55Friday: The “How Soon is Now” Edition

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I am glad that this song is now so old, I can cop to liking it without wincing from the “trendiness” of it all. You see little minnows, in 1988– which is when ancient me commenced high school –if someone random noticed a Smiths bumper sticker on a Spanish text book (ahem), it wasn’t surprising if they exclaimed, “OMG, I LOVE that ‘sun and air’ song, you know?” Mmm, yeah. I know.

Like all bands, The Smiths had one song which everybody knew; I always gnashed my teeth at the fact that it had to be this one. After all, I needed this one, damnit. But when you’re 13 and a painfully shy freshman in high school, all you’ve got is your indie/goth cred. So I’d just nod and be all like, “Yeah.” Then they’d leave me alone, lest they be seen with the weird kid and have their ranking on our school’s popularity index decline dramatically.

It always makes top-whatever lists (lyrics, songs, guitar tracks) but I think the real significance of How Soon is Now lies in its status as an anthem for the alienated. Beyond that, HSiN has the greatest intro ever, as far as I’m concerned. Goddess bless Johnny Marr, for his oscillating wildly. But I digress. Then again, that’s just what I do, innit?

Today is Friday and last week, we didn’t have a nanofiction orgy. I wanted to make sure that we got right back on that uber-short story riding horse, lest we all forget how delightful it is to zip up an entire tale in a mere 55 words. Our theme is “shyness”, but as always, you are free to digress…it’s only fair, if I get to do it…

I know I’ve built this flash fiction tradition around the songs that saved my life, but this one is extraordinarily special; it’s akin to breaking out the big guns, to battle the forces of evil. I woke up to some awful news in the wee hours of this morning, so I think it’s okay to dust off the greatest cannon in my canon. Leave your brilliance in the comments below; it’ll get my mind off of casualties, senseless violence and collateral damage, thanks.::

How Soon is Now

I am the son
And the heir
Of a shyness that is criminally vulgar
I am the son and heir
Of nothing in particular

You shut your mouth
How can you say
I go about things the wrong way ?
I am Human and I need to be loved
Just like everybody else does


I am the son
And the heir
Of a shyness that is criminally vulgar
I am the son and heir
Oh, of nothing in particular


You shut your mouth
How can you say
I go about things the wrong way ?
I am Human and I need to be loved
Just like everybody else does


There’s a club, if you’d like to go
You could meet somebody who really loves you
So you go, and you stand on your own
And you leave on your own
And you go home, and you cry
And you want to die


When you say it’s gonna happen “now”
Well, when exactly do you mean ?
See I’ve already waited too long
And all my hope is gone


You shut your mouth
How can you say
I go about things the wrong way ?
I am Human and I need to be loved
Just like everybody else does

::

The only rule that Kurt Vonnegut knew of– “God damn it, you’ve got to be kind”.

Sigh.

15 thoughts on “55Friday: The “How Soon is Now” Edition

  1. How now is too soon as she walks before me. I cannot freeze time to line up the words piling to the roof of my mouth in the correct order. The mouth of every fantastical vein entering my heart is frothing as they battle the more realistic arteries who taketh away all warmth and hope.

  2. Vonnegut. Old man carried me through university. Now I’m here, and Abhishek and Devayan are carrying me over the prostrate milieu to the train. I’m not a Hollywood type, so maybe they found my words sincere. It’s dark, I’m going to imagine dark countryside sliding by invisibly.

    Peculiar travel suggestions are dancing lessons from God.

  3. (Sorry — think I failed by picking up on your last comment about Vonnegut and not the larger topic, the Smiths’ song. Old Man Vonnegut’s cynical moral schtick is one of the forces that levels my life, and I got carried away…)

  4. Three years. Sitting in the attic, the childhood bedroom. Leg ballooned from the accident. Three surgeries failed. Doctor implanted a morphine pump for the pain. No sleep. No end to pain. Watching out the small window. Cane leaning against the chair. Empty suburban streets. Alone.
    Listening to the Smiths. Deciding to live one more day.

    (real story, this guy introduced me to the Smiths)

  5. Four of my most beloved are the shy ones: the ones content in their own quiet skins, observing the room from their corners, smiling to their own private jokes.

    They are who I return to, to be enfolded into their stillness, after all the artificial smiles and pretty judgments have begun to rub my skin away.

  6. I also love the Smiths, and I liked your “oscillating wildly” reference! Did you intend “painfully shy” to also be a song reference, or was that just a coincidence?

  7. ‘How Soon is Now’ is cosmically brilliant and I’ll always salute it for that. Apparently, even Johnny Marr has trouble recreating the intro on the guitar, even he’s not as good as he is! The song is so hopelessly common, and for that I love it.

  8. Reading festival 2004, for one-hour race, age, gender, wealth, status is shredded. 2 minuets to start the debate, “what song will he sing first?”, anticipation, excitement.
    He comes on stage, “you’re a site for sore eyes and believe me these are sore eyes!” 60,000 Fused together, We are human and need to be loved!

  9. i always thought it was “i am the sun and the air, Of a shyness that is criminally vulgar”

  10. My favourite Smiths / Morrisey lyrics are from ‘Stop Me’ ——

    I was delayed, I was way-laid An emergency stop I smelt the last ten seconds of life I crashed down on the crossbar And the pain was enough to make A shy, bald, buddhist reflect And plan a mass murder Who said lied I’d to her ?

  11. Don’t get me wrong, ANNA, you are my favorite poster on here by far. However I’m curious, just what is the desi angle of 55Fridays (per the FAQ)? :)

  12. Anna IS the desi angle to this post. By the way there is a rumor that Morrissey may be the UK’s entry into the Eurovision song contest, won last year by the Finnish group Lordi. We graduated high school in the same year, although I favored the stylings of Jane’s Addiction and the Afghan Whigs.

  13. We graduated high school in the same year, although I favored the stylings of Jane’s Addiction and the Afghan Whigs.

    I loved the Afghan Whigs’ cover of Lost in the Supermarket.

  14. How soon is now when you are into instant gratification? Its never too late for love, though there may be barbarians at the gate. When you are going past the speed of light, did now become never? Now or never fails in black and white, it is carpe diem, shades of grey and living life.