local_library Me and Bill and the Long Road Back to Ithaca

by Michael Dunaway

Published in Issue No. 27 ~ August, 1999

Started back for Ithaca to put my ramblin days to rest
And pack up three long years I spent crashin town an uninvited guest
The Georgia sun was shinin loud but a cloud it hung above me
Cause that lady dropped her needles long ago – I doubt she ever
    loved me

Atlanta’s lights were burnin bright in my rear view, a distant Eden
And the angels’ swords were flaming Lord, burned my soul as I watched
    them all recedin

And I didn’t know just what I missed more, her smile or the life we
    left behind us
Bill sang side one bout the damage done, and we crossed into Carolina

Charlotte was a memory, and Richmond still a distant dreamin
And I hurtled through that Southern night, all flags a-flyin and
    engines screamin

In self defense my heart emptied its chambers, one by one in quick
    bolt action
Bill sang once again bout this damnable skin as we rode with Lee
    and Jackson

The Pennsylvania mountains were cold and dark and looked through
    me accusin
And I held my coffee close but couldn’t escape the tally of all
    that I was losin
Wondered out loud how my heart had gotten so disordered
Bill sang side two can you take the truth as we crossed the
    New York border

Yeah rollin back into Ithaca it was icy in my veins
But the more I packed up that big old truck the warmer it became

Drove downtown for one more round like Lot’s wife stealin one
    last glance
Stepped one foot out and searched the place tryin to separate
    soul and circumstance

Salty tears stung my eyes as I looked back on all my dreams of
    faded glory
In the distance was Bill singin Double Cure Hill, and he was
    singin that song just for me

Yeah then I took one long last look up at the stars, and down at
    the cars and the bars that littered Collegetown
I waved once more, smiled, and closed the door, and pointed the
    wheel back southbound

account_box More About

MICHAEL DUNAWAY commended a biographer in the July issue of Pif for "Letting Janis be Janis." He is a Georgian by origin, a New Yorker by residence, a hero by night, and a smartass by nature. He miraculously received a BA in English from The University of The South and an MBA in Finance from Cornell University. He may be the only person in the world who's a fan of Beck, Francis Schaeffer, Dante, and the Blue Devils. When he was a kid, he wanted to be just like his daddy. He still does.