Posted in yesterday. today. tomorrow.

the faces that pass in the hallways

now playing: julie miller, “ride the wind with me”

man…

have i ever been one uninspired dude this week.

not for the lack of crap flying around the inside of my head, though…

inasmuch as this week has been concerned, it’s essentially been a weeklong wait for the week to be over. not terribly optimistic, i know, but true nonetheless.

i’ve started entries several times, but haven’t been able to focus to the extent that i need to in order to meet my own standards for what gets posted here, so i’ve essentially killed them off before investing too much time in them.

i guess that’s been a combination of a lack of both motivation and inspiration, where this space is concerned.

i think i’m in need of some solitary downtime. seriously.

i think i’m feeling that more because i was expecting quite a bit of it, in the absence of my perpetual domestic companion – i thought that while wendy was away, alone time would be a lot more plentiful than it’s been, but there hasn’t been much of it. wednesday was the only day thus far that i’ve had totally to myself, and that day was less than productive as a result of the way i spent it. since then, the only night i’ve really had to myself was monday night – when i was supposed to be at rehearsal but instead, i spent the night chasing after tires for the van…then, upon getting that situation straightened out, i ended up falling asleep on the sofa…

i think i talked about this already, didn’t i? joss stone at 2:30 in the morning?

yeah, it’s all coming back to me now.

i have gotten some things done this week, though…i did go through a lot of the crap that’s been sitting untended in the office area of the house. i threw out a ton of stuff that never should have followed us to the new house, and it’s actually possible to walk through that room now without having to consider your steps too thoughtfully.

dylan’s PC and the laptop are on the kitchen table, and jayda’s will be rejoining it soon, since there still seems to be a problem with her machine detecting the CDRW drive when it boots up….i still need to get through those, plus todd’s machine, plus my own, over the course of this coming weekend. plus, i have a ton of stuff i want to take to keith’s on saturday, too. i’m still holding out some semblance of hope that jeff crater will follow through on that house call he’d promised me this week so i can get the studio squared away…it’s a mess right now.

my priorities for the weekend are relatively simple – get the computer situation squared away, hopefully be able to do some basement work, and finish moving useless shit into the attic, where it belongs. after that, it’s all icing. this is, of course, provided that i’m somehow able to transcend my usual ability to still have a list at the end of the week.

something amazing happened last night, though…my son actually sat and did his homework in front of the television. without any prodding to focus. i was considerably impressed.

i picked him up after i got home from work, we went to loew’s to pick up lumber to make reinforcement slats for jayda’s bed (one of them keeps popping out, sending the head of her bed crashing to the floor…the other night, she just left it that way and slept with her feet in the air for the night. she’s a goof)…we then stopped at arby’s for strawberry shakes and went home, where dylan got out his homework and parked himself on the sofa and cracked into it.

it was just dylan and i last night…and i think he craves that kind of downtime as much as i do. for one thing, i never encounter the anger issues with him that his mother reports to me on a constant basis. when i ask him to do something or meet one of his responsibilities, there are never any whimpers or negotiations…for the most part, his behavior is perfect when he’s around.

but then i hear the stories about how he behaves at his mother’s house, it doesn’t even sound like the same kid to me. jayda has pointed this out a number of times, too, but it tends to fall on deaf ears within the circles where she brings it up.

i’m thinking, lately, that classmates.com must be undergoing a growth spurt…either that, or a whole lotta folks from central high school have gotten computers lately…whereas i used to get maybe an email a month from them telling me that i had new classmates, i’ve gotten an assload of them in the past couple of weeks…i’m not sure when she showed up, but my Class of ’83 Crush finally signed up….

Kelly Finch.

she’s kelly something-else now, i can’t remember (i haven’t looked at it since i saw she was on)…she was getting married, though, the summer after we graduated – i do remember that much, but i can’t remember what the guys’ name was (big shock, i’m sure).

i got to know her about as well as i ever would in mr. mcadams’ science class in eighth grade. she sat behind me and to my left, and i had no idea what to say to her to break the ice, so i started drawing a sketch of her…she caught me, and saw what i was trying to do, and smiled at me. she asked if she could see it, and i pulled my chair over to her desk and showed it to her. i don’t remember it being very good – i’d have had to have been pretty damn good at that age to capture her on paper, that’s for sure.

she had all the qualities at that point in time that i came to appreciate in women, both physically and personally – deep, beautiful eyes…a great and easy smile, a shy sort of girl-next-door demeanor…easy to talk to, once i got the nerve up – i remember she was a big cheap trick fan…she didn’t have the typical tennessee accent. i found out from my friend steve anderson that her dad lived in new england, and she went to live with him during the summer, and that’s why her accent wasn’t as pronounced as the other girls i knew.

