This song was written in 1997 or 1998 smack in the heart of my Texas grad school tenure. That’s what the reference to “Every day I get up about three hours late” is about; I tended to sleep until 11am in those days.
This is a song that seemed too sappy, simple, and uncool to do with any of my subsequent bands, and it in fact was the proximate cause to one of my band mates not wanting to work with me any more (he’d already quit the band earlier but was considering jumping back in to help us finish recording the album), with the sentiment “all Mark writes any more are goofy songs for Kim” (i.e. my girlfriend, now wife of over a decade).
Still, it stuck in my head, and was on the list of songs to record for an aborted solo album “The Cheese Stands Alone,” and I had the first drummer I played with upon moving to Madison in 2000 play this part against a guide guitar. The tape then sat and sat and sat along with the many other tapes that are the reason I needed to start writing this blog, but is something I have commonly played when screwing around on my acoustic guitar and whose lyrics I had almost entirely memorized without intending to, so it’s good to hear it now “done,” though I suppose it could still use a plunky lead guitar part to round it out if I end up sprucing this up for the revival of the “Cheese” album.
What is it about? Well, it’s a love song to someone who isn’t there, whether at the moment, or at all is left unclear. Maybe she’s dead. Maybe she left him (i.e. the narrator, who is not exactly me though has stolen my sentiments, as per my normal technique). Maybe she’s just at work while he lies around the house not working on his dissertation? What’s clear is that the environment is imbued with her, and that’s a good thing.