Everyone’s gone to the moon


I just went to City Hall to pay my retiree health insurance. I drove there dizzy from the wind and allergies so I was feeling sort of unreal. I stopped at the pharmacy on the way and didn’t ask if anyone had been in yet carrying the swine flu virus.

Inside City Hall I walked by the receptionist and towards the Finance counter. I was stopped by a Park Ranger – a man who makes about $8 an hour looking like a guard in his quasi-sheriff uniform. He stopped me and asked what I wanted. Yikes! This is not the same building I worked in for 18 years. I said I was here to pay a bill and as I continued on to the counter I remembered seeing a young woman who tripped while being escorted out of the building by a different Ranger.  So I went back and said, “What’s going on?” “We’re just here to help her out (Kristy, the receptionist).”

At the counter there were no Finance employees, just rec leaders in their red shirts. “Where is everybody?” “They are at lunch. We’re helping them out until they return at one.” “I’m just here to pay a bill.” “We’re only authorized to handle parking tickets.” “Oo-kayyy, hmm, what time is it now?” “11:30.” I look around and think of all the people I had instant access to back in the day (including my boss, the assistant City Manager) and think surely there must be someone I can get to help me. My next door neighbor in HR? She might be at lunch… I ask Kristy for help. She and I worked together for years. She married a co-worker that I liked very much. Nice guy. She offers to give them my check when they return. I realize the guards are there to protect the Finance Department while they are all out for a celebratory lunch.

I see an old friend in Parks. I can’t remember her name. “Kristy, I can’t remember her name…” “Pauline.” “I can’t believe it’s only been 3 years and I can’t remember her name!” “Well, if you don’t use it for awhile it’s gone.” I’m not reassured. I’m sure it’ll eventually degenerate into some more virulent form of senility.

“Pauline! Hi!” “Hi, I’m negotiating. I have to go in a meeting.” “It’s been ages, I just didn’t want to leave without at least saying hi.” “It’s nice to see you. I gotta go in a meeting with Bob.” I leave thinking, “Wow, I’d forgotten how controlled my life was then. They owned me, and the money was so good I didn’t care.”

You almost have to make an appointment to talk to anyone any more. I can’t imagine ever going back, a slave to time. I feel like I’m on the outside now but no one is out here with me, or few are – the unemployed, the retired, the poor. Everyone else is at work. If you don’t work, you don’t socialize? Maybe that’s why Twitter et al are so popular, sneak in a little socializing while in captivity. Don’t get me wrong. I liked my job when it still afforded me the respect and the stimulation I desired. But I had no idea the freedom I was missing until the last few excruciating years.

I walk out – into the bright sun and blowing wind – feeling more than a little disconnected. Driving away, I think “Everyone’s gone to the moon,” like in the song.

And then, writing this, I found this post by Ted Twietmeyer. You should read it, it’s very heartfelt. He has his own reaction to the song and adds his beliefs about the toll technology has taken on socialization.

Here’s 60 x 50’s detailed take on the song and its relation to modernist fiction, art and several other very interesting possibilities. The lone comment posits that the song is more about the 60s descent into the use of harder drugs than anything “quasi-mystical.” That’s a good take too.

I love finding out what other people are thinking, about what I’ve been thinking. I do believe the blogiverse has a synergy and that synergy may someday save us, if only our sanity.

Streets full of people, all alone
Rows full of houses, never home
Church full of singing, out of tune
Everyone’s gone to the moon

Eyes full of sorrow, never wet
Hands full of money, all in debt
Sun’s coming out in the middle of June
Everyone’s gone to the moon

Long time ago, life had begun
Everyone went to the sun

Hearts full of motors, painted green
Mouths full of chocolate-covered cream
Arms that can only lift a spoon
Everyone’s gone to the moon
Everyone’s gone to the moon
Everyone’s gone to the moon

Everyone’s Gone to The Moon – 1965, Jonathan King

3 thoughts on “Everyone’s gone to the moon

  1. I was very young when this song came out. It made me inexplicably scared and sad because although I didn’t ‘get’ the lyrics, they affected me.

    I just popped over to have a look at your art (have just seen your flikr and etsy stuff -wow!) and say thanks again for dropping in over at my place. I don’t have time to visit all the blogs I’d like to, or stay for long but you’re right; a trip out every so often is good for us!

    I know you must protect your art, but in a parallel world, where we’d be able to share with no fear of stealing, I would love to be able to exhibit/promote your Dreams Heal… mosaic by having a photo of it as a stand alone post. My current/coming theme as youve seen is finding and putting together all the bits that express us. I’m obessed with many things; mosaic art is one. Gaudi’s Parc Guel – heaven! Hearts are another. Did you hand make those wee hearts, like the quilted one and the hand/heart one? I’d love if you could reply and let me know. I’d like to promote you before Mother’s Day. My site’s small, but every little helps.

  2. Janice, thanks for coming! I was so glad to find your site yesterday. Of course I’d be thrilled to be featured in a post. I thought I had set my flickr that anyone could blog/post it. I’ll go look. I am new to Flickr and just set it up this week.

    I’ll PM you details. thanks

    Oh, and the song is still haunting to me too. I have it on my ipod. I’ve never known what the author meant and enjoyed reading others’ guesses but I don’t mind a little mystery in art. We take what we need that way.

  3. I think I fixed it so any Flickr member can blog or share a photo. That was the only setting for “blogging about.”

    I set it so anyone can download my stuff. Hope tha helps but I’ll make it easy for you and send you the file at your blog if there’s a PM address.

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