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The Sound of Silence

A Paul Simon Playlist

By Fred LooneyPublished 3 years ago 5 min read
The Sound of Silence
Photo by Carolina Pimenta on Unsplash

The song echoes in my mind. One of the best things about songs is the few words that are chosen well can convey huge emotions and mountains of feelings. Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel taught us all about life by mesmerizing us with the beauty and depth of feelings.

It was a simpler time, we had no idea what a playlist was and the word internet had not made it’s way out of backrooms and research labs, as a matter of fact it had a slightly different name and was developed by and spearheaded by the US Military, it was created in the Advanced Research Projects Agency and was therefore ARPANET. I was recently married to my second wife, the light of my life and the reason for my existence. Gail was and still is, my everything. We were learning about each other and just starting to understand how our minds and our hearts worked. So, You Can Call Me Al.

We were going to rent Gail’s grandparents house, it was owned jointly by her Mom and her 2 uncles. Gail’s grandmother was in what today would be called adult foster care. The house was in Albion MI and we lived there many years. Gail’s Mom lived in Albion, her Uncles were in Eaton Rapids MI and Kansas. So it was Twila that became the default property manager, Gail wanted to live in this, her Grandma and Grandpa’s house and I did not care as long as we were together.

I can’t keep moving forward with a bit of regression. I grew up in Bluefield West Virginia, was dragged to Greensboro North Carolina, while kicking and screaming, in the summer preceding my senior year of high school. I was enticed to accept the move by being given free rein. My mother was suffering extended side effects of a radical hysterectomy, fear of leaving her dream home that was custom build by Dad and the local contractors and worst of all she was alone again. My Dad was a salesman, he traveled 4 days every week and the move to North Carolina improved things to the 4 days a week because when we lived in Bluefield he came home every other weekend, so that’s what my Mom got from the move. What I got was the full unrestricted (almost) use of Mom’s car. I drove it to school everyday and anywhere I wanted after school and on weekends. I was exactly as you think I would be and the car at my disposal gave me cache similar to the rich kids that were the majority of my new school. It was like Me and Julio down by the School Yard.

Cutting to the chase, I got married before the last school bell and became a papa about 6 months later. When I destroyed the marriage 6 years later I lost my job and when into a very dark place for a while. My Dad and Mom had moved to Chattanooga Tennessee a few months earlier when he got a promotion to national sales manager and when I went to visit my Dad saw my horribly typed resume and offer to take it to his secretary on Monday to have it retyped without the mistakes and whiteout. I went back to Greensboro and got a phone call from Dad shortly after I got back to my horrible bachelor apartment. He asked me to turn around and come back, he was a bit nervous apologizing for show my resume to the Information Systems Manager and asking if he knew of opening in the Chattanooga area that would fit my background. It seems there was an opening that they were in desperate need of filling in the same company but at the Division in Albion Michigan. I moved to Michigan over the Labor Day weekend and became the IS Manager for McGraw Edison, Air Comfort Division in Albion. When I met my staff there was a sassy, smart ass redhead that immediately got my attention, we were married 15 months later. The reason it took 15 months was varied, first it took me most of 5 months to be able to disregard the my boss’s imperative and business axiom of “keep your pecker out of the payroll”. Then came the tough part, she had to be convinced that I would not immediately dump her and take off to my ex and my kids if I were so summoned. Gail and I had vacationed in NC over the summer, she met my ex and my daughters, Gail was smart enough to try to protect her heart.

So, now we had been married for 4 or 5 months and her Grandmother’s house had just been emptied by the latest renter. She took me to do a walk through but it did not matter to me, it was a family house to her and she wanted to live there, the question was when can we move out the apartment in Jackson. It was A Bridge over Troubled Water.

Gail started prepping the house, painting, cleaning and arranging and I did my handyman things. When Gail was working in the house she listened to the radio, remember there were no “playlists” and a limited number of stations could be acquired by a transistor radio in Albion at that time. She went to her normal standby, the station that she listened to in her car and the station that millions loved from Fort Wayne Indiana, WOWO, a huge influential regional AM station.

It was then that a new release from Paul Simon started getting maximum air time, and my beautiful, insecure bride was subjected to hourly playings of “Fifty Ways to Leave Your Lover”. After only a few days there was radio silence in the house, followed by radio silence in the car. If I turned it on she changed the station and more likely turned it off so we could have a conversation about anything, anything at all!

Once again Paul Simon was primary influence in my who were. Like all couples we have had ups and downs, I am very happy to say that the ups have been much more plentiful and the downs have been drug out only the table, examined under bright lights, dissected and understood if not accepted. The fact that she has put up with me for more than 45 years speaks volumes about Gail’s love and ability to forgive. Our current issue is a non issue to Gail, and it is never far from the front of my mind. We have discussed it from every possible angle and the only resolution that I see is for me to ignore the problem and pretend it doesn’t matter.

So, I am once again singing “Hello darkness my old friend, I’m here to talk with you again …

It’s not always easy being me, but for good or bad I expect Paul Simon to always be close at hand.


About the Creator

Fred Looney

My first lifetime, I wrote in the language of computers. Now, in my "Retirement" I want to express my thoughts and feelings to other humans.

Please join me in this new adventure while I explore what I have been hiding in my subconscious.

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    FLWritten by Fred Looney

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