Maybe it was the thought of Joe Cocker's writhing limbs and his raspy voice silenced, or maybe it was the blue sky, the eighty degree day, and the flying down the 101. Maybe it was Sophie playing with the colored beads that hang from my head-rest, playing with them as if on automatic pilot (what, exactly does that mean?), their rustle, how damn long she can do it -- reach for the beads, rustle them together, let them fall through her fingers, reach for the beads, rustle them together, let them fall through her fingers, her pale face, wondering what she'd look like old. She's nineteen years old, got ways like a baby child, sang Muddy Waters. A lover gave me a cassette thirty-two years ago, a love letter on tape. I remember the songs on the cassette, the tiny writing on the slip of paper slid into hard plastic. I don't remember where it went. The tape, the love. I wonder where it is.
Will I be driving her like this when I'm old? Will she be playng with the beads, like this, when she's old? But, here we are, and it's now.
This was then. Traffic's Empty Pages, Arlo Guthrie's Heavenly Shoes, The Byrds' Ballad of an Easy Rider, Van Morrison's Astral Weeks, John Lennon's Oh, Yoko, Roxy Music Smoke Gets in Your Eyes, Muddy Waters' She's Nineteen Years Old.
Reach for the beads, rustle them together, let them fall through your fingers.