‘Up ahead in the distance, I saw a shimmering light
My head grew heavy and my sight grew dim,
I had to stop for the night.
There she stood in the doorway;
I heard the mission bell
And I was thinking to myself
‘This could be heaven or this could be Hell’
Then she lit up the candle and she showed me the way
There were voices down the corridor
I thought I heard them say…
No points for guessing the song.
The daily prompt was ‘Shimmering‘ and this is the first thing that came to my head.
This song is very special for me. I think this was among the first few English songs I had memorised when I came to college. Everyone around me used to sing the song and go on and on about how beautifully the lyrics had been written. I sang along but failed to understand how a hotel commercial was deep and meaningful.
And, it wasn’t even that great — they did not have a wine since 1969!
So, I obviously did the most reasonable thing – I googled ‘Hotel California lyrics meaning‘
I came to know that the song was about hedonism and excesses in American Golden State, where people travelled to in search of fame. All the 19-year-old college kid took from the explanation was doing drugs to cope with the stresses.
Hearing the song after a bong shot, I was sure I could see the shimmering light too and I thought maybe I was stuck in the Hotel California along with my batch-mates.
However, after I joined my job I gave up the alcohol and the pot. But the line — ‘you can check out any time you like, but you can never leave,” haunts me still every time I light a cigarette.
During the three years of my graduation, I never took up smoking (mostly, because of the gag reflex). But, during my post-graduation, a smoke was passed along with a drink in a coke bottle after hours on the hostel grounds. I thought, “how bad can it be?” So, I started taking a drag, then a cigarette and then I even bought a pack.
Now, two years since I joined my job, I have been trying to kick the butt unsuccessfully. I quit for around three months but again slipped back. Somehow, even though I have checked out, I haven’t been able to leave this addiction.