So I’m not actually awake while typing this but I want to remember this happened. The TV just woke me up but that’s the end of the story. It’s a strange story that may or may not make sense but I’m afraid if I edit I’ll forget what it felt like.
My boyfriend made me a mix CD but that’s not even part of the story, it’s just cool. So Saturday morning woke up at 0900h in order to have myself together in time to wake up the boys and go to the tennis thing. Jonathan had also set his alarm early (actually it was Jay, but it was Jonathan’s phone). We went back to sleep. I woke up at 0930 and tried to wake up Jay, who half-asleep told me that the whole 1000h thing was a lie concocted to get us all up at a reasonable hour. History does not record my response.
We hung out at Jay’s parents’ house, which I always love to do, and met Toast and the girl. Jay’s mom suggested Jaliscience (it was now about 1200h) and nobody’s brain was working in order to discuss it further. The conversations over lunch were inane and Jonathan and I were both feeling that kind of homesick that you only feel at a place like Jaliscience: some place you’d never think of twice if you lived there, but once there makes you want to cry. We were also hung over. Jay was in a different place and thought we were fighting with each other. Nothing could have been further from the truth.
Just before the food came, the most amazing song I have ever heard came over the jukebox. I looked over three times to memorize the number (we were seated immediately next to the jukebox, which is kind of upsetting when you are that hung over and have not slept to the degree that we had not slept). It was 7804, I think. You can check when you go to Jaliscience of Houston.
When the meal-wide lull in conversation reached a higher-level lull, when the sporadic grunting took a tidal breath, I walked over to the jukebox and started pressing buttons so that I could see the song, album and artist so that I could hear this song one million times. Of course it was currently on disc 4, which meant I had to press the goddamned button (78-4)/2 times to get to my song.
And it was a fucking soundtrack, with that white easy reader jukebox paper over the track listing that just said the title of the song. The album on which the song appeared was the Boogie Nights soundtrack, which I have nearly bought like four times, is by apparently no artist at all, and is called “Something Having To Do With Electromagnetism” (That’s all I ended up remembering, as usual. Andy still makes fun of me for thinking the title of the film Maverick was, in all seriousness, High Stakes Gambling). Anyway, whatever it is called, it is the best song in the universe.
Then Andy Roddick called me “Tiger” and made me feel pretty.
And we drove home and there was gender estrangement at Katy Mills Mall and that same goddamned macchiato bullshit they always pull on me at Starbucks.
Very small. It’s a triple macchiato. It’s like two fingers of coffee.
But like, Tall, or Grande, or …
Very goddamned small.
We’re out of caramel.
But I want a macchiato, though.
What size, sir?
Don’t call me sir. Let me back there, I’ll make it myself.
Get home, finally talk to Ben, finally sleep a little bit.
Joan of Arcadia sucked so much ass, for real. Equal to or greater than the stuttering one.
And Toccara is kicking failure in the butt, what.
Anyway. Wake up with vh1 Classic playing, which is always a sign something has gone awry, but the reason that I wake up is because my sleeping body is reacting violently to hearing the best song in the universe. Not 40 hours later. It’s all very Joan of Arcadia. Magic is so magical.
I wake up a bit more and get the specs on in time to see that it is by Walter Egan, and is called “Magnet & Steel”, and is from Walter Egan’s album Not Shy.
(Which I can tell you without hesitation he is not, from the few seconds of video I saw, because he looks like a faggier, flirtier Eleanor Roosevelt and is wearing kind of purple lipstick and keeps pursing his lips like Jagger or the Pennywise guy in That Movie Where Susan Sarandon And Her Boyfriend Fuck A Clown And They All Sing About It — see? — his hair is in a permanent wave of curly, frizzy, perfect Kim Novak locks. It is terrifying.)
So here at home on the couch I laid down on, I close my eyes again to absorb this information (and also because “Lady” by Styx is the next video up, but that is this whole other story I cannot get into right now) and then I sit bolt upright, spilling cigarette butts and hurling Neutrogena Razor Defense moisturizer across the room, because I have it: The Time/Life Singers and Songwriters Collection I bought in 2001 while on a drinking binge.The Time/Life Singers and Songwriters Collection is so awesome and basically the reason God made the iPod, because you never, ever want to hear more than one song from a given disc.
