Ok, so I have to change the title to get a song named for me! (That and Kimoreena, of course).
This song came out when I was in college. I was interning at GM in Detroit and living in Windsor, Canada, and my summer intern buddies gave me this nickname. (It couldn’t be because I made them listen to the album “21 at 33” over and over again, could it)? The nickname somehow made its way back to Georgia Tech (Jim Craig!) and surprise, surprise, all my computer printouts came out labeled “Kimmee.” Later, my friends at IBM called me “Kimmee,” and I guess it stuck. I even had a personalized “Kimmee” license plate for a while. My family couldn’t believe that I actually let people call me that. A few people still do…and it always makes me smile.
(BTW, the “ee” in “Kimmee” is because my name is “Kimberlee,” in case you were wondering. Just don’t call me “Kimberly”)!
Anyway, back to the song…A good song, not a great song, although it did make it to #3 on the US Billboard Hot 100 charts (and #1 in the US Adult Contemporary). And it wasn’t written with Bernie; it’s a collaboration with Gary Osborne. But I can “six degree” it back to me, and it definitely carries some very distinct memories for me.
Oh yes, and it has Sax in it. Always a good thing.
Little Jeannie, you got so much time, little Jeannie
Though you’ve grown beyond your years, you still retain the fears of youth
Oh little Jeannie, you got so much time, little Jeannie
But you’re burning it up so fast, searching for some lasting truth
That summer in Detroit helped me to assert my independence – I even wrote a poem about it. To this day, when I hear this song, I think about Detroit, I think about college, and I think about how it felt to break free. (It felt great)!
Now the poem. Pardon the length and the melodrama – I was twenty then, what can I say?
Deer eyes –
What have you done?
Why the tears?
You’ve got everything going for you
(or so they say)
But you know better.
You’re so good at pretending.
Even though you hate it.
There must be something better –
But who can be sure.
If only they knew
If they looked into your eyes,
They’d see the fear –
That this is all you had to offer –
That you’re in the wrong place at the wrong time –
The fear of uncertainty.
And if they looked into your soul,
They’d see infinity –
Ah, but you can be so cruel –
And enjoy it so much.
As long as you get what you want.
And you want so much
But would settle for so little –
They expect so much of you.
But you –
You expect so little
And get just that
(And you wonder why)
No, you’re not to be pitied –
That’s not what you want, either –
But that’s just it –
You don’t know what you want
But that’s no excuse.
You’re at your best
Caught in a whirlwind of confusion
That leaves you breathless
With no place to turn
Nowhere to go back to
Not sure what lies ahead.
You threw away security
To assert your independence
Yet that breeds loneliness.
You found that out the hard way.
But you’re learning fast:
Just a shrug of the shoulders can make the world seem new.
A blink of the eye
And it all disappears.
Most of all
You are lonely
(Though you hate to admit it)
But you always have been, haven’t you?
(And you must concede)
You always will be.
Hiding behind the few that will listen
And the even fewer who say they care.
It’s not their fault –
Some silly illusion of grandeur –
Of a happiness that you’ve yet to know –
Of something –
Some place –
To call home.
Was that too much to ask for?
It’s almost gone.
You find yourself searching –
For what you never really believed in.
And I think you know that
But refuse to admit it
That will get you nowhere.
So go on, Kim –
What’ve you got to lose?
Dream on, Kim –
At least that keeps you going.
Avec soin, Kim –
Things can’t be as bad as they seem.
Kim (After a summer in Detroit, 1980)