A Traveller’s Guide to Lost and Later Songs #9

For those who may appreciate some background detail, I offer below my workings.

#9 Everything’s Alright Fine
Second latest of the Later songs, born in a hangover and hummed into my phone, just in time for Hogmanay- https://tinyurl.com/yc6ub7j4
I was stumbling through the no man’s land between last night and the night to come, fighting a rear-guard action against a horde of demons calling me bad names. Some hangovers can look so big they can pass themselves off as all sky, all horizon and all hereafter. There is nothing but and nothing beyond this. Abandon hope all ye who enter here. It is important then to remember that this is only a temporary psychosis caused by lack of fluids. Drink water, have some soup, take a nice, hot bath; back to basics, be humble, hit reset, switch off and on again, add in some calculated distractions. All well and good in theory. However.
Once upon a hangover, one penitent Sunday and a personal low point to date, I was unable to keep my fluids in place, so to speak. Another test of character. When even a humble glass of water is beyond us, we must accept this additional level of abasement and find our new level. There is, of course, a fine line between humbling and humiliating but never mind. One hasty rummage in a cupboard later and I emerged triumphant with a bathroom sponge. Eureka. I wet the sponge – not soaked, dampened only – and repaired to the sofa. I began with wetting my lips only – so far, so good. I then built up to occasional discrete, tactical sucks on the sponge, hoping to take on fluids by stealth, under the radar. I had in place a cunning strategy. All I needed now was some covering fire, a decoy, a distraction. I switched the TV on, hoping for a gentle Sunday matinee from a bygone age to gaze at longingly whilst sucking on my sponge. The screen crackled into life with a brassy fanfare straight out of Hollywood’s golden era. In a marvel of fortuitous timing, I was just in time to catch the opening credits to the Sunday matineé. Perhaps my chances were, at last, beginning to take an upward turn. Then, as I lay on the sofa, sucking cautiously on my sponge and still lamenting my terrible thirst, the screen announced the afternoon feature as-
“Humphrey Bogart stars in…. “SAHARA!”
You’ve got to laugh. Humour is our short circuit, cutting off the path to insanity. Or maybe, in the language of the movies, it heads us off at the pass.
That hangover was from another time, a lion of its kind, whereas the hangover of 31/12/20 was a pussycat in comparison. Damage was sustainable; fluids acceptable; soup, a dawning possibility. A few minor demons were off on a toot but the mopping up operation was well underway. I would gather them all up like naughty numbskulls and put them back in the jar, until the next time the lid pops off.
So, taking deep breaths, I repeated like a mantra –
“Everything’s alright, everything’s alright..”.
Tell it ‘til it’s true.
“Everything’s alright”.
“Everything’s alright what?”, came the answer, one of the more stubborn demons.
“Everything’s alright fine”.
“Why two words when one would do?” said the demon. “You protest too much”.
The above processing of information and damage management often takes a musical form. It is good to take notes throughout. You never know what you might miss. Humphrey Bogart won’t always be there to help you through your hangovers and some courses you’ll have to plot alone, making your own entertainment along the way. Meantime, and remember, this may well all turn out to be meantime, everything’s alright fine.

(based on an original post from April 2022)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *