You stop and get gas again outside Baton Rouge. Alligator swamps out behind the station, you imagine rotting faces, murdered lovers of Southern lost teenagers, gray and belly down in the swamp, leeches on swollen death-fattened thigh, eyes gone dull and white like catfish.

In the car you blast by green tree line while Rob drives and smokes, ashing into a Pepsi can, and you looking out the window while your favorite tapes play—loud music that makes sense when your country is run by a terrorist, when your world is ripped by madness, when you feel crazy every day, and you don't know where you're headed.

You and your woman and your pal Rob, you are running east, you are going east. The joy hits your heart and you turn the tape up and sing along

Get drunk and fall asleep in motel bathtubs. Get drunk and forget about your home in San Diego, your lost job, your old apartment, your publisher gone mad, from what? Get drunk and fall down on Canal Street, French Quarter, singing blues, sailor songs, sea chanteys, sloppy to kill memories … run, hide, retreat, surrender … it's okay, it's okay, and you'll save yourself from yourself and write a book and a record about it too, and Dan will play guitar and hand you a mic and plug you in and you'll drink together and he'll run the tape all night and all will be alright because "we will fix ourselves" you think and we will. We will? We will.

New Orleans. You breathe in the tar and gumbo stewing stale beer puked smell from bars and pray to the immensity of soft summer night.

Afternoon in New Orleans, your woman sees Dixieland jazz street musicians, street performers, white shirted and sweaty and she cries. They are playing brass horns and drinking beer from paper cups. They smile and wink and drink and play and she cries; she loves them all.

Rob wandering up ahead with sunglasses and camera. You and her are holding hands and she is crying, "God, I love them," she says "I love them all."

"A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways. Let the brother of low degree rejoice in that he is exalted. But the rich, in that he is made low, because as the flower of the grass he shall pass away." Toss yourself away … into the mud, into the dogshit, into the spit, because debasing yourself will profit you diamonds and leave your good soul intact. You and your woman and Rob drink 'til bleary-eyed and then leer and drool to lie in dark night of curb, Rampart Street, while the casino lights blink and flash neon and strip club bouncers southern drawl curses at you. They are laughing at you but you don't care, you're drunk and okay for the first time in forever

But on a corner she calls an old lover while you're too drunk to stand up, your mouth open and flapped nonsense gah hagged gibberished ghost talk and sing and you sing and you sing, but you don't say nothing.

The harbor in Jacksonville makes you think of white paint iron-sided shrimp boats, crab cages and fish nets, dry docked, the brine salt scrape of barnacles now scrubbed off clean with slab of red paint like tugboat.

Along the freeway is hurricaned tree limbs, cracked and limped down in sweltering heat. The raaahaank of slide guitar blues you hear replayed in memory from a thousand movies about the South, the deep South, and deeper 'til you find what you're looking for. Drive fast. Play music loud. Write it all down feverish in notebooks. Feverish because you haven't felt shit in months. Racing hard because … what else is there? The I-10 glows in oil paint cowboy movie fantasies.

Your car is a cab to death.. you don't care.

Lyrics submitted by lanternsonlakes

The Old Lover song meanings
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