We were lying on the side of the highway on a late summer day. We were lying close to the ground, watching the cars pass by at high speeds from ground level. The drugs had taken full hold and all that was left to do was either enjoy them or go flat fucking nuts. We'd decided to attempt enjoyment by observing traffic from a bug's view while our backs got sunburned. Our backs were to the sun and our minds were as mixed up as a string of flies tied together.
I've got my back to the sun 'cause the light is too intense.
I can see what everybody in the world is up against.
Can't turn back, you can't come back. Sometimes we push too far.
One day you'll open up your eyes and you'll see where we are.
Bob Dylan was telling us what was on his mind back then, and we knew full well what he meant. We might not have understood the exact reference, but we damn sure understood the mind set. It was an old story with a new twist of lime and lunacy.
We didn't have the format to listen to Dylan on the road. Can you imagine that now, Young Turk? The idea that you'd have to go home to hear your music, on vinyl, unless you wanted to listen to what the radio offered up? Luckily, what the radio offered up back then was fairly good, but it was rarely Dylan. You might catch Like a Rolling Stone or I Want You, if the DJ was cool, but you weren't going to hear Desolation Row in the car where I lived.
Some of these bootleggers, they make pretty good stuff.
Plenty of places to hide things here if you want to hide them bad enough.
I'm staying with Aunt Sally, but you know she's not really my aunt.
Some of these memories, you can learn to live with, and some of 'em you can't.
Whiskey straight out of the bottle, on a sunny afternoon in the back of an old Army Jeep. How much more manly can a little boy be? The white bootlegger hid it in an old freezer in his garage. He'd charge $5 a pint. The black bootlegger would only charge $4, but you had to drive almost to the Tennessee line to get to his place. He hid his underneath his living room floor. But I don't think the songwriter is talking about whiskey here. This final track on Love and Theft is just a bit deeper than drugs or liquor or even women, I think.
Once I took a girlfriend downtown to see the Richard Pryor Live movie. The first one. I'd seen it at the drive-in at least three times, and each time I laughed so hard I almost puked. That was the funniest thing I had ever seen in my entire life up to that point, without a doubt. But when we went to see it in a big downtown theater where we were the only white folks in the audience, it wasn't so funny any more. We made it out alive, but not unharmed.
The ladies down in Darktown, they're doin' the Darktown strut.
You always got to be prepared, but you never know for what.
There ain't no limit to the amount of trouble women bring.
Love is pleasing, love is teasing, love is not an evil thing.
It wasn't a very smart thing to do, in retrospect. But I wanted her to feel the laughter I'd felt those times at the drive-in not that long ago. She was the elephant girl at the zoo. She kept a live adult hawk in her house. She fed it tiny mice that she bred herself. She snored so badly that I couldn't sleep with her. Her name was Drew. It was the second Drew in a row for me, and neither one of them lasted very long.
I've never really felt depression. I've had so many folks around me feeling it, I guess I got sick of it and didn't want it. Some sort of immunity. Some of them never said a word about it and some of them couldn't fucking shut up about it. The whiners outlived the silent sufferers, and that's just wrong.
Every moment of existence seems like some dirty trick.
Happiness can come suddenly and leave you just as quick.
Any minute of the day, the bubble can burst.
Try to make things better for someone sometimes you just
End up making it a thousand times worse.
Love and theft. Sex and death. Love and death. Sex and theft. Stealing death. It all gets rolled into a little ball, doesn't it? Imagine little people as dung beetles rolling all this accumulated crap up a very tiny but quite steep hill. Over and over.
Your charms have broken many a heart and mine is surely one.
You got a way of tearin' a world apart. Love, see what you've done.
Just as sure as we're livin'; just as sure as you're born,
Look up, look up, seek your Maker 'fore Gabriel blows his horn.