MacArthur Park Unbridged

It’s 34 degrees in my bedroom and I can’t be stuffed getting out of bed and turning on the fan. I blame my adult laziness on one thing…LOVE. Love is the root of all evil, every difficulty I’ve endured is due to a lack of love in my childhood. In fact, I’m sick of thinking about love. I’m sick of social media as well, online I scroll by images of young couples falling in love! They make me sick. I mean what has love done for any of us? Nothing but given a few of us STDs, that’s all! Chlamydia, Gonorrhoea and Genital warts, I won’t go on. Also, I’m tired of baby photos! Babies are a product of ‘love-making’. Married couples listen up! I want to see your kids being conceived on social media, filmed on an iPhone, not cooing up at me on Facebook posts.

Actually, I think my problem with ‘love’ started in the Spring of 1978 when I was young?

“Mum, what’s love?”

“Oh, it’s a fuzzy feelin’ inside when you like someone. It comes on like a tsunami so you better watch out.”

“Why?” I asked.

“Well, because once bitten by the love bug, you’re gone.”

Gone? Like dead?”

“No. I mean people fall hard, particularly the first time,” she smiled sweetly.

“What if I decide not to fall hard in love? What then?”

“Oh, shut up, son” she scolded and left the room to make dinner.

In my mid 20’s a mate, Dave, who had recently separated from his wife said to me at the Exchange Hotel over a bowl of mixed nuts…

“You know I’ve been thinking about love 💔 and the song, MacArthur Park. Jimmy Web wrote brilliant lyrics, didn’t he? MacArthur Park sums up ‘love’ for me! The need for it…and the pain of losing it!”

My God, my friend Dave is a genius, I thought. Nothing sums up the true meaning of love more than the song MacArthur Park! Grabbing my body shirt, I pulled on my jeans and searched for the lyrics.

MacArthur’s Park is melting in the dark – All the sweet, green icing flowing down Someone left the cake out in the rain…

O.M.G. I screamed reading the lyrics, Dave was right! I slipped into my Hush Puppies and twiddled my hair which was quite long back then… But, W.T.F. is Jimmy Web trying to say about love? And why was the green cake left out in the friggin’ rain? Confused I called my friend.

“Dave? Sorry to wake you. Just going over the lyrics to MacArthur Park. Yeah, epic song! But I’m wondering what Jimmy Webb is trying to say? (A long pause on the other end of the phone) See I’ve been thinking about love lately, I hoped the lyrics of MacArthur Park would give me some answers…Oh, it’s based on Jimmy’s personal experience! He had his heartbroken, did he? That’s terrible for him but good for the lyrics of the song I guess, and good for music lovers everywhere. (Dave sounds angry…best play it cool) Oh, it’s about Jimmy’s breakup with a girl he loved called Susie, who married Linda Ronstadt’s cousin, I see. Susie worked for an insurance company! Tough gig selling insurance! You don’t say, MacArthur Park was opposite where she worked in Los Angeles. Un-fucking-believable. I’m digging this chick, Susie! Sorry Dave, your right…it’s Jimmy’s story, not hers. (Dave was getting worked up, better not interrupt him) Really? Nothing is fabricated in the song, Jimmy saw everything in the park! Dave? No need to get snappy old boy! (I took a deep breath, I had one more question) That’s all well and good, the insurance company, and Jimmy losing Susie! But what about the cake? (Dave clears his throat on the other end of the line) What do mean what cake? The whole song leads to the chorus about the cake Dave! The cake some idiot, probably from the insurance company Susie worked at, left out in the fucking rain. The one with the sticky-green fucking icing running everywhere. What’s that got to do with love?”

I was starting to get a little agitated with Dave… Honestly, I couldn’t give a shit about Donna Summer, Jimmy or Susie for that matter. I don’t even have insurance, but the green cake thingy… well, I needed answers.

“Oh, I see Dave…the cake’s a metaphor for the end of a relationship. No! I’m not disagreeing with you, I’ve had a few cake relationships myself. Jimmy Web’s not the only guy you know who…(Dave interrupts) Well, mine were more Black-Forrest cake or a sticky date pudding type relationship than the runny-green icing one Jimmy wrote about. But, still a cake relationship none-the-less! Dave, 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? The bit aboutthe yellow frigging cotton dress, foaming like a wave, on the ground beneath your knees?”

Dave hung up.

I kicked off my slippers, placed them neatly under the armchair and walked to the kitchen and poured a glass of Don Perignon. I sat at the table and thought about love. I thought about Dave, and wondered if maybe he was in a park somewhere ‘playing Chinese checkers with an old man by the trees.’ I sculled my drink, put Donna Summer on the stereo and prayed Dave remembered to bring the green cake in. Outside it started to rain. Yep! MacArthur Park, what a song. It says everything about youand me.