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Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right

Or was it Tangled Up in Blue? Both seem to fit

Photo by Nighthawk Shoots on Unsplash

Thinking about how love goes wrong, and how I had to run away. Bob Dylan’s lyrics captured the feel, but more than that captured the spirit of that dark sad night. His songs, those two and Dirge, could have been about my time in Arkansas.

I met her almost as soon as I arrived in the state. I was there a few years. The connection was immediate and lasting. When things were good they were very good. When they were bad, they were very bad. Rarely anything in between. At some point, the good was overwhelmed.

When I finally made my mind up I didn’t think twice. Packed up the car, left behind what wouldn’t fit, and headed out for the East Coast. Lord knows I had paid my dues.

When your rooster crows at the break of dawn
Look out your window and I’ll be gone
You’re the reason I’m trav’lin’ on
Don’t think twice, it’s all rightz

She could not hold a job and had nowhere to go. I left enough cash on the kitchen table to cover rent and utilities for another month.

Maybe I should have said goodbye. There were not any words left to say anyway. I didn’t even leave a note. My friends tried to tell me. I was glad the few I said goodbye to didn’t rub it in.

Still I wish there was somethin’ you would do or say
To try and make me change my mind and stay
We never did too much talkin’ anyway
So don’t think twice, it’s all right

If I had told her she would have made me stay. She knew my weaknesses and which buttons to push. I left the only way I could. In the dark of night, pulling out slowly and fading into the night.

It would have been another verse of the same song. She would say things would be better, and they would be for a time. Her demons would soon rise again though. If I didn’t leave I would go down with her.

It ain’t no use in callin’ out my name, gal
I can’t hear you anymore
I’m a-thinkin’ and a-wond’rin’ all the way down the road
I once loved a woman, a child I’m told
I give her my heart but she wanted my soul
But don’t think twice, it’s all right

There were a few love stories over the years, some more intense than others. This one was different. Some are fun and games. Blue skies and laughter. Some go much deeper. Somehow it was never enough. No matter how deep you are in when you are finally done there’s nothing left to say.

I’m walkin’ down that long, lonesome road, babe
Where I’m bound, I can’t tell
But goodbye’s too good a word, gal
So I’ll just say fare thee well

It’s easy to be bitter, angry, full of bad thoughts and memories. I can’t really fault her though. She was just like me. Trying to find her way in the wilderness we call life.

I ain’t sayin’ you treated me unkind
You could have done better but I don’t mind
You just kinda wasted my precious time
But don’t think twice, it’s all right

It is a sad story. There’s no happy ending. I moved on to a new life and I hope she did too. Having Bob Dylan songs about love around helped me get through those times. I did all I could for her. It wasn’t enough. Don’t think twice, it’s all right.



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James Jordan

James Jordan


Teller of tales, many of which are actually true. Award-winning journalist, and the William Allen White Award for reporting.