your friends are at the party, the ones you’ve known for years
they’ve shared your joys and triumphs, laughter and tears
they see you coming, and turn on the charm
and welcome you with open mouths and clutching arms
there’s plenty of potato chips, and plenty of booze
and they can’t wait to tell you the news
who fell out with who, and who fell down the stairs
and who in sad circumstances was caught unawares
the fox is in the henhouse, the train has left the station
life is a chronicle of degradation
and though the shocking chronicle never ends
it’s all right, because we are all friends
outside the wind begins to howl, the rain begins to patter
and everything you hear starts to not matter
there’s nothing left to say, and who wants to think?
you happily accept another drink
you look up and the party’s almost done
everybody has had enough fun
you notice time has left its nasty traces
on all the old familiar faces
who are these people anyway, and who are you?
they are your companions, tried and true
your shoulders sag, your shoes begin to scrape
and all you want is to escape
outside you are welcomed by the wind and rain
it’s over - until duty calls again
safe inside your clothes you are nice and warm
out of the fog appears a shuffling form
she wheels her vehicle along
mumbling a sort of little song
the cart is filled with plastic bags
and adorned with little american flags
how fortunate you are
to have your locked upholstered car
you have your i d, safe and dry
and can look authority in the eye
you have your friends, your registered name
your knowledge of how to play the game
no use to cry, no use to moan
and yet like her - you are alone
morrison happened to be at the f—— — — club when the unfortunate dustup occurred between caldwell and burnaby, and after a few meaningful glances from the other members who were present, he attempted to negotiate a truce between them.
caldwell assumed his usual air of slightly self-satisfied indifference, as if to say, “come now, is this really worth arguing about?” - his habitual pose after deliberately provoking someone in his sly way.
but what, really, could good old morrison do? after listening to both sides, he cleared his throat snd addressed burnaby -
“well, old fellow, i agree that caldwell here could have been a little more tactful - i might even venture to say, a bit more gentlemanly in the way he expressed himself - but after all, we are not children here, to cry about hurt feelings, eh? i suppose one member of the f———— club can express himself in a forthright fashion to another member, can he not? and on any subject he pleases, eh?”
“but not about that!” burnaby cried wrathfully. “not that!”
and despite’s morrison’s effort to restrain him, he rushed out the door, down the stairs and into the street, where a steady rain was falling.
poor jeffsworth had to be despatched after him, to give him his hat and umbrella.
although the incident was never spoken of, the feeling of good fellowship at the f—— — — club had been irretrievably punctured, and the club began its slow decline.
sometimes, on rainy afternoons, i can still hear burnaby crying - “not that! not that!”