The Parade

Watching the slow procession shambling past, he suspected that he had not been sent to the post he requested when he volunteered. He listened to the speakers touting each ones’ performance under duress. Apparently, there was nary a weak link in that chain. Not much life in them now, but they got the job done.

The distinct tinkling of a thousand little bells preceded the second group coming ever closer on the parade grounds. The jingling stopped periodically as the bunch stepped lively and gained on the first section. When they finally made their way past the reviewing stand, he could see their uniforms were festooned with tiny bells hanging from striped ceremonial ribbons, the kind that usually held war medals. According to the speakers, this platoon hadn’t seen the action the first group had. In fact they hadn’t seen any action at all, but leadership had decided that everyone who participated should get a token of their willingness to play along.

He shuddered when he realized the third group, his section, was the next to gambol along the parade route. The major had begun marking time. The first line was already moving, their uniforms swishing to the rhythm set by the major’s maracas. Although he had no idea how or why he had been assigned here, when his line stepped forth, he managed to shimmy with the best of them, hoping he didn’t look too much like a flapper girl.

 

The underlined words are prompts for today’s Story A Day May 2019.

Song Lyric Sunday — Wilson Pickett “In The Midnight Hour”

When I was in high school, the Catholic parishes held dances on Friday nights. I think they alternated weeks among St. Bridget’s, St. Gabriel’s, and St. Mary’s. Freshman and sophomore years, even into junior year, the Friday night parish dance was THE place to be, partly because we didn’t yet have drivers’ licenses and had to rely on parents to get us there. In my case, the Friday night dance was just about the only place my parents allowed me to go at night, foolishly thinking a Catholic dance was the safest place for a young Catholic girl.

Anyway, this week’s Song Lyric Sunday “Dawn/Noon/Dusk/Midnight/Nocturnal/Diurnal” theme got me nostalgic for those dances, because every Friday, no matter which parish was hosting or which band was playing, we knew the night was just about over when we heard the first chords of Wilson Pickett’s “In The Midnight Hour.”

 

 

In The Midnight Hour

I’m gonna wait ’till the midnight hour
That’s when my love come tumbling down
I’m gonna wait ’till the midnight hour
When there’ no one else around
I’m gonna take you, girl, and hold you
And do all things I told you, in the midnight hour

Yes I am, oh yes I am
One thing I just wanna say, right here

I’m gonna wait till the stars come out
And see that twinkle in your eyes
I’m gonna wait ’till the midnight hour
That’s when my love begins to shine

You’re the only girl I know
Can really love me so, in the midnight hour

Oh yeah, in the midnight hour
Yeah, all right, play it for me one time, now

I’m gonna wait ’till the midnight hour
That’s when my love come tumbling down
I’m gonna wait, way in the midnight hour
That’s when my love begin to shine, just you and I
Oh, baby, just you and I
Nobody around, baby, just you and I
Oh, right, you know what?
I’m gonna hold you in my arms, just you and I
Oh yeah, in the midnight hour
Oh, baby, in the midnight hour

Writer/s: WILSON PICKETT, STEVE CROPPER 

 

 

Love, Actually

1. Kim met Kim at Marjorie’s New Year’s Eve party, two strangers across a room, eyes locked, a single thought between them: Soul-mate.

2. They almost lost each other on Memorial Day, when Kim dashed across the street seconds before the parade marched by, stranding Kim on the other side.

3. The intense Fourth of July sun shimmered across the waves unnoticed by the sunbathing lovers, giggling at the parade sounds floating from Main Street.

4. Fairy lights twinkled in the soft Christmas Eve snowfall outside the chapel, mirroring Kim’s starry-eyed gaze inside, seeing only Kim’s joyful approach down the aisle.

5. Skipping their traditional celebration at Marjorie’s New Year’s Eve party for the first time six years later, they conked out at 9:00, exhausted by their newborn’s constant crying.

