Smiling, this month's song. 

     Wow, there's only two songs left. This month and next month's. What a year....

     This month's song is Smiling. I wrote this song in the summer of 1998 while working as a counselor at a camp on a lake in Maine. Like many of my songs, the song is referring to a girl I was involved with and/or interested in. I can't remember if we were involved yet at the time. This is one of my few songs that has some borderline foul language in it, with the word ass making an appearance. Seemed more poetic than butt. I love this song because it reminds me of simpler times. One of my prized items at the time was a pair of Oakley Frogskin sunglasses. I bought them at a sunglass place in Freeport the year before and they were great. One of the few times I've ever spent more than $15 bucks on sunglasses and they were worth every penny of it. I think I still have the black cleaner pouch they came in. I loved those sunglasses and they got loved in return, by being used all the time. This song refers to my repair of them using super glue. I did briefly glue my rear to the step I was sitting on whilst repairing the sunglasses. I'd spilled a little super glue on the lens and lost track of the super glue tube while trying madly to repair my mistake. The glue came off my rear pretty easily butt (get it?) it held the glasses together for another couple of years. I eventually lost the sunglasses or they became so scratched that they were useless. I got a good song out of them, at least. 

     As for the girl, well, we had a fling but it didn't really go anywhere after the summer. We got together for New Years, in Boston, where I embarrassed her on the T when I cheered jubilantly when I realized we were in Scollay Square Station. She didn't understand my excitement, even when I quoted from "Charlie and the MTA." I believe I screamed something like "I need a Sandwich!", or "Why didn't she just put a nickel in the sandwich?" She was not impressed. I did later have a very memorable spring break trip to Cleveland with a foreign friend and we went to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame was incredible. I should thank her for that. (BTW, whoever thought that Cleveland was a good place for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame should be drug out into the street and forced to listen to Rush and Phil Collins while Phil Specter chases them around a mulberry bush.) My foreign friend and I had a great trip to see her, while not actually seeing her very much. We did express our feelings though "sign language" to Tom Ridge, then governor of Pennsylvania, about cuts he suggested to our public university system, we experienced some of the most friendly employees at a Hooters that I've ever met, and we had a great deal of Indian food at the Indian restaurant near our motel. I had to air out my car for a week after that ride back. It was a good time.

     There's a funny addendum to this story. The following summer I was in a boat with this girl, trying to avoid conversation and work a knot apart with my knife, 'cause I didn't have a marlinspike, and I cut myself. She panicked and made me go into the dock and then someone else made me go to the infirmary and they sent to the emergency room and all because something or other about rinsing a cut in the lake didn't seem sterile...I have a great scar to this day to remind me of her, and a song.

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