“It’s Only Rock ‘n Roll (But I Like It)” We shifted our feet from side to side, mirroring each other, mapping out our small space in the bleachers as Mick danced like a chicken and screamed to the crowd. We were at a big outdoor arena in Hershey, Pennsylvania, crowded with families, parents, boomer-types reliving their youthful years; years when the Rolling Stones were considered the “bad boys” and those over 30 sized you up depending on your musical choices. It was warm, July, and I knew the lyrics and you caught a word here and there; you were more at home with Sinatra, Bennett, and Broadway. Applause as the stage lunged like a claw into the frenetic crowd and dusk painted the sky red and purple. The percussion pounded, Mick slithered, and we got lost. I lay in bed that night and couldn’t get that song “Angie” out of my head. Was it the haunting melody? The strings? I was thankful, at least, that the tune refusing to let go of me was one of the Stones’ calmer ones.
“Get Off Of My Cloud” It was in that bedroom, the same room I’d woken up in, the same room where I’d heard a violin on our first morning in that house, where you released that final whoosh of air. No music sounded that night. Only me calling out your name as I pushed my palms against your chest in a futile attempt to revive you. I tried to count as instructed by the 911 operator, but how does one count when the world is melting? You wouldn’t cooperate; or I should say, your body wouldn’t cooperate, deciding that it’s had enough of this life and wanting to enter another, one that wasn’t ready for ME yet. The men came, looking so official and serious in their uniforms, whispering, some laughter – an inside joke perhaps. I cowered downstairs in your den, scared and shaking, strangers in our bedroom, milling about, not doing much of anything because there wasn’t much of anything to do. That room upstairs; a sacred place, where once violins greeted the morning, where the tune “Angie” calmed me after a Stones’ concert. THAT was meant to be. But not this.