Friday, October 25, 2013

Sarah McLachlan "Into The Fire"

It was 50-50.  Maybe I was going to be fine.  But maybe I was going to have my body dumped in a ditch.

Just in case it was going to be the latter, I wrote a note and left it at the office.
"I got invited out to a listener's house for some beer and food.  If I disappear, this is where I was headed. (address)"
I was the host of my own nightly Alternative music specialty show in rural Virginia.  The program was a little oasis of modern music, for a niche of folks who couldn't find the stuff anywhere else.

Not long after my show went on the air, I started getting nightly calls from the folks in the kitchen of a local restaurant, who'd tune me in as they were winding down their night.

They were always boisterous and effusive, excited to be hearing some cutting edge stuff on the radio.  Also, they were usually drinking while working.  And drinking after work, as they'd call me from whatever house they were partying at, post-shift.

Over a short period of time, we built up some familiarity.  But I figured it was in the DJ/listener kind of way.  Not the "come hang out" kind of way.  Until . . .

"Are you hungry?!  You should come out to the house!  What time to you get off?"

I hesitated.

I was new to the whole DJ thing, the being on-air thing.  And I'd been warned that often the kind of people who religiously called the radio station, and wanted to "hang out" inevitably proved to be weird.

On the other hand, I was hungry.

I was only part-time, just making little better than minimum wage.  There wasn't much food in the pantry.  A free, hot meal sounded good.

I wrote my note and left it for my co-workers.  When my shift ended at midnight, I got in my car and drove out across the Virginia countryside to the outskirts of town.

The directions sent me down an unlit dirt road.  That couldn't be right.

There were the dark silhouettes of cows moving about in the field next to the road.

I was thinking that maybe I should just turn around, go home and eat another bowl of Corn Flakes.

But I could see a porch light.  And then the whole house.  A large, new-ish looking place, set back on a hill.  And I could hear music.

What the hell, I figured.  I'll go in.

There were just 4 people hanging out.  But it felt like a whole party.  Boisterous and effusive and happy and a little drunk.

They were excited to have a new friend to hear their old stories.  We talked about music and food and not much else.

They made me some pasta, and when I started twirling the spaghetti on my fork, one of the girls said, "Oh God, you're Italian!" which theretofore somehow marked me as a gourmand---never again did they server me something as plebeian as pasta.

This house would be the future site of many a good party, a couple of fun hook-ups and the occasional scene of social drama.  But tonight it was just music and food.

"Have you heard Sarah McLachlan?"

I'd heard OF her, but I hadn't heard her record.

We listened to "Into The Fire" and my personal chef/new friend gave me this "One Sentence Review" that was definitely not intended to be Dismissive, though I have used it on later occasions as a criticism not a complement.

The chef said, "It's like Joni Mitchell on Prozac."

And that pretty much summed up the night:  weird and dark, but ultimately smoothed out.  And not in a ditch.

Hear the song on Youtube.

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