When Opposites Redact

Over the weekend, the enormous blended family threw a surprise birthday party for our stepfather Tom. He joined our story in the mid-seventies and brought with him our two then-tiny stepsisters. At the time, we were up to our necks in hippies; shorthand for this is that we were commune kids. Yes, I know how to milk a goat. No, I’m not going to milk your goat. What are you doing with a goat, huh? Anyway, one night Daria, our brother Todd and I were introduced to Tom in the alley behind the mostly organic restaurant where Mom worked. We did the only thing undersized kids in an an awkward outdoor social situation could: we climbed the tall man. Soon, it was like the tide went out, the hippies moved away and we were surrounded by Quakers, Jews and Unitarians. Absolutely everyone could sing. There was a bluegrass band. We went to a lot of weddings in backyards. I was the oldest kid of a couple dozen. Fast-forward thirty years – we do a lot of fast-forwarding at Poor Impulse Control so no skimping on the Dramamine, please! – and the kids have kids. The adults get to do things like spend a month working at a clinic in Kenya with a determined teenaged granddaughter.

Here we are at the surprise party and the reunited bluegrass band – including Tom – is playing John Prine’s “Paradise” and Steve Goodman’s “City of New Orleans.” We hand him a beer and plug in his bass. Guests have brought lox platters and grilled chicken salads and marinated shrimp and hummus and artichoke quiche and three different kinds of brownies and cakes and fresh fruit salads and every bite is fantastic. My sisters run in circles to greet old friends, refill bread baskets, count their children and put husbands to work. I drink a lot of coffee, wash dishes and talk to about a thousand people – unless we’re talking about actual people and I’d guess about sixty. Finally, I sit down on the lawn with three of my sisters, two cousins, my niece Lois. Behind us, all the little nephews wrestle and color with crayons until periodically adult intervention is required: just about every five minutes. Hey, they’re healthy. Earlier in the day, one of the two-year-olds fell face first into a wooden chair, got up and ran after his older brother without a whimper. Unless someone holds up a bloody stump, there’s no need to get excited.

Our cousin Monday on my father’s side, who couldn’t be more marvelous if doves alighted on her shoulders during the cocktail hour, is engaged to Cory. Monday is 6′ tall, wildly attractive and beloved by smart children. Fortunately, she’s a teacher and telling children, “We don’t say ‘ass'” is her job. Her equally marvelous and entirely different sister Sandy is on a mission now.

Sandy: Tell her, Monday.
Monday: Weeelllllllll –

I sit back in my folding chair to brace myself and nearly go over backwards.

Monday: I’m getting married next year in June when his family told me I could.
Tata: They what?
Monday: I was told if the wedding was in April or May, the family would be planting. September and October were also out because of harvest time.
Tata: Okay…farmers…can’t screw around with their livelihood…got it…
Monday: Also: they don’t drink or swear.
Tata: Oh, fuck them. Have they MET YOU?
Sandy: They don’t drink or swear!
Tata: I’m bringing strippers to your wedding.
Sandy: And there’s one more thing…
Tata: Drunken strippers, about six of them. I recommend we issue one to every member of your family. Like party favors!
Sandy: Like fucking party favors.
Tata: I will truly enjoy this – what little I’ll remember of it.
Auntie InExcelsisDeo: At your age? You should be ashamed!
Tata: Well, sure. I could go in handcuffs.

The best part of the afternoon and evening comes as I make the rounds to say goodbye. Mom has dashed off after her grandsons. Tom and his friends are sitting in a circle on the lawn and everyone has a drink in hand. I take a deep breath to speak when someone tells us loudly –

She 1: If I’ve learned anything in life it’s that you should never paint naked.
She 2: Did you paint naked?
She 1: No, he did!

He bursts out laughing. He is one of Tom’s oldest friends and he was painting his kitchen naked and standing one foot on a counter and the other on a ladder when a young friend brought over his first, impressionable girlfriend to meet him. They walked in and found his various parts dangling, as he says now, “like mistletoe.”

She 1: Remember those parties where – when the kids got up in the morning – they’d step over the bodies sprawled everywhere?

Daria, who’s holding a sleeping baby, has sidled up next to me from nowhere. She raises her hand now and says, “Hey! Hey!” We were those kids. The people sitting in the circle were some of the sprawled bodies. It’s still funny. One thing I like about these people is they’re not rewriting and sanitizing their histories.

