Mrs. SlowBreak first introduced me to the concept of fan fiction at some point in our early dating stage. Her introduction to this genre had come from early AOL websites dedicated to the X-Files. Apparently these stories pretty much always ended with Maulder and Scully doing it. I promise that nothing like that will happen in this post (I make no such promises regarding any subsequent comments). I recently dipped my toe into the fan fiction world with a story about a rag tag gang of internet basketball nerds being granted the chance to select their teams next draft pick. You may have seen it as it was quite an internet sensation. In case you missed it you can find it here.
Anyway, my angle in this post is that many of the songs we love tell a story but often these stories are incomplete. This is not surprising given the confines of a song which might only last a few minutes. I'm wondering if any of you, like me, ever imagine the rest of the story. I'll go first.
Classic tale of young love gone off the rails. Anyone under 30 is rooting for them and anyone over 30 wants them both to call home and let their parents know they are ok. I'm guessing that the actual ending is fairly pedestrian. Patti ends up moving back home to share child care duties with her mom while Billy does the best he can to help out by taking a never ending series of part time jobs. Their love might not have been the stuff of fairy tales after all but I'd like to think that, for the sake of the child, they have at least managed to carve out a life of cooperation and mutual respect.
It's pretty hard to imagine this one ending well. My guess is that Jan shot both Tweeter and The Monkey Man on that bridge, wounding both but killing neither. All three are serving long prison sentences with little to no hope of parole. In a strange twist The Monkey Man has found love on the internet and has gotten married to one of those sad women who become involved with men who are in prison. He has been on Maury Povich twice.
In the final verse Townes implores us to save a few prayers for Lefty and I have no doubt that we have all done just that. Has a more sympathetic outlaw ever been created? Still I wonder how it worked out for Lefty in Cleveland? I'm guessing that after a few years of hard drinking and watching his back he finally gets it together enough to find simple but gainful employment. He may have even found a sweet divorcee to shack up with. My guess is that she doesn't care about his sorted past so long as he is nice to her and her grown children. In the end, I believe, one must imagine Lefty happy.
Finally we have the story of a young man and his hangover trying to navigate a beautiful summer day. This one, it seems to me, is the easiest story of all for us to finish. I believe he simply sweats it out with three or four hours of pick up basketball, takes a shower and a nap, eats a frozen pizza, and is back out drinking by 9pm that evening.
So tell me folks what songs tell stories to you and how do you imagine them ending?