Thinking to Myself

26 Nov 2001

I was sitting on a park bench looking at the clouds thinking to myself about the war
When I heard the distant thunder and headed for home I was halfway there when it commenced to pour
I turned to the nearest house to take refuge from the storm I was already soaked to the skin
I saw an ancient mansion looming large out of the mist and I knew that they would let me in
I raised my hand to knock but the door opened wide to fine Italian wine and candlelight
The lady of the house in her fine satin gown bade me in to spend the night

Before I could think to ask she said, "Leave anytime you want
This ain't no hotel and this ain't California I ain't your long-lost aunt"

I sat down with a fireman nursing his scotch who suffered from a curious case of gout
Just then a din broke out in the corridor outside, it seems someone had come about a debt
Everybody panicked and headed for hills the fastest way that they knew how
I was stuck there with the fireman, the butler and the maid and the stable hand who milked the Guernsey cow

I turned around to look and saw standing in the door someone familiar to me
He'd been tracking me from Phoenix where I'd killed a man or two and all the way through Nashville, Tennessee

If you want to go outside, we can settle this right now I said, cool and calm
He showed a toothy smile and a chill ran down my spine he said, “Don’t you remember Vietnam.”
I don’t got no sympathy for you, Old Lucifer I said, acting tough
He smiled again and then, in a flash, he was gone I was left alone and thought it was a bluff

I should have known better than to trust that scoundrel there was a knock upon the door
A second's hesitation did me in they found me laid out on the floor

They handcuffed me and took me in for the first degree and set my bond at fifty grand
And when I called my lawyer who should answer the phone but my long time friend, good old Satan
Is this your notion of revenge, I said, though I was faint and I knew that he had planned this all along
He said, “They’re gonna ask for the chair on you, you know yourself your defense is not strong.”
I told him he was wrong and the Inquisition failed the government would right this civil wrong
He said don’t be to sure my son that anything has changed this world of mine is governed by the strong

I couldn't run forever from the hanging judge I knew he would do me in
I couldn't run forever through the rivers and the streams fleeing from my sin

I was sitting in my jail cell looking at the TV thinking to myself about the war
I heard the distant drumbeat and saw the waving flags and I knew that I’d seen it all before