Friday, March 15, 2013

No. 447 – Long Distance Runaround / The Fish (Schindleria Praematurus)

Performer: Yes
Songwriters: Jon Anderson, Chris Squire
Original Release: Fragile
Year: 1971
Definitive Version: Yessongs, 1973, for Chris Squire’s thunderous bass solo in The Fish

Girls were a complete mystery to me in high school. Actually, it might just be elementary, dear Watson: I wanted the girls I couldn’t have and wasn’t interested in the ones I could.

Take the curious case of Anita and Darlene, frinstance.

Sometime my junior year, I think, Mike took me to a house party of a fellow employee of his at the Big Bear grocery store. It probably was the most sedate house party you’ve ever seen. It was in a pretty nice, Sixties-style home in Upper Arlington, and it was what I thought adult parties were like: no dancing, people sitting around talking, nobody just getting wasted.

One of the people at the party was a girl named Jane, whom Mike and I knew. She was in one of my classes and she was cool. You know what that means, right? That means she’d talk to me. I can’t remember why she was at the party, because I didn’t think she worked at Big Bear, but I ended up talking to her about music. I think I had just discovered Yes and bought Fragile, and I distinctly remember her talking about this particular song.

Anyway, Jane was unavailable, but through her I met Anita. Mike and I were at the Ohio State Fair the summer before our senior year, and we decided to check out a local band named Cirrus, who was playing a small side soundstage. Jane was there as well as a friend of hers named Anita, whom I didn’t know.

Anita and I got along real well as Cirrus played competent cover song after cover song, and she seemed to be available. There definitely was an opportunity to ask her out—or at least pursue it. I didn’t.

Why didn’t I ask out Anita? The best answer might be I was an idiot, but at least part of the real answer was I was holding a candle for Darlene.

I met Darlene early my junior year, and we also got along real well. In fact, she gave me her number and told me to call her. Excellent, right? Well, it was up until the moment that I called one night and her mother told me that she was coming in from her date at the moment. D’OH!

Darlene was dating a college guy, and I guess it was more serious than I was led on to believe, and—make no mistake—I was led to believe a lot. It became this weird push-and-pull relationship that I let affect me far more than I should have and let carry on far longer than I should have.

It reached a point where I felt that for the emotional investment I had made, I deserved to have first crack when she broke up with her boyfriend, which she did senior year. However, by the time I learned of this, she already was with another older guy. By that time, Anita also was off the market. Double D’OH!

So, I didn’t date much in high school. The clues as to why all point to me as the culprit, of course. It’s a fair cop but maybe, just maybe, society was to blame. I submit the following alibi: Within three weeks of graduation, I began to date a beautiful girl who didn’t go to Upper Arlington.

It might just have been coincidental. It probably was just luck. But maybe, just maybe it was that UA GIRLS were a mystery to me. That’s my story, and I'm sticking to it. Case closed.

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