January 3, 2015: My Wrecking Ball

“My Wrecking Ball” by Ryan Adams from Ryan Adams

Listen to it here

 (photo from missiontolearn.com)

(photo from missiontolearn.com)

In a quiet little block of loud big city stood a building named Bill and a wrecking ball named Steve. Steve and Bill never spoke to one another. They just sat. In a quiet little block of a loud big city.

But Bill was the friendly sort and over time he got tired of just sitting quietly. So he said hi. And Steve said nothing. On that quiet little block of that loud big city.

Bill was also the persistent sort so the next day he tried again. And again. And again. Until finally, one day, Steve quietly replied, “What do you want?”

Now Bill was stunned. Surprised. Flabbergasted! He had gotten so used to talking to himself, he had nothing else ready to say. So he just sat, tongue-tied, for a whole day. And so it stayed quiet on that little block in that loud big city.

The next day, Bill was ready. So he when he said “hi” and Steve wearily responded, “hey,” Bill immediately said, “Be my wrecking ball.”

“No,” was all Steve said.

And so it was that day on that quiet little block of that loud big city.

Remember though, Bill was the persistent sort so the next day he tried again. And again. And again. He tried over and over, day after day, on that quiet little block, in that loud big city.

Then, once more, Steve could not ignore him any longer.

“No,” he bellowed, “I can’t be your wrecking ball. Don’t you know what I do? I break things. I pulverize, I smash, and I crush. I shatter, I mash, and I snap. You don’t want to talk to me, and you certainly don’t want me to be your wrecking ball.”

“Oh,” whispered Bill, feeling bad.

“Yeah,” retorted Steve, still in a huff.

And so things got very awkward on that quiet little block in that loud big city.

Until Bill had an idea.

“Hey Steve!”

“…what Bill?”

“Be my friend then?”

“Didn’t you hear me? I told you I—“

Bill interrupted him, “But that’s just when you’re being a wrecking ball. So don’t be my wrecking ball, be my friend.”

Steve sighed, “You don’t really want to be my friend.”

“Yes I do!”

“But I told you…”

“I know. It sounds like a tough job. It sounds like a job you might need to tell a friend about at the end of the day.”

And Steve said nothing. He didn’t know what to say. No one had ever asked to be his friend before. He didn’t even know if he could be a friend.

Bill kept talking, as though he knew what Steve was thinking, “Don’t worry, I don’t have many friends either. We’ll get good at it together.”

“Well,” Steve began, “Ok. Let’s be friends.”

And so, they became friends. Best friends, in fact. If you were the type to be able to see a building and a wrecking ball smile, you could walk by and see them both smiling, wide as can be.

On that quiet little block in that loud big city.

Smiling and talking. The building Bill and his best friend Steve, the retired wrecking ball.