There was a time when I was younger, I was kicked out of my first college, somewhere in North Carolina, and, at some point, I was standing in a flea market, somewhere, maybe before or maybe after the
whole thing went down, maybe that week, or maybe years later, somewhere near rocky mount, at some flea market or some thrift shop, knowing there was a record player at home, something drew me to some Judy
Maybe because the cover featured her in some very natural sun-shining surround with her beautiful face reaching out, peacefully, maybe it was the lighter colors, maybe it was the day, maybe I was crazy
or just suddenly tuned in, but I picked up the pair of her records that somehow stood on their own, on a table, or a shelf, or outside leaning against the thrift shop doorway, a little dusty in the Carolina
sun, in some such season that gave such strange peaceful gifts to boys going down the wrong paths.
These records made it home to Jersey, some strange I-95 or Amtrak journey, alone or with a group of awkward smoking buddies.
There was this day, that I listened to them and I was frozen, I was motionless, everything about me was nothing. My hair was wrong, arms, legs, useless, not good enough, there was some woman, some light-haired
peaceful beauty, singing about a girl named Suzanne who's half crazy and showing me things, teaching me about love, but I am too young to listen or to get it, I just know this, that I myself don't feel
I have love to give, nothing to offer, I am not perfect, I am broken and sad, a lonely little boy that parades himself otherwise, I embarrass my father and I let my mother down, I am nothing, that I don't
know love at all, that I am some sort of failure at such a young age, and this Judy keeps singing to me, and I am still motionless in my room half gazing out the windows at the moving trains in the distance,
past the marsh and the birds in the soft Jersey sunshine.
When it is time to flip the record, I don't, instead to play this song about the girl that leads me to the river, this Suzanne that leads me to a life of some embarrassed
happiness, some awkward teary-eyed and confused treatment, it is Suzanne that I see, but, Judy, it is you, and maybe it was always you, and now these years later, as you sing about the lady who leads me
to the river adorned in rags and feathers, it was always you that I sought after, it was always you that I loved, and as your voice comes to me like so many topsy turvy years ago, I am motionless but, this
time, maybe I am not so much the nothing, now, I do know what I have to give.