So, I’m another year older…well, fuck it! It’s 34 degrees in my bedroom and I can’t be stuffed getting up and turning on the fan. I blame my adult laziness on one thing…LOVE. Maybe if I’d had more love in my childhood I’d be less lazy today. Yes, love is the root of all evil, every difficulty I’ve endured over the years is due to love and relationships. Love sucks. In fact, I’m sick of thinking about it. I’m sick of social media too, everywhere you look are pics of couples in love…it makes me want to throw up. I mean what has love done for any of us? Nothing! It’s given a few of us STD’s that’s all. I’m tired of seeing babies on social media too, a product of love. Lovers listen up, I want to see your kid being conceived, filmed on your iPhone, not the bloody end result of love cooing back at me. Actually I think my problem with love started when I was a kid?
“Mum what’s love?”
“Oh, it’s a warm fuzzy feelin’ inside when you like someone. It comes on strong like a cannonball so you better watch out.”
“Why ?” I asked, I was always annoying.
“Well, because once bitten you’re gone.”
Gone? Like dead?”
“I mean, if you fall, you fall hopelessly in love. Hard.”
“What? With one bite? What if you don’t take a bite? What if you stay hungry? What then mum? What?”
“Oh, Noel shut up” she said and left the room.
Now, after a few bites l certainly can say that love hits you more like a tsunami than like a cannonball, and I can seriously do without drowning over and over again. One day in my mid 20’s a mate said to me casually over a wine and bowl of mixed nuts…
“You know, I’ve been thinking a lot about love. (Funny me too) The best description of love can be found in the song, MacArthur Park. Jimmy Web wrote good lyrics for Donna to sing. MacArthur Park sums up the whole feeling of love for me, the need for it and the pain of the whole damn thing.”
What? Donna Summer’s MacArthur Park sums up the meaning of love? My God I thought, humming the tune, my friend Dave is a genius. Nothing sums up the true feeling of love more than the song MacArthur Park. Grabbing my body shirt, I pulled on my jeans, dressed and looked for the lyrics.
Spring was never waiting for us, dear
It ran one step ahead
As we followed in the dance
(My thoughts – Yes, the dance of love…how it changes with the seasons, how it cleverly love stays one step ahead of us all. A brilliant description of falling in love, those early heady days of a romance, infatuation. I continue to read the lyrics, very excited)
MacArthur’s Park is melting in the dark
All the sweet, green icing flowing down
(Yes. Sticky, gooey icing running everywhere, a total bloody mess…yes I love this, this is love, well maybe more lust actually…but this is passion for sure. The need, the wanting. I continued to read the lyrics, unbelievably excited now)
Someone left the cake out in the rain
I don’t think that I can take it
‘Cause it took so long to bake it
And I’ll never have that recipe again
O.M.G. I screamed, filling my glass, Dave was right, nothing sums up love more than MacArthur Park , it’s true. I slipped into my Hush Puppies, sipped my wine, twiddled my hair which was quite long back then… But, W.T.F. is Jimmy Web saying? What’s with that surreal imaginary?… and more importantly why was the green cake left out in the frigging rain? I was so confused by the lyrics, I called my friend.
