The Song: "Flashback Blues," John Prine. Words & music by John Prine. Track 13 of John Prine, 1971.
When/how acquired: Purchased LP, c. 1980.
Sorry, couldn't find a version of this online. You should own this album, anyway.
Almost exactly seven years ago, I sat at my desk in Los Angeles and said, "I gotta get out of here."
The phone rang. It was my friend Anna, who had recently married the man of her dreams, and I repeated this to her.
She said, "You should move to Maine."
I scoffed. I had never lived north of the Mason-Dixon line, except for the accident of my birth (in New Rochelle, NY) and the three months my family spent with Dad's parents in the Bronx, before my brother Ed was born. I didn't do winter. I couldn't stand the cold, and Anna knew this perfectly well.
Still, something clicked in my brain, and a series of odd coincidences over the next few months all repeated Anna's invitation: Maine, Maine, Maine. Within a weirdly short period of time, the idea of moving to Maine went from ridiculous to something that seemed like the obvious next step.
Longtime readers of this blog know it took me a while to get there. I'm not going to go back over it; if you want the story, read the first three months of this blog's archives. But get here I did, eventually, and it was Anna who welcomed me and found me a place to live and showed me the ropes of life in Maine. It was Anna who introduced me to Gaslight Theater and Literacy Volunteers, and to my first new friends here.
And now Anna and her growing family are leaving Maine, and leaving me behind. The news was official yesterday afternoon: they're moving to Florida next month.
I am not moving to Florida.