Up the stairs, the room was cool
when summer blazed outside.
And, even on the sunniest days,
inside it was shadowed and dim.
Victor, with his hat pulled low
grinned on the sofa and played guitar.
Betty was in the kichen humming,
making a dinner for two.
The only member of the quartet
not present was always you.
The records we played and another
cold beer kept me from going insane.
'Cause though I was terminally hip
and, always cool on the surface,
I was estranged from the woman I loved,
and stayed all torn up inside.
I fought to not fight, got high all night,
and once even publicly cried.
So many nights, I made my way home
across the Humboldt Street bridge alone-
to lie awake in my childhood bed
telling myself that I did not care,
until finally I could fall asleep
as morning lightened the sky.
Later I'd make my way back
to the cool, dim room up the stairs,
and go through the motions, one more day
and pretend that I was all right.