Monday, June 20, 2011

North Street Blues

It's on a theme akin to Lennon/McCartney's "In My Life" or "A Day in The Life," where the song paints a picture of a particular time and place from the author's perspective.  In this case, it details life on the route I take to and from work on most days.  We see little bits of landscape, and the people along the way.  We also have some personal reflections, and just a touch of misery and hope commingling.  Take a moment to peer over the wheel of my old Ford pickup and see the normalcy of North Street!

Purple pants walking down the road
All dressed up from head to toe
They said he's a man
But nobody really knows
In the 21st century
It doesn't pay to care

Skeletal man with stubble on his face
Sucking down a cigarette
His life's a disgrace
He has four children by as many wives
Was he ever really married?
The lawyers never seem to mind

Turn the corner onto North Street
See the postman walking his beat
See the sausage man cooking his meat
But not the meat he exposes
Down on South Street
The cops turn the other cheek

Watch the tellers at the bank
Fork over cash every day of the week
Yet none of it their own
It's an honest living they seek
Contrasted with the risky drivers
Every morning getting high
They cut you off in traffic
And they're paid by the mile!

Potholes galore whipping 'round the bend
Skip both ends of Boardman Street
To find the world's worst traffic circle
An architectural wet dream
You wonder when some poor driver
Will meet his bitter end
Then the causeway through a pristine swamp
Sends Eagles into flight
They love to eat the neighbor's cats
Every single night

Your muffler falls off
You roll to a stop
As the Mercedes' drive by
You have to stop and wonder
How the armchairs do it
A new trade-in every year
While you'll be driving the same jalopy
Until the end of time
The complex cost of upkeep alone
Costs you every thin dime

What is it for?
This struggle that we're part of
You always want more
But you've got everything that you need
So long as you're a simple man
Seeking nothing greater
Than the clothes on your back
And three square meals a day
For those of you with larger brains
It sucks to be us
Get used to it

You turn in every night
Tired, but all right
Safe in the knowledge that
You've got an honest life
Opportunities abound
For the crooks and the clowns
But you'll win the fair fight
Or at least break even
In search of the light

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