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Songs That Made Me Cry #2

October 19, 2007   |   Leave a reply

Dancing in the Dark
Bruce Springsteen
I was sitting outside the Tam O’Shanter Lounge in my cab, waiting for last call to see who might stumble out too drunk to drive. Cabbie was one of my first post-high school jobs and the best career alternative I could think of at the time. It was late August, about a zillion degrees inside and outside the cab, even at 1:30 in the morning. (lady cab drivers do not get dibs on the air conditioned vehicles.) I was smoking cigarettes, slouched down, soles of my feet on the dashboard, one foot on either side of the steering wheel, radio on. Blah, blah, this party, that good time, we’re really whooping it up over here at KISS 108 and we know you out there in radio land are too, went the DJ. What the hell was I doing there? I mean middle class Jewish girls don’t sit in cabs waiting for barroom fares when they should be choosing a major or throwing up their dinner in the bathroom. But maybe sticky summer night cabbie was where I fit best. I had no idea how to make my life work. I had no idea what I was doing. “Dancing in the Dark” came on the radio but I didn’t really listen cause I’d heard it about a thousand times already.

Message keeps getting clearer, radio’s on and I’m moving round the place
I check myself out in the mirror I wanna change my clothes my hair my face
Man I ain’t getting nowhere just sitting in a dump like this
There’s something happening somewhere baby I just know that there is

Kyosaku is what Zen guys call it when your teacher hits you with a stick to wake you up in the meditation hall and the downbeat of the last syllable of the last line struck me right between the shoulder blades. I wanna change my clothes, my hair, my face. There’s something happening somewhere. I just know that there is. I burst into tears. I had to find the something cause it wasn’t going to walk out of the Tam O’Shanter Lounge and rap on my window. It wasn’t waiting for me in a college class, a fancy restaurant, or the front seat of a cab. I didn’t know where it was, I just knew that that someplace was not here and come morning I was going to quit my job, sublet my room, put all my stuff in the back of the car and drive until I found it. So I did.

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“With wisdom, creativity and artistry, Susan Piver brings a Buddhist lens to the spiritual map of the Enneagram. The results are vibrant and nourishing; a banquet of insights that help us transmute our difficult emotions into pure expressions of our basic goodness.”

 – Tara Brach, author of Radical Acceptance