6:45 am, a fresh Ontario summer morning
On impulse, driving Darian to work, I put Sounds Of Silence in the CD player.
“Ah,” says Darian.
Our drive to his work is only ten minutes long and we don’t usually listen to music. But the morning is crisp and lovely– songworthy.
I was 21 years when I wrote this song
I’m 22 now but I won’t be for long
“You get to be 22 and listen to this song,” I exclaim. “I remember being 22 and listening to this song.” I try to sing along without making any noise.
Darian is 20 right now. I’m thinking about a time, probably about 17 years ago when a tiny Darian sat in the back of another car with another me, listening to Simon and Garfunkel. Filled with his music industry knowledge gleaned from watching Josie and the Pussycats, he speaks up, while tapping time on his car seat.
“This is a good band. I bet they have a record contract.”
We arrive at work just as “Kathy’s Song” begins. “Damn,” says Darian, getting out of the car. “Don’t worry,” say I. “I’ll start it over when I come back to pick you up.”
And as I watch the drops of rain
Weave their weary paths and die
I know that I am like the rain
There but for the grace of you go I
There is rain on the window of a math class 41 years ago. The test on my desk cannot hold my attention and I doodle on the margins. Mr West, walking the aisles, looks over my shoulder.
“How can rain weave a weary path?” he asks me. I point to the window. (This is Vancouver.) I am:
a) astonished he can’t figure that one out for himself since he’s a math teacher for Gods’ sake; words are easier than numbers aren’t they?
b) flattered because he apparently thinks I wrote that poem
c) incredulous that he doesn’t know this song
Time hurries on
And the leaves that are green turn to brown
Vancouver again. I can’t remember the year. I am with Dad and Margaret and Simon and Garfunkel are playing the PNE– the Pacific Coliseum maybe: some horrendous, cavernous concrete building not built for sound. Art Garfunkel’s voice is still so beautiful I start to cry. I’ve been turning brown for a while now, but that’s a moment I will keep.