Short Stories

by Bett Butler

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released September 1, 2000



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Bett Butler Texas

Songwriter, piano player, storyteller.

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Track Name: Bubba's Inconvenience Store
Highway 16 from the border to San Antonio
Tiny cities skitter by on little possum feet
Crawling through the speed trap past the Freer Buckaroos
Then Tilden, Cross, Jourdanton, and sweet Poteet

I’m on my way to god knows where
Don’t ask me what I’m doing there
Lengthy explanations are a bore
But I’ve ended up at Bubba’s Inconvenience Store.

In my limited experience down deep South Texas Way
I’ve added these two pearls of wisdom to my repertoire
It is not a good idea to pick the prickly pear bloom
and if you hit an armadillo, it can sure screw up your car

I find a phone and dial away
Thank the lord for AAA
They’ll take a couple hours, maybe more
to tow my car from Bubba’s Inconvenience Store.

There are plastic picnic tables, so I settle in to wait
with a bottle of Ozarka and a candy bar
My attention wanders to the people who are passing through
and the vehicles outside that dwarf my tiny car

It’s just a minnow in a sea
of pickup trucks and SUVs
a guppy gasping on the sandy shore
beached and bummed at Bubba’s Inconvenience Store.

The cashier gets to talking to me, asks me where I’m from
says he went to court reporting school in San Antone
With three months left to graduate, they shut the sucker down
Now the state says he still owes them for his student loan

He’s worked here almost half a year
But there’s really nothing for him here
He’s twenty-two and ready to explore
the world beyond old Bubba’s Inconvenience Store.

So he’s marking time and working hard and saving all his dough
He wants to get the proper training for a serious career
What he really wants to do is be a stylist to the stars
and Beeville Beauty College ain’t too far from here.

All day long he dreams of hair
He wants to be José Eber
Own his own salon and maybe more
far away from Bubba’s Inconvenience Store.

We hear the diesel engine rumbling, pulling up in front
is the biggest flat-bed tow truck I’ve ever seen
The driver does his magic, now my tiny car
looks like a Tonka toy perched atop that big machine.

Soon I’m on my way back home
to do some dreaming of my own
holding to my heart forever more
the dreams that pass through Bubba’s Inconvenience Store.

Sometimes God just slows you down
tucks you in some tiny town
frees your flights of fantasy to soar
on wings you buy at Bubba’s Inconvenience Store.
Track Name: Tell Me What It Is
Baby, something’s wrong here
For a long, long time, you just ain’t been yourself
You’re body’s here beside
But it’s plain to see your mind is somewhere else

In the little things you do each day
I can see the signs that something’s wrong
Won’t you look me in the eye
and tell me what it is that’s going on?

I tried to shut my eyes
to all the things I noticed going down
I tried so not to listen
to all the gossip and the rumors going ‘round

But now, when you make love to me,
you try to hide it, but I can see the thrill is gone
Won’t you look me in the eye
and tell me what it is that’s going on?

I didn’t want to tell you
I hoped and prayed that it was just a passing thing
I didn’t want to know the truth
I knew what misery the truth could bring

But now I know that it’s not right
for you to still be here with me when your love for me is gone.
Won’t you look me in the eye
and tell me what it is that’s going on?

Won’t you look me in the eye
and tell me what it is that’s going on?
Track Name: I Saw You on the Street Today
I saw you on the street today
I don’t know why, but I followed you for quite a way
Trying to decide if I should call your name
I don’t know why, but I didn’t

You stopped outside a small cafe
You went inside, and as I watched you through the window
I don’t know why I had a feeling I should walk away
I don’t know why, but I didn’t

She was waiting at the table, starry-eyed
And I saw the way you looked at her, so satisfied
I saw the way you touched her hand
Didn’t take a genius to understand

And so when you come home tonight
Don’t look for me, because I won’t be there
I’ll be somewhere else, I don’t know where
Or why it turned out this way, I only
Things will never be the same
Since I say you on the street today
Track Name: Angels
As a child, you could see them with your mind
these gentle creatures, easily befriended
But as we grow, we tend to leave such things behind
Even so, they never leave us unattended

The times you stumbled to the edge
didn't have a clue of how badly you need protection
You almost tumbled off the ledge
Came out of the blue a gentle nudge in the right direction

I knew a man who once fell down the stairs
He says he felt them there, acknowledged but unspoken
He told me that they caught him unawares
He was only slightly bruised, nothing broken

He said, after such a fall
He shouldn't still be there at all

But if you still your heart and listen deep within
You may hear the whir of tiny wings like a hummingbird
Or feel the subtle brush of feathers on your skin
Or hear a whispered word of love, better felt than heard
And that is when you'll know that they've come through
The angels who are watching over you

As a child, in your innocence you know
that the borders of your being are misleading
If you can find the truth you knew so long ago
you may find you always get just what you're needing.

The bumps and bruises of the soul, time can kiss the hurt away
but the deeper wounds need addressing
Sometimes the journey takes its toll, and these weary feet of clay
need their comforting and caressing.

The damaged spirit wanders in the dark,
lost in deep despair, alone and brokenhearted,
Then somewhere, a gentle touch, and then a spark
and in some little hidden place, the healing's started.

But that is nothing new
That's just what they do

Track Name: How Special Are the Few
I could see the dark clouds gathering when you dropped out of sight
Keeping up appearances was too much of a strain
And the people close to you, well, they had no way of understanding
Folks tend to get uneasy in the face of so much pain

But please don’t try to go away again
And now I’m speaking purely from a selfish point of view
It’s just that I never really had a lot of friends
So I can’t afford to lose a friend as beautiful as you

How special are the few that get a second chance
Who jump into the pit and somehow land upon their feet
And walk the long way back with courage and a tender heart
And find that life ain’t easy, but it sure is sweet

Who would have thought that the answer was so simple
A little axle grease, the wheels are running smoothly now
We’re all such complex pieces of machinery
It’s a wonder any one of us can function anyhow

But please don’t try to go away again
Cause Lord knows endings, well, they all come soon enough
Maybe it was fate that brought you back, my friend,
And then again, maybe it was love.

Track Name: Down So Long
Since my baby left me, I been underneath a curse
Think I hit the bottom, ‘cause things couldn’t get much worse
But I ain’t gonna stay here and wallow in my misery
‘Cause I been down so long, it looks like up to me

Just when I been thinkin’ I can’t go on any longer
Little voice tells me, what don’t kill you make you stronger
So I guess I turned the corner
My luck will change, just wait and see
‘Cause I been down so long, it looks like up to me

Life is never easy, it’s full of pain and sorrow
But if you can make it through the night, you’ll see the sun come up tomorrow
So I guess I’ll just keep on living, and when the blues come on, just let them be
‘Cause I been down so long, it looks like up to me
Track Name: Butterfly
She was always so good
but life threw her a curve
Seems like folks never really get what they deserve

Do you know what it’s like?
Have you walked in her shoes?
When you start with so much, it’s so much harder to lose

But what can we do but stand helplessly by
And watch as she turns into a butterfly

We can stand by her side
or we can hope from afar
afraid she’ll remind us how fragile we are

No miracle cures
No easy answers
Between hope and frustration, she battles and dances

But she keeps her chin up, she holds her head high
And we watch as she turns into a butterfly

Life goes on somehow, somewhere
Her memory is strong even if she’s not there

Little by little
She’s obscured from our eyes
A shell, spun and silken, becomes her disguise

It will crumble to dust
with the passage of time
In a bright burst of color, she leaves it behind

On an uncharted course through infinite sky
She sails with the wings of a butterfly

Life goes on somehow, somewhere
Her memory is strong even if she’s not there