Posted - 03/08/2009 03:06am
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March 2009 

Sonoma, California...

I am in a particular mood.  I think of it as my Roy Orbison mood when nothing but the real thing will do.  It's a pared to the core, unvarnished disposition on a night imbued by a melancholy customary to pool halls in anyplace, USA.  You know, the kind of place where no one really talks much to anyone else and all that's needed for balm is a drink, a pool cue, a quarter for the jukebox, and a cigarette smoldering somewhere real close....

The kind of place my husband, in the early days, would walk into with his lean frame, thin mustache and cowboy boots to "run" the pool table.

It's one of those nights when I wish I had a Dunhill Red cigarette and that slim gold lighter I left behind in one haze or another a memory ago.  And just exactly the kind of night when a sighing put to melody is the only remedy I set store by.  A particular mood.  I guess that's why they call it the blues....

I play my jukebox favourites, beginning with Roy Orbison's "Only The Lonely," followed by "Blue Angel" and "In Dreams."  And that's with the first quarter....


Only the lonely

Only the lonely (dum-dum-dum-dumdy-doo-wah)
Know the way I feel tonight (ooh-yay-yay-yay-yeah)
Only the lonely (dum-dum-dum-dumdy-doo-wah)
Know this feelin ain't right (dum-dum-dum-dumdy-doo-wah)

Hard to believe, I know; but I am not looking around for dialogue tonight.  Not when I'm in my Roy Orbison mood.  I'm all talked out.  Didn't I mention it?  What am I doing here, you ask?  I've gone silent and come without words of my own, so I thought I'd stop in to hear someone else say it for me.  No, not looking for company either...just some words to soothe frayed edges.

I need to leave it to the kings of spare language to say it for me.  I leave it to Roy Orbison and Raymond Chandler, who with their common sense smartness got the words just right...'cause they always had it figured when it came to a heartache or a temperament that needed explaining.  They never sugar-coated anything and in the particular mood I'm in tonight, no one can say it better for me than these two word painters.

These boys were big on sighs and heavy on meaning...and always short on indicating any outward emotion.  Let's just say they weren't always chasing rainbows like some I know; but that didn't mean they didn't see it or feel it either.  Just means they were better than most at covering up all that was simmering below the surface.

From Philip Marlowe, Raymond Chandler's hard-boiled private eye of Los Angeles in the 1940s came these taut expressions of opinion from "The Little Sister" and "Farewell My Lovely:"

"She smelled the way the Taj Mahal looks by moonlight."

    "She gave me a smile I could feel in my hip pocket."

    "This car sticks out like spats at an Iowa picnic."

    "To hell with polite drinking."

    "It was one of those transient motels, something between a fleabag &  a dive."

And one of the best, and sparest bits of dialogue, followed with a razor-sharp observation by Philip Marlowe is this from "The Big Sleep":


     "Tall, aren't you?" she said.

     "I didn't mean to be."

       Her eyes rounded. She was puzzled. She was thinking. I could see, even on that short acquaintance, that thinking was always going to be a bother to her.

Sometimes a girl just doesn't want to talk.  Sometimes she just wants to disappear into Roy Orbison's world of heart, heartache and hurt, where the words are easy to get and delivered straight.  He knew a heartache or two along the way.  I know I have.  Haven't you?  I think he sang it for all of us who stepped into it deep....

There goes my baby
There goes my heart
They're gone forever
So far apart

But only the lonely
Know why
I cry
Only the lonely

Only the lonely

Only the lonely
Know the heartaches I've been through
Only the lonely
Know I cried and cried for you

Here's what I know.  The boys and I have one thing in common when it comes to being intimate with a heartache or a missed twist of fate.  We fathom the real thing, 'cause we're deep in that way...and when it's gone we know it, and no amount of dialogue will bring it back.

Maybe tomorrow
A new romance
No more sorrow
But that's the chance - you gotta take
If your lonely heart breaks
Only the lonely



Add a Comment
Comment posted by Marga on 03/09/2009

Bless you, my Love.  It makes you feel so close to read your thoughts.  Your mother has a wonderful daughter. Alas, our individual lives are fatal and yet, maybe that makes it just that much sweeter.  to you and your writing, M

Comment posted by Ginny Krieger on 03/19/2009

 An overwhelming amount of creative writing here -- I have a huge hill to climb. See you Saturday xo ginny

(note:  reference to "Sultans of Soul" Retreat Writing Workshop on 03/21/09)

Comment posted by Giovanna on 03/20/2009

Anya, You have an amazing talent for capturing a mood. I always see the images, and feel it all.

Comment posted by WILHELMINA SCHNITZER on 03/25/2009


Comment posted by Janny on 08/09/2009


I appreciate that Roy Orbison was on the Atelier pieces list. I feel so connected to your writing and thank you. "Just some words to sooth the frayed edges" The Adult cries so long and hard... finding that on the other side of the emotion... is the Child waiting to get out and play.  Perhaps the Tears are the River of Life and the Child is the Navigator. Janny 8 8 09 Saturday afternoon