semi charmed life

You can feel physically uplifted by a forgotten pop song you’re extremely fond of.  It’s like somebody hauling you up under your arms or giving your pillow a good plumping.  You’re suddenly elevated and feel more capable of handling life and all the crap that comes with it: cars, garages, work, getting paid, legal action, finding a new doctor, arranging a dentist appointment.  Yes life, I can take you.

The song was Semi Charmed Life by Third Eye Blind.  It probably remains their biggest mainstream hit, though I know relatively little about the band, their back catalogue or current status.  It was on the one album of theirs I own, which lives on my middle iPod (iPods being my children), which was taken to football for fear of the theft of the newest – the pain of which would be inconceivable.

It had been a mostly crap week up until that afternoon.  Midnight on Monday I arrived back into the airport car park and a flat tyre.  I pumped it up and nervously ferried it down the motorway.  The next day Garage 1 discovered a litany of other faults amounting to 450 pounds.  With more work needing doing I took it to a recommended Garage 2, who said Garage 1 had messed up and I’d need to return it there after they’d completed 200 more pounds’ worth of work.  Meantime it was dawning on me that the chances of retrieving 700 pounds from a dodgy prospective landlord had grown evermore dim.

But SCL’s chorus yelled and guitars riffed: I’d perversely enjoyed our football team’s predictable 4-0 defeat – having played reasonably and commanded convincingly (I told my team-mates to be positive, keep their heads up, I berated our goalkeeper for saying “what’s the point?” – delicious ironies ahoy), it was a pleasant autumnal day for walking through the park – given that I was without a car, this tremendous, resilient song was playing in my ears, work wasn’t going badly, and I’d had a strangely heartening meeting with my mother the day before.

My mother is a rather underdeveloped for her years, self-consciously and heartbreakingly undereducated, hugely sensitive, never quite on the pulse around my brother, father and I.  My brother thinks she should be protected from anything that might unnecessarily concern her: ie. Me.

The day before she had visited and we’d had an unusually candid discussion over lunch about life and status.  I possibly over-disclosed the difficulty of seeming to take jab after jab (redundancy, business worries, landlord scamsters, car problems) alone, without any sort of domestic back up and not many friends.  She alluded to how difficult it is to get close when I’m so fiercely independent.  She offered any financial support I might need, because after all my brother has had plenty with his wedding and the kids, and she didn’t see why one should have all that when the other..  I waved it away.  Her eyes grew glassy and watery over the restaurant table and I could feel myself wobbling too, moved in an inexplicable way, yet also feeling foolish at my self-pity.  It wasn’t like I was terribly impoverished or seriously ill (get well soon Danny Baker), or lost a loved one.  We remembered where we were.  My own glassy eyes produced nothing beyond the film; she only leaked a single drop, wiped away from under her spectacles without comment.  We changed the subject.

The belting bridge of Semi Charmed Life made me want to air guitar as I approached a throng of about seven young to middle aged people walking along the leafy path towards me.  I felt able, like I could do life.  A lady in the middle of the approaching pack dropped a glove.  It flopped unnoticed through a thick winter coat she was carrying because it was slightly too warm to wear.  “Excuse me,” I stopped the group, picked up the glove and handed it back, “you dropped this.”  The lady accepted it with thanks and I walked on, only a brief pause to my stride.

SEE WORLD?!  I floated on a crest of positive karma out of the park to the track’s dying final chords, I’m a generally decent sort of person!   I can take you.


4 Responses to semi charmed life

  1. Blonde says:

    Plenty of time for titsupness to happen, but thank you. Here’s hoping.

  2. Pingback: empty nests « Boshsuckled

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