How to Grow Old Gracefully and Still Love Rock 'n' Roll
The Cult are on stage
at The Palladium playing
“She Sells Sanctuary.”
I loved this song
in the ’80s, back when
my friends and I trawled
the Balboa Fun Zone,
being harassed by cops.
These days, my place
is back at the bar,
nursing a beer, enjoying
the music from a distance.
My young friend drags me
out to the dance floor.
I relinquish my drink
to the mercies of the crowd.
She’s possessed when she dances —
live-wire sex, lightning and grace.
My body’s a jalopy, I shift away
from my bad knee as I bounce.
The young wolves circle her.
For a moment, I’m afraid
I’ll wind up doing something
but she deflects their attention
effortlessly, in time to the beat.
She’s in control here.
I’m just a safe, old married guy
who only wants to hear the music
and remember for a moment
why it all seemed so intense.
Was I ever one of those wolves?
I remember laughing effortlessly,
dancing with one girl, then another
bouncing between chord changes,
going home alone.
I spend the night dancing badly,
and remember most of the words
to songs I haven’t thought of in years.
Afterward, I give my friend
a ride to her girlfriend’s house —
she talks the whole trip,
but all I can hear
is a distant, ringing bell.