Swimming with the Razorfishes

Saturday, December 08, 2007


It was one of those endless summer afternoons, a day so vibrant and perfect you can't imagine it will ever end. Beautiful.

We made a run into Manhattan. In the course of taking care of things, my friend started talking to this junky.

Hollywood could not have cast a better junky than this guy. Emaciated, dirty, long hair missing in patches. I think he was missing teeth. He said he needed a ride to New Jersey, but wouldn't be more specific. Inexplicably, my friend offered the junky a ride. We climbed into the car and headed out to the Garden State.

The junky was doing that tweaked out junky thing; he couldn't sit still. Over the George Washington bridge, through Fort Lee, he kept rocking back and forth. My friend popped a tape into the tape player, a great mix tape he got from another friend's sister (we didn't know it at the time, but he had been fucking her). Dylan's "Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again" came on, and the junky started singing along with it.

Not quite singing, though. More like recitation punctuated by the occasional "yea."

"Stuck inside of Mobile ... yea ... with the Memphis blues again."

As if he was having a conversation with Dylan, agreeing that we were all, indeed, stuck inside of Mobile.

We kept asking where he needed to go. Each time we asked, he would say "just a little farther." Eventually, we got tired of driving the junky around and left him in front of a strip mall in Paramus.


This morning, as I was walking to work, my iPod started playing Cat Power, doing a version of "Stuck Inside of Mobile." It is amazing how a few chords can bring back memories


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