“Dave it’s me. Sorry to wake you. Just going over the lyrics to MacArthur Park. Yeah, great song. But, I’m wondering what Jimmy is trying to say exactly about love with all that weird imagery. (There is a very long pause on the other end of the phone as Dave thinks for a moment) No I’m not kidding. I’m a little confused. See, I’ve been wondering about love too, and I hoped MacArthur Park would give me a precise explanation but… Oh, it’s based on Jimmy Web’s own personal experience. He had his heart broken did he? Yeah, that’s good, I mean not good for Jim … terrible for him, but the more truth in the lyrics I guess the the better…for the song, for the emotion, for everyone. (Dave is getting angry I can tell, I’ve woken him up. Best I play it cool) It’s all about Jimmy’s break up with a girl called Susie who later married Linda Ronstadt’s cousin, I see. Susie worked for an insurance company? You don’t say. Wow, it’s all making sense…I love it. Susie from insurance sounds like a fun chick, doesn’t she? Oh, MacArthur Park was opposite where she worked. No way….this is fascinating stuff alright, un-fucking-believable. And, I’m really digging Susie. Sorry Dave, your right…it’s Jimmy’s story not hers. (I poured myself another wine, Dave appeared to be quite worked up on the other end of the line, best not interrupt him) You don’t say. Nothing is fabricated, Jimmy saw it all there in the park, every image, opposite the company where Susie worked, right? I am not taking the piss, no need to get snappy Dave, just asking questions. (I took a deep breath, I had to ask, had to know one more thing) Okay, that’s all well good, the insurance, Susie and Jimmy, but what about the cake? (The line goes silent, Dave clears his throat) What do mean what cake? The bloody cake Dave! The whole song is leading to the chorus about the frigging cake. The cake…the one that some fool, probably from the insurance company Susie worked in, left out in the fucking rain. Oh, yes right, now you remember, that cake…the one with the sticky green fucking icing running everywhere. Well, what’s that got to do with love? I want to know? What?”
Now, to be honest I was starting to get a little agitated with Dave… I couldn’t give a shit anymore about Donna Summer, Jimmy or Susie for that matter, but the cake thing… I needed to know more…for peace of mind. So, Dave continued.
“Oh, I see Dave…the cake’s a metaphor for the end of a relationship. Well, fancy that. No, I’m not disagreeing with you, I can see it. I can. I’ve had a few cake kinda relationships myself, Jimmy Web’s not the only guy you know who…Well, mine were more Black-Forrest type cake relationships, more so than the sticky-runny-green icing type … But, still a cake relationship none-the-less, as important as Jimmy’s. Dave? No. I agree, MacArthur Park says everything about love, just as you said.”
Then in a moment of total madness I added…
“But, what about the second verse Dave. Give me a sec …here, the bit about the yellow frigging cotton dress, foaming like a wave, on the ground beneath your knees.”
I’m not sure why… but Dave hung up. I kicked off my slippers, placing them neatly under my chair and poured one helluva large glass of wine. I thought about love, the song MacArthur Park. I thought about Dave too, wondered if maybe he was in a park playing Chinese checkers with an old man by the trees. I drank my wine, sculling it. I put Donna Summer on the stereo and hoped Dave remembered to bring the cake in. Outside it started to rain. Yep, MacArthur Park, what a song. It’s says everything about… relationships.
Noel Anderson’s 15 Mins Of Fame Showreel
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Noel Anderson recently directed the six part TV series NEXT…about the perils of online dating which premieres on Foxtel and We Are TV in 2017. Noel completed NIDA’s Playwright Studio 1996, his written work includes: Hello Little Man (Melbourne Writer’s Social Anthology 2016), Kylie Kastle Throws A Party (performed in schools across Australia), Germ Warfare (Bondi Pavillion), Pulling Out (Best Writing Winner Midsumma Festival at Gasworks), Sammy and Dave (Stables Theatre), The Carer (Belvoir St Theatre), Andy Warhol’s Fifteen Minutes Of Fame (La Mama & the Jewish Museum of Australia with Warhol’s Geniuses Exhibition), Love Letters (Melbourne Arts Centre) and the new Australian musical Audrey Hepburn And I Consider Our Assets which premiered at the Melba Spiegeltent on 29th October 2015. Noel is currently working on his first feature film adaption of Sammy and Dave (Like Us on FB @sammyluvdave) and a music video for Audrey and I called ‘Travellers in Time.’ You can follow Noel on Twitter: @Randyandy42 or https://www.facebook.com/noel.anderson42 Noel has directed over 50 theatrical productions, and is also looking for new Melbourne writers to be part of LOVE KILLS 2017 at the Melbourne Fringe, an evening of twisted stories about falling in and out of love.