Thursday, April 17, 2008

Santa Monica and the silent spaces in between

I don't know if Santa Monica is a fictitious place. But I do know that it is the title of the last track in the maiden album of the defunct Australian duo Savage Garden. It describes a place that, while filled with people, paradoxically remains empty and uncaring. And those who feel alienated from it all find solace in their constructed identities over a telephone line.

The song has been running in my head for the past few weeks, probably because I'm precisely what Savage Garden described. Change telephone to Internet, and Santa Monica to Manila and you'll know what I mean. Sure, there are smiles. There are people who say hello and would probably have a chit-chat and share a laugh. But somehow you know that amid the awkward moments, the knowing glances and the unspoken conversations, many smile and say hi as a matter of routine... as a filler to patch up the silent spaces in between. At the end of the day, you simply never belong. You simply never will. And worse, no one really ever cares and no one knows no one else.

I dedicate this song to all those people who hurdle through their own Santa Monicas right now, with the hope that they, too, could still find something positive in a detached and unfeeling universe.

In Santa Monica in the winter time,
the lazy streets so undemanding.
I walk into the crowd.
In Santa Monica you get your coffee from

the coolest places on the promenade
Where people dress just so.
Beauty so unavoidable. Everywhere you turn, it's there.

I sit and wonder what am i doing here

But on the telephone line I am anyone,
I am anything I want to be.
I could be a supermodel or Norman Mailer
and you wouldn't know the difference.
Or would you?

In Santa Monica all the people got
modern names like Jake or Mandy.
And modern bodies, too.
In Santa Monica on the boulevard
you'll have to dodge those in-line skaters
Or they'll knock you down.
I never felt so lonely, never felt so out of place,
I never wanted something more than this.

But on the telephone line I am anyone,
I am anything I want to be.
I could be a supermodel or Norman Mailer
and you wouldn't know the difference.

See, on the telephone line
I am any height,
I am any age I want to be.
I could be a caped crusader or space invader
and you wouldnt know the difference.
Or would you?


Patricio Iglesias said...

Hello Marlon!
I have just read your profile. You make more than conjugating Spanish verbs! You speak Spanish very well. You could be confunsed with a Spanish. Even you speak with less mistakes than Don Guillermo! (Of course he is a very able intellectual, but you lived several years in Spain recently).
Of course. Any big city could be Santa Mónica. Buenos Aires too.
See you soon!

Patricio Iglesias

potchipotch said...

siyaks! namiss ko tuloy savage... haaayyyzzz... *bleep*bleep*