Saturday, January 14, 2012
Jessie Just Made Me Cry
My baby girl just called me and her voice was shining with something good.
"What?" I asked her. "What is it?"
"Vergil just bought us tickets to see B.B. King tonight!" she shouted.
"What? You're going to see B.B. King TONIGHT?" I asked her.
"Yes! In two hours!"
"Oh my god. Oh my god! I wish I was going to be there!"
Then I told her that every time I think I can't love Vergil more, he does something and I do.
"Me too," she said.
I've talked about B.B. King before. How since I didn't have a daddy, I got to pick my own and he's the number one. Yep. B.B. King is my daddy. He don't know it, but he is. I love that man. I've been to see him a number of times and every time I have come to love him more. I've read his book which I think every school child in America ought to be required to read. It's the story of a man who came up the hardest hard way of all and who has become a legend, a myth, a beloved Father Of The Blues and who has the most gracious soul I've ever encountered on the stage or on the page.
Mr. Moon and I took May and Hank to see B.B. once, when they were young. We had second row seats and we ended up dancing our asses off and shaking hands with Mr. King when the performance was over. We were so close to the stage that we might have gotten sprayed with sweat and we might have loved it.
And I've always felt so guilty that I never took Jessie or Lily to see their grandfather play. Well, one of the times I went to see him, I was pregnant with Lily so in a way, she's heard him. But now Jessie will get to hear him, and that makes my heart so happy that I cried.
Mr. King will be eighty-seven years old this year, y'all. EIGHTY-SEVEN YEARS OLD! And he's still on the road, still playing Lucille and still singing the blues and his voice will be still someday but tonight, he's playing in Asheville, North Carolina and my baby will be sitting (standing/dancing) in the audience and she'll know why I love him so much.
It'll be like she's meeting her granddaddy.
His amazing band will play some intro-stuff and then a man will stand up to the microphone and announce THE KING OF THE BLUES! MR. B......B......KING! and a presence will come onstage so strong and so joyful and so beautiful that the crowd will rise as one (if they have a brain and a soul amongst them) and Mr. King will strap on Lucille and he'll place his fingers where they know to go and....
Here he is, playing the song that made me fall in love with him.
Nobody Loves Me But My Mama (And She Could Be Jiving Me Too).
And as he says, "No wonder I act funny with you, baby, when you do the things you do."
You do it, B.B. And know I love you. It ain't just your mother. And I'm not jiving you at all.
Oh Lord. Jessie's going to go see B.B. tonight. Mr. B.B. King. King Of The Blues.
What a thing. What a very, very good thing.