Rolling Stone wanted to know why a certain song Dylan wrote was covered by everyone. I knew my answer without reading their explanation. It was the only authentic witness I’d ever given, until I wrote my book.
If you know what a witness is, hey. If not, welcome. It’s your redemption story, followed by a line of people waiting to give you a hug for being alive.
I’d gone home for a long weekend after a breakup and was questioning, yet again, why I’d been born. The Social Contract, ugly apartments, systemic oppression, human fallibility, the impending doom of winter and bad taste in partners tends to make you wonder, what’s the point?
Nell was driving me to the boat on a rainy Sunday because, despite being twenty something, I still hadn’t learned to drive. Hitchhiking is free. Uber is safer.
She parked in a puddle outside the A&P. I stayed planted in the passenger seat while she went inside to buy snacks for the trip. Snacks were then and are now, an overrated distraction from the main course.
Staring into the rear view mirror, which was dotted with water spots like candy on reflective paper, I caught sight of my own tired eyes and wondered what is the point of my existence? Why did you go to all the trouble of making me? Will I ever do anything? Be anything other than apologetic? Will life ever feel safe, good, worth it…can you just give me some kind of sign?
All I heard were unsweetened raindrops until I saw the keys in the ignition of a steering wheel I’d yet to become aquatinted with. Nell’s driving scared me most of the time. No one was around to teach her how to drive either but she’s much braver than me.
Before I had a chance to set the intention that this was a round of psychic radio; a game I started in middle school with friends from CCD; we played the same game with our bibles. God if you can hear us, give us a sign. (Turn to a random page and attempt to decode your scriptural fortune…childish, I know.) But, do you know, he can use anything? Mick Jagger, Doubting Thomas, widows, the wind, a feather, strangers from Montana, the guy bumming a smoke from you at a gas station in Nome, a dream, anything.
This was the song that played: