April 14th, 2014

I listen

Maybe something like insight

It hit me this morning: what is Suzanne Vega's "Tom's Diner" about? Probably the last line. (The last line of words, not the last "do-de-do-di, do-de-do-di, do-deh-do-do-do-deh-do-do," which makes about as much sense as "Hey ya, hey ya, hey ya, hey ya.") Which I didn't know until now isn't the last line, except in the radio edit of DNA's remix of the song.

Vega's character is describing a morning in a diner, these details that she's pretending not to notice, about people who realy aren't noticing what she's seeing. They're doing their thing, she's doing hers, but it's all surface like her not reacting much to the news of that dead actor (she looks for the horoscope and comics right after), until

"I am thinking of your voice..."

Which is the first time "you," whoever "you" is, is mentioned. Plot twist!

Here are those lines that follow in the original, by the way:

"And of the midnight picnic, once upon a time, before the rain began...
I finish up my coffee, it's time to catch the train..."

So there's a story there, but in the version of the song most of us hear we get only one line of it. But it's a significant line, and I get now why it is significant.

I haven't felt insightful lately. I feel like I simply haven't thought well enough. Haven't felt smart, even though (for example) my current job involves solving people's problems, and doing so thoughtfully. I'm maybe not being fair to myself by worrying about this. But I'll keep trying to stretch the muscle of my mind.