A little joy in your morning. The Huxtables lip-synching Ray Charles’ “The Night Time (Is The Right Time).” This is like getting your chocolate in my peanut butter in someone else’s cocaine. It’s that awesome.
I was listening to Ray Charles on the way into work this morning and as I thought about what this bit of entertainment — one snippet from The Cosby Show — meant to me, I became certain I’d written about it before. And I had. After a similar commute on Jan. 7, 2005, I wrote something for The Subway Chronicles, created by my friend Jacquelin Cangro, who now blogs here. (You’ll have to scroll down as there were no permalinks on the site.)
What I wrote then — I don’t know if I’d be capable of writing it the same way today.
Sure, I could easily tell you in a paragraph or less that the song is a direct line to my long-dead Mawmaw. She and I were watching The Cosby Show together, as we often did, and when this bit came on, she started laughing, then laughing harder, then. When Rudy Huxtable turned around and let loose, I thought Mawmaw would be spared a death from the cancer gnawing at her insides, but only because she was going to laugh herself into a stroke. It’s one of my clearest, best memories of her.
But there’s something about the tone. Something I can’t quite put my finger on. I was in a much more serious mood when it came to writing. And in a different place in my life. Things to note about me at that time. I was living in Prospect Heights. I was listening to Ray Charles on a CD Walkman. I was six months removed from the crushing end of a long-distance relationship (indeed, if you scroll down to the Aug. 31, 2004 entry, you’ll see the heartbreak in full display — and why I laugh every time that really shouty monotone guy enters the 4 Train). I was another six months away from meeting my future (and now ex) wife. I was in the middle of a crush on someone who had no interest in me and was in such public denial about it, I was getting ready to start The Nondating Life, a blog about not dating (it would be a while before I spun it out of my “real” blog at the time). And I hadn’t yet started on my three-month, short-lived stint as a man slut. (Finally, after all those years of dreaming).
At any rate, enjoy the clip from The Cosby Show. It always puts a smile on my face. And for once, so did some of my older writing. It’s nice to get to a point where not everything you’ve written in the past causes immediate shame.
Note to any friends who have my “poetry” from undergrad: Burn it. Immediately.