Harold, Susan, and Frenchie – metaphors

08/30/2022 0 By BuddyCushman

Very early on this morning’s walk the Harold Melvin and the Bluenotes song “If You Don’t Know Me by Now” popped into my head. Popped is the right verb. Shortly after I thought of my former wife, Susan, and the certainty that I knew her all the way through my heart. Then, one Wednesday morning, she surprised me somewhere out beyond my ability to be surprised. If you don’t know me by now.

Farther along my walk I thought of my old pal Frenchie, a longshoreman from Charlestown, MA, who was fond of saying, “I don’t know nothing about nothing.” Clearly ignoring – rejoicing in – the double negative. I was fortunate to meet him and hang out with him, and hear him say that Frenchie thing so many times it became imprinted on my brain. Even though I forget it most of the time.

But, back to Harold Melvin and his Bluenotes. Along the way I came to understand that song as a metaphor. A metaphor. Are you all the way in? Having given everything – all of it? Like friends of mine say there’s this saying in AA – “Come all the way in and sit all the way down.”

I suppose they – Harold and his B’Notes – maybe could have sang the song, “If you don’t know that you don’t know me by know.” Which strikes me as both sad and cool. And, I think, mostly without any judgement. Yeah – Sometimes I know that I just don’t know. Sometimes I don’t. And that’s cool.