Last Time For Everything

At last night’s writing group, this was our prompt: Write a story about someone who can’t get a song out of their head… 

Here’s my unedited response to May’s ten minute exercise.

I lie awake at night with country music playing in my head. Over and over.

And over.

The weirdest part is that I only know a fraction of the lyrics, so it’s usually a short chorus or refrain repeating itself.

Wait. Scratch that.

The really weirdest part is that I know any country music songs at all. Even a fraction of them.

For a long time, Bill and I were dedicated to not liking country music. He was more of a grunge-rock guy; I’m an alt-rock woman.

We thought of country as the old cliche: sad music about men whose women left, dogs died, trucks wouldn’t start.

Unhappy stuff.

Then, five years ago, we had a house fire and our whole world turned upside down. Nothing made sense. Few things made us happy.

Until Memorial Day Weekend, when our family was heading out to Palm Desert to visit my parents.

An hour into the drive, Bill said, “I think I’m gonna try the country music station.”

“HUH?” I said.

“Yeah. I heard Kenny Chesney interviewed on the radio, and I kinda liked him.”

I worried I might never be attracted to Bill again. (Ha!)

And yet.

The songs were so dang happy.

Parking lot parties. Girls in flip flops and short shorts. Cans of beer floating on pontoons. Backroads and dirt roads and roads to nowhere.

We started smiling and couldn’t stop. We felt good and light for the first time in months.

It turned out that country music was the opposite of what we thought it would be; the opposite of where our hearts had been.

Since then, from Memorial Day to Labor Day, we listen to country music. And it plays in my head every night.

Clever lyrics. Upbeat tunes. Enough parking lot parties to last the whole year.

Over and over.

And over.

The most recent song that’s stuck: Braid Paisley’s “Last Time for Everything.”

It’s a sentiment that’s been on my mind a lot lately. (If you read this blog, you know this already.)

Still, it’s true. We’re always experiencing the lasts of things we don’t know won’t happen again.

So we keep living our lives anyway, soaking up the moments. Over and over.

And over.

To keep up with my writing news—and receive a free sample of my memoir, Running with Pencils—sign up for my monthly newsletter here.

To purchase Lily by Any other Name, go to Amazon or Kobo or iTunes or Barnes &Noble.

To purchase Letters for Scarlet, go here.

To purchase Guest List, go here.

8 thoughts on “Last Time For Everything

  1. I love that you posted this. I love this song too. (Almost as much as I love you.) xoxo

    • Julie Gardner

      PLEASE post yours. It was so so good.
      (LOVE YOU BACK!)

  2. Diane

    Hmmm… I have always loved Willie Nelson. Funny, we’ve never talked about this!

    • Something new for us to talk about: who knew?! Ha!

  3. Love this! And that picture is hilarious.

    So, he’s cute, this Brad Paisley. Thank you for sharing the song. Definitely bittersweet.

  4. Ally

    Love love love this- you have such talent! Unedited!!

  5. This is SO great and I think I’m going to steal the prompt. So thank you!

  6. Great story – you hooked me! Thanks for sharing!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *