Where Do I Go?

There is a song from the Broadway Show: HAIR: “Where Do I Go?” that screamed out to me as a young teen-ager just as it does I near middle age.

Mind you, I had not seen the “stage version” until I was well into my thirties; but I remember seeing the movie like it was yesterday. Treat Williams, John Savage and Beverly DeAngelo.

Father’s Day 1978 or was it 1979?

I went for lunch with my Dad, it was Father’s Day, and I was all of thirteen years old. Me and my Dad. We ate Chinese food while he attempted to explain the movie we were about to see. I was, as always, at FULL attention.

He said something about TOTAL NUDITY and I prayed that he was mistaken. Thankfully they chose to omit that scene for the movie; but later, on Broadway, it was as important to the story as every song.

We got to the mostly empty theater early and my Dad (out of character) suggested candy and popcorn. With a burgeoning weight problem, this was a moment of pure weakness for my father. “Anything for his daughter”, all the while, his wife and newborn son stayed at home. We never even uttered their names – Father’s Day was MINE.

The film had me from the first song. The first moments of seeing such amazing freedom and liberation. It was a sheltered girl’s fantasy! My father simply watched the me and the movie at the same time. I’d never drank, had a cigarette, tried drugs or even braided my hair – BUT – I wrote poetry that was being screamed out from the screen!

The ending devastated me (I won’t give it away for those who haven’t seen the movie) and I must have grilled my Dad for hours “HOW?” and “WHY?”. He gave me what responses that he could and then bought me the cassette tape.

Listening to that tape became my meditation; especially one song: “Where Do I Go?”. It spoke to the child of a broken family who had NO clue what her future held. It awakened Bob Dylan (thank you, Dad) and a host of other music that was, indeed, poetry.

Now, thirty five years later, I’m LOST without my Father. I died with him; well, part of me did. Except the poet – she survived in his wake.

I walked away from a “big job” on Wall Street a year and a half ago. I have done NOTHING to find any direction.

The words of the song that spoke to me as a child still talk to me today. I hope that my Dad understands why I had to leave finance.

Where Do I Go?

SONG LYRICS

Where do I go
Follow the river
Where do I go
Follow the gulls

Where is the something
Where is the someone
That tells me why I live and die

Where do I go
Follow the children
Where do I go
Follow their smiles

Is there an answer
In their sweet faces
That tells me why I live and die

Follow the wind song
Follow the thunder
Follow the neon in young lovers’ eyes

Down to the gutter
Up to the glitter
Into the city
Where the truth lies

Where do I go
Follow my heartbeat
Where do I go
Follow my hand

Where will they lead me
And will I ever
Discover why I live and die

Why do I live (beads, flowers)
Why do I die (freedom, happiness)
Tell my why (beads, flowers)
Tell me where (freedom, happiness)
Tell my why (beads, flowers)
Tell me why (freedom!)

IMDB HAIR

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