THE SUMMER YOU LEFT ME WITHOUT ANY RESPECT
Aretha’s Gold was the only thing that came from the cassette
player on the nightstand next to the bed. I’d listened, half asleep,
to Side B more than a dozen times a day for three hot, and sweaty
sad months. It was only a coincidence that “Respect” is on Side A.
Some moods are too low for changing sides or fast forwarding
tapes. There isn’t a song on that album that didn’t rub my broken
bosom into a chocolatewhisky stained face. No motivation was found
for picking through un-alphabetized shoebox collections. Besides,
I couldn't abandon Aretha when she needed me most. The newspapers
had piled up in a "do not disturb" trench. I was fine eating cereal,
and without any milk, as long as there was still some wine to wash
it all down. I developed a new form of astrology based on constellations
that had formed in the popcorn of my acoustic ceiling. My Jupiter
is conjunct his mid-heaven. His moon is in direct opposition
to the cobwebs of my broken rotary fan. No wonder. We'd been doomed
since birth. I had long talks with her--told her to forget him. That no man
was worth that kind of pain. She was the Queen of Soul, for God’s sake.But nothing I said changed anything. The tape took me through the first
of October. Just as the dew point achieved a record low and the smog
levels reached a record high, the cellophane got tangled up in the spindles.
Chain of Fools snapped right in half.