The Borderline Song

I think that Borderline PD deserves it’s own song. And it should be something Sinatra would sing – from the Great American Songbook. For those of you who may be a little young, the songbook encompasses most of the music from the big band, Broadway and Hollywood musical era starting around 1936 and running through the mid-1960s. Ask your grandparents.

Anyway, it was one of those inspirations I had after another Borderline-type disaster yesterday. Without getting into the bloody details, by the end of the episode, I found myself where I started out – pretty much alone without a tribe to call my own. And I guess, after all these years, I should get it into my head that I have no ‘tribe.’ I never fit in anywhere and it’s clear now I never will.

After all, I spent most of my formative years in an 12 X 14 bedroom including long summers where I learned to entertain myself with books, doodling, radio and my black and white TV. And somehow, even though I felt lonely sometimes and exhibited shyness around people, I was fairly happy.

And it seems that in my adulthood I have finally created a replacement for my long lost bedroom in my basement. Most people when they look at it, immediately think it’s a ‘man cave.’ But it’s far more than that. The memorabilia in the room (and over the bar) are the things that have made up my life. I have a lot of old stuff – things that remind me of my youth and even before. It wanted it to have a certain rough charm – a mashup of 1960 meets the late 70s with some nifty modern sound and vision.

I like old stuff now. And now that I’m old stuff, I need to learn how to love myself and, more importantly, be friends with myself since the odds of me making any friends at this point are roughly the same as drawing to an inside straight.

So, the song.

One of my favorite Frank Sinatra albums is the Grammy-winning LP ‘The September of my Years.’ I could listen to it all day. The songs are written from the retrospective of a man heading for late middle-age who suddenly realizes it and decides to push the rat race aside and slow down to appreciate the beauty of life. The song ‘This is All I Ask’ is a perfect representation of that.

But many of the songs are wistful memories of what was (‘It Was A Very Good Year”) and hopeful ballads of the future (‘The Man in the Looking Glass.’) And I guess if one was to write a song about BPD in saloon singer style, a certain amount of honest self-reflection is needed. No need to make up excuses or explanations – just tell it like it is.

So when you sing a song in that style, it’s a confessional to the listener: this is who I am, for better or worse, and I’m OK with that.

The lyrics aren’t perfect and could use some professional polishing. And of course, I need a melody and an arranger. But many of the great songs started with lyrics first. Not that this would ever be made into an actual song. There’s certain song hooks and melody strings that I hummed as I wrote it so there’s that. After all, Jackie Gleason composed a whole storehouse of music without being able to read music.

So here it is:

I still say hello
And how are you today
But then I best be on my way
Because I know, that if I try to make a friend
I will eventually offend
It will come to a bad end
It’s better to be alone

Moodiness is one of my charms
Friendships slip right through my arms
But to be perfectly honest
I’ll drive you away, someday
And I know
Even though I hate to admit it
This world, I have no place in it
It’s better to be alone

There’s a condition I have had
That makes me rather bad
You can count on me to say
The wrong word some day
And then I’ll go away
Mad . . .

Sometimes I still pine
For the friends I left behind
But I know that all friends
Leave me
In the end
It’s not them
It’s really me
Guess I’ll leave no posterity
It’s better for me,
To be alone

I try to be civil with coworkers I can trust
So when trouble comes they don’t throw me under the bus
But being careful is no substitute (for being astute)
It’s better being alone

I’ve got to face the facts
I’m condemned for my bad acts,
My deeds are well known
So I sit and stare at the phone
Knowing, in my heart (even though it’s torn apart)
It’s better to be alone

This entry was posted in Borderline Personality Disorder, BPD, getting old, good memories, loneliness, mental health, middle age, mood swings, Poetry and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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