Saturday, March 5

Melodies These Days



WHO WRITES THESE love songs, the love songs that the hotel lobby saxophonist improvises over? I think – from my faux-leather chair and a glass of beer – that they were written a long time ago, maybe another lifetime, and all of that dead now. I have heard many love songs in hotel lobbies. It is strange, perhaps, that whenever I have felt inclined to compose a love song – and inclined I have been – that not once have I thought it was deserving of a hotel lobby.
The hotel lobby (or at least this hotel lobby in particular) is populated by couples in love. I see love there in many of its forms (except its most desperate). Allow me to tell you about some of the couples:
One couple is unburdened by rings. She is a sweet young thing from the south, but not young by age but young by how she sunbathes and dances about the bed. She touches him constantly, always decorating his hairy thigh with her slender hand. She has a good body, trim and so on, dyed hair without roots, and a kind face. She reads novels. She loves him very much. He does not seem to care for her. All day he sits there with headphones in. He does not take his headphones off for her; he notices that she responds well to this and so he keeps it up and she, well, she is too fearful to stop.
She is a master dancer. He wears his trousers high, up to his belly-button and feels that life has taken too much out of him but he loves her very much and she has become his sole reason to be floating about anymore. She loves to dance. She is a master dancer. She dresses like an Egyptian queen. When she dances her hands form elegant shapes. She leads him around and he follows, his form a little decrepit but he always follows.
There is a German couple who laugh a lot and loudly. He is thin and bald. She is large and wobbly when she sips from her booze. They slouch in the same faux-leather chairs as I, but they laugh and laugh. It must be fun to be them. When they walk away, it is with the mutual swagger of two people going away with enough energy to fuck for an hour or two. Both of them look like they know how to fuck. They laugh and everyone in the hotel lobby knows that they are laughing.
There is a saxophonist this evening hired by the hotel to entertain everyone, although the brass is a little too loud. He is a twig of a man with this golden intestine hung over him. He plays most skilfully. Every now and then his wife – alone and front-row fixated – leaps up between songs to feed him half a glass of gin & tonic through a straw. With his laptop computer he plays little tunes, and then blows over the top of them. His wife begins the round of applause.
I know they are love songs, but I do not understand them as such. They have, at last, become stripped of meaning and all the love they held within. They are simply nice melodies, and nice melodies are good enough for hotel lobbies.

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