By Heart, for Viola (Daily Prompt): “Angela and I don’t want the two dollars back …”
You’re asked to recite a poem (or song lyrics) from memory — what’s the first one that comes to mind? Does it have a special meaning, or is there another reason it has stayed, intact, in your mind? (Participating in NaBloPoMo? Head to BlogHer’s NaBloMoPo Central for more!)
I met a boy called Frank Mills,
On September 12th right here, in front of The Waverly, but
Unfortunately, I lost his address.
He was last seen with his friend, a drummer, who
Resembles George Harrison of The Beatles, but
He wears his hair tied in a small bow at the back!
I love him, but it embarrasses me, to
Walk down the street with him.
He lives in Brooklyn, somewhere, and wears
His white crash helmet.
He has golden chains on his leather jacket, and
On the back are written the words [names?]:
Marrrrry, and Mom, and Hell’s An-gels.
I would gratefully appreciate it if you see him, tell him, I’m in the park with my girlfriend aaaand please:
Tell him Angela and I don’t want the two dollars back, jussssssssst him.
I’m pretty sure the song’s from Hair (promised myself not to look it up till AFTER I wrote out the lyrics, which I felt the need to do JUST TO SEE if I really still knew them by heart). Viola, my best friend from 12 to 18 years of age or so, and I learned it together. She was a complete “bad ass” and I was class clown (not that you’d ever guess that from this blog), but not always intentionally. She brought so much excitement and sophistication into my life, knew and would do all sorts of things I never dreamed of — before her. Quick, clever, ball-sy, sometimes OUTRAGEOUS Viola! But she had a challenging, almost frightening, side too. Looking back, I understand now how much anger and sadness she was dealing with. Anyway (story for another day), our lives took us in very different directions after high school and we are no longer in touch. She began fading away little by little at first, but then, all at once, she was gone. Other friends of hers and I have kept up with the basic facts of her life through members of her family who’ve remained in the area, but she has broken off all real contact with me, with all of us, since the move — a decision that has continued to baffle us.
But we saw her recently after lots of coaxing, through her ma, to get her to show at a reunion. Lots of laughter but also so many tears, not nearly enough words to explain them. It was good, though. As much as I loved seeing her, I also respect her decision to cut things off with her old friends. Sometimes the past has got to go.
ANYWAY, this song: I think Viola and I learned it firstly just for fun (we adored the “white crash helmet” and the bit about the two dollars) but also as a way — I felt then — of sort of sealing the deal between us, a pledge, like the way some friends become blood brothers/sisters (which we may also have done). The song reminded us too of some of the boys we went out with … and of our foolishness in going out with them, the extent of which we probably shared only with each other.
To me, singing the song together was like squeezing the other’s hand and having the other squeeze back — or better, like saying to each other in unison, but not outright, “I know your whole story, the whole stinkin’ thing, and I love you anyway.”
Viola always loved the silly things we said to our dogs, such as “Who has hands?” She also thought I was weird because I said that if you put an opened can in the refrigerator, the stuff in the can soon tasted “tinny.” She liked the word “tinny.”
She was and is one of a kind.
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Viola is such a great name too! She sounds like the kind of person you’d desperately want to be friends with. I can remember many “Violas” through my life – those people who attract and repel in equal measure. Those that I wanted to be with because of the dangerous edge they bring to life, but who I often stayed away from because of that danger (especially as I get older). Lovely post. Thank you x
Well, thank you! And I understand what you’re saying, especially now. I have to read my post again, but it was kind of sad (in my opinion) how things ultimately turned out for her — or how she chose to make things right w/ herself, I guess you might say. She’s just perfect, impeccably mannered, dressed, etc., and I understand why she felt the need to change, but it just seems like the thing that was best about her is buried way deep…