Skip to content

You Don’t Have to Call Me Darlin’

I wanted to tell you, right up front. I did everything I could to win my little girl back. Everything I had wasn’t much back in 1972, you know, but I shot through it all to get her away from Nadine. Us Dixieland guys, even the popular ones like I was, we didn’t jam for the money.

Losing it all was how I wound up here, in Nashville. I mean, what was the point of being in New Orleans? I couldn’t see Emmaline, ever. Dat Judge character and Nadine, well, they made sure of it. No matter how much I appealed, how high I tried to go, I lost. Every time, I lost.

Lost all my fans, too. It was like somebody was behind it all, whispering, because, one by one, people stopped booking me. The telephone dried up so, I thought it was disconnected. Look, I know I sound paranoid, but you try losing your sweet baby daughter and your livelihood in the span of twelve lightning-fast months, and see how you feel.

Oh, and I forgot to mention my friends, maybe because they, like, forgot all about me. At the end of dat whole business, I had exactly one friend left. One. He owned the oldest bar on Bourbon. You know dat one, right? It used to be a blacksmith’s shop, but nowadays, they just serve booze.

Well, he reached out to me and gave me this one lead. “Call Big Rosie up there in Nashville. She’ll give you something to do.”

I remembered laughing in his face. I mean, I wasn’t some sad sack, sorry-assed, hick-i-fied country music performer. Hell, I hated dat stuff. But, you know, when someone was desperate, when they felt like they didn’t have anything else? Well, adjusting things like ‘likes’ and ‘dislikes’ got easier. And, when it wasn’t easy, proper lubrication made the rest of it go down.

So now, strumming a damn guitar and singing hee-haw was all I had. No matter how much I tried to lose myself in the twangy chords, the words still tasted funny, like, foreign in my mouth. I mean, I been at it for almost two years now, but it still doesn’t feel…….real. I guess I use booze to blunt my ripped edges and women to feel less by myself, but when I try to write all dat, to pour all my anger and frustration and drunk-ass loneliness into the words, it all sounds so cliche.

Dat’s what I am. One sorry, hang-dog cliche who misses his little girl so much he’s afraid to write it down and sing it out.

 

 

46 Comments Post a comment
  1. This guy I know…A person with only one question in life and you never can tell if they will break free or drown…

    November 9, 2012
    • I hope he breaks free. I’m pulling for him, at any rate. Not that THAT matters much, with my characters. :)

      November 9, 2012
  2. He’s everywhere and nowhere, baby, that’s where he’s at……:)

    November 9, 2012
  3. ‘afraid to write it down and sing it out’… sad line.

    November 9, 2012
    • I’ll have to make a note to put that one in the manuscript, Ted. That was a line I added to make this a blog post.

      November 9, 2012
  4. Andra, when can we preorder the book? Your writing so often gives me goose bumps! Fabulous stuff

    November 9, 2012
  5. He embraced his inner twang.

    November 9, 2012
    • He has no twang, though. “Dat” is the way native New Orleans people tend to say “that.” They also say “wadn’t” for “wasn’t”, but too much of that is too much.

      November 9, 2012
  6. From Nashville, A little worried this guy is my next door neighbor and really all he needs is some Jack Daniels and a hug :)

    November 9, 2012
    • I was really tempted to have you read the Nashville parts of the book, Tori. But, it is set in 1977, light-years before you were born.

      November 9, 2012
  7. Andra, your writing is always so powerful! I love your ability to create a complete character , location, and story with so few words. You make it seem so easy.

    November 9, 2012
    • I’ve been working on this character for months and months, though. My light bulb moment was watching some online videos.

      November 9, 2012
      • Well, I’m still impressed by your ability to move from inspiration to a truthful character.

        November 9, 2012
      • I’ve struggled the most with this one, in the end. I don’t want him to be a cliche, even though he thinks he is one.

        November 9, 2012
      • I don’t think he sounds like a cliche at all. In fact, to me he adds insight into the reality behind the cliche.

        November 9, 2012
      • It’ll be interesting to hear what my readers think. They get the whole thing this weekend. You know how it is, though. I have zero perspective on this project after wrangling so many words around for the past few weeks.

        November 9, 2012
      • I’m living with zero perspective at the moment. Honestly, right now I wish you lived nearby so we could meet for coffee and you could give me a kick in the ass. :P

        November 9, 2012
      • I wish the same thing. I have tried so hard to find someone here to do that with.

        November 9, 2012
  8. Poignant. Heartbreaking. I hope before his end he gets to set his sore eyes on his little girl.

    November 9, 2012
    • I don’t always give readers happy endings here, but we’ll see what happens.

      November 9, 2012
  9. Oh! The little girl thread. I love getting to meet the Daddy. Watch for creating dialogue through phonetic spelling, though. It can be extremely off putting.

    November 9, 2012
    • The book is full of it. My editor will have to tell me how much is too much. She always has carte blanche to change things however she wants.

      November 9, 2012
  10. Good stuff. Coming from the heart, right where it should. Can’t wait to read the rest.

    November 9, 2012
    • I might put up some more. Or, I might not. It was easy to do last night, because I’m pretty dry right now. The past two or three weeks have been quite a hermit-like run.

      November 9, 2012
  11. i guess dat’s dat

    November 9, 2012
  12. Dat’s fine, real fine.

    November 9, 2012
    • We’ll see what The Expert says about dat.

      Honestly, there’s no freaking way to write a book like this without dialect. I tried and tried and tried, and some of these characters take over the keyboard and insist. And, I got half saying they loved it and half saying not to do it on CO, so really no answer in the end.

      November 9, 2012
      • Well, do wad ya gotta do missy.

        November 10, 2012
      • I wish I liked John Wayne movies. I never really did.

        November 10, 2012
      • Me, neither. He just had too much swagger for me.

        November 12, 2012
  13. Alice #

    Poor fella – he”s got da blues, but he’s gotta sing country…
    And there is nothing bluer than a daddy without his little girl.

    November 9, 2012
  14. I love the sounds of this character, Andra!

    November 9, 2012
    • It always interests me how my English readers really get into the sounds, Tom. It doesn’t surprise me, because I know the sound of the voice is something of a big dea there in that it reveals a lot about a person. I hope that is one of the things that will make this very American story relatable to people anywhere. I mean, in many ways, it’s a universal story, but the components are American, if that makes sense.

      November 9, 2012
  15. Makes me want to visit New Orleans just to listen, Andra.

    November 9, 2012
  16. The region, the dialect, the music–all may be particular to this story, but I have known men caught in this whirlpool of sadness. You have an amazing aptitude for capturing the voice and tone of someone who feels lost. I like this character…but I’ve learned not to get too attached to some of my Andra favorites! :-)

    November 10, 2012
    • I’ve felt lost in my life, Debra. That part isn’t hard to capture at all. Doing a believable male voice, particularly with all the men who read this blog, has been more intimidating.

      November 10, 2012
  17. Dat’s right, girl.

    November 10, 2012
  18. Goodness, Andra- I took a long blogging break and now I am back. Your blog is dangerous to jump into. I was, like, what? She had a little girl???? 1972? Carry the five…how old is SHE????? ha! :)

    December 3, 2012

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. You Never Even Call Me By My Name « The Accidental Cootchie Mama
  2. Roll Out The Holly « The Accidental Cootchie Mama

Talk Amongst Ourselves

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 15,411 other followers

%d bloggers like this: