Riding with Annie is great, she plays me 'the Wild, the Innocent and the E-Street Shuffle' and explains that Bruce Springsteen is a product of the New Jersey seaboard, his band played wooden-decked beachfront bars to begin with, and they tried to preserve that rabble rousing, festival feel. I'm still not convinced by him, but it's good to have some context. Later, in the darkness, we are singing along to 'Return of the Grievous Angel' and as 'Hickory Wind' comes on, a tear comes to my eye. When Annie was young, she says she thought she heard God calling her name, she was convinced that she had been earmarked for something special; the irony being that this is perhaps a universal experience. I think her music is amazing; we talk a little about lyrics, how they come from buried images, imprints of the world that sink in, disappear, then without warning float up again like a bridgehead between other lines, and the song, with a will of its own, begins to make sense. We both use the metaphor of water to describe this, and it's an opaque, mysterious water carrying debris like a flood, only some of which we can rescue; and the items we choose are chosen with the logic of dreams. (Reading this back, I have no idea whether Annie would describe her own lyric writing this way, it's very possible she just nodded tactfully as I rambled on)
We stay at Lordsburg, eerily/ wearily similar to Odessa, despite the intervening 8 hour drive. We watch Katharine Hepburn in the mind-collapsingly tedious 1930s comedy 'Quality Street', I am asleep before the end, beer still clutched in my cold dead hands.