Mental music

Mental illness comes in many forms. Mine renders me functional to the extent that I perform enough work to get paid now and then, but that isn’t by any means to say that it doesn’t annoy the heck out of me.

At this moment what’s stuck in my head is the music — dare I say ‘love theme’? — from Brian De Palma’s erotic-but-eminently-bloody 1980 crime thriller Dressed to Kill. I haven’t seen the movie in ages but the music is here right now and I wish it weren’t.

This might seem unusual to you but the Dressed to Kill music is only the most recent in a long, odd series of Things Stuck in My Head.

An occasional visitor is the theme from The Smith Family, which appeared on the ABC network for parts of 1971 and 1972, and which starred Henry Fonda and Ron Howard. The Smith Family is not merely obscure; it doesn’t even appear on Nick at Nite. That’s really obscure.

Sometimes The Ballad of the Green Berets makes an appearance. Talk about annoying! Imagine trying to write an incisive story about the city council spending money on street resurfacing while fearless men are jumping and dying in your brain.

There are always worse alternatives to living with mental illness, but I often wish mine were less…odd.