She was there in that pile of vinyl along with so many others. I learned why we didn’t have a TV but did have a peach tree from John Prine. Pink Floyd inspired me to save my allowance and buy a prism. I wanted to sit on that front porch with CSN. Blind Faith made me blush. I had a dog named Ziggy Stardust and a thousand million questions, just like the Moody Blues. And Melanie, well, she sent me to that dictionary with this line: “A thing’s a phallic symbol when it’s longer than it’s wide.” The White Album was my favorite. I’d take the glossy pictures out and line them up, trying to match the sounds with the faces. “Piggies” sounded like the residents of Mr. Johnson’s barn. We shared a party line with Johnson’s pig farm, and my horse was fond of hopping the corral fence to eat the feed corn. We ended up on the farm once we stopped roaming around in the VW Microbus, which took us all over the the U.S. and Canada.
I’ve never stopped traveling. I’ve been to all sorts of places. I even got stranded on a small French island and had to be rescued by smugglers. Bet you haven’t ridden rough seas hidden in a stack of tires. Good thing I don’t get sea sick. But even when I’m not going anywhere, I’m not really all here. A good book or a great song takes me away every time. I guess that’s why I write. I never did my hippie roots justice by learning to play the guitar, and piano lessons sure didn’t stick. It turns out that I didn’t need six strings or 88 keys to make music because I’ve got 26 letters. They’re all here, from A to Z, in order even. You can check.