I suspect they are truly spelled Music Worms – those darn songs that get in your head on an endless loop. Now, imagine living with music wyrms 24/7. And I do mean round the clock. It’s a curious thing about friends…. I’ve taken note that as soon as I admit to this (what? problem? challenge? a never ending orchestra in my head?), they will laugh with glee and promptly burst into song in an attempt to foist some hideous nursery rhyme on me for forever and a day….
It began at a beautiful spot just outside Santa Barbara. The San Ysidro Ranch, famous for its quiet, hideaway luxory. If you didn’t do it, go click on the link and thumb through the photos…. I’ll wait. Yeah, it’s a very, very magical place. I note the prices have tripled since my time and it was expensive then. However, 24 hours at San Ysidro Ranch is worth three days anywhere else on the planet. I also note they have changed the names of the restaurant and bar. There was this cozy bar called the Angel & the Plow (something like that). This Ranch is old enough that it was the first stop up the coast for the Pony Express – truly.
The music began when I took an out of town friend up there for the day and we were having a leisurely lunch on the terrace. California being California and my friend fascinated by all spiritual things, wanting to experience the beauty of California and talk with like-minded people, struck gold in our waitress. When asked where she was from, the server sweetly cocked her head, listened to an interior voice (you can tell when someone is doing that…), and named a planet in another galaxy, with words to the effect of, “My guide says: I believe you call my home Pleiades.” (I don’t truly remember her home planet and, for all I know, the Pleiades are in our galaxy.) My friend, who was from Chicago, drank this in with whole-hearted pleasure. Our servor asked where I was from. “Mmm, not from this planet, but I actually don’t know the name of it.” It was Melayne’s turn and the Chicagoan inside won. “Earth. I’m from here.” She shrugged. “Well, somebody has to be. Surely?”
At some point during the lazy, sunny afternoon, surrounded by lattice climbing bougainvillea, sparkling glasses of wine, delicious desserts on chocolate drizzled plates with a raspberry creme accent, crusty bread with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, we got onto the subject of “If you could have any special sense, skill, thing, (God forgive me I cannot recall), what would you want?” For whatever reason, I said, in front of my friend and our friendly server, who had asked the question, “Well, I would love to have music accompanying me so that I would know whatever kind of situation I was in.” There was a pause while they took this in. “You know,” I added helpfully, “like in the movies, where it’s the middle of the night and the heroine awakes to a loud bump in the night, slides out of bed into her heeled feather boa slippers and her peignoir that matches her nightgown perfectly and that is still on the bed for when she needs it…” They were still listening intently, nodding. “Oh, come on, you two! The music tells us that something scary is lurking right outside, but that silly ninny pops on her robe, grabs a candle and ventures out in to danger.” They weren’t getting it. “If she could have heard the music, she wouldn’t have gone. Or she would have taken a gun and the candlestick, right?” Right. Our server nodded and said, “Done!” and cleared our plates for the next course.
We drove back to L.A. in the dark, with the coast stretching out in lazy curves and lights twinkling off the ocean, the sun/moon roof open with wind pouring through, music blaring. A perfect California driving scene. It was on a particularly dark stretch when the radio went dead and something thumped-thumped-thumped hard on my side of the car, thrumming the sides like a kettle drummer. Simultaneously, I hit the button locks, gripped the steering wheel in case it was a blown tire or four, and yelled, “Melayne! Tell me you heard that!” Silence. Without looking, I yelled it again, “Melayne! You had to have heard that! What was it?” Still silence. I had the car under control, no flat tires, and I glanced over to the passenger seat. Melayne was wearing one of those fashionably long cotton things that pretends to be a coat with a hood and it was pulled up over her head and she was as still and silent as a tomb, just staring straight ahead and non-responsive. I gulped in terror and looked back at the road. Melayne looked like a hooded 14th century monk seated in a leather bucket seat. Eyrie and creepy as all get out. I started to pray and yelled in my best Marine Sargent voice, “Okay, I don’t know who you are but you leave NOW and return Melayne right NOW!” I had several frequencies going, talking to God, the alien next to me, and the dark winding road whipping by at 70 MPH, and wondering what I was going to do. Melayne stretched and said, “What? Did you say something?” and the music came back on.
Ever since then, I have had music in my head 24/7/365. Right now, it is Bill Withers’ “Just the Two of Us” since 8:00 a.m. this morning….