It's Four in the Moning
We were awake at 4am last night laughing about this odd addiction to sadness we have both nurtured so carefully since early childhood.
I have been thinking about it a lot lately. I have a low-level fear that one or other of us will start hankering after its familiar contours and comforts amid all of this ridiculous happiness. Maybe we will start throwing random spanners in the works in order to create some misery. I admit we might be crazy but at least we know about it.
So, we have decided to have a monthly 'sadness night', the way some couples have 'date night'. On these designated evenings we can out-anguish each other - he will play Elvis singing Old Shep, and perhaps The Byrds singing Ol' Blue. For me it will be Faron Young's Four in the Morning and Charlie Rich grieving for The Most Beautiful Girl in the World.
I must have dropped the needle into that groove a million time before I was 12. It got to the point where I only had to hear those first few slip-notes and I was having a little cry.
We will end the night with Charlie Chaplin's The Circus, if I haven't already wrecked my health with Watership Down.
I remember, too, how I used to bring myself to tears in the schoolyard by singing Cockles and Mussels to myself.
I also recall being mesmerised by Peter Lorre's eerie face and sinister coo when I was a kid, because I always felt deep tragedy when I was around him.
Don't worry about us. We laugh a lot.