Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The Road is Dark

Margaret and I shall be married 19 years this June. We have actually been together for more than two decades. We got married in June, 1993 on the Saturday of the weekend that marked the 2nd anniversary of our first date. I figured that as I aged, I was unlikely to get any smarter and the combination of advancing age and diminishing mental faculties would make it impossible to recall two separate, distinct "anniversaries". There is a reason I awaken at 3:00 a.m. each morning. It cuts down significantly on the number of folks who can actually get up early enough to sneak one past me.

I had not met my wife - and in fact would not meet her for another four years or so - when Bruce Springsteen released the Tunnel of Love record in the late 1980's. Tunnel of Love was the record that followed the worldwide phenomenon that was Born in the U.S.A. It remains a quarter-century after he released it one of my favorite Springsteen records. It remains so in large part because it contains a type of music that Springsteen himself admits he had been reluctant to ever pen....the love song.

While Margaret was not known to me the first time I dropped the needle on Tunnel of Love or the first time I heard "Tougher Than the Rest", it is the Springsteen song that - without hesitation - I think of first when I think of my bride. I consider it an "adult" love song. A song chockful of emotion but firmly grounded as well. This is not a story book story. It is a song telling a story not about a fairy-tale, fanciful, overly romanticized version of love but rather the version of love found in the non-fiction section of Life's big bookstore....

....that is after all, the section of the bookstore that contains all of the best-written works....

The road is dark
and it's a thin thin line
But I want you to know I'll walk it for you any time
Maybe your other boyfriends
couldn't pass the test
Well if you're rough and ready for love
honey I'm tougher than the rest


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