Megan's Head

A place where Megan gets off her head.

Month: January 2014

Growing up – with Bruce Springsteen

I remember this. Lying on the floor of my friend Selly’s bedroom floor in a Jozi suburb in 1980 (I was 15) and him playing me The River. I didn’t know what a union card was in the song but I imagined his brother’s car, and that drive to the river, and lying on those banks. That was my first date with Springsteen. I bought the double LP and then went backwards in time to catch up.

I remember me and Lance and the endless debate about which Springsteen song was the greatest. I swore for Badlands then, and second Thunder Road, while Lance swore there was nothing ever greater than Born to Run. We agreed that his most under appreciated song was Mary, Queen of Arkansas and we went back to study the lyrics. “I don’t understand how you can hold me so tight, and love me so damn loose”.

I remember this. I remember news that he had married a model and I turned my giant framed poster to face the wall in mourning.

I remember a windy Cape Town night. My ‘varsity boyfriend Nick and I drove his mom’s bakkie to the Goodwood showgrounds for some fair. We got out and the sun was setting. We could smell manure. Nick was wearing a checked shirt. Nebraska was playing over the tinny loudspeakers. “Well now, everything dies, baby, that’s a fact
But maybe evrything that dies someday comes back, Put your makeup on, fix your hair up pretty
And meet me tonight in Atlantic city”.

I remember this. Making forever friends with Robyn and us screaming the lyrics of No Surrender “Blood Brothers in the stormy night, with a vow to defend, No retreat no surrender”. I remember her singing perfectly “Through the wind, through the snow, through the rain, you got my, my love, oh girl you’ve got my Loooooove, heart and soul”, from the bootlegged live show of Drive All Night that we had on cassette and finally on vinyl too. “When I lost you honey, sometimes I think I lost my guts too.” By then I was in a relationship with Springsteen.

I remember this. My longest friend Mark Austin buying me the box set of Springsteen Live 1975-1985 and it being my treasure. I still have it, tattered but beautiful, today.

photo

I remember the drive in another bakkie in 1988 and an all night wait at the Beit Bridge border to the best day of my life Amnesty International concert where I loved Springsteen with 70 000 other Africans. I remember his speech, and his black jeans and waistcoat, and twisting and shouting into the Harare night.

I remember feeling almost dead and broken hearted after a big love ended and having an anonymous friend post this in the Mail and Gaurdian, to me. “Show a little faith, there’s magic in the night”.

I remember this. My first date with Big Friendly. I had just fallen in love with Worlds Apart. I was about to fall in love with Big Friendly. I was singing “Sometimes the truth just ain’t enough, Or is it too much in times like this
Let’s throw the truth away we’ll find it in this kiss, In your skin upon my skin in the beating of our hearts,
May the living let us in before the dead tear us apart”.

I remember Heather and Mark singing to Big Friendly and I as we got married and walked through the trees, “Now there’s a beautiful river in the valley ahead, There neath the oaks bough soon we will be wed, Should we lose each other in the shadow of the evening trees, I’ll wait for you, And should I fall behind, Wait for me, Darlin I’ll wait for you…”.

There is more. So much more. I made Candy’s Room for you. I was Crazy Janey. I was on Fire. I sat at the campfire light and waited for the ghost of Tom Joad. I ran on the Backsteets. I blew away the lies that left us nothing but lost and broken hearted. I stood in the Working Line. I went with you down the Tunnel of Love. I entered Lucky Town and even played Roulette.

I love you Bruce. You grew me up and made me love words and music and men and other people.

 

Improving Everything

It is the crack of dawn on Sunday 26 January. I am almost out of bed, to walk dogs and then to prepare lunch for friends-like-family. But after all that I am going to see Bruce Springsteen this evening. I am going alone. It is first concert of this tour, and it is here in Cape Town, and even though I have tickets for Tuesday night with all my friends I am still going tonight. Big Friendly bought me this most expensive ticket. That isn’t all. Next Saturday I fly to Jozi in the morning and go with my Jozi friends and family to the FNB stadium to see him a third time. Because he is the one. He is my guy. And I am making it happen because I love him.

In between Bruce Springsteen concerts we are starting our 2nd ever improv fest. I think this is huge, and awesome. On Wednesday we kick off with one of my favourite genres, Western, and I am so excited to get all dark and dangerous. Thursday nights (in our 2 week fest) are Crime nights, where a made up crime will be dissected and discovered, made up in front of the audience. Friday nights see the return of Family Musical, and Saturday is dedicated to Superscene, both extremely popular with our audiences last year.

The bonus cherry on the top special amazing end to this coming week is that I will be seeing my magnificent new love, my then two week old niece, Leeya. Oh the joy.

a baby girl

I look at the tiny hand with fingers curled

And all balance in the world is restored.

Her mother is calm and totally beautiful.

Her father is beaming, a full 10 years younger looking, himself suddenly a child

In brand new father shoes.

A newly made uncle, my husband, cannot stop crying.

He is leaking the silver pure emotion of love.

Smiles are the language of the gang of family and friends

As the precious yet unnamed but most instantly loved

freshly born person sniffs and sighs.

We gather round, move in and out, like a hive,

Interested, involved, and full of feeling, still getting over

the surprise, everyone said it was a boy.

And in no time at all a baby girl

Has firmly established her unique place

In our hearts and world.

How a lost dog changes things

Big Friendly and I are animal people. Big Friendly knows all the dogs’ names in all the places we walk; Jamie, Coco, Diego, Elvis, two Lolas. We are over attached to our dogs and cats and we over indulge them too. It’s ok. It makes us very happy.

Brenton has rescued many kittens in our neighbourhood, and each one has been a heart wrench. The last kitten, Miss P, got too close to me, and I struggled with giving her away, even though she went to the best ever home. We are currently in the not such fun phase of letting Jonesy, a cat that was abandoned and left to fend for himself, move in with us. He is quite demanding. And loud.

But last Sunday morning when we were joined in the park by a little, strong black and white young male dog, who slipped through the fence bars and played so beautifully with Frieda and Linus, we didn’t know what to do. There was no accompanying person, and nobody in sight, and when we had to leave the park, we had to do so with the little fellow in tow.

Suffice to say that Big Friendly and I did every single thing possible to find the dog’s owners. Posters. Knocking on doors. Driving around Woodstock. Facebook. Twitter. SPCA. The dog whined in our courtyard until we took him back to the park, and finally, after talking to everyone we could think of and nobody recognising him, we dropped him off at the Kenilworth Animal Hospital to go to the SPCA the following day. Of course we were tearful and heart sore. We loved him already. We continued our efforts. We searched for his owners. We felt terrible that he was confused and scared, and we imagined how his owners might feel.

Towards the end of this week, and after long conversations with Kim at the SPCA, I started thinking that the owners had probably abandoned him on purpose. It made me feel sick. I kept on putting myself in his place. I kept on feeling his feelings. And I hated people.

But today Big Friendly got a call from an elderly lady, who had seen one of the posters, looking for her dog. And the ache and fear and guilt lifted. We are all going to fetch him tomorrow (they don’t have transport) and we are going to be part of a very important reunion.

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