Thursday, August 02, 2012

Lush Life


The Bismarck Tavern, Fargo, North Dakota
I used to visit all the very gay places
Those come what may places
Where one relaxes on the axis
Of the wheel of life
To get the feel of life
From jazz and cocktails
I spent much of my late twenties and early thirties in places like this, working, not drinking, but nevertheless the atmosphere permeated my existence. Ray Price once sang: "The nightlife, it ain't no good life, but it's my life." I was making minimum wage (barely) by schlepping gear for an R&B band in exchange for three hours of glory when the music and the booze would take us all away from our everyday miseries. Most of the places we worked weren't too bad, but the ones with strippers and sleazy wet t-shirt contests were the worst.
The girls I knew had sad and sullen gray faces
With distant gay traces
That used to be there you could see
Where they'd been washed away
By too many through the day,
Twelve o'clock tales
And then there were the bad times, really bad things, bad things involving fists and guns and then nobody had any fun. I got out. Others did not. I'll still drop in to a nightclub once in a while—to hear a band or perhaps to get together with a group of old friends. But that time when every night was Saturday night is over for me; no regrets, except maybe one small one, but the small sadness it brings is a comfort, not a sorrow.
I’ll forget you, I will
While yet you are still burning
Inside my brain
Romance is mush
Stifling those who strive
I’ll live a lush life in some small dive...

And there I’ll be,
While I rot
With the rest of those
Whose lives are lonely, too


~"Lush Life" lyrics by Billy Strayhorn

By Professor Batty



2 Comments:

Blogger Jono said...

Reminds me of the Lovin' Spoonful's "Sportin' Life". Did they have a Fargo Bar in Bismarck?


Blogger Professor Batty said...

No, but Donna Fargo once ate a Bismarck.

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