Leave Tonight Or Live And Die This Way

You got a fast car
I want a ticket to anywhere
Maybe we make a deal
Maybe together we can get somewhere

Anyplace is better
Starting from zero got nothing to lose
Maybe we’ll make something
But me myself I got nothing to prove

You got a fast car
And I got a plan to get us out of here
I been working at the convenience store
Managed to save just a little bit of money
We won’t have to drive too far
Just ‘cross the border and into the city
You and I can both get jobs
And finally see what it means to be living

You see my old man’s got a problem
He live with the bottle that’s the way it is
He says his body’s too old for working
I say his body’s too young to look like his
My mama went off and left him
She wanted more from life than he could give
I said somebody’s got to take care of him
So I quit school and that’s what I did

You got a fast car
But is it fast enough so we can fly away
We gotta make a decision
We leave tonight or live and die this way

I remember we were driving driving in your car
The speed so fast I felt like I was drunk
City lights lay out before us
And your arm felt nice wrapped ’round my shoulder
And I had a feeling that I belonged
And I had a feeling I could be someone, be someone, be someone

You got a fast car
And we go cruising to entertain ourselves
You still ain’t got a job
And I work in a market as a checkout boy
I know things will get better
You’ll find work and I’ll get promoted
We’ll move out of the shelter
Buy a big house and live in the suburbs

I remember we were driving driving in your car
The speed so fast I felt like I was drunk
City lights lay out before us
And your arm felt nice wrapped ’round my shoulder
And I had a feeling that I belonged
And I had a feeling I could be someone, be someone, be someone

You got a fast car
And I got a job that pays all our bills
You stay out drinking late at the bar
See more of your friends than you do of your kids
I’d always hoped for better
Thought maybe together you and me would find it
I got no plans I ain’t going nowhere
So take your fast car and keep on driving

I remember we were driving driving in your car
The speed so fast I felt like I was drunk
City lights lay out before us
And your arm felt nice wrapped ’round my shoulder
And I had a feeling that I belonged
And I had a feeling I could be someone, be someone, be someone

You got a fast car
But is it fast enough so you can fly away
You gotta make a decision
You leave tonight or live and die this way

Fast Car – Tracy Chapman

My life to date can be summed up in three words….Mistakes, disappointment and compromise.  Of those three I think compromise has the least sting and the most promise for a better future. Mick Jagger was right when he wrote “You can’t always get what you want. But if you try sometimes, you just might find, you get what you need.”  One can hope for this or that, wish for a lottery win or rich unknown uncle, but I feel the only way to achieve a better life is first, knowing what it is you really want, then setting realistic goals that YOU can complete to reach your dream. Help from others is nice and appreciated, but you can’t count on it.

Winterport 1861
Winterport 1861

I took a drive through Winterport Maine this morning waiting for the grocery store to open. As I drove the small streets by the Penobscot River I felt a deep connection to the small cottages by the shore and the overall feel of small town Maine. I felt that old familiar pull of wanting to live in a small house by the sea, wondering what it would have been like to grow up years ago in such a small town. Images of summers by the shore, a one room school, Fourth of July parades and Fire Dept. BBQ’s by the station. Saturday night bean suppers at the Grange hall, the local church bells ringing on Sunday. All the things that make Maine my home.

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Big storms over North Yarmouth

Yesterday my brother and I took my mom over to Yarmouth for pizza “with her boys” and on the way we stopped by my boat so my brother could have a look. Again, I felt a rush of excitement knowing this was my future, a home no one could take away from me. Was it the boat I really wanted? No. But that’s the thing about compromise, You were right Mick, I’m getting what I need if not what I want.

I understand now that I am never going to be able to afford a house by the sea, but I can experience everything else that comprises all the things that make up life in a small coastal town, without the property taxes! I can attend the summer festival, buy food from a local farm stand, talk local politics at the country store, breath in the salt air every morning. Most of the things I want can come true with a little compromise.

DCIM100GOPRO
Boothbay Harbor Maine

I also reflect back on all the places I have lived, so many now I have lost count. At one time I did own some land in Sebec Maine, and as beautiful as it was I still felt an urge to travel. I seem to get bored after a couple years staying in one place, the 1800’s mountain man in me is pulled to greener pastures, cleaner springs.When I think it through, buying a boat rather than a house gives me the opportunity to be that mountain man, just on the sea instead. I can balance the travel bug in me with the want of small town life. Freedom comes in many forms if one bothers to look at all options.

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Rocky Mountains in Colorado

Years ago when I drove through Colorado I was overwhelmed with the complete majesty of the Rockies. I thought of miners living in a shack, panning in a stream hoping for the “Big Strike” that would give them all the things they felt were needed for a better life, only to find nothing but hardship and even death for their efforts. Trying to live your life on a hope and a dream no longer makes sense to me. Better to find the happy medium, compromise a little now before it’s too late. If I waited for enough money for a larger boat, tried to save for a down payment on a house, I don’t think I would ever reach a stable existence before I was to old to enjoy it. Leave tonight or live and die this way…that’s dam straight!

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14 thoughts on “Leave Tonight Or Live And Die This Way

  1. Beautiful word pictures you paint there Mr. Guy with the Dog.. Funny thing about ‘home’, it’s elusive. One can live in a mansion by the sea, and still not feel at home. I’ve lived in many different types of buildings in my life and never yet found ‘home’ in any of them. I think it’s because unless one is content with what one has, one might think there is always something better out there if they just keep looking. I’m glad you’ve found your own version of home at last!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I chose my little piece of Maine to best fit my dream projects and price.. Even then, I knew I might flip it if I’m not perfectly content with it as my permanent home.. Considering my age, I probably should make this my retirement home and hobby.. But like you, I get that travel bug.. Maybe converting the cargo trailer into a travel trailer will give me the best of both.. I owe nothing on the property except yearly taxes which are low.. I really think you and I are both realizing our very different dreams at the same time..

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Several things … first I ADORE that Tracey Chapman track. Second, thank you for the picture of Boothbay reminding me of good time spent there are your recommendation last year and finally … wisdom in buckets – we none of us know what is ahead, we none of us know how long we have. Best to get what we need running through our veins somehow than wait for the mythical wants to arrive and maybe not even be able to greet them.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Compared to many people your life has been a real success. You have overcome some major obstacles, you have a successful career that has taken you all over America and now you have your dream boat! Enjoy this time. 😘

    Liked by 1 person

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