When Michael Sembello released ‘Bossa Nova Hotel‘ back in 1983,
I immediately bought it.
Who the hell is that?
If you remember the movie ‘Flashdance’, there was a song called ‘Maniac’.
That was Michael Sembello.
This guy/musician/singer has floated underneath the radar for years.
Maybe that’s how he wanted it.
His brother Danny has eluded the mainstream as well.
Both are intensely talented artists.
When I first listened to the album (and it was a vinyl record then) one song
seemed to stick out; Superman
“As you stand at the edge of existence and the world has forgotten your name After life after life you remember the secret
He’s as fast as a speeding bullet Change the water into wine And the last time he came They cursed his name With a kryptonite cross they cut him down
[Chorus] Superman Are we ever going to see you again If we do will you teach us how to fly above the sky?
Some say at the end of the tunnel There’s a light that will show us the way It’s a light that belongs to the people of every nation, color or creed
I can’t speak for all of the sinners I don’t know any saints I could ask It’s been 2000 years since we’ve seen you We need you Please come back
All of the pain in your life How can we ever repay? And the answer, you said is in the life that you led, Superman”
I knew who Sembello was talking about back in ’83.
Then I read THIS.
I thought, “Sembello was already there 30 years ago!”
Maybe it’s just a continuation of a long ago story but it’s one that needs to be told.
I believe in God.
And I believe in artists that convey the Word in a way that invites the world to believe.
And we all know what the world needs.
Yeah, Dionne Warwick said it best . . .
We need LOVE.
We need people to care for that errant stranger lost in the Market Basket parking lot of life.
We NEED random acts of kindness to show the Man upstairs that we still care.
We all need to be Superman, a Man of Steel . . .
As my life zips by at warp speed I barely see the signposts ahead, the lives dripping by, the rain that falls or the
multiple times that particular moments grab me by the stones and scream ‘LISTEN!’.
There is an incessant drone that accompanies the soundtrack of my life.
Like any constant, the human condition adapts and moves on, uninterrupted and undisturbed.
The body is made in a way that it simply adapts and adjusts.
Example: Where did I put my glasses?
Answer: They are up on the top of your head.
If we didn’t have this ability, wearing clothes would drive us to insanity.
I work in a cigar store and hear on a daily basis,
“This store smells wonderful! It reminds of my Dad/Grandfather/Uncle.”
Truth be told, I can’t smell it.
I can be away for weeks from the store and upon my return?
No smell, no recognition.
I am for the most part physiologically incapable of recognizing it.
But I could walk into another cigar store and the smell grabs and smacks me in the face like the cigar smoking bitch that I am . . .
(in a good way, I love tobacco).
My point is that as we live our lives we sometimes build up an almost unintentional immunity to things that mean the most to us.
This includes people, places, things, moments, songs, food, smells, feelings, emotions and more.
It’s physiological and biological as well.
It’s how we are hard-wired.
We are bombarded by so much media that much of what we see consists of perpetuated and virtual cybershit.
Don’t know about you but seeing that on a daily basis puts me on a virtual merry-go-round.
But now and then something throws me off the ride, in a major way.
My 2011 Ford Escape has one hell of an amazing sound system.
It is equipped with Microsoft Sync, Sirius Radio, a great CD player and a USB port for the 4,000+ songs on my Ipod Classic. (and it gets close to 32 miles/gallon highway)
Not sure but judging from the sound I think the speaker system may be made by Bose.
At any rate this thing kicks some serious sonic ass.
It is AMAZING.
(and it has an awesome Australian Southern Cross vanity plate to boot)
I was driving into Boston last Sunday morning and had my Ipod set to ‘Shuffle’ (random songs).
I can fast forward or rewind using the controls on my steering wheel.
As I made my way onto the Mass Pike THIS song came on.
I’ve listened to Marc Jordan for years but never listened to this song as I did this particular Sunday.
It’s meaning was crystal clear as to what and who the song was about.
The next song was THIS from Michael Sembello (aka, Maniac from ‘FlashDance’ fame)
Although I’d listened to this album years ago, I never heard the actual words.
What came to me towards the end of the song was that someone is trying to get in touch with me.
Someone is trying like hell to make me listen.
Someone is going out of their way to get me to wake the hell up in terms of my life.
If you feel like doing some homework, listen to these two songs.
Who do YOU think they are about?
Know that I am listening and know that in my heart the songs are both about the same Man.
Is He Superman?
It’s all about interpretation.
I’m thinking I understand and it’s always been all about Superman . . .
Because they gave up their tomorrows, we can have our todays.
To all the men and women that have so unselfishly given of themselves, we offer a
prayer and a heartfelt ‘thank you’ for all that you have done for our beautiful country.
Although some of our freedoms are being compromised by a government that has too much power and might,
your courage and willingness to serve will be forever remembered.
