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Henry Mancini

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January 8, 2013 in Resistance

by

Henry Mancini created the Pink Panther
theme music.

When I was a kid
watching Pink Panther movies
with my father
back in the early eighties,
I always enjoyed hearing that music.

Whenever I hear the song on the radio
or catch an old re-run of the show
I’m immediately back in that time
sitting on a couch
with my father and watching one of those movies
and eating popcorn out of a bowl
or eating a peanut butter tortilla
my father would make for me
or eating TV dinners
hot out of the oven.

My mother was in the hospital
dying of a nerve disease in the brain;
but those nights listening to Mancini’s song
through the comedy of those movies
helped me cope
with the reality of her oncoming death
and her absence
and the silent tension
between my brother
and my father and me
that never seemed to break
after all these
goddamn years.

Henry Mancini,
a name I wasn’t even aware of back then,
is a man I give my respects to.

I don’t know much about him.

I just know that song
and the significance of that song
and how it makes me feel whenever I hear it.

It’s got a masculine soul, that song,
filled with the sexiness of a woman in a nightclub.

That song will forever be me at ten year’s old
in a T-shirt and O.P. shorts
waiting for the wave of life
to curl over me
and splash with the adventure of not knowing
what’s to come.

That song
and Henry Mancini
and me
is a barbeque
smoking on a Sunday twilight
and the smell of sausages—
my black cat Merlin sleeping
on his post.

That song is the coming night.
That song is my father at his best.
That song is me as a boy and as a man.

That song continues through the decades
aging like a damn good wine.


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