Ocean waves crashed against the black rocks and giant tree leaves bent in the Kona wind. Hawaiian music playing from a house next door accompanied us while we drank together and talked our way through the euphoria that comes from the first sips of alcohol.
That afternoon I started playing, for probably the 300th time, “The Last Nail” by Dan Fogelberg.
It’s not a love song or a song with a happy romantic arc, but a song I had turned to when I was a long way from home or in a time of introspection – like a birthday.
“I hear you’ve taken on a husband and child and live somewhere in Pennsylvania
I never thought you’d ever sever the string, but I can’t blame you none.”
I continued and played The Last Nail’s lyrical sarcophagus to the end.
“We walked together through the gardens and graves
I watched you grow to be a woman
living on promises that nobody gave to no one
they were given to no one.”
For years, the song was a catharsis and helped me accept the reality of a gradual goodbye. She wasn’t in Pennsylvania, but she lived close to Pennsylvania, and a long way from where I was.
On the beach, the sun moved from a bright white to a muted orange as my party day crawled toward dusk.… read more...