I thank them for a front-row seat on their glorious antics. Then I drive over to St. Peter’s Hospital to visit a friend recovering from his. Daria says it’s from our parents’ friends that we learned to function as part of a small, responsive group: if you need a car, you call somebody and they lend you a car. If someone needs you to take care of their kids, you go pick up the kids. Give and take. From these same people we learned the – as we know now – rather natural idea that men and women can be friends and friends with their Exes. Maybe your parents’ friends didn’t walk around naked. Trust me, it would’ve been funnier if they had.

I’m Worth A Million In Prizes

Weeks ago, a friend asked me to be patient about a Difficult Situation(tm). Strangely, I agreed, since we’d been friends for eight years and I was a mere bystander, not some imperiled participant. I don’t know what possessed me to think this wouldn’t happen.

Tata: Okay, I’ll keep my trap shut. [Pause] I can’t take it anymore!

While I was actually attempting to stifle myself, my friend was doing everything in his power to undermine his own efforts to deal with the Difficult Situation(tm) and lying about it. To put this vague description into urban guinea terms you definitely understand: it was like the time your junkie cousin borrowed your car to go to a job interview, then called you to bail him out when your car went into the Hudson River. You sensed something was wrong but you hoped against hope that this time, this cucuz wouldn’t fuck you over. When he did, you said, “I feel like a chooch but at least I tried to help.” And that was the last time you tried to help, no matter how much Mama, Zia and Nonna cried, am I right?

Friend: You hate me, I can tell. That makes two of us.
Tata: Tell your story walking, fella. I’m too selfish to dedicate my next wrinkle to your dumb drama.

Yes, that’s what friends are for: to borrow your stuff and test your boundaries. No, wait, that’s not what friends are for after you wise up and quit schtupping each other’s assorted spouses – especially since what you want from your friends is a break from your damn family. (Do family members – by any chance – keep you in a cage, feed you cake and call you pet names like “Puddin'” and “Tasty”? You and Gretel should consider busting out of Gingerbread Death Row.) Though I have seen my friends make efficient car repairs using only an oak tree, steal potted plants from crowded restaurants and fling ice cream cakes from fifth floor balconies, I trust them with my life, by which I mean: to bury me in a shallow grave near a neighborhood with good schools to bring down property values. Trust is everything. I have one friend I trust to disappoint me and in that he is entirely trustworthy. Several friends have drug problems, arrest records, histories with cults, abuse, cruel spouses, and realtors. The one thing they have in common is they can be trusted to care about me.

The thing my lying, undermining, manipulating, spineless and self-destructive friend cannot be trusted to do is care about me, or the eight years of our lives he wasted before he showed me his true colors.

I wonder if he realizes he’s not my friend. I wonder if this makes me more or less open to new people, in some unfolding stage of life. No, I don’t hate him, but I’m not going to give him another chance to make me sorry I extended myself for him. There’s just one thing to say. Say it with me, sports fans: Go in peace, but keeeeep going.

On the Mental Jukebox, Kill Me Now Edition

Good: The New York Times mentioned Poor Impulse Control in passing.
Bad: I failed to amused the reporter, who like thousands of people before him thought he was reading dead-serious dreck.

Good: I may finally have found an apartment.

Good: I did not slit my wrists yesterday.
Bad: Night Ranger’s Don’t Tell Me You Love Me is playing in my head today.

Voices Carry

As usual, Daria directs the toddlers, nurses the baby and writes a grocery list while she talks on the phone.

Tata: So I call up Miss Sasha and she answers the phone sounding kind of…disoriented and breathless. I ask her, “Darling, Mommy needs your social security number.” So she starts to tell me and about halfway through she sort of trails off, and then she remembers and then we hang up. I’m like, “Why did she pick up?” So she calls me back about an hour later.
Daria: I could’ve gone all day without that mental picture.
Tata: She goes, “Mommy, we were eating waffles and fell asleep.”
Daria: She’s a terrible liar.
Tata: She’s a terrible liar! I stood up in my cubicle and shouted, “IS THAT THE BEST YOU CAN DO?” Scared the hell out of my brand new student worker.
Daria: Unaccustomed to your outbursts, is she?
Tata: She’s new to New Jersey. I’m breaking her in by shouting profusely, mostly about manicures. So Miss Sasha calls back again.
Daria: She does? Why?
Tata: She says, “Mommy! I figured out why you were so confused I was in bed before.” I say, “You did? Why’s that?” She says, “Did you know we’re on Central Time?” I say I didn’t know Pensacola was on Central Time. She goes, “See? Now it makes sense.” I say, “Sweetheart, I called you after one in the afternoon.”
Daria: I’m dying! What’d she say?
Tata: “Well, yeah…”
Daria: I can’t breathe!
Tata: Not to give her marital advice or anything – because we all know I don’t know jackshit about staying married – but I say a Twister game and a bottle of olive oil will keep her out of divorce court.

