Never Serve Me A Drink Called Loneliness
Have you ever seen the original video to Billy Joel’s “Piano Man?”
It’s a great video to an outstanding song. An American classic.
But it’s also a warning not to wind up like those people in it, individuals past their prime who feel they have nothing to look forward to so they cling to their past by going to the same bar night after night.
It’s sad and it’s sweet, and I don’t want to wind up like any of those people in the video.
I don’t want to be an old man making love by myself to a tonic and gin asking the “piano man” to play a tune I could remember only when I wore a younger man’s clothes. And while I’m always in the mood for a melody, I don’t want to share a drink called loneliness with lonely people.
I don’t want to be like John at the bar, knowing there’s some place that I’d rather be and sure that I could be a movie star if I could just get out of this place. If I felt that way then heck, I would get out of that place! In fact, I did; I was a sportswriter in Savannah, Ga, and felt there was more to life so I packed m car and drove to Los Angeles. It seems to have worked out okay.
I don’t want to be well past my prime hitting on a waitress well past hers, or be like Davey in the Navy who’s been in the same job for life.
The song is awesome and the video really brings it to life. I, like many of us have, on occasion, dropped into a local dive bar in the afternoon and seen the types of people Joel is singing about in “Piano Man.” They are regulars, there every day, and some even have their heads on the bar. The sun may be out, there’s activity all around them, yet they choose to be spending their precious life – remember, we only have one shot at this thing – in a dingy bar.
“Piano Man” tells the tale of nighttime regulars, but it’s the same.
Sure, maybe things didn’t turn out so well for them and they prefer to try and live in the past while staring at their tonic and gin.
But don’t look backward, look ahead, I say! Charge forward and see what’s out there in life. You might be pleasantly surprised.