And Miss Patty Valentine just nodded her head.

by Amy Turn Sharp


It took me about 10 song shuffles to find my groove while working out tonight.
I was on the bike and peddling like a wussy until I found some Dylan and then I just snapped into it. "Hurricane" came on and I rolled right back to the early nineties, back into a dark faux wood paneled living room in a jalopy of a house that I shared with several cool girls.
We would sit in slumpy lumpy old chairs that we rescued from the curb and listen to Dylan.
Books would be open and dinner would be cooking and we would be smoking Meigs County gold and the world was pretty darn slow.

I can't even think about that song without fury.
I can't even believe I was so old before I started thinking about social injustice.
I was busy trying to pretend I was reading James Joyce and stalking long haired boys and then I had to realize how wide and deep and awful the world was.

I think I only started paying attention to history well in to my future.

Me and my friend M would sit with our constant Diet Cokes and sing in that junky living room.
We loved the song. We loved to nod to each other like old men during our favorite parts and take long drags of our Parliament Lights in unison.
I think we made silent promises to make the world a little bit better.

And tonight I found that the song makes me pound out on the bike. I rode like a banshee and for one small moment I forgot and sang out loud for a line or two- all breathy and low.
had no idea what kinda shit was about to go down
And the old guy beside me with the running shorts so scant I saw his ass cheek looked me right in the eye and nodded.

Old man nods are my favorite.