Silence is …. awkward from a Tracy Chapman Fan


This morning I drove my daughter to school in complete silence.  She was in a bad mood.   I thought about asking her why but it seemed kind of obvious.

She’s in high school.

It’s 7:20 AM.

I’m her mom.

She’s tired.

Life’s unfair.

Pick one.

I put the radio on in an attempt to break the silence and Tracy Chapman’s song “Fast Car” was playing.  One of my favorites that I forgot about until this morning.

“… City lights lay out before us
…  your arm felt nice wrapped ’round my shoulder
…  I had a feeling I could be someone.”

I had an urge to sing out the chorus good and loud I like did when I was young and driving in the car with my girlfriends, but we both stayed quiet.   Still the music was jumping out at me.   I hummed a little, and this didn’t seem to annoy her so I ventured a little further and oh so quietly sang along for the last few lines.   Still no complaining.

As soon as the song ended, I said “I used to love that song.”

She said, “why.”

“It’s a great song!” I said.

“It’s depressing.”


“Did you listen to the lyrics mom?  Her dad was a drunk and she gave up her life to take care of him and then she fell in love with a drunk and now all she wants is for him to drive away and leave her alone!”

“What are you talking about?” I asked.

“Are you kidding” she said?   She didn’t look at me but I could feel the look..  the kind that only comes between teenagers and their parents.

So I came home and looked up the lyrics to the song.  She was right, it is a sad story but what if hid did drive away… and then who knows what might have happened!

I still love that song, and Tracy, and my daughter to whom I owe a thank you for teaching me again that if I can figure out how to navigate the awkward silences, I might learn something.

I wanted to share a T.C. video with you but I can’t pick one so here’s a bunch  Tracy Chapman Official Videos

And here’s the one that reminds me that every day is another chance to get it right.


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