Friday, January 2, 2009

Watch Your Step: Ted Hawkins & me

The story I have to tell here scares me. It's a long story because it has to be, and I'm in it because I've never been able to find a way out. I don't know if the ending is happy or not. Although it was for Ted. I do know that — for Ted it was. I know that for sure, for certain. And for me? Well, I don't yet know. I don't know yet. I don't know.

In the summer of 1982, I received Ted Hawkins' album Watch Your Step in the mail. I always got lots of albums in the mail. I can remember the day, the afternoon, the shape of the room and the color of the walls, what the weather was like outside when I played that record for the first time.

The first thing to hear on that record is Ted Hawkins shouting, hollering:

"Watch your step!
Before you stumble and fall..."

and even though I listened to that record over and over and over again, a thousand times, and then a thousand times more, I still managed to miss the warning.

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