One of These Days I’m Going to Cut You into Little Pieces…

May 22, 2013 at 11:17 am (Cosmic Encounters, Sweet sticky things)

So, I went to a Pink Floyd tribute show with my ex-wife. No cause for concern or alarm there, right?

It sounded like fun when she invited me. I had no IDEA how intensely emotional the night would turn out…

broken EnglishAnnie and I have had a tumultuous relationship from that first day in the c-store when we fought about empty bottle returns to marriage to divorce to living together off and on for ten years. Much like that sentence, a run-on relationship. Most of those early years played out to a Pink Floyd soundtrack. Most of those songs came from sides of record albums. That was the theme of the night’s show.

I stuffed my pockets with paper towels. I know how I’ve been lately, (like an old woman when it comes to getting emotional) so I didn’t want to be a snotty mess. I stuck a few clean ones in a separate pocket in case Annie had the same problem.

Annie was celebrating five years quitting smoking cigarettes, and a year without alcohol. Man, it’s so much easier not having to deal with alcohol at a concert. We shared a mighty cupcake at Meg’s place.

Yes, I took my ex-wife to my mistress’s house. We smoked weed together and Meg sold Annie some jewelry. As we were leaving, Rain called. I let it go to voicemail, and she left no message. She’d called earlier, after standing me up twice, to say she was coming over. I told her I was out with friends, and busy until tomorrow. She seemed surprised that I didn’t want to spend my entire day off staring at the wall at home, waiting to see if she shows up.

Meg smiled at me. “You’re such a tomcat. You’re certainly not a racist!”

“Hey,” I said. “We’re all pink in the middle.” I would use that line more than once on this night.

We arrived at the show, blew through the line in about two minutes, and had an hour to kill while we waited for the cupcake to kick in. We looked at merchandise, Annie wanted to buy me a shirt but I chose the $5 DVD of greatest hits covers. Besides, I want to support my local record store by getting a shirt there.

Brit FloydAt promptly 8 PM, the lights dimmed, and a little feller with a clarinet came to the center of the blacked-out stage.

As he stood in silhouette playing the opening ditty, a big video screen showed hands selecting a vinyl album, and dropping the needle on the side the band was about to play. Side one of The Wall.

There should be a law that every rock concert should open with In The Flesh? What an over-the-top smack in the face. Annie jolted backward, though she’s heard the album a million times. Big grins spread across our faces, and I felt the tears welling up. We had a baby to this music. I texted a picture of the stage, and a picture of her parents to that baby, who is now 33.

As Mother finished, I dropped the first of three full paper towels to the floor. I noticed Annie wiping her eyes, so I handed her a fresh paper towel. She gave me a “Whattaya gonna do?” smile. I smiled back. She was as big a wreck as me.

Time for side one of Wish You Were Here. By now we were holding hands. If The Wall brought back parenthood, WYWH reminded us of trying to give our daughter a little brother. We ditched birth control, figuring if we were gonna have two kids we should have them together. After several sexless months due to childbirth, one night she sent me out for condoms, a breast pump and a new copy of Wish You Were Here. This was a mission I would not fail at. As we sat there at the show holding hands, I wondered if she was flashing back on all the psychedelic sex we had to that album? I was…

Then came Dark Side of the Moon. I wondered how many quarter-pounds of Colombian weed we smoked listening to this album? When Us and Them began to play, I kissed her hand. We were practically bawling. “And after all, it’s not what we would choose to do…”

Intermission. Thank god. We went to the bathroom, surveyed the line and chose to wait a minute. I stepped out for a couple puffs on my sneaky-toy while Annie conquered the potty-line. We met at the seats just as Animals began to play.

This is also when the mood shifted. As Dogs played, I remembered how this used to be one of my “angry” albums. I’d put it, or One of these Days on the headphones and chug malt liquor to beat the crankies. I wondered if that’s how she was remembering this particular side?

Then came time for Division Bell. It came out about the time we separated for real. Annie remarried and subsequently lost her husband during this time. The album had two lives for me. It debuted the day my nephew was born, and we played it to death. That was a happy time.

It was Division Bell‘s second life that hit me this time.

Almost exactly eight years ago, I met someone, we hit it off and um, related for a couple years. Division Bell was one of our albums. While one wouldn’t normally think of it as a bedroom album, we made it work for us, and when the song Take It Back began playing the dam burst again. I clenched Annie’s hand, not telling her that the tears were meant for someone else, someone I loved and lost and still love and miss and am very happy that she’s okay and stuff. I’d ran into Annie about this time, things were good, but I chose the other person. I am still happy about my choices, but that was the hardest relationship I’ve ever had to end, and I don’t know if anything could have hurt more. I sure don’t want to find out. Thanks for that, Division Bell.

The rest of the show was “greatest hits.” The Great Gig in the Sky took Annie out. It’s always been her favorite song. That scrawny little white girl sure had a set of pipes on her.

One of these Days, my other pissed-off Pink Floyd song, was a crowd favorite.

“They brought the fucking pig!” It was only his head, but there he was. “Take a picture!” Annie said. I shook my head. I’m savoring this moment, not fucking around with my phone.

Comfortably Numb wasn’t loud enough, until the end. It took three guitars to nail David Gilmour’s part. Run Like Hell, with descending disco ball, was the final song.

We filed out, stopped by my work to use a cleaner, less chaotic restroom. I walked her to the MAX, she kissed me goodbye and told me, “I’ll always love you as a friend.”

“Ooh baby, you’ll always be baby to me…”

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