“Embraceable You” – Billie Holiday
From The Complete Commodore Recordings
I often say that Montgomery, Alabama, a place where I lived for a number of years, is the buckle of the Bible Belt. It is, to put it kindly, a very conservative place with about two churches on every corner. While there, I met a beautiful young lady named Melanie, through my friend Jamison, whilst enjoying a scrumptious Tropical Sno-Cone.
During our dalliance with the delectable treats, Melanie proceeded to tell me that she had seen me and some friends perform the previous fall. That particular piece was a bit of performance art that we had had a small run with, and that I was quite proud of. It is impossible to describe but involved music from Jello Biafro, Pink Floyd, Richard Strauss, lots of black lights, and a juggling giant.
It was Melanie’s opinion that our performance was a danger to society, decidedly un-Christian and should never have been allowed public performance. We had a nice long debate on it, and I left thinking she was a bit nutty and that we’d never speak again.
Turns out she became quite the good friend, and I spent many an afternoon with her and her friends that year. At one point, me and a few of my fellow Y chromosomes concocted a means in which to have a bit of romance with these lovely ladies. My friend, you see, had quite the crush on Melanie’s friend, Honey (yes, her real name.) Honey happened to have a boyfriend who lived far away in Georgia. It was my friend’s plan to sweep her off her feat, but to do so in a manner in which not allow her to know he was doing so, until it was too late.
The plan then was to ask Melanie and her friends to allow us boys to take them to a fancy dinner, where they could teach us uncouth boys some manners. The ladies were all genteel and Southern, thus having the most uncommon and impeccable manners. Each of us would have a “date” with a singular lady – my friend’s date would, of course, be Honey.
The girls loved the idea, but the plan quickly backfired for Honey refused to ride in my friend’s vehicle, and instead rode along with me and Melanie. It was a lovely evening though, even without any romantic entanglements.