Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Bob Mould "See A Little Light"

Oddly enough, when I hear "See A Little Light" it takes me back to being in the dark. Literally.

Ah, to be young and single. There are so many aspects to the story that follows, that are so far removed from the life I have now . . .

Let's see, where to start.

I'm on a lawn chair, on the deck of a house that is not mine. It is after midnight. I am with a girl I like. It is completely dark.

Honestly, this scenario was not a one time thing. I often brought a girl to this very location.

I'm in my late 20s, living in southwest Virginia.

I live in a 100 year old rented farm house, known as 7 Maples, with two of my friends. The house is huge, the rent is cheap. We are all single and generally unencumbered (we own little and owe little). Beer and cigarettes and coffee and friends and dates come and go, frequently and at all hours.

I'm a DJ, working the evenings, which means I don't get home until after midnight, every night. So much of my social interaction occurs when most of the town has gone to sleep.

The farmhouse is on the road. A country road, but right on it. Walking out of the wood stove room/back door to the driveway in the back is a slight incline, which then become a steeper, brush covered incline. Cutting a path through the brush is a dirt road, winding its way up the hill. At the top of the hill, just before the treeline, is the studio.

The farmhouse is owned by a husband/wife artist team. They have just built this beautiful studio, for their expanding production. They bought the land to build the studio; 7 Maples came in the bargain, so they rent in cheaply. On the lower level, is her kiln and her rows of tiny, handmade jewelry. On the top level, are his looms for his giant, rich, wall hangings. And on their deck are a few lawn chairs.

It is not unusual for me to bring a girl up here. The landlords don't mind. Encourage it, in fact. Just pick up your empty beer cans. Otherwise, enjoy the view.

When I hear "See A Little Light," even today, this is where I am. On a warm summer might with a warm summer beer, hoping to impress a girl, and generally unencumbered by anything more taxing than that.

It seems kind of idyllic, and I could probably paper over the reality with nostalgia. But the truth is that what felt like freedom on a good day, felt like being set adrift, aimlessly, on another day. There could be drama and mood-swings and angst. Some of that generated internally, and some of that manifested in the people around me.

7 Maples, due to its fluid and welcoming nature, attracted its fair share of friends and hangers-on, drunks and lost boys/girls. People searching, or flailing, or failing. People who's only reaction to things that didn't make sense, was to curse the darkness and shout out into the night.

"Ahh, shit. I'd better go see what that is."

I reluctantly got up from my lawn chair, which had been pulled close to her lawn chair.

Remember in "Say Anything" when you first hear "In Your Eyes" and you just think it's the movie soundtrack, until they show Lloyd in the yard with his boom box?

At first I didn't notice the melody in the air for anything other than a soundtrack to whatever I'm sure I was going on about in an effort to impress this girl. But then I realized that Bob Mould was booming from my house, which was a good 300 yards away.

We ambled our way in the dark, down the hill and as we got closer to the house, I could see a little light, literally, from the wood stove room where the stereo lived and most of the beer was consumed. The stereo speakers were now in the window, and the stereo was cranked up to 11.

I walked inside, smoothly and succinctly, heading straight for the stereo to turn it down.

"It's a little loud," I said, with a cocked eyebrow.

There was no point in making a salient argument, or getting too angry. He was drunk.

He was a friend of one of the roommates. The kind of guest that doesn't leave, even after his friend has gone to bed (if the are still drinks to be had).

I'm not sure what he was trying to accomplish by putting the speakers in the window and blasting Bob Mould across the hillside. And I'm fairly certain that he couldn't tell you either.

It was just the kind of thing you did when you were in your 20s, a little lost, a little drunk, a little in the dark, searching for some kind of answers.

Hear the song on Youtube.

Hear the song on Youtube.

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