When I missed Laura I used to go on an Anger Ride. Jump on my Harley and roar on the I-way for a while.
The Don used to call it “getting a rage-on.” He loved doing it in the middle of the night, when it was just him and truckers on the road.
Best bike for that was my 2002 Deuce because it only had 5 gears and at 90 mph it was loud. A few hours of that would fix me right up. Sometimes it took a few days of that.
Over the years I mellowed.
So tonight, as I lie awake in a hotel room in a small town outside Stockholm, instead of trying to find a way to rent a Harley for a rage-on through Sweden, I’m listening to music.
I can imagine Laura saying “No! Rent the Harley! Go rent the Harley!”
One of the great romantic songs of the pop era is Unchained Melody. Its lyrics were written by Hy Zaret and put to music by Alex North.
Oh, my love
I’ve hungered for your touch
A long, lonely time
And time goes by so slowly
And time can do so much
Are you still mine?
I need your love
I need your love
God speed your love to me
Lonely rivers flow to the sea, to the sea
To the open arms of the sea
Yes, lonely rivers sigh, “Wait for me, wait for me
I’ll be coming home, wait for me”
The lyrics alone are pretty, but sung by the Righteous Brothers, they’re spellbinding:
Turns out several artists, including Roy Orbison and U2 have tried to record it. Sorry. Great musicians that they were, they all failed compared to the Righteous Brothers. Here they are if you want to decide for yourself:
I looked up several lists of the best love songs of 2017, but I didn’t listen to any of them. I didn’t want to ruin the afterglow from Unchained Melody. We don’t express ourselves like we used to. We retreat from excellence as it were a rattler on the trail. Maybe we’re afraid of trying and failing. That’s not surprising, since social media never leaves our Left shoulder, a worse censor than the most ardent prude Hollywood ever had to endure.
I don’t care.
Give me eloquence. Give me beauty. Lend me expressions that warm my hear and make me take a long, slow breath or two.