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Lyric of the Week: AVENUE X

Somewhere on the fringe of the outer boroughs

As far away as Venus from Mars

There lie the fragments of a thousand joys and sorrows

In the backseats of all the broken-down cars

Somewhere past the intersection of Love and Marriage

Where the Don’t Want Us dead-ends below the Belt

There exists the ghetto of all the lost baggage

And of all emotions no longer felt

Here’s to this one, that one, and every other one

Only known by their adjectives, not their names

Here’s to the serious, the frivolous, and the devious

Here’s to the crushes and the flames

Some were good for love, others good as friends

And for some it was all about the sex

All were good till their time was up

Now they all hang out on Avenue X.

Well, they gotta go SOMEWHERE after all’s over, said, and done

Someplace I’ll never have to hear their voices

Out of sight, out of mind, be gone everyone

Don’t want to deal with all their insipid noises

Broken dreams and shattered promises of true love forever

Overrated, overdone, and overblown

Let them all have their own “nabe” and be miserable together

And leave me the ̷F̷U̷C̷K̷ alone.

Here’s to those who claim to be adventurous and kinky

Here’s to the loquacious and inane

Here’s to each one who’s psychotically erotic

Here’s to the plain old bat̷s̷h̷i̷t̷ insane

Some were forbidden, some were unspeakable

And some straight out of Oedipus Rex

Some were girlfriends, others just roommates

But they’re all denizens of Avenue X.

Jaded and cynical, is that how I sound?

Babe, you don’t even want to know

Looking for love at the lost and found

And whichever way all these clichés go

But strange as this’ll sound, I haven’t lost hope

Of finding someone who suits me to a tee

I haven’t reached the end of my rope

All I need is someone who can deal with the likes of me!

Here’s to every gold-digging serial monogamist

Here’s to every seemingly normal one, too

Here’s to those who are so cloyingly clingy

Here’s to every double-X I ever knew

Here’s to a trail of broken hearts

All over Brooklyn, Jersey, Israel, and LA

Here’s to being around the block a hundred times

Whether like, lust, love, or lay

Some were serious, others were frivolous

None were simple, all were complex

Well there’s a downtown bus

Carrying what’s left of every “us”

Headed to the outskirts

Or to the edge of Planet Earth

Last stop before the yard

At the end of the dirty boulevard

Let’s lump them all together

And dump them all forever ...

On Avenue X!

©2024 The Hesh Inc.

Ave X - original photo by The Hesh Inc.
Well, they gotta go SOMEWHERE after all’s over, said, and done.

I always had a strange relationship with the borough of Brooklyn: I passed through there countless times on my way from my old hometown, Long Beach, NY, to various destinations in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and beyond, and I spent much time in the borough itself visiting family and friends as a child and as an adult. And after both times I got divorced, it seemed that the overwhelming number of dating attempts I made took place in Brooklyn, none of which ultimately succeeded. Through all of these trips and visits, I was always curious about exploring the place ... it all seemed so mysterious, mystical, and labyrinthine. But I rarely had the opportunity to go exploring ... until the summer of 2011, when I returned to the East Coast after my second sojourn in Los Angeles fell through. I lived in Brooklyn for several months as I was getting back on my feet, and I finally had the opportunity to explore my new environment on foot.

But, of course, this song isn't really about Brooklyn, is it? It's about the emotional debris left behind a whole string of relationships I was in, including those that ended in divorce. Once, upon driving north on Ocean Parkway, I spied the Avenue X sign and I thought, yeah, this is where all the X's end up. And in my exploration of the avenue, from its bucolic origins in Sheepshead Bay in the east all the way to its urban-ugly terminus at Stillwell Avenue in the west, the idea for the song came to me. It grooves along nicely to an upbeat 6/8 shuffle in a style similar to Brooklyn boy Lou Reed's "Beginning of a Great Adventure," or even better, Devil Doll's "King of Brooklyn," which I discovered later. One of these days, I may actually record it ... snark, bad words, and all.


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