Thursday, June 16, 2016

Here You Come Again, And Here I Go


I figured my five days with Ray being out town this past week would be filled with books, boredom and a lot of front porch sitting while eating strawberry fruit bars.

Wrong. 

He left Saturday afternoon and I haven’t gotten a moments rest.

It started Saturday evening when I decided to take my scooter out for a spin to charge the battery. I was cruising down Riverside Drive with the hot humid air blowing my day-glo green shirt behind me (safety first) when I remembered that Dolly was playing at Jack Casino.

I had tried to get tickets but got shut-out, so I figured I’d cruise by the casino and maybe listen to my idol sing a few songs. Probably starts at 8, I imagined.

Wrong again. 

When I found out she didn’t go on until 9, I debated leaving. I needed to eat, plus, I don’t like to drive my scooter at night. Safety first, like I said.

But then all reason when out the window when I found a food truck (jackpot!) and saw everyone lined up to get in to see her. 
Well... maybe I’ll just stay until she plays Jolene.

I was crossing Central Parkway on the Baby Blue Angel when I heard the first of that sweet country lilt of hers. I got so excited I found the first 'spot' where I could park — a non-spot in front of a fire hydrant in a no parking zone. 

We are outlaws, the Baby Blue Angel and me. 

'No Parking Anytime' AND a fire hydrant? Let me pull right in here.

I couldn’t see her through all the barriers Jack puts up to keep freeloaders like me from seeing the artists, but I could hear that angelic voice from heaven as clear as day.  

She sounds like she hasn't aged a day over 27, the age she was in 1973 when she recorded Jolene. 

 
Dolly... soo close, but soo far.

And then, third song in, I’m sitting on a bench across from the casino listening with 50 other freeloaders, when the unmistakable sorcery of Jolene’s chord progression starts. Chills went down my spine, I swear to you. And then I fell into into a music-induced trance for all 2 minutes and 45 seconds of the song.  

It was so much fun and I was having such a great time I thought I’d hang around until she played another song I really like. Since I really like all of them I figured I’d stay for another few songs and head home before it got too dark. It was already coming past dusk at this point and Ray was texting me from Las Vegas that I shouldn’t be riding home in the dark.

Look dude, I’m wearing a day-glo green shirt, I'm the safest thing on two wheels!

But in my head I was morbidly thinking: If it get squished by a car after seeing Dolly, would it be worth it? Not really, but I’m still pumped to be hearing Dolly tell the stories of her songs and sing them to us as though we’re the best audience she’s ever experienced.

About then the acoustic notes of Coat of Many Colors started and suddenly I imagined my life being as rich as it could be in my coat of many colors, tapping my feet on the wooden boards of my old Smoky Mountain front porch. 

Sure, I am almost 30 years younger than Dolly, I have never lived in Tennessee in my life and my momma couldn’t sew me a coat if I were freezing to death, but this is my daydream with Dolly and I’ll live it how I please.    

I heard Banks of the Ohio, Applejack, an American Pie medley, Islands in the Stream, 9 to 5, I Will Always Love You and Do I Ever Cross Your Mind. 

(Do I Ever Cross Your Mind, her staggeringly beautiful trio with Linda Ronstadt and Emmylou Harris, was turned into some kind of a do-wop number with one of her bandmates. Meh, I didn’t love it.) 

The whole time I didn’t see even a wisp of her wig, but I know she was there. And it was quite nice honestly, sitting out in the grass across from the casino by myself, just listening to Dolly. Even Jupiter came out for the occasion.
  

Hello moon. Hello Jupiter.

And the Baby Blue Angel made a friend.

It probably goes without saying from here that I ended up staying for the whole show, darkness be damned. Besides, I keep a high-visibility jacket in my scooter and even though it won’t save my life, it did make me feel better about driving home at 11:30 at night.

Spoiler: I didn’t get hit by car or attacked by a rabid nighttime stray dog. 

The Baby Blue Angel and I sailed home without incident, but I can’t tell you how many times I nearly popped off that thing when I hit bumps or manholes too hard. (They’re impossible to see in the dark until you’re right up on them.)

So, so much for my big boring Saturday night with Ray being gone. I didn’t get to relax on Sunday either because I had a wedding shower to attend followed by another scooter ride with a friend. Between all my activities, plus feeding two cats, watering the flowers and starting a new book, I’ve barely had enough time to sit on the porch and eat fruit bars.

I don’t get any rest.

1 comment:

Victor Roth said...

Living the life...