Thank Your Favorite Deity, Miss and Mr. Sasha were unharmed by Hurricane Dennis and Tropical Depression Cindy, though I did tell them if they were killed by a sub-par thunderstorm with a stupid nickname I’d spend the rest of my life alternately weeping and smirking. The newlyweds spent the evacuation weekend in Montgomery, Alabama, where they discovered in a convenience store that complete strangers held exciting opinions about interracial couples, but talk is often cheap. In Milwaukee last week, Paulie Gonzalez discovered celebrity gossip is relative.

Guy In Wisconsin: You’re from New Jersey? My favorite musician, Barbecue Bob, is from New Jersey.
Paulie: Yeah yeah, I know Barbecue Bob from the bar.
Guy In Wisconsin: Barbecue Bob plays at bars and clubs?
Paulie: Barbecue Bob drinks in the bar.

The aforementioned student worker is a brilliant, lovely woman from Beijing with a mile-long resume and a perfect command of English. Her name sounds like the ringing bell on a beloved daughter’s two-wheeler. She could do my job with her left brain tied behind her back. Fortunately for our dignity and my retirement plans, it is my function in life to teach her filing and business letter writing. She helps me create order where now there is chaos and despair; I create blackness and cynicism in her soul. Yahtzee!

Student: Why do you have snacks?
Tata: Since I was a tiny school nerd with luxurious long hair, I’ve been fascinated with the Watts Towers. One crazy man with spare time, garbage and an unhealthy fixation built these unbelievably beautiful, amazing things. I’ve never seen them. Then lunchbox applesauces were on sale at A&P, so I built these things on my desk to confuse my co-workers. You wouldn’t believe how towers of applesauce upset people.
Student: They’re absolutely symmetrical, in the shape of an M. What are they for?
Tata: I eat them. They’re applesauce. They’re all different flavors, which is to say colors, so I can’t eat just one. I have to eat two.
Student: When I saw them I thought you were exceptionally…healthy

When she says “healthy” I hear “certifiable” and I lie down on my cubicle floor to laugh hard enough. My co-worker calls from a desk forty feet from mine. My standards are low. I reach up for the phone.

Tata: Ta speaking.
Co-Worker: What’s so funny? I must know!
Tata: Are you calling from your desk?
Co-Worker: I heard you laughing. University Libraries heard you laughing. Why are you laughing?
Tata: Well, our student worker has determined my applesauce towers are an alarming Rorschach test. I’m going home to watch a few minutes of one-dimensional people speaking sestina-like buzzword dialogue on General Hospital. And I called Systems, left a message in Pirate Speak without leaving my name and they called me, out of the libraries’ hundreds of employees. Apparently, if you say “Arrrrrrrr” and “Avast!” and threaten to mail them parrots people will give you what you want.
Co-Worker: Aha…!

Don’t kid yourself. He’s taking notes.

Uses of Me

Chances are extremely good I will live a long and annoying life – unless my beautiful daughter learns those three terrifying words: “power of attorney.” Yes, odds are overwhelmingly against my plane being hijacked, my train detonated or my body being buried in a shallow grave in the woods. It seems unlikely my brain would turn substantially soupier and my nursing home fall under siege. However, it is always possible I could somehow be unable to speak for myself and a will would not be enough. People who know me might lose their nerve and look for false hope. People who did not know me might attempt to exploit my situation. In the event I cannot speak for myself, I am asking you not to fall prey to anyone who misspeaks.

If I am murdered, no matter how few pieces of me are ever found, please feel no need for revenge. I have heard of many families of the murdered pursuing execution only to find that the murderer’s death did not solve their problems. Don’t waste years of your life chasing the illusion – unless…Unless it’s funny. If I am murdered by a rampaging dressmaker outraged by my womanly hips, and you happen to be in a life-threatening snit and holding pinking shears, by all means cut on the bias and don’t look back. But don’t blame me if the orange jumpsuit chafes and imparts dye on your light laundry.

