Friday, September 09, 2005

Drink your big Black Cow and get out of here

Who needs an iPod? For a couple of days now I cant seem to get the song Black Cow out of my head. But why Black Cow? It isn’t exactly standard Top 40 radio fare and I doubt if any of the local radio stations have played it in the past several weeks. It’s highly unlikely that Ive subconsciously heard it over the radio so the iPod in my head keeps replaying it. (Kailangan pa bang i-memorize yan? Exactly. I know whereof I speak.) It’s so out-of-left-field.

I remember the first time I heard it on the radio many, many moons ago. I was just a kid then. I grew up with the radio always on. Local stations were steeped in schmaltzy pop or standard 3-minute rock or R&B, or songs from local artists. It was the golden age of original Pinoy music, with song writers like Ryan Cayabyab, Willy Cruz, Rey Valera, Cecille Azarcon-Picazo, etc, churning out hit after hit for Rico J. and Basil and Kuh and Ate Shawie.

Then out of the radio came this intro, bass and keyboards, then the sneering vocals. In the corner of my eye, I saw you in Rudy’s. You were very high. It played in a rock-and-R&B station but it didn't sound like anything Ive ever heard before. I lapped it up and told my nerdy pals about it. Everyone else in school, the cool ones especially, were into rock--Ozzy and Kiss and Alice Cooper—stickin’ it to The Man with screeching guitars and heavy metal vocals. My pals and I decided to stick it to The Man with jazz riffs and tenor saxophone. Steely Dan was now mothership to the cause.

Back to my inner iPod. There has to be a reason my shuffle software decided to play Black Cow. And maybe I know what it is. It’s because Im tired. Tired of bailing some friend out. I use the term ‘friend’ rather loosely because lying, conniving, hypocritical, frassum-wassums generally don't fit the category. But we had something going once and I thought I owed it to that memory. No, that’s not it.

“Just leave me alone,” she said once, in one of her usual fits of misplaced arrogance. I was used to it. I knew she’d be back when she got into a bind again. Believe me, I wanted to leave her alone. I just about had it. But…

“I can’t. Youre a wreck and I can’t walk away from a wreck,” I said. It’s tragic really. Here was this immensely beautiful, immensely talented girl and she was making one wrong decision after another. She left her husband, left her child, for reasons she doesn’t want to talk about and just keeps blundering through life, hooking up with whomever. I can’t say that she’s hanging out with the wrong people because I don't know the people she hangs out with, and that’s not fair to them, and it’s not fair to her because it implies a diminished capacity on her part to be responsible for her mistakes. She’s not stupid.

I lend her money. My hard-earned money. Money I toiled for. Money I could’ve used for my kids. I figured she needed it more than they did since we’re not lacking in any of the essentials, thank God, and she needs something to live on—to survive on. So I fork it over. I believed in her talent and that one day she’ll make it and she’ll be able to pay me back. I still do, in fact. If only she’ll take care of herself, which, judging by the way she looks, she’s not doing a very good job at. But it’s just these displays of bad behavior I can’t take. It’s like you owe her; that it’s your duty, nay, your privilege to help her.

She told me, “Youre just nice to me when you want something from me.” I could’ve smacked her right there if I were the type to do things like that. So I took a deep breath and counted to ten and said, “When did I ever get anything from helping you? When? If you can name one thing I got out of being nice to you, I’ll leave you alone and you won’t hear from me again.” She couldn’t come up with anything.

So now I want out. Im tendering my resignation. From now on Im officially out of the wreck rehab business, unless I could really get something out of it.

Right. Who am I kidding? Here are the lyrics to Black Cow:

Black Cow
(Music and lyrics by Walter Becker and Donald Fagen)

In the corner of my eye
I saw you in Rudy's
You were very high
You were high
It was a cryin' disgrace
They saw your face

On the counter by your keys
Was your book of numbers
And your remedies
One of these
Surely will screen out the sorrow
But where are you tomorrow?

I can't cry anymore while you run around
Break away
Just when it seems so clear
That it's over now
Drink your big black cow
And get out of here

Down to Greene Street
There you go
Lookin' so outrageous
And they tell you so
You should know
How all the pros play the game
You change your name

Like a gangster on the run
You will stagger homeward
To your precious one
I'm the one
Who must make everything right
Talk it out till daylight

I don't care anymore
Why you run around
Break away
Just when it seems so clear
That it's over now
Drink your big black cow
And get out of here

Sorry, baby
Sorry, baby




5 comments:

pangga said...

“When did I ever get anything from helping you? When? If you can name one thing I got out of being nice to you, I’ll leave you alone and you won’t hear from me again.”

i'm so wanting to tell someone this but i can't because i also told him that i'll be the one who leaves last -- if i leave at all -- and i know he holds on to that.

i feel awful because i don't want to be there for him anymore. i'm tired.

grifter said...

I have black cow. and the whole becker/fagen catalog. want copies? oh wait, you don't need it. you have your inner ipod.

Jego said...

...i also told him that i'll be the one who leaves last -- if i leave at all -- and i know he holds on to that.

Aint that the bitch? That we can get trapped by the stupid things we said in the past? Think of it as covenant. He has to fulfill his end of the covenant or it's considered null and void. Even though his end of it only consists of not acting like an ass towards you. :-D

you have your inner ipod.
Inner ipod doesnt come in stereo.

grifter said...

well then, have it in mono, or get it in stereo.

pangga said...

That we can get trapped by the stupid things we said in the past?

but that's just so not me. i'm not the type. if you tell me something now, i'll only hold on to that now. if you decide not to keep your promise, that's fine. i won't think na you lied three years ago coz that's just dumb ... kaya lang he kinda is LOL
and i don't like being thought of as a liar, lalo na by him.