This song is patched pants and slick-soled all-stars hitting the street. Fumble, fumble. Shuffle. Shufflegrabcrumple. Fuck. Click. Click-click. Sucking one bent cigarette and walking to the park, trying to forget the latest string of mistakes that put you out of a job, a relationship, and your band. Hit the park on the last drag from your smokes. Hit the park bench and take out your sketchbook. Gonna just draw the shit out of something gonna just get a pencil and make a whole new world and then its all gonna be all right all right and maybe it’ll come up on my side come up on my side come up…
This song is a surfing video game you played when you were eight. And the cat, denied your affections for too long, puts a five-inch scratch in your lower back, just above your tailbone. You still have the scar. The cat died years ago. You’ve tried to play other, newer video game systems. Trying to capture that immersion, total absorption granted to you when you were eight, but they don’t work anymore. Hormones have confined that ability to your past. So now you close your eyes, and imagine driving fast on a winding road, with loud music and shifting gears. Not exactly the most original moment, but enough with this endless search for novelty, this is just a well-made song well-played, and that is more than enough sometimes.
This song is dad leaving for a business trip and it’s all captured on grainy super-8 film even though that’s impossible, because who’s filming? Into the wood-paneled wagon and down the driveway. Only many years later do you wonder, was there any evil in those missing days? Another woman, or government dirty work? But of course that’s silly, if your father had skeletons then nothing makes sense. So you finish washing the dishes from the farafelle and chicken marsala you made last night for Eric. Eric the painter. Eric the triumphant East Village clotheshorse, perfectly niched. Completely in love with no one save himself…and you drive your heart repeatedly into that brick wall, sometimes cautiously, sometimes sobbing, out-of-control, but his ambition to make his mark on some sort of aesthetic continuum that will record his name for posterity and the smattering of graduate students who care is an imperviousness your efforts and chicken with mushrooms can never breach.
This song is rain on city streets near dawn. Steam from every urban orifice, and hot coffee in your hands. You are up because it’s the best time in the city to be up. Before the insanity and the madding madding. You, and the insomniacs, and the owners of particularly demanding dogs, move through the mist. And is she thinking about you? Probably not, but it’s the question you ask yourself the most. Why didn’t she see what you saw? Where was the piece missing for her that fit so perfectly for you? She could never answer you and it made you want to burst with sadness. It’s one thing to have a clearly stated argument, but this nebulosity grabs you and hurls you down on the ground. And so you focus on the insomniacs and the dogs.
This song is the girl you could never bring yourself to tell anyone about. Heavy and slow wearing sloppy clothes, undesirable in every way save her consuming desperate desire for you. If only you could have the courage to see beyond surfaces, to love the beautiful and the fragile beneath. But you can’t.
And she saw that, and it was okay.
But you wonder if she might go to bed crying, and you hope she doesn’t. And some part of you is quite terrified that it is very much not okay, and that someday there will be a terrible, terrible reckoning. And in bed she’d soft and softly kiss the skin stretched smooth across your eyes, and you always wondered why she did that, no one else has before or since. And so that is where she lives, in a thin film of licked lips somewhere above your eyes.