Mr. Tuesday Night

by Alex McMurray

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about

Show business is a tough racket. Takes a lot out of you. Many fall under its spell, and most are crushed under its wheel. Take Mr. Tuesday Night for example. He came out to The Coast from North Dade County twenty five years ago for a steady gig at an airport lounge, with an eye on breaking into some studio work, but now he slugs it out six nights a week at a menu venue somewhere near the marina, a buck twenty five a shift, plus tips. They feed him when he's done but only if he wants chicken fingers. They set him up on the prep table near the milk dispenser and the coffee makers, real silverware and a cloth napkin--the works. The bartenders have mercy on him and let him drink all the well vodka he wants. They pour it into an old coffee mug he keeps behind the piano. The piano is an artifact from when the place used to be a dinner theater. He still sometimes finds lighting gels and hairnets when he opens it up to fix the felts. The deal is simple--play soft music that doesn't interfere with conversation or anytime "Jeopardy!" comes on the TV, don't get too wrecked and keep your hands off the waitresses. So far it's been a cinch to hold up his end, but this new girl just started who's different from the others. She's studying to become a pyrotechnician at the community college, wears her hair in cornrows, lives above the restaurant. He heard her singing "Over The Rainbow" one day in perfect Mandarin. She's way too young for him and they've never really spoken, but he can tell she is a kind soul. She has an interesting face. A little acne, but otherwise...He thinks maybe one day they could get a cup of coffee, maybe something a little stronger, hop the fence into the marina and steal one of the sailboats, maybe even that big catamaran down at the end of the dock, they'll be halfway to Mexico before anyone even notices its gone...they can live on flying fish and the Kahlua in the fridge...one day they'll drop anchor someplace where it never gets cold...he'll drink mango smoothies all day and write detective stories, she'll run the local fireworks display when she's not working at the Chinese consulate. It'll be perfect, or as close to perfect as it can get for a Mister Tuesday Night...but can Tuesday live that Saturday Night Dream? Or will he wake up in his car alone somewhere near Needles, with no wallet and the motor running? The girl, the boat, the sun...It all seemed so real and if he closes his eyes real tight he can smell the jacaranda and he can still hear the girl as the traffic rockets past on the I-15 screaming, "why oh why can't I?"

lyrics

mr tuesday night drifts into the traffic
of the shoreline drive
opens up the windows
counts the ships along the quai
says “there’s nothing wrong with me”

mr tuesday arrives
no one looks away from their forks and knives
stumbles through the gray to the
piano to hide
it’s a suicide

then she appears
something in her face cuts through the years
lighting up the place
voice like a child and a sunday smile

mr tuesday night
tries to find his rhythm
but nothings right
does he have it in him?
hear how it sounds with the tv down

in a different world
mr tuesday walks away with the sunday girl
they sail into the sun
they find the wind—begin again
they cut the lines and leave it all behind
they make their way to a different day
where the magic and the music
are here to stay

mr tuesday night
wakes up where he’s sitting
puts the car in drive
sees what she has written
in the rips along the seats
underneath the strange receipts

but there’s no one there
the stars are growing dimmer
in the desert air
the highway starts to shimmer
take everything you’ve known
and you’re on the road alone
mr tuesday night...

credits

released June 13, 2017
Carlo Nuccio-drums, Matt Perrine-bass, Brian Coogan-organ, Rick Nelson-violin, viola, cello and bass, Alex McMurray-guitar and vocals. Strings arranged by Matt Perrine
Recorded by Rick Nelson at Marigny Recording Studio, New Orleans, LA USA
Mixed by Carlo Nuccio and Rick Nelson
Mastered by Bruce Barielle
Photo, artwork and layout by Kourtney Keller
Produced by Alex McMurray
Thanks to Yuki Izakaya 2008--2016 RIP

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Alex McMurray New Orleans, Louisiana

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