A Child That's Grown Old

I’m on the N train heading to Manhattan from Bay Ridge and there’s a fat Mexican baby in a dull red stroller. She is screaming her heart out. I’m trying to read an article in New York magazine recommended to me by a co-worker, but I don’t think I’ll make it to the end. I’ve read enough about addiction to know how ugly it can be; I don’t want to live through it again.

In any case, my own thoughts are fighting against the words on the page. A few days ago I wrote, “Children need to love their parents in order to better love themselves.” Today, I wonder if it works another way. When I was a child, I resented having to take care of myself, resented having to be mature. Now, I’m old enough to accept it, and maybe I should do more. Maybe parents need to know their children love them.

The moment I think this, I wonder if I’m falling into a trap.

The fat Mexican baby is still crying when we enter the sunlight and cross the bridge into Manhattan. The red brick homes are covered in so much graffiti. In my mind, I’m singing John Prine’s “Angel From Montgomery.”

I am an old woman named after my mother
My old man is another child that’s grown old
If dreams were lightning and thunder was desire
This old house would’ve burnt down a long time ago

Thanks to 1000Magicians.

rvance's picture

Along with the excitement of The Talking Heads, David Bowie, The Tubes, and myriad other '70's culture hip music icons was this quiet voice just tearing our hearts out with his songs from the American heartland. You'd put John Prine on the turntable, drop the needle and time would stand still. Breathing would become deliberate, disconnected from your autonomous nervous system. Your soul would swell in your skin, push out your pores and join the vast racial memory of wounded humankind. Any presumed sophistication and cynicism that shielded you from the low brow So-Cal masses would give way to a deeper love and understanding of our innate brotherhood. Bob Marley had the same powerful effect, but John Prine was so subversive with his country twang. My eyes still well when I listen: "So if you're walking down the street sometimeAnd spot some hollow ancient eyes,Please don't just pass 'em by and stareAs if you didn't care, say, Hello in there, hello."

smittyman's picture

What a brilliant debut. So many good songs, some to tear out your heart, some to make you smile and laugh out loud. Although I love "Paradise", I think my favourite lines are from "Far From Me"."You know she still laughs with me, but she takes just a second too long.""Ain't it funny how an old broken bottle looks just like a diamond ring.""I wished for once I weren't right""A question ain't really a question when you know the answer too."Actually the whole damn song is one of the best break up songs ever. Oddly, my wife's name is Cathy. But we've been together for 34 years.

KBK's picture

Yep, it's the other way around. Ego causes externalization, the core reason why organized and corporatized religion will accept no other god but that which is external, as it plays to people's physical origins of the ego structure (bodily created emotional structures created in childhood) and maintains the religion's power and vampiric influence - via never actually releasing the people from their pain.In the real world, we forgive ourselves first, and then we can explore the ego construct and then understand and forgive our parents. And eventually, forgive the rest of the world, in thisact of healing ourselves. Or main problem after that, is our human interactives will take place through the ego structure, so the system is constantly trying to maintain it's existence and stability within you. If you drop your ego, this will frighten/confuse other beings as ego is a reflection/difference. It is a slow process, the clearing of the self. Problems allow clearing - be happy to have issues to work through!!

buddha's picture

Strolling down the highway with my shoes in my hand

I don't talk much I'm a quiet man

Beauty and silence both run deep

And I'm running like crazy while you are asleep...

Prine is just finishing a tour...not sure if he's already been your way or yet to arrive.

smittyman's picture

In that case George, you might prefer Illegal Smile.

rvance's picture

GEORGE, Apparently, you don't listen or you wouldn't make such irrelevant comments. Or you did listen and you're just profoundly clueless. Either way, thanks for reaffirming my faith in humanity. Think what you could do for your own species.

Nick's picture

He did this duet with Lucinda Williams; "Wedding Bells". What a beautiful song. George is funny.