Home Made Ice Cream
Tony Joe White
When I need to remember who I am, I play this track. When I’m swarmed on by the world, when, for no reason, I’m saddened and failing, I reach for ‘Home Made Ice Cream’ by Tony Joe White. He once told me there was a vocal version, and I’ve heard it, but this version, without the distraction of language, is perfect.
While listening I remind myself of a few things.
In order to remember who you are you should: eat chilies and tofu and apples and mushrooms fried in olive oil and soya sauce. Eat slowly. Chutney is a good idea. Make the chutney out of pears and walnuts, caraway seeds and vinegar. Put in jars and let stand for three weeks. Eat alone.
In order to remember who you are repeat slowly to yourself: this is all I want.
I used to, once upon a time, wonder, will I know that I’m dead?
Now I wonder, do I know that I’m living?
In order to remember who you are: count backwards from one hundred.
In order to remember who you are: pretend to be someone else.
How do people live in the world? How is that trick perfected? The world being hard tongued and treacherous. I tried once and failed. I found that I was a different breed, a different animal; my blood was crooked. I hadn’t the required skills, I was both solitary and untrustworthy. So I retreated. Now, when I leave home, I feel as a fish must feel that’s been pulled from the water. I flounder. The world has no mercy, it demands that life be lived by certain rules. Up here in the hills I’ve built my own country and established, as far as I can, my own laws. I govern benignly. I allow myself the chance to be broken. And I often sit alone, not unhappily, in my backwater kingdom, amongst the toads and brambles, in united opposition, not badly wounded but weary, listening to ‘Home Made Ice Cream’ by Tony Joe White.
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June Is Short, July Is Long, the new album by Jeb Loy Nichols And The WestWood All-Stars, is released on July 5th 2019. Pre-order here.