I just came back from a brief trip to Scotland.
Scotland is a great and very beautiful country and it was hard to want to leave it. In the days since returning, I have been trying to fall back in love with America (since this is where I live). Generally I do love America, albeit at times in that peeking-through-my-fingers way that is actually pretty typical of love now that I come to think of it. But, as I said, Scotland is a great and very beautiful country and it was hard to want to leave it.
My preferred method of traveling is two-fold: a) pretend I live there and b) get productively lost. If I had my way, I would spend most of time in foreign countries walking down the street and peering into the lighted windows of grocery stores. I am glad that I usually travel with other people who make me do things like go to museums and hike. It's not that I don't enjoy doing those things; I do. It's that left to my own devices, I would wander around and have exquisitely melancholy thoughts for the length of my entire vacation. I need to learn to limit my tendency in that direction, I think.
In any case, I did a tiny bit of this when I was in Scotland, and I walked down the street at night, and I peered into the lighted window of this pub that had not real bookshelves but bookshelves painted on the walls, and I found that really charming, and I put down my exquisite melancholy and I went in.
As I was sitting in an armchair in this pub, reading a book about the young Queen Elizabeth II and gazing at the painted books on the wall and thinking the moment could not get any more perfect, this song came on softly in the background.
There are many music-y things to say about this song. One music-y thing I didn't know is that it was Luther Vandross who suggested the arrangement for the backing vocals (which I think is very cool). I'm not sure I really want to say music-y things about it though.
I want to play you this song, because it came on at the exact right time for me. It's a bridge back to that moment, but also a bridge back to real life.
The song: David Bowie, "Young Americans"; 1975
(It's also just a great song, which is what this is all about. Plz enjoy. And maybe, turn it up.)