To all the living soldiers abroad and all those who have sadly passed away, we are remembering you.
God Bless all in harms way.
Happy Memorial Day, folks.
As you’re stoking up your grills and icing the tall boys, look to the sky and say a small, “Thank you”.
I continue to remember the day you were born. 5.23.1929
As always, in my mind we are playing catch in the backyard with grass that was green as emeralds.
A juicy hot dog with lots of mustard from Rip’s would follow.
Maybe even a ride on the go-carts, if I was lucky.
With you, I was always lucky.
Miss you, Dad.
It amazes me the distance that disease can create between people and families.
Alzheimer’s takes everything you once knew about someone and throws it in a closet,
locking the door, throwing away the key.
This Father’s Day is the first without my Dad and I’m trying to sort out my innermost feelings.
I will go to the cemetery tomorrow morning with a coffee in one hand and a cigar in the other
and try to remember the man I once called ‘Dad’.
I miss him. I truly do.
Not as he was in the past 6-8 years but in the days when I could tell him a joke and
he would laugh; when I could go to the fridge and ask him if he wanted a beer; when I could say, “Hi, Dad,”
on the phone and he knew it was me replying, “Want your mother?” I will be with him tomorrow as he will be with me.
This Father’s Day will feel a bit empty, strange and maybe a bit of a relief that
I don’t have to see his withering body sucking on pureed food through a straw.
Tomorrow I will see him as the guy that never missed one damn baseball game of mine,
always called me ‘Michael’ not ‘Mike’, a man that taught me how to throw a baseball and pass a football,
a man that never ever let me down, a man that taught me what it means to be a man.
I still miss him dearly but tomorrow I will begin re-building in my mind the complete memory
of a longstanding hero of mine.
If I die being half the man that he was, I will be truly blessed.
Make time to visit or call your Dad today.
Happy Father’s Day to all.
Love you, Dad.
His soul sleeps,
buried far beneath a long forgotten vertical landscape,
yearning for home . . .
it dreams of places remembered; warm places, complete and innocently raw
The perpetual journey through a cobwebbed labyrinth remains a stygian quest at best,
an unanswered prayer, a dimly lit votive, a quiet cry in the dark
the clouds thicken, the earth cools and a winter of the mind settles in
Rolling waves of emotion yield snowflakes of blue
that fall like sleet, slicing the spirit into oh, so many unrecognizable pieces of what used to be a life; where nothing fits or belongs but must somehow remain
still . . .
Who knows when, this sadly shattered thing will end
Only God knows when it started,
But it’s wearing pretty thin, as the winter settles in, covering the frozen man . . .
It’s like watching the slow and dying embers in the backyard firepit on a sultry summer’s night. In some ways I understand it, some I don’t. Maybe it’s meant to be that way. It’s hard enough to watch someone you love die but it’s the ‘dying marathon’ of Alzheimer’s that really hurts inside. I had a deeply emotional visit with my father this past Sunday. I felt this impending sense of detachment from him that I’ve never seen or felt before. My sister says it’s that way with most patients in the final stretch of the endgame. I am trying to make myself understand that. Not doing too well with it either. The past 5 years have been a sad and long goodbye and although I’ve said it before, I want to believe in my heart that he is ready. My father did not cry yesterday which had me scratching my freshly shaved noggin. It was almost as if he was trying to be strong just for me, but maybe I’ll never know. I sat and held his thin and badly shaking hands and really looked at him, into my father‘s eyes. My heart was instantly shattered as a lifetime of tender and lost moments came crashing into my mind. I want many things for my father and not one of them was in this room that has held him prisoner for the past 5+ years. I want him to walk and feel the rays of the sun on his face again, love and be loved in return, find the missing piece of the puzzle he’s been searching for since he got sick. Find my mother. I want him to find enough strength to finally fade away and find his corner of the sky, his cerulean peace. It’s time for my beautiful father to go home. Because of all the places I roam, I miss having him there the most . . .
Chill. Grab a coffee, English Breakfast tea, Chai, cognac, scotch, bourbon, water and maybe a smoke, all depending on where you are in the world of time zones. Plug in some decent headphones and give yourself 7:40 minutes to just . . . Chill. This is ‘Both Sides Now’, Herbie Hancock from River: The Joni Letters Hancock is and has been a jazz piano God to me. Forever. And believe it or not he is 70 years old. (born in 1940) At any rate, get a drink, perhaps a smoke and just Chill. for 7:40 . . . Your brain will thank me. This is musical/cerebral Zen at its finest.
Reading ‘Carver‘ right now. Please READ THIS. You will spend 20 minutes of your life and thank me. This is one of Carver’s most amazing short stories. Please take the time and read it. The man was amazing. Simply amazing . . .