Monday, May 10, 2010


It's not exactly Sybil or the Three Faces of Eve, but there is definitely another personality living somewhere inside my beloved. This person doesn't surface very often, and when she does appear it's usually near the end of a night.

I call her DJ LK because, well, because when this person appears LK decides it is time for her to take control of the music system and choose the songs for the rest of the night. Or, in some instances, the song (singular) since if she really likes one a lot we can hear it over and over again.

I first encountered DJ LK more than a quarter of a century ago. It was the first Christmas I spent with her and the kids. That night DJ LK decided that Jackson Brown's "Running on Empty" and JJ Jackson's "But It's Alright" needed to be put on a continuous loop. I know the kids tired of it, but I felt I was learning something about the woman I love. Since we were living on Jackson Street, I thought it may just be some sort of organizational thing where she felt we could only listen to people named Jackson. Thank God they hadn't released "Thriller" yet.

When we moved to Oz, DJ LK showed up quite often. We often found her cranking the volume and playing the soundtrack from "The Phantom of the Opera". Need I add, over and over again with no other songs in between. I never wanted to delve too deeply into what was going on in her head that she loved this particular album, but I do know that after several back-to-back plays, I did consider throwing a chandelier at her.

Of course, we were dealing with turntables and/or CDs back then. You might think that the advent of the iPod would make it easier for DJ LK to vary the musical selections. But then you would be mistaken, for the very essence of most of DJ LK's shows is to listen to a great song over and over until you know every little hiss and pop in the background.

DJ LK has shown up several times in recent years when we've had others around. I know Caroline has dealt with her. I am pretty sure Jason and Laura retreated to their room on more than a few occasions. But last night, it was me and me alone who spent a wonderful evening with DJ LK. And I have to confess that we had a full and varied playlist for the evening and it was fun.

It started when she turned the iPod to Leonard Cohen's "Dance Me to the End of Love". "This is the best song in the world," she said. We danced in our room to the 72-year-old and ended with a long kiss. "Wow!" I thought, "this is going to be a fun night.

DJ LK then told me that she wanted me to play this song at her funeral. So much for the effects of my soul kisses.

I asked her if that meant she was replacing her funeral song from "You Can't Always Get What You Want" or adding to it. "Replace," she said firmly. "Things change."

The performance was interrupted after a few more Cohen songs because the next song on the playlist was Manfred Mann's "Pretty Flamingo". And unfortunately, we didn't have it. So we had a brief break while I downloaded it. Then it was back to the 60's.

Listening to it, DJ LK smiled and proclaimed, "It's the best song in the history of the world."

"Pretty Flamingo?" I asked with more than a bit of disbelief.

"Many DJs consider it a great song," said DJ LK as if that resolved this discussion. She then added, "It's a very short song, unfortunately."

I then asked her if perhaps her fondness for "Pretty Flamingo" might have more to do with some moment in her life than its musical merit.

"No," she said, "it's a great song. . . but there was this boy named Cletis. . ."

Here we are, married a quarter of a century and I never suspected my wife had ever ever ever had a crush on someone named Cletis. The things you learn.

Anyhow, I thought you might enjoy DJ LK's playlist from last night.

Dance Me to the End of Love, Leonard Cohen

Flamingo, Manfred Mann

, Patsy Cline (No, I have no idea how that snuck in, either)

, Paul Simon

and Pearls, Prince

the Air Tonight, Phil Collins (OK, I'm starting to think we kind of got stuck in the Ps on the iPod list of singers. Fortunately, that got fixed next with . . .)

Dance, David Bowie

, Bowie

Tide is High, Blondie

A Dion trilogy of :
Runaround Sue
The Wanderer
Teenager in Love

What a Night, The Four Seasons

, The Four Seasons ("This was the best song of our teenage years," said DJ LK, momentarily forgetting "Pretty Flamingo".)

Girls Don't Cry, The Four Seasons (cut short "I don't like this song that much.")

Teardrops, Jackie Wilson

, Johnnie Ray (It was only when I was writing this that I realized she had snuck in a three-song bit about crying. See how good she is!)

Tennessee Waltz, Patti Page

Bayou, Linda Ronstadt

, Elvis Presley (And she did have 30 other Elvis songs to choose from!)

And then DJ LK ended the tour de force with Van Morrison's "These Are the Days". Which she played five or six times. Do you know why? Well, I'll let her explain, "This is the best song ever written."

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