Sunday, August 9, 2009

Bands I'm trying to break up with: Ani Difranco

Let me introduce a woman who blends both the smart and the heart.

The Righteous Babe, Ms. Ani Difranco.

When Mr. Hall and I first lived together, we rented the lower level of a house. It had a gravel driveway. This was about 8 years ago.

i heard the sound of your bike,
as your wheels hit the gravel,
then your engine in the driveway
cutting off

After the long days of nursing school, I would scurry home. I would pull into the driveway, getting all excited when I saw his Red Ford Taurus SHO, all perfectly parked. We took care of each other in that apartment. Learning to live together, learning how to be man and wife.

and i pushed through the screen door
and i stood out on the porch
thinking fight, fight, fight
at all costs,

At that time, I was crawling out of my feral skin. I was very wild and manically driven to become a nurse and a wife. I was chubby and needy. There was a marked lack of thought when I acted and spoke. He weathered a lot of my wild, unthinking outbursts.

but instead i let you in,
just like i've always done
and i sat you down and offered you a beer

and across the kitchen table
i fired several rounds,
but you were still sitting here
when the smoke cleared.

A year past. The day before I graduated as a nurse, he proposed and we married soon after that. Then we moved two hours away. We briefly stayed a new apartment and got pregnant. Then, we bought a house. We bought the house just two hours after seeing it. We loved it that much. Our hearts were bursting.

That house has proven to be trouble

and oh, oh,
let me count the ways
that i abhore you,
and you were never a good lay
and you were never a good friend
but, oh, oh, what else can i say...
i adore you

We are coming to the conclusion of that house. Someone has loved it enough to see past the trouble and buy it. And I thought I was ready. We signed the 'accepted offer' papers and drove to Kinkos this morning, to fax the papers. We parked, Mr. Hall killed the engine. And then, out of nowhere, I started sobbing. I don't want to leave that house. My heart is breaking. And my head, my head is not listening.

Yet, here we are. Time to move.

all i need is my leather,
one t-shirt and two socks,
i'll keep my hands warm
in your pockets
and we can use the engine block,

and we'll ride out to california
with my arms around your chest,
and i'll pretend that this is real
'cuz this is what i like best,

We've looked through so many goddamn houses up here. I am tired. We have to choose a house to breathe life into. Only we are hemming and hawing. Picking and choosing. Which is making our pain grow deeper.

All of the sudden, what took us two hours the last time around is threatening to take weeks, months, or even years. If our hearts won't let us, we have to choose with our heads. Let our hearts begin to heal.

and you've been juggling two women
like a stupid circus clown
telling us both we are the one

Mr. Hall talks during the open houses. He talks to me, other people who are looking, to the agents. He carries a tiny, bright flashlight and examines things. He exhausts the real estate agents, explaining design flaws in engineer speak. He uses a blend of circular logic and salesmanship. I stand beside him, listening to the way he weaves the web. Drawing the agents in, preparing them for the lower price we'll offer.

Only we haven't offered anything yet. And I leave each open house a little sadder. And sadder still.

and maybe you can keep me from ever being happy,
but you're not gonna stop me from having fun.
so let's go before i change my mind
i'll leave the luggage of all your lies behind
'cuz i am bigger than everything that came before

It's time to shut this off now. Time to break up with it all. Stop wishing the past will come back to life and start being here, with what is. Time to plant the seeds that will grow roots.

The last time I saw Ani Difranco, I was six weeks pregnant with Pancake. Six weeks. Not even pregnant enough to turn the stick blue. I had no idea what was growing, what was coming. But, it turned out bigger and better than anything that came before.

Just like the new House of Hall.



Gravel by Ani Difranco *

Click here to hear the song live.

* I want to apologize for the bootleg quality here. Let me just say Ani Difranco doesn't MAKE videos and all her songs on the web are bootleg. AND all the women that go to the shows are mouthy and loud. AND she often plays her songs AT WARP SPEED cause she's a hyper person. So, this is the best I could do. Anyone want to make a video for me? :)

6 Left a message at the beep:

Anonymous said...

Heff will be glad to Holly. So, how's the whole house thing going, hadn't heard anything about it? LMAO!


Mrs. Holly Hall said...

Will: Hey I've got an actual working video now. So, being a person who can actually play a guitar, what style does Ani use while playing?

and yes, funny.

Cam said...

Okay, so, I love Ani! I haven't had such a long and personal relationship with her, as you have. I only got to know Ani about two years ago. Hour Follows Hour is a song that will bring me to tears every single f'ing time I hear it.

One that Ani's bebeh in the photo? When did that happen??? And, if so, umm..didn't expect that one.

Second, I have the ultimate faith that you are one of the most resilient women I have ever met. You are safe in the arms of one of the most caring men I have ever sorta cyber met. Wherever the two of you wind up, the House of Hall will rise again, and it will be the most beautiful goddamned sight that even Earl will shed a tear. I know I've already got my lighter ready to hoist in the air and sway back and forth...

I believe the best to come is literally just around the corner.

Have you considered leasing until you can find something that grabs your heart? Give you some time to process the leaving of the old, while breathing for awhile, and then jumping back in to searching for the new. Not sure about your options on that, plus I imagine you are ready to just settle for awhile...

My 32 Flavors friend, you gotta have faith faith faith, you gotta have faith faith faith....

Heff said...

She looks like Amy Winehouse in a suit. No thank you.

Mrs. Holly Hall said...

Cam: Thank you for being my blogger doppleganger. Thank you for all your kind words. You ROCK!

Heff: Ya know, there's a rule that you can't comment unless you have read the post . . . . and really that girl could give you a run for money . . . guitar wise . . .

(ooohhh, is that a throw down????)

we shall see

Slyde said...

i know she had a pretty rabid fanbase, but ive never really gotten into her stuff.

ive seen her on letterman a few times...

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