Thursday, January 20, 2011

Baby, We All Gotta Go Down

She was at a concert - for a band she'd be embarrassed
to own up to - and she was not enjoying herself either,
when suddenly a song caught her ear, a boisterious
song, Baby, We All Gotta Go Down, and she immediately
started to cry. 

The old men singing it on stage did not appeal to her,
and she could not understand why it made her so emotional.
She could not shake the song from her memory, and again
it made her cry for something lost she could not name.
She bought an old vinyl disc of another band playing the
song, and since she had no other way to play it she took
it to her mother's house and played it there on her antiquated
turn table.

Her mother wasn't at home, and her father had been gone
for years, so the house was empty when she arrived. 
She went straight to the turn table without taking off her
coat and could not understand why she was shaking as she
put the record on.

Not wanting to scratch the grooves of the song itself,
she put the record on at the beginning and let it play
to her song, but when the song was finished, she picked
the needle up carefully and placed it precisely at the
right spot, even though her eyes were filled with tears.

It was on the 3rd play that she noticed her mother
standing in the room.  Her mother was crying too.

- Why, the daughter asked, what is it about this

- Do you remember your father?

- Of course not.

He had died before she turned 3.

-Oh, yes you do, answered her mother, he used to
sing this to you everynight at bedtime.  You hated
going to sleep and absolutely refused until he sang
you this, Baby We All Gotta Go Down.  You
wouldn't let me sing it after he died, and you lay
awake for hours with a dim hall light on,
refusing sleep.

The daughter looked up out the window: part of
the landscape was missing; it had grown dark,
and what was missing comforted her.

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