Midnight Train To Georgia-Gladys Night and the Pips

This song always makes me cry.

When I was younger, I was overwhelmed by the love and the sacrifice in the song. I was always bowled over by the idea that you could love someone so much you would leave behind everything you knew just so you could be with him (and maybe I felt a bit of guilt as this is exactly what Fred did for me). I realized today, however, that this isn't the only reason I cry. Now, when I hear the song, I hear the part about realizing that all your dreams don't come true and the part that suggests that some things may be more important than dreams.

He kept dreamin'
That someday he'd be a star.
(Superstar, but he didn't get far)
But he sure found out the hard way
That dreams don't always come true.

The night of this year's Academy Awards, I went through the usual feelings of self doubt, recrimination and depression which acting awards shows inspire in me ("Maybe the truth is I am just not very talented"). And then I walked upstairs and looked at Julian sleeping and thought, "He's better than an Academy Award." For me, it is so easy to focus on all the things I didn't do and to wonder how things would have been different if only. In all my "if only" imaginings of the alternate reality, I have Fred and I have Julian, but I have read enough science fiction to know that if you change one thing, you run the risk of changing everything. There are parallel universes where I moved to LA at 21 and won an Oscar before I hit 30 (which was my original plan, but then a variety of factors, including falling in love with Fred, changed the plan). Is Fred with me in those other worlds? Because if I don't have Fred, I don't have Julian.

So now this song makes me cry because it makes me realize how lucky I am and how, despite the depression and doubt, I wouldn't change anything if it meant I didn't have my boys. As Gladys sings, "I'd rather live in his world than live without him in mine."


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