nothin’ short of dyin’

’Cause there’s somethin’ in a Sunday, that makes a body feel alone’

Sunday Mornin’ Comin’ Down

Well, I woke up Sunday mornin’
With no way to hold my head that didn’t hurt
And the beer I had for breakfast wasn’t bad
So I had one more for dessert

Then I fumbled in my closet for my clothes
And found my cleanest dirty shirt
Then I washed my face and combed my hair
And stumbled down the stairs to meet the day

I’d smoked my mind the night before
With cigarettes and songs I’d been pickin’
But I lit my first and watched a small kid
Playin’ with a can that he was kickin’

Then I walked across the street
And caught the Sunday smell of someone fryin’ chicken
And Lord it took me back to somethin’
That I lost somewhere, somehow along the way

On a Sunday mornin’ sidewalk
I’m wishin’ Lord that I was stoned
’Cause there’s somethin’ in a Sunday
That makes a body feel alone

And there’s nothin’ short of dyin’
As half as lonesome as the sound
Of the sleepin’ city sidewalk
And Sunday mornin’ comin’ down

In the park I saw a daddy
With a laughin’ little girl that he was swingin’
And I stopped beside a Sunday school
And listened to the songs they were singin’

Then I headed down the street
And somewhere far away a lonely bell was ringin’
And it echoed through the canyon
Like the disappearin’ dreams of yesterday

On a Sunday mornin’ sidewalk
I’m wishin’ Lord that I was stoned
’Cause there’s somethin’ in a Sunday
That makes a body feel alone

And there’s nothin’ short of dyin’
As half as lonesome as the sound
Of the sleepin’ city sidewalk
And Sunday mornin’ comin’ down

Songwriter: Kris Kristofferson

Singer: Johnny Cash


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“Is this the end of Rico?”

The widower watches film noir movies to fill the void. Tough guy voices in the lonely house. The low-cut lure of femme fatales. The sound of gunfire. And when the movie ends that’s how he wants to go out. Shot down like Johnny Rocco on a boat off the Florida Keys. Riddled with bullets like Rico Bandello in a New York gutter. Plugged by a sniper like “Mad Dog” Roy Earle in the High Sierras. Filled with lead and burned up like Cody Jarrett (“Top of the world, Ma, top of the world!”)

Our antihero was hit with a double whammy — the death of his wife and isolation from the pandemic.

His life reads like a bad movie script. This guy and his wife, they went through hell, shee, yeah, through hell, I’m giving it to ya straight. The suicide of a son, love and hate, separation and desperation, retribution and redemption. And then she fell ill and together they fought the demons of death but they couldn’t catch a break and she ended up on life support and he sat by her bed and the monitor flatlined and he went home without her. The empty house. The death of hope.

He cried out to her in prayer but she wasn’t there. No spiritual connection. She had no awareness or memory of him or the love and the madness they had shared. She was nonexistent in nothingness. As though she never lived. Never loved or laughed or cried or know he died when he came home without her.

And the lousy part is, nothing has changed. In all the days and all the months, the same scene plays over and over, coming home without her, walking in the door, Hi, honey, I’m home, but she’s not there, and all the cries and all the prayers will never change that.

Roll credits, a mournful dirge fills the dead room and he takes the empty liquor bottles outside to the recycling bin and casts a glance at the night crushing the house and imagines a home invader coming out of the darkness waving a gun and he tells the gunman, Go ahead, shoot my ass, do me a favor, shoot me down like Johnny Rocco and Rico Bandello and Roy Earle and Cody Jarrett.

Bang bang bang!


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The electrical essence of the soul

THE STORM SAVED ME

The storm saved him. Another night in isolation. And then — the sky flashed through the window and five seconds later the crash of thunder.

The sky had come a-calling.

Who doesn’t like a good thunderstorm? He listened to the rain pounding on the roof and on the fronds outside the window. Another flash. And three seconds later, a thunderous boom. The storm was moving closer.

The lightning bolts and the sound of the thundering sky was a dramatic opera. Nature’s passion drove out his loneliness. He felt closer to her. He felt she came nearer to earth, and to him, with the mystical storm. And if he chose to, he could feel her presence. And he chose to.

She wasn’t making a personal visit, he wasn’t crazy, but her spirit was closer to him, the electrical energy of her soul was part of the storm.


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