When I was 14 years old, I was sitting in a parked 1970s GMC pickup truck in the back of my great-grandparents’ pasture—near the repurposed watering trough that housed goldfish—listening to the oldies station while taking a break from cutting back mesquite. And the DJ introduced “Light My Fire” by saying that the original was absurdly long, and no one thought it was a single until someone at the record company suggested cutting the lengthy instrumental break.
Not quite a decade later, I worked for the man who suggested that cut, presumably helping him write his memoirs but more accurately serving as an escort and drinking companion.
I don’t know what that story means, but I think about it a lot. What an odd factoid to have carried around for all those years. What a startling juxtaposition. There must be a meaning in there somewhere, but it’s buried too deep for me to excavate.