Live your own life. If I am in an irreversible coma, cut the power. Let me go off into whatever comes next, even if that is nothingness. I am not afraid of not being. In fact, that is the dumbest argument against abortion: What if you had never been born? If I had never been born I wouldn’t be rolling my eyes at the complete and utter stupidity of what if you had never been born? No matter what belief system you adhere to you cannot possibly have the facts and no matter who you are what happens next is completely out of your control. It’s a crapshoot. Am I in a better place? We don’t know! But please don’t take my transformed state of being as a criticism of survivors, as Miss Manners would certainly not approve.

If I happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time and I am tossed overboard in my wheelchair, if an airliner crashes into my office, if I find myself on the losing end of an international incident, don’t wrap me or my casket in a flag and tell people I would want 19-year-olds sent to pointless deaths in my name. For fucksake, folks: I appreciate my hilarious little life enough to insist nobody destroy the vulnerable psyches of teenaged weekend obstacle course veterans with combat in my memory. No. Absolutely not. Not even if it’s funny.

There is a difference between justice and revenge. Sure, arrest my killer or killers and make him, her or them wear the orange jumpsuit. You’ve got my blessing. But that’s it. In The World According to Garp, Ellen James is raped and her tongue cut out; in protest, young women have their tongues removed surgically “in solidarity” – much to Ellen James’ horror. And almost nobody seems to remember that Rodney King was equally horrified when his beating inspired a whole city to riot. “Why can’t we all just get along?” he moaned with all the helplessness of a man who couldn’t stop what people who co-opted his image and name set in motion. So let’s cut to the chase.

You can’t use me:
*for any proselytizing religious purpose. I mean it. None.
*to harm others
*to rally Mad Mothers. I hate those self-righteous bitches. Go the hell home!
*to deprive anyone other than the person or persons directly responsible for my death of their civil rights – and fuck that Patriot Act written in the name of 3,000 dead human beings
*to divide my family, my friends, my nation or my planet along racial, ethnic, religious, sexual orientation, class or economic lines

You can use me to:
*feed the hungry (consider crabmeat stuffing)
*discuss forgiveness (yeah, I put the “er…and?” in “Peace, Love and Understanding”)
*put a face on the underrepresented ‘Riotously Enraged and Publicly Engaged’ population
*study the censorship implied by the funding of official art vs. the painful struggle of underground artists.

If I can’t speak for myself and some self-aggrandizing pigfucker like – but not limited to – Randall Terry shows up with a film crew pull the plug on that asshole’s media comeback and then pull it on me. I am not his or theirs to use, and I am not a cause. I am a person with very specific ideas about right, wrong and where to get a decent pizza. If debate erupts in the Senate and Presidents summon helicopters to turn me into a victimized symbol used against invisible people just like me, find yourself a film crew and play Point & Laugh all the way to the simple end: She’s dead. Get it? So let’s get a martini and I’ll tell you an outrageous Tata story.

I am saying this as clearly as I can. I also recommend you put your wishes where people can see them. I don’t want my messy and/or comically enhanced death to undo my life’s work of artmaking, rabble-rousing and taste-testing at the Buffet Table of Life. If someone tells you I was virtuous or would want you to give up your free speech because I went BOOM! take a deep breath and tell him to fuck off. Don’t mince words or stutter politely. Fuck off, you fucking publicity hound, you lying sack of karmic shit, you hypocritical soul-stealer. Practice. Those words will undoubtedly come in handy, and swearing makes you look smart to the other cool kids.

Now, it’s your turn. Blog it, baby. What is the meaning of your life? I’ll – uh – check in over the next day or two. In the meantime, I’ve got something scandalous to do, probably involving salsa, a cabana boy and a martini; later, a picnic and the punk rock memorial service for Instant Death’s Scotty Byrne. Odds are excellent I’ll laugh, I’ll cry, I’ll curse the day someone was born, even myself. Got it? Good.

Fifteen Minutes, Max

It is not a demon sent straight from Hell to torture me on earth, kill me and drag me – probably still complaining in the afterlife – to eternal torment in a lake of fire. No. It’s a Chrysler LeBaron and My Mechanical Nemesis. Two weeks ago, getting into the car became more difficult than it had been. Before, I’d stick the key in the driver’s side lock, turn it, yank the door open with all my “I’m 900 years old but exercise every day” might and shove from the other side to open the door wide enough to twist myself under the steering wheel and drop into the seat. The car whined metallically about the whole affair, but you know how unprincipled cars can be. Then one day yanking with all my might produced full-scale metal groaning. I could barely wedge my small person sideways through the doorway and despite years of dance and gymnastics training and decades of aerobics, weightlifting and yoga, I could not fluidly move from the car’s exterior to its interior without whacking my head on the door frame. Naturally, I did what any mature, independent woman, confident in her own accomplishments and self-worth, would do: I called the ex-boyfriend.

Tata: Dahhhhhhhhhhhling, would you have time to look at the car door, please?
Paulie Gonzalez: Absolutely.

Paulie changed out of a silk Tony Soprano shirt, into a synthetic blend Tony Soprano shirt, and came right over. Later, he stood in the kitchen and washed his hands with grease-removing goop called Goop.

Tata: How bad is it?
Paulie: The good news is I can fix it. The bad news is until I weld the pieces back together you should not use the door for a door.
Tata: What’s its new job?
Paulie: Being a statue of a door. But with a sometimes open window.

As I shut off the alarm this morning I knew the embarrassingly brief commute to work would be interesting. Clearly visible in the backyard two houses over three drunken men were trying to brawl. Fortunately, the drunks were so drunk they had trouble grabbing lawn chairs and each other. There’s an omen for you. I took it to mean I shouldn’t operate farm equipment, which is good because I don’t have any and I’d have to steal it first.

From the moment I step out of my building until I throw gear on my desk so little time elapses that I should be deeply ashamed of driving to work. Anywhere else, I’d probably bicycle to work but in New Brunswick the drivers are so reckless that the only people on bikes are pale, sensitive people who have just intuited the real trick to killing themselves is to get an uninsured driver to do it. Since I occasionally still have the will to live, I drive.

I unlock the passenger door, throw my stuff on the floor, sit crookedly in the seat and slam the door behind me. I fold myself in half, heave my butt over the console while trying to avoid the seat belt lock. I fold my legs, spin around and plant my feet on the floor. Yesterday I was not a moron and pushed the seat all the way back before I reversed this process to get out, so now my legs are not pinned against the steering wheel. Yes, I feel very, very smart.

Five traffic lights and two death-defying intersections later, I park in a deck. The drive is so quick clicking the face plate onto the car stereo takes longer than the first two lights. In the deck, it’s all concrete and quiet, except it takes me two tries to park. I can’t really see over the dashboard so I guess where the white lines might be, probably the way George Bush used to.

The interminable walk from my car to my desk takes me on a 50-foot Garbage Tour. Imagine the people who threw these now-flat things from car windows while driving through a college parking deck at a cautious 15 mph! The garbage changes a little each day. For instance: yesterday, I wondered about a pregnancy test and the Buddy Holly glasses. What kind of madcap denial and legal blindness did that imply? This morning, I was thinking about the broken concrete chunks from the ceiling when I looked up and a miniature street sweeper appeared before me, as if by Department of Public Works magic. I was immediately overjoyed, because I cherish few unrealized dreams as I cherish my hope that someday – someday! – I can steal one of these outdoor Zambonis and scour the Holland Tunnel. But, as the pedestrian in this story, I know my life is now in grave danger: whenever you see a streetcleaner, you will also find another driver who has stopped paying attention to what he’s doing and could run you over even if you don’t have a bicycle and a death wish. The second driver appeared right on cue behind the streetsweeper, staring at the apparition in front of him and didn’t see me at all.

I recognized the expression on the DPW worker’s face. Years ago, when drunk driving was still hilarious, my friends and I all worked New Year’s Eve, made merry and took a brief nap on recycled couches and diner furniture that should have been considered petri dishes for the next great vaccine, not to mention paternity tests for half the city’s young voters. An hour later, we drank some coffee and poured ourselves into a well-windowed customized van and drove off to the bar where all our other friends were converging with intent to spend New Year’s Day at an odd angle. Our drunkest friend was at the wheel. Our most sober friend was in charge of navigating and nagging. I sat in the back next to a window, completely responsible for trying not to scream as our driver rocketed through the nearly empty streets of New Brunswick. When the van took a corner on two wheels, I found myself less than a foot away – nearly face to face – with a guy in a streetsweeper. Our eyes were locked on each other. Our feelings for one another were perfectly clear.

