Angel Eyes, the song kept playing in the background of my head. Echoing through my cranium like a ghostly memory might resist fully fading away when the hall is empty and the hour late. It was something about the author’s voice that in itself was haunting. The man and his era now considered finally dead and buried for the last decade. The strained tension of the chimes of the clock rang out challenging the recollection. Maybe it was all part of a dream? One of those nocturnally restless affairs where you get the impression that everything was familiar somehow but you know that night had fallen their as well and you were inexplicably naked. A companion unnamed and you had run down a sidewalk defeating the impression that you had given up. Given up, indeed? Just because your knees were now longer good in waking life and you had put on too many pounds to get a proper stiffy? And don’t forget that hernia that while it normally didn’t cause too much distress, was after all slowly swelling the apron and making it impossible to be considered capable of regaining that youthful tone. Given up indeed! Was that just bravado? What was the line of the dream? Or had that faded too? “Onward and upwards?”, or some sort of foolishness.
“So drink up all you people” “ Order anything you see”
That call that I’d been following more and more now. Just one more drink or two here and one more drink or so there. The sum total of both the bill and the bad ‘morning after’s‘ after the night sweats equating to that all too final last call coming sooner. What was there left that was so all together important to live in expectation of, or fear of, certainly like the money, the hope was running out as well.
“And have fun you happy people ” “The drink and the laugh’s on me”
They had been dead and disappeared now for a couple years. He was angel eyes to her or so she said when she had still been alive. That time after when his loss was still fresh in her mind. Before the inevitability of his daily absence in fact and in slowly fading memory had become implacable.
“Try to think that love’s not around ” “Still it’s uncomfortably near”
Yeah, the era was dead and the world of the young wanted nothing more to do with it. Old and broken was for the tip like a television with a picture tube. Working or not by the standards of the present era it was tossed off. On its way waiting alone in a back alley somewhere. Waiting to join the others of its kind still remaining in that shallow grave to oblivion.
“My old heart ain’t gaining any ground ” “Because my angel eyes ain’t here”
What happened to those eyes when they hit the heat of the oven? When the impossibly inert flesh in that awkward cardboard box rolled into that super-heated firebrick lined cavern and then was no more? It was impossible to imagine those eyes without life. Gray and striking to others, so full of life and its irrepressible enjoyment. The world still operated much the same way that they had and they still existed, somewhere. Somewhere other than this abode that had once been full of life but now was simply a mausoleum. The dead zone where all the memories of one’s former life sizzled out like the slowly deflating tires of that old bicycle leaning against the wall in a dusty attic. The light of day long diminished. Somebody that wasn’t known to anyone was pounding nails into that coffin a shovelful of ashes at a time. Those two sets of voices no longer recalled by the ability to identify their characteristic sound but by the brilliant instant after when the mind still had firm possession of what had just been said.
This last weekend he had sat at the bar where he would occasionally sit on one of its four stools alone on the way back from work. The place and the conversation hadn’t changed much. Only the faces and the voice from an equally wearied manager’s wife who still could recall the old names and personalities of that same lingering bygone era that both had known so well. A few words here and a few words there all between the chores and orders of other equally anonymous customers. No, he was not dead. His sense of youth perpetually naive still existed preferring not to strike a kinship with those former observations of his own kin that he now so obviously discovered had been passed down by time and age to be his own.
“Angel eyes, that old Devil sent”
That reluctance to recall anything with any verve as the players were all off somewhere else tonight so far away from and no longer had any wont to see him.
“Need I say that my love’s misspent”
All gone and slumbering under the watchfulness of a perpetually persistent state of constant tinnitus. Just that goddam lyric floating with those dead lips preserving that voice singing alone in tan empty auditorium long gone to its final rest in irretrievable pieces somewhere far away outside the reach of anyone still really alive.
“Misspent with angel eyes tonight” “Because those angel eyes ain’t here”