Joe asks Donna to go to the movies. She says, “I’m too tired to go, Joe.”
But he finds out she isn’t too tired to go to see another man. Joe wants to say that’s all right, she has her reasons, but deep inside, he can’t ignore the truth. Anyone can see her priorities are skewed away from him.
Joe overlooks this slight for a while to keep their relationship smooth, but one day he decides to act like the man he is supposed to be. He says, “This shit doesn’t fly. I’m not whipped enough to ignore this deceit. Double dealing is not allowed to become part of my life.”
Joe feels a terrible loss and thinks there’s nothing to do but sing the blues. How she broke his heart, done him wrong, how his sun no longer shines, his innards are all tied in knots and how music is the only sound that’ll penetrate his blues. Colors become muted and no longer speak.
Beautiful imagery that used to fill his days is now just dreary black and white sketches of reality.
She doesn’t know better, he thinks. She only did what’s natural for her, but if Joe wants to say, “I’m a man,” he knows he’s got to do what a man should do when a woman acts like that. Joe doesn’t know much about love, but he did know it’s supposed to be a beautiful thing, not a farce that leaves his heart full of pain. He doesn’t want to get his gun like so many others do, or slap her face to let her know he is the only one for her.
He sings, “I’m leaving you cold for things you’ve done. When I’m gone you’ll realize I didn’t know much about love and it just isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.”
His train of thought chugs in circles until Joe realizes that his songs sound like a crow choking on an ear of corn. He drinks all day until words no longer dribble from his mouth.
He buys some booze to go and drinks it all before he sits down to write fume-induced words that are much better than the ones he sang. Now he can put his feelings into words and he tells Donna how she done him wrong:
Lord have mercy on your soul for what you’ve done to me. I’ve been working as hard as a Smoky Mountain bee to earn the dough to take you to the show. I have to admit, I’m pained and grieved that you didn’t think of me before doing that deed and not going out with me.
Now I shudder when I think of you. My flesh crawls and I recoil at the thought of your unfaithful touch. I know in the end you’ll be yearning for me, but my dislike and distaste for what you did will reinforce my unbearable grief. Even though I’ve quit singing the blues, I’ll continue to write to inform the world how you’ve done me wrong. But best of all is the fact that when I go to the movie show, I enjoy the movie more by myself than I ever did with you. My ship has sailed away and you can no longer climb aboard. I’m never coming back. If my ship should sink, my words will keep me afloat better than any life jacket ever would. I pour myself a drink and toast the harvest moon
for letting me enjoy life more by myself than I could ever have with you.