Anyway, thinking about the here-he-is, there-he-goesness of Dr Wheel's recent life got me to thinking about the old Pearl Jam song Off He Goes. So, because I'm not above it, I went and hunted out the lyrics:
And I realised that this isn't ferrouswheel's song. In him, I really admire the ability to stay grounded and zen in a period of change, flux and visiting many continents in a short space of time, meeting high-flyers and dancing with hippies on the same day, experimenting, moving, expanding, changing constantly. He's an exceptional human being, with a remarkable ability to not be unbalanced by living an extraordinary life. I feel privileged to be a part of that. <3 This is not his song.
This song is for someone else.
Like he's riding on a motorbike in the strongest winds
So I approach with tact
Suggest that he should relax
But he's always moving much too fast
Said he'll see me on the flipside
On this trip he's taken for a ride
He's been taking too much on
There he goes with his perfectly unkept clothes
There he goes...
He's yet to come back
But I've seen his picture
It doesn't look the same up on the rack
We go way back
I wonder about his insides
Its like his thoughts are too big for his size
He's been taken... where, I don't know?
Off he goes with his perfectly unkept hope
And there he goes...
And now I rub my eyes, for he has returned
Seems my preconceptions are what should have been burned
For he still smiles...
And he's still strong
Nothing's changed, but the surrounding bullshit that has grown
And now he's home
And we're laughing like we always did
My same old, same old friend
Until a quarter-to-ten
I saw the strain creep in
He seems distracted and I know just what is gonna happen next
Before his first step
He's off again
I'm not a big fan of Pearl Jam, but I bought No Code in 1996 because it had this song on it. It's.. haunting. Reading the lyrics and playing the song in my head took me back there - but at the time I wasn't old enough to have experienced the poignance of this meeting. Earlier this year I did experience it, when I met with someone I hadn't seen in a couple of years, and we tried to connect and missed, because nothing's changed but the surrounding bullshit that grew enough to make the gulf uncrossable. And when this song played in my head earlier today, it fit so well it's scary. I guess that happens sometimes with songs - they speak to the things you feel on the inside that you can't articulate on the outside, set up a resonance that echoes your emotions.. something.
This song is for Simon.
* Geeks swear black and blue that this is in reference to Monty Python, but I reckon it's an ironic nod to those penis references common to 14 year old boys hacking in their Mum's basement.