Common People.


She came from Greece she had a thirst for knowledge,
she studied sculpture at Saint Martin’s College,
that’s where I,
caught her eye.
She told me that her Dad was loaded,
I said “In that case I’ll have a rum and coca-cola.”
She said “Fine.”
and in thirty seconds time she said,

“I want to live like common people,
I want to do whatever common people do,
I want to sleep with common people,
I want to sleep with common people,
like you.”

The first time I saw the film Breaking Away I was eight years old and I realized that I had a problem. I had a townie problem. It only got worse when I moved to San Diego in the very early Eighties and was sent to school in Logan Heights surrounded by fascinating cholos. Then I moved back to Petaluma and saw The Outsiders and it got even worse.

By the time I was in high school and had the world’s hugest crush on Joe Flynn, I was a goner. As my mom said: “You are a Thug Magnet.”

None of it seemed to align with my roots… pretty standard fair, white middle class post hippie stuff. Or maybe it did in that whole Rebel Without a Cause kind of way. In any case, the situation remained. I wanted to be the Princess with the Thug. And let’s face it, this is not a new prototype, no unheard of fetish or original sin.

But why? Why does this standard deviation prevail?

He’s got his arms around every man’s dream
And crumbs in his beard from the seafood special

I have a new theory. It has dawned on me that perhaps it is a passive aggressive way to assert my latent princess-ness. I mean, think about it this way, I do not have to actually act like a princess, I can just appear to be one when I am standing next to my biker. [And then, really, you are just waiting for someone to deliver the next lyric anyhow…]

Oh can’t you see my world is falling apart
Baby please leave the biker
Leave the biker, break his heart
Baby please leave the biker
Leave the biker, break his heart

There has always been something attractive about the deviant and the one time I tried, I mean really tried to make a go of it with Mr. Normal Dude it was a miserable failure.

I imagine everyone has their own version of this Peggy Sue Got Married/Peggy-O/Westside Story kind of story and probably not everyone likes their dirty little secrets to be so dirty as mine [Captain Jack, Benicio DT, Lord Aragorn, Rick Danko, Han Solo… you see my problem] but still, the question is on everyone’s lips, in the words of old Joe Jackson:

“Is she really going out with him?”

And this is not about looks [necessarily.] I have two very good friends, both of whose opinions I respect implicitly. They both told me I needed to date a suit. I chose a junkie…

“‘Cause if my eyes don’t deceive me there’s something going wrong around here…”

…and obviously that didn’t go so well. Maybe the thing is the implied freedom, or the vacation from our real lives. Or maybe it is just wanting to find someone who is simultaneously not completely uptight and not completely fucked up.  But really, I know it all has to do with the fact that in the end… checking out the way the other half lives – whether it’s the half above you or the half below – when you know you can make a call and end it all is an interesting way to see the world… plus, it is fun to play like a princess… and we all know that which seems so common rarely is.

Well what else could I do –

I said “I’ll see what I can do.”
I took her to a supermarket,
I don’t know why but I had to start it somewhere,
so it started there.
I said pretend you’ve got no money,
she just laughed and said,
“Oh you’re so funny.”
I said “yeah?
Well I can’t see anyone else smiling in here.
Are you sure you want to live like common people,
you want to see whatever common people see,
you want to sleep with common people,
you want to sleep with common people,
like me.”
But she didn’t understand,
she just smiled and held my hand.
Rent a flat above a shop,
cut your hair and get a job.
Smoke some fags and play some pool,
pretend you never went to school.
But still you’ll never get it right,
cos when you’re laid in bed at night,
watching roaches climb the wall,
if you call your Dad he could stop it all.

You’ll never live like common people,
you’ll never do what common people do,
you’ll never fail like common people,
you’ll never watch your life slide out of view,
and dance and drink and screw,
because there’s nothing else to do.


About Amanda

I am repatriating expatriate trying to work it all out. Well, to work some of it out anyhow. I am writing here for sanity, focus and general over-sharing.
This entry was posted in Friends, Life, Music, Perception, Relationships and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Common People.

  1. Mara Nowak says:

    Wow. I understand this more than you can even know… Although I have to say, you can find a guy in a suit who is covered with tattoos underneath – don’t judge a book by its cover – and on the flip side, there are those lovely “cool” guys who end up being terribly boring and *gasp* dumb which is just totally unacceptable. 🙂

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