Angel From Montgomery and Me

 

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from Max Res

If you have no idea what Angel From Montgomery is, then that’s your fault, not mine.

PART ONE: German Chocolate Cake 

So. It’s that day. That day. That horrible day that comes around once a year. No, not Christmas! Birthday. Yes, moi is a Gemini. [That’s, apparently and allegedly, why I’m batshit crazy and scary shallow and a writer. Yep.] My mother once brought home a birthday cake with cracked frosting that she’d bought in the markdown bin, a German Chocolate cake, at that. Which is not a cake I even like, as my very very Norwegian grandmother [who made them for my German grandpa…] made them all the time and it was a cake that was for every day consumption. That’s pretty petty, but I am a Gemini. I’ve had people in my family die on my birthday. I’ve had relatives, including my own daddy, get hurt enough to have to go to the ER, on my birthday. I’ve spent this day curled up in a fetal position praying to make it through to twilight. I just breathe a sigh of relief when June 18th is over. When it’s just a day and I had some cake, a cake I’ve made, usually and nothing happens.

Part Two: Subject Change–

I listened to that song a couple days ago. Yes, it’s a song. Bonnie Raitt and her smoky yet clear voice, John Prine. Yeah. This is the song I pull up when I’m staring at rock bottom and thinking, well, not thinking at all, that maybe today. Maybe today. And listening to a lifetime compressed into about five minutes…somehow provides an antidote to the poisons that infect me. I won’t delve into this, nobody cares. Depression gets you an eyeroll and an earnest “Have you tried thinking happy thoughts and being positive?” Yeah. And hey, my writing is filled with angst, sighs, moans, groans, suffering and death. Occasionally I write Facebook posts about making bread. Balance, ya’ll.

Part Three: Lyrics by John Prine

It’s gorgeous here today. The doves have hatched a single baby. The people protesting Julius Caesar have never bothered to read it…and–

I am an old woman
Named after my mother
My old man is another
Child who’s grown old

If dreams were thunder
And lightning was desire
This old house would’ve burned down
A long time ago

Make me an angel
That flies from Montgomery
Make me a poster
Of an old rodeo
Just give me one thing
That I can hold on to
To believe in this livin’
Is just a hard way to go

When I was a young girl
I had me a cowboy
He wasn’t much to look at
Just a free ramblin’ man
But that was a long time
And no matter how I tried
The years they just rolled by
Like a broken down dam

Make me an angel
That flies from Montgomery
Make me a poster
Of an old rodeo
Just give me one thing
That I can hold on to
To believe in this livin’
Is just a hard way to go

There’s flies in the kitchen
I can hear them there buzzin’
And I ain’t done nothing since I woke up today
But how the hell can a person
Go on to work in the morning
Come home in the evening
And have nothing to say

Make me an angel
That flies from Montgomery
Make me a poster
Of an old rodeo
Just give me one thing
That I can hold on to
To believe in this livin’
Is just a hard way to go

John Prine, from self-titled 1971 album– John Prine.

 

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