It’s where I learned all the words from “At Seventeen” just in case I ever need to know them, like for karaoke or something, and it’s where I taught myself to appreciate “Wildfire” and “Nights in White Satin” as kind of well-crafted, if smurfy, it’s where I go to hear “Solitary Man” when I can’t find my Neil Diamond CDs (I hide those when certain people are around due to the Beautiful Girls/”Sweet Caroline” singalong incidents), which is in itself awesome because it’s on the “The 1960’s” Disc 2 right after “Different Drum,” which I also love to listen to over and over, it’s where I learned that both “Daniel” and “Danny’s Song” were hits in either 1972 or 1973, it’s rekindled my love for “Annie’s Song” and “Brandy (You’re a Fine Girl)” and “If” and “Sister Golden Hair” and my GOD, “The Air That I Breathe,” which I have been obsessed with since I was a child, and that “Year of the Cat” can still give a sane person nightmares, and blah blah blah. Point being it’s like 20 CD’s. And apparently that I have no shame at all.
Surely Walter Egan’s “Magnet & Steel” is on there, right? I mean, if “Werewolves of London,” “Sultans of Swing” and “Escape (The [Goddamned] Pina Colada Song)” are worth keeping around forever, they’ve got to have the best song in the universe there, right?So after thinking about all of this, I finally wake myself up enough to get the Book of Time/Life Singers and Songwriters Collection down from its lectern and then throw myself down to the floor of that area of the livingroom I call “the library” to go through each disc and read the teeny-tiny white print in the dark (if I turn on the light, I’ll wake up) and go through each of the 20 CD’s one at a time, knowing full well whatever year I guess it is, it’s going to be in the opposite direction, because it’s going to be on the very last disc I look at no matter what that last disc is, so I might as well look at all of them, and finally find it (on the last disc, of course).
Aaaand: I FOUND IT! Time/Life Singers and Songwriters Collection comes through again!Other songs hot in “The Late 70’s” include “Afternoon Delight,” “It’s So Easy,” “Breaking Up Is Hard To Do,” “Three Times a Lady,” and “Short People,” so I don’t know why it didn’t like stand out from the fucking pack all along (or, I’m guessing, this is why I have never listened to the CD, and so didn’t know about the glory of this perfect, lovely song three bleak years ago like I should have) — although, to be fair, this is Disc Two, and there’s actual double discs for every two-year period in the Late 70’s, so we might be at the edge of the catalog at this point. Disc One includes, let’s see, “Baby, I Love Your Way,” “Rich Girl,” the aforementioned horrible “(Pina Colada Song),” the respectively alliterative and redundant “Lonesome Loser” and “Bluer Than Blue,” and something so mournful and histrionic in title I can’t wait to listen to it later: “Torn Between Two Lovers.”
So yeah, The Late 70’s.
I feel like it’s got to be better — I’ll check the card catalog — over in the actual discs of the years that make up the Late 70’s. I would say that the “Late 70’s” double disc is kind of unnecessary — that is, I would say that, if Walter Egan’s “Magnet & Steel” were not on it, making the whole thing moot.
So it’s so awesome right now because I can listen to it any time I want, which is all the time, NOT TO MENTION that, as we were advised in the children’s classic The Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, the search is often more valuable than the object, whether it’s running away from home, confirming the identity of a lost Michelangelo sculpture, or, in this case, tracking down Walter Egan’s classic jam, “Magnet & Steel” since, as an upshot, I also found out that I’ve actually owned the Doobie Brothers’ “What a Fool Believes” (better known as The Invisible Touch of Commerce’s future first single) this whole time. Which is hilarious.
Aren’t you glad I’m usually fully awake when I write in my journal? I’m going back to sleep for a couple more hours. “Close To You” is on and I can’t handle that shit.
(Note to self: find that CD with the cover of “Superstar” recorded by That Guy That Looks Like Beck That Sings “Wish Fulfillment” By The Band With The Blonde Chick Who Sings “Bull In The Heather” In That Band That Is With The Beck Guy And They Have Kids. Kim Gordon. It’s got to be here somewhere.)
See what I mean? I could not be more banal right now if I were named after a breakfast food.