in which our reluctant heroine picks a fight, wonders what the Rebbe would think, loses the fight and postpones the contemplation of a deep and abiding friendship
I’ve spent the last two days with you, song, trying to recollect the initial shock of you. You terrorized me with words like “magnolia” and “slavery ,” “plantation,” “whip and “squire”. I was over-stimulated by your condemnation, apologetic and implicated. I didn’t know an arrow in a doorpost could condemn a land, hadn’t listened to enough of the real Blind Willie Mctell, decided that Willie McTell was irrelevant to the narrative and then admitted that wasn’t right, either. I’m fairly certain there’s more sea than ground stretching between New Orleans and Jerusalem but now I think I see your point. I’m a little scared and sorry, too, you who are the yawpiest of all of Dylan. I made great efforts to puzzle you out, first on a hissy cassette tape on the drive up Mount Tabor and much later with my long since dead mother-in-law driving through pastures on the far side of Mesa where I put on a better recording and really heard you. The sound of your piano’s foot pedal. The hush and the knock. I wanted to exist in that moment of building tension for hours. And after that I thought I could sleep for days.