Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Comfortably Numb

The Blog loves Pink Floyd.

Not his favorite band.

Probably not even in his "Top 5."

But, definitely in his "Top 10."

Because, really...

If you don't love Pink Floyd, what the fuck is wrong with you?

The Blog has never actually seen Pink Floyd in concert, but he did sit on a hillside in Pasadena, once, listening to them perform at The Rose Bowl.

That was pretty amazing!

About a decade ago, The PC had the pleasure of having dinner with Floyd drummer Nick Mason. That dinner also included Tommy Lee, Pamela Anderson Lee and CEO of Virgin Everything, Richard Branson. After dinner, we boys went pub crawling.

Yeah. The Blog is name dropping, here.

So sue me.

But, I digress.

The Blog's favorite Floyd song is "Comfortably Numb."

About 15 years ago, The Blog realized that that song was not about what it appeared to be about.

Not at all.

Sure, rockstars have always had their "Dr. Feelgoods" to feed their addictions so they can get through a performance. And on the surface, that is what this song is about.

But, no.

For about a year now, The PC has teased a young friend, telling her that she doesn't really "get" what the song is about. But, someday, when she is older, she will understand.

Tonight, my young friend put me against a wall (or, "The Wall") and insisted that I explain it to her.

Here was my response...

Of course, on the surface, the song is about drugs. But, given Roger Waters' age and sobriety at the time that "The Wall" was written, I believe that it is an analogy.

The song's key verse is this...

"When I was a child, I caught a fleeting glimpse
 Out of the corner of my eye.
 I turned to look but it was gone.
 I cannot put my finger on it now.
 The child has grown,
 The dream is gone.

 I have become,
 Comfortably numb."

I believe that the song is an analogy about the melancholy of growing up and settling into adulthood. Realizing and accepting that one has grown away from glorious dreams and magic and has accepted one's life as it is in reality.

I imagine the "fleeting glimpse" as a dragon, a pirate ship, a unicorn, Santa Claus or something like that.

Most of us, eventually, realize that we have gotten about as far as we ever will. That being an adult isn't such a magical thing. We settle into the real world and make it through life because we have become "comfortably numb."

The irony, of course, is that Roger Waters is a freaking rockstar! So his "pirate ship" actually sailed.

But, he gets points for empathy in understanding how it is for us working stiffs.

At least that is how I interpret the song.

But, you are still too young for most of this information.

You keep reaching for your dreams! You still have time! Stare that dream straight in the face instead of "out of the corner of [your] eye, and don't let your hands "feel like two balloons."

So, there you go!
The line that always gets me, puts a hitch in my throat and a tear in my eye is this...

"You do not understand. This is not how I am."

If you never hear this song the same way, ever again...


And, You're welcome.

1 comment:

  1. I dunno, it seems to me that to a certain extent you're sailing on your Pirate Ship as well, at least career wise. It just may not be as swashbuckling as you imagined as a kid?

    Here's an aside - back when I was, what, 10 or 11 and Dad & I would visit Grandma in the assisted living home we'd always go out for lunch to a nearby L&K. They had those table jukeboxes and Grandma would always give me a quarter for it. Each time I chose to play "The Wall." I really have no idea now why. I suppose I thought I was being rebellious. Funny I grew up to become a teacher for a time.