So sang Jim Morrison in the Doors’ song, Roadhouse Blues.
Prescient? Perhaps, but in the same song, he also sang “Save our city, save our city
Right now”. While some of the sturm and drang of the Doors’ music could be over the top, (disclaimer: I’m a fan), it reflected the zeitgeist of the time. It’s also pertinent today with so much uncertainty about our future.
Each day brings a new revelation or speculation about the future, short and long term. Truth is no one really knows. And in A Coward’s Guide to Living, neither does the middle-aged protagonist Jacob Will. His future is uncertain, and the end? Well… that’s to be discovered.
But, as with Jacob, we’ll all have to plow on through this to find out what happens.
In the meantime, in the closing words of Roadhouse Blues, Morrison wails “Well, I woke up this morning, I got myself a beer.”
Jacob Will was never big on religion, not that he wasn’t exposed to it. At some point, it didn’t “take.” Maybe it was the glut of televangelists on TV that turned him off. So going into a church for his best friend’s funeral was not high on his list, bucket or otherwise.
And a conversation with the minister afterwards was completely unexpected. What made it more so was the life-altering effect it was to have on him.
Had he given it any thought, the lyrics from an R.E.M. song, Losing My Religion might have resonated with him.
A friend’s influence can last forever.
Throughout A Coward’s Guide to Living protagonist Jacob Will’s life, music had played an influential role. His father played the music which becomes a reflection of Jacob’s thoughts and/or moods. Quite catholic in scope, it makes for an interesting soundtrack to the story.
Richard Thompson‘s ’52 Vincent Black Lightning is just one of the pieces of music Jacob Will references in the book. Read more about Jacob’s Music at bmeisterman.com .