door.

Sara, Sara
Glamorous nymph with an arrow and bow
Sara, Sara
Don't ever leave me, don't ever go.

Of course he did it to her again, but this time she didn't let him come home. Why this time? What made it different? Did he wear her down? Was he prone to self destruction and she just got in his way? What if he had stopped drinking and carousing? Maybe she wasn't as good and wonderful as I just made her seem and did wretched things to him so he did wretched things back. We'll never know.

I do know that I love those songs. I know that he loved her and she loved him. That they made a happy home and cherished each other. That addiction is horrid and a menace. That nothing is ever simple and things are always changing. People are always changing and then changing again. There is no end and you just have to try and try again. Again and again and again.

You need something to open up a new door, to show you something you seen before but overlooked a hundred times or more. -Bob Dylan

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

My Garbage Gnome

Over the years of blogging, networking and making friends a few people have mentioned that I have nice skin. I'm pretty sure that totally and completely jinxed me because around the time of my 30th birthday I started getting zits all over my face. I've tried a bunch of different shit and it seems like nothing works.

There's this avocado mask thingy though that doesn't really get rid of my zits but does make my skin feel very soft, so about 30 minutes before I take a shower I apply the mask and then my kids all go crazy about how funny I look with green shit all over my face. It never gets old for them either. I only shower a couple times a week, so maybe that's why it remains hilarious.

Regardless, last night I applied the mask, sat and talked with Jeremiah for a bit, withstood the children's taunts and then locked the door behind Jeremiah when he left to go skate. I settled the kids into Olive's room with the Wii and apples, got my favorite towel out, undressed and got ready to start the shower. There are two large tall windows in our bathroom facing the street and something behind the blind caught my attention.

Jeremiah had put the garbage out the night before but because of the holiday the garbage collectors were running a day late. A white minivan was crookedly parked in front of our garbage and inside the minivan I could see many, many garbage bags filling the interior.

"What the fuck!" I was kind of startled and ran into my room to grab my robe. Back in the bathroom I peek out the window again and now found the driver of this trash laden minivan going through our trash cans. The perpetrator's appearance was almost as shocking as her actions; heavy and wearing a plum purple sweatsuit, brown hair in a perfect bowl cut, of an indeterminable age somewhere above age 35 and one arm and hand much smaller than the other. I stared in wonder as she began to actually tear open bags and pull out trash.

I don't know if this is exclusive to families with children, but our trash is freaking disgusting. Maxine still wets the bed and there are often urine soaked pull ups in the trash, not to mention Jeremiah's recent sardine fetish and Elijah's recent stomach flu which resulted in two shopping bags full of vomit. And this lady is ripping open these bags and sticking her hand into them.

I could not rip myself from the window but felt I should do something. My avocado green face mask and threadbare robe (which I've had since Rosey's birth 11 years ago) made it impossible to go out and confront my Garbage Gnome. And yes, I very well could have put some clothes on and went out anyways but I am most assuredly a coward.

Instead I called our neighbor and buddy Donnie to go peruse the situation. I see him exit his house and talk to her in low concerned tones. From the window I could see her wipe her mouth with her good hand, the hand that has been rooting through our disgusting filth. Donnie leaves her at it and he calls me a minute later.

The Garbage Gnome has given him a very sad story about how her back was broken, her husband left her and she had no money. She was going around trying to collect cans to hand in for money. She assured him she wasn't an identity thief and he warned her about how potentially dangerous garbage could be. This worry for her was made even more serious by the fact that he espied maggots crawling on her arms. MAGGOTS FROM MY TRASH!

Although I felt some sympathy and at one point even considered running her out some cash, I was still concerned that this was happening. I mean an identity thief wouldn't admit to being one. But my cowardice prevented me from doing anything other than calling my Daddy to tell him what was happening and watching her throw cans into her car madcap. *do not yell at me for not recycling this month, it's a long story*

My Gnome finally finished thoroughly soaking herself with urine and vomit from my garbage and painfully spent another two minutes just getting into her minivan. The car literally lurched off into the distance and I was left with mixed feelings.

She had put the garbage back so it wasn't strewn everywhere, but there were still open garbage bags sitting out in front of our house. I'm pretty sure she wasn't trying to steal information and considering I did see her taking cans kind of confirms this. Also, her minivan was fairly new and in great shape. Except for the mountains of trash inside, of course. This further confused me.

What would you have done? When I told Jeremiah about the incident he half jokingly said I should have called the police.

But then the police officers, my neighbor and the Garbage Gnome would have joined my children in mocking my green face mask and my late onset acne.