6. They renewed their vows on their tenth anniversary, a raging snowstorm outside the chapel mirroring the chaos of their kids escorting them down the aisle with faces twisted, at first, by fearful sobs because Santa wouldn’t be able to find them and, later, by anger when the oldest revealed the truth about Santa.

7. Kim smiled while updating their Facebook cover photo, admiring their handsome family yet blind to the irony of the balanced composition with the college-graduate twins in their caps and gowns in the middle, each flanked by an older sibling, anchored by a parent at each end.

8. To keep up appearances, they marked their twenty-fifth anniversary at a neutral restaurant, a few days early so it wouldn’t disrupt either Christmas or their oldest’s birthday.

9. The surgeon explained the upcoming procedure as Kim trotted alongside, Marjorie’s thirty-fourth New Year’s Eve party forgotten, overwhelmed by conflicting emotions, their subterranean growth hidden by so many sullen, silent years.

10. Alarmed by Kim’s incoherent text, the children bustled into the waiting room within the hour, pausing only for a quick overview from the nurse at the reception desk.

11. Minutes and hours dragged on with no word from the OR, as Kim stared, unseeing, at the TV, watching the internal movie of their life.

12. When the surgeon pushed through the door at last, the children arose expectantly; Kim, seated, needed only one look at his face to know this New Year’s Eve was their last.

13. The cloying smell of lilies and stale cologne gave Kim a headache and created a cover for tears that dimmed the polite, sad smile greeting everyone who air-kissed after signing the guestbook.

14. On the thirty-fifth anniversary of Marjorie’s New Year’s Eve party, Kim stood alone amid the swirling snowflakes, tears streaming while fingers traced cut patterns on the granite.

Song Lyric Sunday – Dean Lewis – “7 Minutes”

Once again Jim Adams has chosen a remarkably diverse theme for Song Lyric Sunday. Hurt/pain/agony/suffer is a universal thread weaving through musical genres and sub-genres, from opera to standards to jazz to blues to country to rock. Australian singer-songwriter Dean Lewis‘s debut studio album released in March,  “A Place We Knew,”   embodies this week’s SLS theme with every song.

One of the cuts, “Be Alright,” became a worldwide hit on the singles’ charts in 2018, certified sextuple platinum by the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA). Two other tracks, “7 Minutes” and “Stay Awake” were released as singles prior to the album release.

While I love every track on Lewis’ album, I’m featuring “7 Minutes” on the strength of one visceral line: “I forgot to love you.”

 

7 Minutes

It’s been seven minutes now since I lost my way
It doesn’t seem that long, but my whole world has changed
It’s in all the little things, when you smile, now it stings
It’s been seven minutes since I lost the girl of my dreams

It’s been half an hour now since I dropped you home
And I’m driving past the places we both know
Past the bar that we first kissed and that movie that we missed
‘Cause we were hanging out in the parking lot

Now I sink a little deeper, think a little clearer
Looking at myself through these new-found eyes

Is it too late to turn around?
I’m already halfway out of town
Now I know how I let you down
Oh, I finally figured it out

I forgot to love you, love you, love you
I forgot to love you, love you, love you

Radio was playing songs for me and you
“Chasing Cars” reminds me of nights in your room
Drinking wine under your window, back when love was so damn simple
How the hell did I end up losing you?

Is it too late to turn around?
I’m already halfway out of town
Now I know how I let you down
Oh, I finally figured it out

I forgot to love you, love you, love you
I forgot to love you, love you, love you
I forgot to love you, love you, love you
I forgot to love you, love you

If I came back now would you still be there?
If I come around, would you even care?
If I came back now would you still be there?
If I come around, would you even care?

Is it too late to turn around?
I’m already halfway out of town
Now I know how I let you down
Oh, I finally figured it out

I forgot to love you, love you, love you
I forgot to love you, love you, love you
I forgot to love you, love you, love you
I forgot to love you, love you, love you
Writer/s: Dean Lewis / Edward Holloway / Nick Atkinson
Lyrics licensed and provided by LyricFind