There’s an ugly, yellow, artificial twilight — it reminds me of just past dusk on the smoggiest of bad old LA days — a nasty, twighlight that overtakes you when you turn incandescent houselights controlled by a dimmer way, way down. A room can take on the aspect of a yellowed newspaper clipping… but the result isn’t nostalgic — but more an oppressive, claustrophobia-inspiring flatness… it’s as though the air was somehow sucked out of the room.
As the light gets dimmer and yellower, the eye can play tricks… shadows move — but it’s not the shadowy dance of flickering candles… no, the shadows move fitfully, restlessly… waiting until your attention is focused somewhere else and they are safely at the edge of your vision.
In the song below, the monkey demons and the reference to the old blues line, “I’ve been down so long, it looks like up to me,” come from the first (and sole) novel from lost writer-musician Richard Fariña, married to Joan Baez’s sister Mimi and killed in a motorcycle crash in 1966, after leaving the signing party for the novel on a borrowed bike.
Wake up baby, turn your
dimmer lights down low
When it gets yellow like this it hurts my
eyes — but it eases my soul
Come here baby pay those
monkeys in the shadows no mind
Those monkeys are my demons — they been
waitin’ for me such a long time
I been down — but it
never looked like up to me
I been down but I guess
down isn’t what it used to be
(C)2007, TK Major