Sunday, October 28, 2012

Spooky Song: Cruel

I realized that if I wait for me to finish writing the story or two that I'm working on, then I won't get to more songs. I have more Halloween/spooky videos than I have story ideas, so I should at least post something before the month ends, right? So here is a song by St. Vincent otherwise known as Annie Clark. This video does show some stuff that's genuinely creepy, but at the same time there's a kind of strange funny aspect since Ms. Clark has this air of resignation and apathy to her circumstance.

St. Vincent

Friday, October 26, 2012

Graveyard Shortcuts

You keep giving me directions
that take me through
these places that
I don't really want to go

You keep giving me directions
and each step
is taking me,
through haunted graveyards
and over people's fences

I try to tell you
how I've been
on the right side
of the law
for quite some time

You just shake your head
and smile faintly in the dark
you say, its not the law
we're hiding from,
gotta trust me
on this one

You keep giving me directions
they're leading me
through back alleys,
down burrows,
up sticky pine trees,
but who knows
where it will end?


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Many Forms of Loneliness

I would venture to say that one of the worst parts about feeling lonely is a secure knowledge that you are absolutely alone in the unique way that you feel alone. I am writing this to break that security. If nothing else, after reading this you can know that you are a little less alone because someone is, or has or will feel the way that you are right now. I think that little bit of solidarity is something substantial to hold onto.

 -There's the loneliness you feel when you're a refugee and you no longer have a home to return to. You spend each day on unfamiliar ground surrounded by paranoia, longing for a place that doesn't exist anymore. You can't return to your house because its not safe or there is no house there any longer.

 -When you're little and don't have many or possibly any friends. This leads to creating wonderful imaginary friends. But the creation of imaginary friends leads to later in life the wistful loneliness for those bygone imaginary friends. You sit wondering, "what did they look like? Were they nice or mean? What are they doing these days?"

-There's the loneliness that comes from all your friends moving away and you're the last one left in town. Do you set off as well or stick around and try to make the new situation work?

-Or on the other hand there's the opposite situation when you have a new career, or school or something else that takes you some place completely different from everyone you know. This means starting from scratch. It means finding new restaurants to go to, making new friends, finding things to do. It means missing all those people you left behind that you keep in your heart. It means calling them in the middle of the night, but hanging up before they answer because you don't want to seem needy.

 - And then there's the loneliness that comes from a rainy day that words can't quite describe. It might be similar to the feeling of missing someone or something that you've never known.

-When you live alone and you burn yourself on the stove, but since you live in solitude there is no one to call you an idiot for burning yourself. So what do you do? You then admonish yourself for being dumb, you knew the stove was hot, you know what heat is, you're not four years old, how could you do this?

-When you are a crazy cat lady. Okay maybe you're arguing that you don't feel lonely at all because you've replaced all your friends with felines. And okay maybe you say you understand cats better than people, which really is understandable, people are crazy. But we both know you were more comfortable at 7-9 cats and now you're up to 15. There are literally cats on top of cats and where are Muffin and Jo-Jo? They've been missing for days now...

-When you're sick as an adult. There isn't anyone to take care of you if you stay home and no one to take pity on you when you're acting pitiful. Except for the most die-hard of firends, no one is going to want to spend time with you while you're sick. That means its just going to be you, a cup of tea, a bowl of soup and any sappy movie you choose since there's no one to veto it.

- The strong arrow of loneliness that strikes straight through the heart when a friend lets it slip that you missed an awesome outing. How dare they all hang out without you? Couldn't they have at least texted?

-The loneliness when you are half a gallon of milk that never got completely drank. You sit in the fridge in denial of your soon to be fate thinking, pleading, "No! Please! Don't pour me down the drain. I'm okay for consumption, I swear. Ignore the smell I'm alright!"

-There's the loneliness when you have a secret crush. You think that person is the coolest in the room/world, but who knows if they even know you're name. You sit each day, four desks away pining for that special someone and the way they wear their hair/skirt/tie/shoes or tell such good jokes or just that thing about them.

-The loneliness of sitting at a table of friends and realizing that after all this time you have nothing in common, or maybe you just feel inexplicably alone. Which is dumb right? To feel alone while surrounded by people, but there you are, lonely all the same.

And to almost all of these scenarios I say, pick up the phone call a friend. It just might turn your day around. Also here's a video that's a little more relevant than usual.

Doctor Dog

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Tumblin through the Ash

There is a boy
looking back at me
what happened to
 that man from yesterday?
   that man I used to know
      I used to know

Do you feel the wind?
Its coming in strong
  from the Northwest
Its coming in Fierce
  Oh, man its so loud
I can't hear the
  words from your mouth

What is that look?
  That one I see
   in your eyes,
  I used to know
  you like a book,
    but not so much
anymore, no not anymore

I dare you to look away
  just to try to forget
anything and everything
I dare you to let go
  and fly away
      just fly away

Lord Huron
Time to Run

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Subcutaneous Bubbles in the Moonlight

  He walked into the bar on a Thursday night, his tail between his legs. His right eye was bruised and blooming like an onion. He was wearing a wool scarf around his neck to hide the swelling, despite the heat. Half-limping, half-staggering he made his way to the stool at the end of the bar well away from everyone else. He said to the bartender, "Gimme a shot of something strong enough to be called medicine, then two pints of your bitterest beer, please and thank you."

