Life According To Billy

I’m that Tired Guy, you know the one who would listen to _Songs In The Attic_ in its entirety every night freshman year just to make certain I didn’t miss a single lyric.

Ahhhh Billy. Standard issue at Brandeis back in the day. I owe my entire fan-dom to three very dear friends: Sean, who took me to see one of his shows at the Centrum in ’89 where we sat waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay in the back; Andy, who I am certain knows every lyric to every Billy Joel song and could probably recite them backward or forward; Bruce, who put up with me visiting his dorm room every night around midnight so I could play a round or two of Arkanoid…and enjoy that very album.

(Ok, so it was a CD. But saying “album” makes me feel cooler, like I grew up in the ’80s or something.)

(Which I did.)


What can Billy tell us about life? For one thing, don’t marry a super model. Uptown girls got nothing I want.

For another…well let’s just take a stroll through some of the music. I might even hum a few bars so cover your ears.

You know those lights
Go bright on Broadway
But that was so many years ago
Before we all lived here in Florida
Before the mafia
Took over Mexico
There are not many who remember
They say a handful still survive
To tell the world about
The way the lights went out
And keep the memory alive

Florida doesn’t count as the South, leastwise not to me. So many New Yorkers relocated down there, the state is merely an extension of the Bronx and parts of Long Island. Go visit any restaurant between West Palm Beach and Miami and tell me how many northerners you run into. It’s like a freakin’ traffic jam I tell youz. Fuggedaboutit!

Ironically in an Alanis Morissette kind of way, my wife is from South Florida…but was born in Philadelphia. I’m not sure which is worse. I’m kidding sweetie! Love you!

Regardless, the 21st Century scoreboard looks like this: Red Sox World Series Wins – 2, Yankees World Series Wins – 0. Keep the memory alive Bambino!

They say that these are not the best of times
But they’re the only times I’ve ever known
And I believe there is a time
For meditation in cathedrals of our own
Now I have seen that sad surrender in my lover’s eyes
I can only stand apart and sympathize
For we are always what our situations hand us
It’s either sadness or euphoria

Some very sobering lyrics there William! Has anyone ever seen their best of times? Have they already passed us by and we didn’t realize it? Maybe you’ve been in a relationship that started out fine, eventually unraveling as you took the left turn at Albuquerque…and she didn’t. Well, life isn’t black or white but there are times when taking a stand on one side or the other does give you hope for what could happen next. Ultimately, I can only live my life within my own context. The good news is, I don’t have to live it alone. If you’re fortunate enough to have someone – a friend, a husband or wife, a dog or cat – who understands the real you, then your best times, and your worst times, well it’s all part of your own ever-evolving tapestry.

Oh how I wish I learned the piano when I was younger! The music is in my soul, but I can only give voice to it through words. And while at times I might be eloquent, there is nothing more moving than the right chords played the right way at the right time.


She comes to me when I’m feeling down
Inspires me without a sound
She touches me and I get turned around

Love is not enough no matter what the poets say. The bonds of friendship are what keep things going. Who do you want at your side when things are bleak? If more than one face comes to mind, count yourself fortunate.

My brother Doug is at the top of my short list. He is arguably the nicest soul I have ever known. Still waters run deep, and there’s not a shallow thing about him.

Especially his nose. But that’s an entire blog topic by itself.

And Traci. She is my best friend. She cares about me more than I deserve, and quite honestly I cannot imagine life without her.

If friends were currency, I’d be a wealthy man.

We’re almost done.

Well I’ll never be a stranger
And I’ll never be alone
Wherever we’re together
That’s my home

Our wedding song. ‘Nuff said there.

From a town known as Oyster Bay, Long Island
Rode a boy with a six-pack in his hand
And his daring life of crime
Made him a legend in his time
East and west
Of the Rio Grande

Our dreams were a lot bigger when we were younger. As we age, that childish innocence sometimes gets lost along the way. But you know what? It’s still there, lurking behind every tasty sip of a Friendly’s chocolate Fribble and in every delicious greasy slice of Papa Ginos pizza. There’s no reason to lose it. Oh sure, we’re all tempered by the days in between. Hell, I’ve been married three times, lost my mother at an early age and seen my fair share of heart ache and pain.

Despite all that I won’t let go of my dreams. I may yet become a published author. And when Noah is brought into the world this October, another one of my most precious dreams will be realized. Noah and Benjamin, their laughter will be the sweetest music my ears will ever hear.

So before we end, and then begin
We’ll drink a toast to how it’s been
A few more hours to be complete
A few more nights on satin sheets
A few more times that I can say
I’ve loved these days

Me too Billy. Me too.

G’night folks.

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