I was screaming –

He was screaming –

I was screaming –

He was screaming – not that I could hear him, but there was no mistaking the fact that if I could’ve taken my eyes off his I could’ve seen clear to his uvula. In less than a second, we raced off. So I recognized the expression on the streetcleaner driver’s face when he thought he was caught between a pedestrian and a typical New Brunswick driver. Fortunately, I’m in good shape for a fat 900-year-old and have novel ideas about which end is up.

After that, I wanted a nap – or a good, stiff drink.

Staring Like Gary Sinise

When the doorbell rings, I’m dressed like my late grandfather on a lazy afternoon – by which I do mean before he died and in a guinea tee and boxer shorts. He liked his granddaughters in dresses. I wonder idly if he’d be proud of his middle-aged darling in a “My girlfriend is in Palomar” t-shirt. The bread lady waits in the hallway. It’s worth it to her but in this sweltering summer and in my endless quest to smell like an expensive dessert I’m afraid I’ve taken a left turn at the fragrant, meaty buffet.

Her name is Paula and she is very, very old. She always carries two shopping bags filled with what might be politely termed “day-old bread.” The bags smell sour. Paula smells like sweat and determination; she speaks halting English with a heavy German accent. About once a week, she hands me a loaf of bread I wouldn’t eat on a double-dog dare and I give her $3. We struck this deal years ago, though I can’t remember when or how she found me. On days when I don’t have $3 she lets me slide. My credit’s good, she says. I always come up with money within a few days.

She tells me about the blessings of the Lord. Since it seems to give her joy to tell me about my Lord being nailed to a support beam, I let her go on a bit. She offers to bring me a Bible. I hold open the door, “I’ve got three. But thank you, and please take good care of yourself.”

Before you get the idea I think I’m moral hot shit, don’t. Instead: get the idea that I am filled with gallons of Leave Me Alone. I am also filled with quarts of It’s Disgraceful You Have To Sell Mouldy Bread to Eat, a cup or two of Why Are Elderly People Defenseless and Uncared-For? and a few pinches of How Can This Be Happening? Paula doesn’t appear to have in her an ounce of self-pity and good for her. I’m so horrified by the ordinary awfulness that must have led her to my door in the first place that I close it behind her very, very gently as she goes.

Hard Place, Rock On…

Johnny’s pot of gold is infested with surly elves:

The wife is not satisfied with our life either. The thirteen hour days, the constant atmosphere of chaos and panic, the institutionalized workaholism, they add up to no kind of work/life balance. They’re bleeding us, working us like coolies. The breaking point was Friday night when she was supposed to get out at six but instead got out at nine and we missed opening night at the Opera. Sometimes you just have to say fuck it, and we say fuck it. We want our life back. Unfortunately she signed a contract, but, uh, fuck it.

The rest of the weekend, I have to say, has been great. The Wine Fest was fun, although judging by what we tasted, New Mexico’s wine industry is decidedly in its youth. We danced to some vaguely salsa music. I didn’t even know I could salsa. It was hot. Later we went to Cafe Paris and ate elegant food on the sidewalk, though not actually, you know, on the sidewalk, and were serenaded by an accordionist/singer and violinist playing Edith Piaf songs. It was hot. Today we went to the annual pancake breakfast on the Plaza in Santa Fe, and danced to vaguely tango music. I didn’t even know I could tango. It was hot. After two days I have a whole-summer-in-Massachusetts tan. Hot.

The sale of the house in New Hampshire house supposedly happens the twenty-ninth of this month. God, please let this happen. I’ll take back what I said about your son being a long-haired dress-wearing faggot.

I don’t have a son, so Johnny’s referring to that Jesus fellow we hear so much about. Isn’t that precious? Like Pearl S. Buck, I’ve always thought land was the only thing worth having.

On the Mental Jukebox, Joi de Vivre Edition

If the sun should stop shining on me
I’d watch the rain flow towards the sea
If I want to be a part of everything
I wouldn’t I wouldn’t
I wouldn’t say no.

If I should find I have no home
I’d gladly take the chance to roam
If I want to be a part of everything
I wouldn’t I wouldn’t
I wouldn’t say no.

I’m alive in happiness
I’m alive in suffering
I’m alive in the field of action
and life everlasting.

-The Barleycorns, I Wouldn’t Say No
from an old French song