You see gravity pulls
but it can’t keep you around
It’ll be one long day
and now the moon is down
— Mr. John Prine
Mo and I were in the courting stages. She was living in Seattle and I was in Arizona. I was hoping i could trick her into marrying me, but I had to know one thing first.
During a visit to Washington to see her, we went to a record store and bought a CD. It was John Prine’s first album. She had mentioned once that she didn’t care for “Bob Dylan folk singers,” and I feared that would include Mr. Prine, which clearly meant I would be forced to break up with her immediately.
We left the store on a cold, rainy Seattle night and I started the album. By the time we made it home, she was a fan for life. We got married and lived happily ever after, in spite of ourselves. She’s listened to him religiously since.
I suppose when the coronavirus nightmare ends, everyone will carry away a feeling of personal loss, one moment that made it real. This was mine.
I read once that he didn’t want to grow old enough that he ended up in a nursing home, because people would be sticking their heads in and saying “hello, in there.” So maybe this was as good a time as any to bow out.
We went out tonight to see the moon, and ended up on the patio eating tacos beneath its warm glow. With the last of our Corona stash, we toasted the memory of a guy who wrote simple songs with profound meanings, a genius whose lyrics stay with you for a lifetime, and beyond.
Father forgive us for what we must do
You forgive us we’ll forgive you
We’ll forgive each other till we both turn blue
Then we’ll whistle and go fishing in heaven.
Happy fishing, Mr. Prine. We will miss you.