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The Trouble With Her Is That She Can't Take A Joke
Park the car at the side of the road. You should know time’s tide will smother you.
It takes an hour and fifty minutes to drive from my city to his city without excessive cigarette breaks. None of this will make any sense, unless you know that:
The Catholic Church was divided in 1054 due to an argument concerning a wording of a religious text that probably makes no difference to the lives of modern day Catholics – or anyone else, for that matter. The Roman Catholics were led by the Pope in Rome. The Orthodox Catholics had their headquarters in Constantinople. Both parties got extremely paranoid and somewhat greedy. Consequently, they started to conquer new areas fiercely. By the early 12th Century most of Europe was overtaken apart from the very desolate, northern end of the world. Strangely enough nobody had shown any interest to the pagan Finns before. Yet in 1123, the Swedish Catholics saw it necessary to walk over the frozen Baltic Sea and ask the primitive Finns to convert to Christianity.
“Find a place in your heart for Jesus or we’ll stab your faces,” the bishop exclaimed when the party arrived to the coastal town Turku - my city - which then became the capital. Well, those were not his actual words – something along those lines. Nearly seven hundred years later Russians asked the Swedes to leave Finland in an orderly fashion. They said “okay,” but didn't, which is nice. Then Russians designated Helsinki - nobody’s city - as the capital. Around the same time (if not slightly later) Tampere - his city - became a significant concentration of various industries and played an important part in the latter rise and fall of the working classes. By the late 20th Century it is a vivid town mainly inhabited by artists, miscellaneous hippies, junkies, musicians, poets, all sorts of misfits and grass roots political activists. It’s been vibrant there alright.
In 1985 I was born prematurely in Turku unaware of my geographical surroundings (or their historical and political importance) - or the trouble and pain I caused my mother. You see, I was born too close to Christmas, my father was out and we had no telephone at home at the time. Therefore, my mother walked to the hospital in a blizzard whilst in labor.
“Do you know how much I suffered when you were born?” she screams whenever I upset her. I don’t. I do remember moving out from my hometown to Tampere some eighteen years later, but unfortunately my actual birth has been erased from my memory.
What my mother doesn't know is that roughly ten months before my inconvenient first birthday, Meat is Murder was released. Nobody knew that I would play one particular track – ‘That Joke Isn't Funny Anymore’ – too many times in a blue Volkswagen Golf driving from Turku to Tampere (and vice versa). I was prevented from getting anywhere near the steering wheel. My designated driver and any additional people in the car would occasionally joke about my general gloominess and suicidal tendencies. They thought I would attempt to kill us all by driving off the bridge.
Well I’m afraid, it doesn’t make me smile. I wish could laugh but that joke isn’t funny anymore. It’s too close to home.
It became rather politically incorrect to even mention cars and suicide in the same sentence when later one of our friends actually drove off a cliff somewhere in Spain. But that is more related to “There is a Light that Never Goes Out” than the song we're dealing with here.
People think that Morrissey’s vocal ability and lyrics are all about depression and drastic matters and loneliness and isolation and frustration. They are correct. Morrissey arguably has a lighter side to him which is revealed only for the privileged few. Take Adrian Deevoy, for instance. He’s a fantastic writer contributing regularly to Q Magazine. Apparently Morrissey and him are as good friends as a journalist and an eccentric pop star scared of his own shadow can be. Here's an anecdote from Deevoy that I wish was mine: “leaving the boozer behind in search of a little late-night action, we ended up in the heart of a Kentish Town council estate. Morrissey, by now giggling and fiddling with his contact lenses, seemed curiously serene…‘Shall we buy some drugs and stay up ‘til Tuesday?’ he inquired knowing full well we would not do either.”
As soon as I read the article I wrote the quotation – about the drugs and Tuesday and insomnia - on several post cards. I sent them to my dear friends who suggested that listening to the likes of “That Joke Isn't Funny Anymore” doesn't encourage me to cope with my mental illnesses.
“Why do you have to listen to melancholic things like this?” Anne asked me one time when I had “That Joke Isn't Funny Anymore” on. She was oblivious that few months earlier I was sitting once again in a blue Volkswagen Golf on my way from Turku to Tampere. It was late May and it was hot enough to melt a decent iceberg. I was shivering though.
I didn't know that my life had become somebody else’s. Yet I knew full well that everything had changed. I made phone calls that were unanswered. I sent messages that no one in particular read. Oh well. What can you do? You put The Smiths on.
I’ve seen this happen in other people’s lives and now it’s happening in mine.
I had let go of my cynical nature and unpacked my suitcases and left the toothbrush in the bathroom. I had done dishes and fed the fucking cat and chatted with the alcoholic neighbors. I picked up the phone sometimes. I had met the endless flow of sisters and brothers and numerous friends. I had seen the mother and the father from distance. I had gone camping and walks in the park and swimming in the middle of the night. I walked on the train tracks after a night out. I had drunk at beer gardens and bars and had meals in restaurants. I had bought books for someone else without slightest selfish intentions of thieving them back later. I had listened to records I didn't particularly enjoy, watched rubbish movies, smoked too much weed, and given up whizz and pills and all sorts. I had been sick and missed periods and been moderately pleased, because after all, I wasn't pregnant. Then all of a sudden somebody else was doing all these mundane things with him.
It was dark as I drove the point home and on cold leather seats. Well, it suddenly struck me. I just might die with a smile on my face after all.
#Unreal #Fiction #ShortStory #TheTroubleWithHerIsThatSheCan'tTakeAJoke #MentalIllness #Suicide #Songs
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