(as a side note, when i was writing ghost along the road, the first line was originally “you had the greenest eyes i’d seen, you were a vision to behold…”, as a nod to her…but i changed it later in reference to someone i’d had a somewhat more substantial relationship with. it would’ve had to have been a much longer song to have worked her in, unfortunately…)

there was never anything more to develop than a friendly dialogue in science class…we moved on to high school eventually, and after time passed we hardly spoke anymore. i never heard anything through the grapevine about who she dated, if anyone, and she remained an enigma to me the rest of the time i knew her. in tenth grade art class one of the students from another period (the obviously gay brian farley) did an amazing pastel drawing of her that was hanging in our art teachers’ classroom for weeks…he’d captured everything that was so beautiful about her in that drawing, and it used to break my heart to see it every day…a combination of envy that he had been able to capture what i had not, and longing for someone whom i felt was several weight classes out of my league.

our senior year, light years from mr. mcadams’ science class, we had a vocational office education class together. i still didn’t talk to her much, but my heart had moved on and taken up residence elsewhere (in an equally insane one-sided, unrequited, “my best friends’ girlfriend” situation), and it didn’t feel so intimidating to talk to her anymore. and when she told me that she was getting married, i gave her a big hug and told her that her boyfriend was a lucky guy…and i never spoke to her again.

there aren’t any songs attached to her, no specific “triggers” that automatically bring her to mind…because i never managed to get close enough to her to establish any of those things. but i can still see her face as clear as day, the way she looked sitting at her desk in mr. mcadams’ classroom…and that’s been almost twenty five years ago.

the only other serious “crush” i remember to this day was sharon cummings. now that i’m allowing myself to give this some space to think about it, she was a lot like kelly…but her features were somewhat darker. actually, she looked a lot…a lot…like beth cherry – she had a subdued demeanor and a natural beauty that hinted at something under the surface that would require some effort to reach.

she and her sister regina used to work at a hamburger stand in my hometown called the mug and cone, and i used to walk there with melody (the aformentioned girlfriend of my buddy tommy yarbrough, who lived just across the street from me) – melody was a freshman at freed-hardeman college, and i’d go there with her under the pretense of studying just to be bear sharon, because i thought she was so amazing. in retrospect, i’m not so sure what it was that gave me that indication…but then when you’re that age, i’m not so certain you’re at your most clear-headed demeanor about such things. also in retrospect – probably not a good idea to constantly go into Crush’s place of employment in the company of other women if you’re interested in conveying interest.

(insert chris-farleyesque slapping of head here, simultaneously repeat the word “stOOOpid!” over and over…)

i’m not sure how much i want to say about melody – she’s blog-aware and she knows where to find me…actually, at some point, i’ll probably give that some thought here as well…but for some reason, kelly finch’s face won’t get out of my head today.

tomorrow is up for grabs, though, i’m sure.

this, my sporadic friends, is a snapshot of my brain these past few weeks or so. i don’t know where this shit comes from, but it pops up, and it comes back with just this kind of clarity, and sometimes i’m able to chew on it and take it in, and other times i’m so scattered that it flies around my head long enough to flash before my eyes and then it’s gone. plus, the friggin’ sundance channel is trying to drive me over the nostalgia cliff this past month…after the tom dowd biography the other night, they followed that up with standing in the shadows of motown this week…

you guys are killin’ me.

keepin’ me up nights, too.

…i don’t know how many times i’ll have to say out loud that we long ago turned a very sad corner in music until i’m satisfied that i’ve made my point.

but i digress…

i guess my nerve endings are pretty close to the surface of my skin right now. i don’t know where all this is coming from. my past seems to be on the offensive right now.

curse you, classmates.com! curse you!

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Author:

tom is a personally and politically malcontent musician, songwriter, sideman and session cat living in East Nashville, Tennessee.

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