Thursday, October 4, 2012

No. 609 – Ship of Fools

Performer: Robert Plant
Songwriters: Phil Johnstone, Robert Plant
Original Release: Now and Zen
Year: 1988
Definitive Version: None

As I mentioned, I attended the wedding of a former lover, and I was fine with it. The reason I was fine with it was that when Jessica gave me the “let’s be friends” speech, she meant it.

And one indication that she meant it came two years later in 1989, after both of us had moved back to the Chicago area, when she set me up with her friend Francesca. That’s the very definition of an ex doing you a solid. (And it wasn’t the first time Jessica made such an arrangement, but I’m getting ahead of myself.)

One of my first dates was to play putt-putt by where Francesca lived, which was a good omen considering my history. Unfortunately, she lived in Inverness and I was in Mount Prospect. In other words, it was an hourlong drive to her place, and I made the near-fatal miscalculation of properly preparing for such a distance. By the time I arrived, I could barely say hi before asking where her bathroom was. (Hard to believe it didn’t take, but I’m getting ahead of myself again.)

The putt-putt course where we played wasn’t much to speak of, and the only thing I remember about it now is that there were no trees around, it was pretty hot and no one else was there. I’m pretty sure I won, but really all I cared about was that I got another date out of the deal, which I did.

The most memorable thing about the day, aside from my rather poor entrance, of course, was that as I drove Francesca back to her place, this song came on the radio. It was the first time I had heard it on the radio and the first time at all since the finale of Miami Vice earlier that year. Francesca knew the song well—she even sang along softly but not so softly that I couldn’t hear it—and when I realized that she was a Robert Plant / Led Zeppelin fan, that was a new experience for me.

Alas, as I mentioned, it didn’t take between me and Francesca. I don’t think it was the bathroom stunt per se that did it. We went out three more times after that, with the final time being to see The BoDeans at Taste of Chicago on Fourth of July. It was just a lack of chemistry. It happens, and neither Jessica nor I held it against the other person.

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