I’m going to Graceland, Graceland,
In Memphis, Tennessee
I’m going to Graceland.
Poorboys and pilgrims with families
And we are going to Graceland

Paul Simon’s album Graceland was released in August 1986, when my oldest daughter Rebecca was four months old. I really got into listening to it through 1987, and the kids (both Rebecca and my son Stuart) loved singing along to it. Rebecca especially loved doing the “Whoop! Whoop! Whoop! Whoop! Whoop! Whoop! Whoop! Whoop!” bits that punctuate the song “I Know What I Know”.

And then in March 1988, my wife left me.

She comes back to tell me she’s gone.
As if I didn’t know that,
As if I didn’t know my own bed;
As if I’d never noticed
The way she brushed her hair from her forehead.
And she said, “Losing love
Is like a window in your heart;
Everybody sees you’re blown apart
Everybody sees the wind blow.”

Left us, really. Although, to her credit, she later said she wouldn’t have done so if she’d thought I’d try to keep the kids from her.

Still. Odd to have a mid-life crisis before you’re 25 years old. Meanwhile, Stuart’s asking questions, spaced out, very measured, as if he asks one question, gets one answer, and then goes away and processes it for a while before asking the next question, and so on.

My traveling companion is five years old;
He is the child of my first marriage.
But I’ve reason to believe
We both will be received
In Graceland

Yeah, Paul Simon’s version says “nine years old”, but Stuart was five at the time, so that’s how I hear it in my head.

So Graceland, whether the “real” place in Memphis or some imaginary state of grace, is something I hang on to now and then. I don’t know why.

In Graceland, in Graceland;
I’m going to Graceland.
For reasons I cannot explain,
There’s some part of me wants to see Graceland.
And I may be obliged to defend
Every love, every ending,
Or maybe there’s no obligations now;
Maybe I’ve a reason to believe
We all will be received
In Graceland

One of these days, I’m going to call Stuart up, and see if he wants to do a road trip to Memphis. Rebecca as well, of course. I think they’ll understand.