One Rung

*I’m starting a writing exercise in which I just start to write whenever a song begins playing.  I used to do this a lot, when I wrote a lot, but I have not done it in forever.  I think it’s time to bring it back.  These are not always about me, by the way.  It is important to keep that in mind.


He sits in what he considers his “place” – the spot where the world cannot touch him, and where everything, no matter how ridiculous it may sound, is possible.

He’s got something to say.  Hell, he has a lot to say.

So, as he sits and waits for inspiration on how to go about doing just that, with his iTunes on shuffle, a song begins playing:

Now it’s 3 AM, And the walls are closing in
I can hear them whisper, “That fool, He’s done it again”
The air has turned cold, But I can’t reach my window
So I lay here twisted, and I Pray for the dreams to flow

He puts it on a loop and begins thinking…This is the thought exercise he was looking for.

And it’s the perfect song for the moment, really.  Everyone can relate to it.  Everyone has been up late at night – at least once – pondering his or her fate.  Or lot in life.  Or plans.  Or love.

Ok, mostly that last one.

He, in fact, has not gone to bed before 3am in this new year.  But not because he wasn’t tired.

The air has turned cold, But I can’t reach my window
So I lay here twisted, and I Pray for the dreams to flow

It was because there was nothing there for him.  Just another empty bed.  Of course, this was nothing new to him.  He’d been doing the same thing for the last ten months, but it was different now because it seems permanent.

The ladder that used to hang above his bed, beckoning with promise, had suddenly retreated into the ceiling.

Another day done;
Plenty of work, no fun,
And in a bottle or a T.V. dinner
Solace comes

He has been super busy at work.  And, on first thought, it seems like a good thing, right?  But even a busy work day allows time for the mind to wander.  About what could have been.  And what is.

There are a lot of decisions to be made in the next two months, and he cannot afford to wait on someone else to make them for him.  He has to be proactive.  No matter how much he loves her and misses her, he has to learn not to rely on that.  If wishes were fishes…

One bad day leads to more,
Like the one drink that you pour,
And becomes a lifetime of hopes
And dreams ignored

He wonders about the misunderstanding that started all of “this”.  As part of the betterment of himself, he swore off interrogation as a means of gathering information.  In other words, he would wait for explanations to come on their own and would not seek them himself lest he come across as prying.

He assumed she would know when she was being vague, that she would realize that important information was left unsaid, and that she would correct it.

A week was enough time to convince him that he was wrong.

And that is what allowed the negative thoughts to creep in.  To take over, basically.

I never made any specific plans
I’d always said you knew I was just a simple man
And I never made any deals with you
I didn’t know I needed to

His insecurities had always done him in.  Every. Single. Time.  The thing is, he thought he had beaten them this time.  In fact, he thought he had done so good that he could let his guard down and forget everything that he had been working on.

It was a bad decision.  He should have asked questions (or what he felt was “interrogation”).  All of this could have been easily avoided.  Kind of.

The truth is that the current situation was going to happen eventually, anyway.  He loved her too much.  Not that there really is such a way to quantify that, but…

(this is where the harmonica solo comes in, followed by the acoustic guitar solo)

Very early on in the relationship, he asked her how often she had dated since the divorce.  She told him that he was the first.  And he knew that was a bad sign.

He should have said something then before he fell in love.

He is an idiot.

When in a relationship, if one party says it is time for a break, that is really code, right?  It’s a gentle way of saying that it is over, that maybe there is someone else (who maybe doesn’t know it yet), that you are a decent consolation prize if this other thing does not come to fruition.

Until the next one.

You spend your whole life waiting for something to change
Something or someone to come around and rearrange
You spend your whole damn life trying to climb just one rung,
With nothing to do, if it never comes

Fuck that.  He’s going to reach for the ladder until he finds the right rung.

The italicized lyrics in this entry were from Slobberbone’s song “One Rung”.  Brent Best is a song writing genius.  I encourage you to listen to the actual song here.




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