it was the first time i was paid commission. and i loved it because i knew i was better than most of the other people in that store and it was nice to get paid more than them.
but after a while i had to leave because it was sad that the rich customers always got great deals because they knew how to haggle and the poor people always got ripped off because they didn’t even know you could ask for a lower price in a place like that.
so i went to work at a gas station. i wanted to be of service to people. i didn’t care that it paid less money. i didnt have to wear a suit, i was working outside, and even if it was basic – just washing windows and showing a guy his air filter was dirty AF was helpful. i wanted to be helpful.
i still do.
during lunch i would walk across the street and get some hot food and bring it to my car and eat it and listen to music on my headphones and take a little nap.
one of the tapes i would play was Elvis Costello’s new one at the time which was King of America. the weakest song on it, in my opinion, was a cover of the 1964 hit “Please Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood” that was written for Nina Simone before I was born.
i didnt understand the lyrics, i didnt understand the arrangement, and i didn’t understand why Elvis would include this tune into his incredible King of America album that was so unique and interesting… especially since Elvis didn’t really do much to the song any differently than what The Animals did in 1965.
but as i have gotten older i have been misunderstood
and it sucks.
and i think Elvis probably felt the same way.
to me it’s a prayer.
it’s admitting that the singer IS being misunderstood and they would like for it to end.
part of artistry is to have a shade of mystery.
but with that comes a bit of confusion.
elvis costello’s name isn’t even elvis.
and on King of America he utilized three different noms de plume for himself. is that to be more understood or less?
so the more creative one is in their art, the more likely people are going to misunderstand.
all of that is fine.
it’s when ones intentions are true that one gets frustrated.
if you say the most basic, simplest thing to someone and they react as if you had said something totally different, thats where the friction becomes uncomfortable.
and snoozing in my grandmas caddy in 1986 i hadn’t yet learned that yet
because back then i was trying so hard to keep things so simple: pump gas, check the fluids, get the air pressure levels, get the money, go home and study
the only confusion i got then was from my gemini girlfriend,
but for some reason that was fine.