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For Ellis: Thank You!

Posted: Fri Dec 22, 2006 10:24 pm
by Gas Passer
Dear Ellis,
Just wanted to send a brief note to thank you for the years of great songs and great memories. I’m sure you frequently encounter fans who tell you how your music has affected their lives, and not wanting to be left out, I wanted to tell my story.

I was coming home from a night on-call at a hospital in northern New Hampshire. American Jukebox Fables had just come out, and I was driving along the back roads, listening one-by-one to the tracks. Needing a bite to eat, I found a small diner with a couple of trucks in the yard. Breakfast would get me home.

It had been a long night, but my spirits picked up as I sat at the counter. A familiar smell of burned coffee, burned toast, and burned eggs comforted my senses. Still, I could not shake the feeling that just one more night had passed in a life that ultimately had a limit on nights, and days, and hours.

And then I saw her. She appeared, seemingly from out of nowhere - a vision before me. The name on her badge said “Susan”, but her voice was like an Angel’s. “What’ll ya have, honey?”she asked. Honey. She felt it too, this magical connection we had that left my head reeling and my heart pounding. Her blonde hair, blue eyes, and 4 chins left me breathless. I stammered, “I would like…a numBER four” (when I get nervous I put the accENT on the wrong syllABLE). “Sure thing, honey”she replied. Honey….there it was again….her name for me, and I just knew she was my honey as well. I inhaled the aroma of Jean Nate’ and bacon grease from her lime green cardigan, which hugged her 300 pound frame, sharply juxtaposed to her pink uniform.

A number four was corned beef hash with 2 eggs over easy and toast and homefries. My mouth was filled with as much pleasure as my eyes, my nose and my heart. You never know when your life is poised to take a direction that you had not anticipated…but sometimes you get the feeling that it might happen, and it might happen really soon. I could not keep my eyes off her as she ambled about the counter….my heart, my honey. Every so often, as if she could feel my gaze, she turned and smiled, and I swear to God, my heart rate rose as high as her daily caloric intake.

And then it happened. Three stools down a young trucker sat down , looking hungry and smelling of oak leaves and diesel fuel. My love, my Susan walked over and smiled at him… “What’ll you have, honey?”. My heart stopped between greasy forkfuls of hash. Honey. Our pet name, our bond, ….had I heard right? But of course I did. She was smiling at him like the sun on a Florida beach. My life was about to enter the house of heartache. She had moved on already.

How do you capture the moment, knowing that your life has somehow been altered? I grabbed a napkin and started pouring out my heart, my pain, my love…..

“She ain’t worth the bacon, she ain’t worth the eggs……
She ain’t worth the maple syrup that the pancake begs……..”

The pain forced the words out my brain and onto the napkin. I was writing furiously, exuding my heart through my fingers onto the cheap paper wipe.

“She ain’t worth the corned beef hash, dripping in it’s grease…..
She ain’t worth the plain white toast, eaten piece by piece…….”

But of course, she was.

I felt like Neil Young on the American Stars n Bars album cover, where you see his boozy smooshed face up through a glass floor where he has fallen from his barstool. Reeling, I left a big tip, just wanting her to know I still burned for her as hotly as I ever had. I walked out of her life forever, got into my car, and turned on the CD player.

And that’s when I heard it. She Was. You captured my heart perfectly. I played it over and over. Oh, I liked my lyrics better, and I thought my title was better, too (“Fat Susan”), but your music and passion kept her alive in my heart like oxygen to a ….dying heart.

While I have moved on and found another love, I will never forget that special time, and when I want to remember the incredible, ethereal moment of pure love, heartache and indigestion, I play She Was….and become one with her again. Thanks, Ellis. See you at the late show at Passim.

Posted: Sat Dec 23, 2006 8:17 pm
by Gas Passer
Wow....lots of looks but no replies....I thought this playful note would find at least one smile.........
Looking forward to seeing you NYE, Ellis........

Posted: Sat Dec 23, 2006 9:13 pm
by bonuela
Well, I didn't want to laugh at your first post, but I will say I was lauhing so hard I had to re read it a few times before I got the whole thing!!