I'm sure that you have heard talk of bandwagon fans, and there's a lot to hate about such fans. We're often a lot more crowded here in boom years, and find ourselves leaner in the bust years; there's some animosity to be had toward those who do not suffer with us, but get the fruits of that suffering anyhow. I get it, I really do.
But Tom Waits' "Semi Suite," the third song on The Heart of Saturday Night gives us the flip side of the fair weather fan: it is hard to stand by an unloving, volatile (though, we should note, not abusive) partner. "Semi Suite" follows the wife of a "truck drivin' man / stoppin' when he can," a woman who's the "only one he's gonna find / Kind of special who understands his complicated soul." But she's "packed and unpacked so many / times [she's] lost track," and it's a tough relationship to stay in. It's hard to be the match of the ramblin' unpredictable man.
And yes, it'd be so much more settled down to move in with Andy in Tampa Bay; he doesn't make much money, but he knows how to run his household, and he's really, really stable. He's not making any impulse buys, and he only trades in the car when he knows he can get a more economical model. He's not a truck drivin' man. Ruben is. And we're stuck with him. We'll stay forever, but when you hear the sad, sympathetic story of the woman in the song, you can understand why someone'd pack up and leave.
But you also can kind of understand why someone'd come back, too.
#35 / Pitcher / Philadelphia Phillies
Dec 27, 1983
#36 / Pitcher / Arizona Diamondbacks
Nov 13, 1986