This was for a 3rd Coast Festival challenge, but after the first draft, I decided not to worry about some of the other requirements and just keep the piece for other reasons. You can hear in the way it starts, the line that prompts. I still hear other ones like this, that actually were submitted to the challenge.
FYI: use of the derogatory word for a gay man (in the context of the story, but it is less appropriate now than it was around 2004 when Dirk and Andy was made). When performing it now, I change it to a softer word.
This is one of my favorite pieces, because it was one of the first original ideas I had that I wrote and produced based on a fictional-fantasy type situation that had roots in real life. Fact was, I did go to a Red Lobster with a black family -- their 9 year old was best friends with my 9 year old. Fact is, I got some dirty looks. I couldn't believe it. I now live in the south, but spent most of my life in the north. No one actually said anything to me, but I felt like they were pretty peeved I was eating at a table with these friends of ours.
This is the circa 2005 version of this I did with a guitar, as an experiment. I was trying to determine, as relatively new guitar player, if I could use a guitar to perform this live. I think a fingerstyle arrangement might have worked. Maybe now I would use a loop pedal. I performed this live in 2015 as well.
I knew the type as soon as we saw him pull up in his fancy white Dodge 2500 Cargo Van. Everything he had was clean and new. Perhaps he'd just won the lottery, but more likely he hit a tangent forked from mid-life crisis or divorce. Maybe someone close to him died and he realized he was 35 years old and working a job he hated, living in a life he hated. So he quit, cashed his retirement savings, bought a bunch of new stuff and started bumming. Guys like him burn out in a year, maybe less, find they now have nothing but a year-old van full of year-old gear, no retirement, no job, no house and a big hole in the resume. That's when the real mid-life crisis arrives. I had him pegged.
This morning I was walking with my 9 year old; he was chilly in the 70 morning air and I was telling him about how, when I was 13, my wet hair often froze during the walk to school. When I got home, I dug this old story out. When the story was written in 2002 the kids often were driven; since, they have done a lot more walking.
Kids nowadays are missing out on one of the most enjoyable things about being a kid. Walking to school. This has nothing to do with exercise, though most kids could probably use a bit. It has to do with the range of emotion walking to school brings to a child; fear, anguish, heartache, foolishness.