29 September 2012
It's 1978. I'm a Major in the Army Reserve, going to school in Ft. Bliss, Texas to learn about the wonders of Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical warfare. The school is two weeks long and I'm a LONG way from home. Daytime temps are running about 106 degrees. I'm not a happy camper.
The school is a little challenging. Learning non-standard radiation decay rates is driving me a little crazy. I want to ACE this school, and I'm not gettin' this non-standard decay rate business. I know there will be at least one problem on the test to solve, and I'm honestly fearful I'll screw it up.
I'm the ranking officer in the class and haven't been able to connect with anyone to spend time with after hours. I'm still feeling the effects of my ugly divorce a little over a year ago. I have a "significant other" back at home who without question saved my sanity, and may in fact have kept me from becoming an alcoholic, thereby possibly saving my life. But I know in my heart-of-hearts that my relationship with her is going nowhere long-term, and I wonder what the future holds.
Far from home, exposed to these extreme temperatures, I may as well be on Venus.
I hit the sack, study non-standard half-lives until I can't take it anymore, turn the light off and radio on, and roll over to go to sleep.
And from the box comes this tune.
It doesn't help my mood, but there's no denying it is an extraordinary piece of music.
About Gerry Rafferty:
I didn't know his name before "Baker Street" came out.
But most of us are familiar with "Stuck in The Middle With You" by "Stealer's Wheel", and I've since found he played with that group before going solo.
I heard "Baker Street" on my way to work two nights ago and remembered Ft. Bliss.
I remembered the loneliness, and how that loneliness was somehow made greater by "Baker Street".
I also knew that Gerry had died a while back, so I decided to check on him and learn more.
Gerry was a troubled soul.
His Wikipedia entry is here. If you've enjoyed his work and don't know anything about him, check it out. Then listen once again to "Baker Street" and see if you'll ever listen to it the same as you have in the past.