What It’s Like

A post on my private blog was the inspiration for this one — I was having a restless night, wrestling with the hamsters. You know, the rodents that run around in your head chasing each other, nibbling on their tails, chewing the furniture and pooping on the floor.

Yes, you know what I’m talking about. Don’t pretend.

Anyway, I logged on to the computer, plugging into my favorite musical playlist. Randomly (although I’m Very Suspicious of Random Events, aren’t you? I mean, I get the feeling some things are Not So Random, but I digress,) one of my favorite tuneages showed up, and I hunted down the video.

What It’s Like

Please go watch. I’ll wait.

****

Erik Schrody, the writer and performer (as Everlast) of this incredible story, is one of my personal heroes. He gets it, can you feel me. His music is raw and honest. This video contributed to the inspiration of my story, A Trip To WalMart.

The thing that strikes me in this video is, at the end when all the characters of the song are staring at the “perfect” American family through the glass, they are practicing the same kind of judgment the song preaches against. I can’t help but think of what I don’t see when I look through the glass — the struggles this family has seen, will see, is seeing … you don’t know, do you? They look happy, and perfect — but what’s under that table?

Yeah. That’s what I think. You see why the hamsters task me so? Is this what it is to be a writer, whether it be songs, stories, novels or poetry? To always wonder, or look to see what is really out there, what really is the truth? Or am I just a candidate for good medication and a rubber room?

Wait. Don’t answer that.

Here are the lyrics to this incredible story (told in a musical format.) And check out more of the music of Everlast. You won’t be disappointed, I promise, but he’ll haunt your heart for a long time.

“What Its Like”

We’ve all seen the man at the liquor store beggin’ for your change
The hair on his face is dirty, dread-locked, and full of mange
He asks a man for what he could spare, with shame in his eyes
“Get a job you fucking slob,” is all he replies
God forbid you ever had to walk a mile in his shoes
‘Cause then you really might know what it’s like to sing the blues

Then you really might know what it’s like
Then you really might know what it’s like
Yeah then you really might know what’s it like
To have the blues

Mary got pregnant from a kid named Tom that said he was in love
He said, “Don’t worry about a thing, baby doll
I’m the man you’ve been dreaming of.”
But 3 months later he say he won’t date her or return her calls
And she swear, “God damn, if I find that man I’m cuttin’ off his balls.”
And then she heads for the clinic and
she gets some static walking through the door
They call her a killer, and they call her a sinner
and they call her a whore
God forbid you ever had to walk a mile in her shoes
‘Cause then you really might know what it’s like to have to choose

Then you really might know what it’s like
Then you really might know what it’s like
Yeah then you really might know what’s it like
To have the blues

I’ve seen a rich man beg
I’ve seen a good man sin
I’ve seen a tough man cry
I’ve seen a loser win
And a sad man grin
I heard an honest man lie
I’ve seen the good side of bad
And the downside of up
And everything between
I licked the silver spoon
Drank from the golden cup
And smoked the finest green
I stroked the fattest dimes at least a couple of times
before I broke their heart
You know where it ends, yo, it usually depends on where you start

I knew this kid named Max
who used to get fat stacks out on the corner with drugs
He liked to hang out late
he liked to get shit-faced and keep the pace with thugs
Until late one night there was a big old fight and Max lost his head
He pulled out his chrome .45, talked some shit, and wound up dead
Now his wife and his kids are caught in the midst of all of this pain
You know it comes that way
at least that’s what they say when you play the game
God forbid you ever had to wake up to hear the news
‘Cause then you really might know what it’s like to have to lose

Then you really might know what it’s like
Then you really might know what it’s like
Yeah then you really might know what’s it like
To have the blues.

(c) Erik Schrody

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