  He downed the liquor and beer methodically, he didn't seem to take in the flavor at all. After a few moments he finished the second beer and set it down on the bar with exaggerated care. He sauntered over to the jukebox and flipped through the selections until sighing with an, "Ahh, there it is." He fed the machine several quarters and hit B12. Out of the speakers came a series of horns, trumpeting joyfully into the smoky haze of the bar. The brunette in a subtle red dress felt a tap on her shoulder. He stood behind her with his hand offered.

  "May I have this dance?"

           She blushed, "I'm flattered but I can't dance."

"Sure you can, I'll waltz us around. Your feet will follow, they're good at that. We'll feel like we're floating, trust me. "

 And with that he swept her up right into a spin, her dress flourishing with the movement. She blushed again. They glided through the open spaces in the bar. He was surprisingly graceful, she had taken him for a mongrel drunk with a penchant for fighting. Perhaps she'd been wrong. Out of the speakers the band from another age was building up as the horns and bass traded off - doot - doot - doot - thrum - doot - thrum - thrum - doot - the singer broke in with a hook, "feel the moonlight/tap-dance on your skin/As you hold her close tonight" - doot - doot - thrum - thrum...

 With the hook he dipped her low. She came up with a kick that would have made a Rockette proud and she took his hand to give him a spin. It was a beautiful spin so she decided why not twice? and went for a double. As the band crescendo-d he lost his footing and slipped from her hand. He fell, not gracefully, but rather in a heap against the wall where he laid crumpled and motionless. In the process of spinning and falling his scarf came unfurled to reveal a neck that looked as if there was a sheet of bubble wrap just beneath the surface. She gasped and covered her moth with her hand. "I'm sorry! Was that my fault? I'm so sorry. Do you need an ambulance? I'll call for one."

  She got out her phone hoping this wasn't a busy night for emergencies. From the wall the man murmured, then spoke quietly, "When they get here, tell them I"m a diver. That should speed things up. Thank you for the song, you're a wonderful dancer." He closed his eyes and then either passed out or fell asleep. A ragged smile played across his lips.

David Guetta
She Wolf (Falling to Pieces) feat Sia

Friday, October 5, 2012

Spooky Songs 'n' Stories

  There's something about the crisp air in October that signals so many things. That crisp air demands to be accompanied by hot apple cider or tea. It cordially requests that you bake cookies and loafs and pies of pumpkin. The air in October let's you know that its time for jeans and fleeces and flannels and maybe even scarfs at night. And when you get back home its the time of year when the light switches get set to a quarter dim for the optimum amount of coziness. The wind whistles and the orange leaves crunch. The music gets softer or more suspense-filled and jumpy-just like the movies.

  So curl up under a warm blanket, grab something warm to sip and let's watch and listen to few spooky songs and videos this month. There might even be a scary story or two thrown in, who knows.

  First up is Kimbra with a video that takes the cute kiwi and shows her dark and demented and more than a little funky side. Enjoy.

Come Into My Head

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Further Down the Road

  After a long couple weeks on the road I set to drinking the exhaustion and loneliness from my bones. But each sip only summoned up old memories from years ago to rain down on me like dreams in a fever. I remembered when we were six and our moms took us to the zoo together. You were always enamored with the flamingos and the graceful way they could stand on one leg for hours on end. I always thought the tigers were cooler. Though I told you that if I were a tiger I would protect the flamingos from harm, you stuck your chin up and informed me flamingos needed no protecting: they can fly!

  I remembered all those summer nights, running through the park. Or first year of high school with our class trip to the aquarium. We snuck off from the rest of the group to go make faces at the manta rays and kiss by the electric eels. We got back to the group before lunch had started and Mr. Elgrim never noticed we were gone.

  I remember two years later when your baby brother died. You were torn to shreds. I took you to Sebastian's party three weeks later to try to take your mind off things. It was a good party, I think I might have seen you smile near the start. I lost you for awhile only to find you hiding, curled up in the bathtub, drinking gin straight from the bottle. I sat beside you in the tub. I remember kissing you on the cheek, taking in the sweet sickly scent of pine needles from your breath. I took the bottle from your shaking hand and patted your back. You cried, "Its not fair!"

    "I know", I murmured back

 "He was only seven! Why him? Why not me?", You sobbed, "He was so innocent. Look at me, I'm hopeless. It should have been me. It should have been me. Not him...Not Frankie."

   "Shhh..You're not hopeless at all, you're right, it wasn't fair though."

I remember how we drifted apart over the following year before graduation. I ended up going away to school, you stayed. You thought that way your parents would have some stability and a chance to put yourself back together. We said we'd visit each other, you'd come see me at school and that I'd come home every chance. And we did, for awhile, but the distance took its toll. I met new people and you changed bit by bit. You kept saying how you wanted to travel out West to see everything. I wonder if you actually ever did.

  I'm sitting in the kitchen, drinking gin straight from the bottle with these old memories swirling in my head like wild djinn. In my stupor I realize I still have your number, the new mobile you got a few years ago. I think about calling you and hearing your voice...and then the phone's already ringing, held up against my ear. I hope you don't answer in time, hope for the grace of you answering machine. What the hell would I say if you were to ---

  "Steven? Is it really you? How are you?  Its been too long!"

  "Cassie! I wasn't sure if this was still your number. I'm good, my life's not too interesting these days. Honestly  its not. Mostly I spend every other week doing sales-calls across the country. If I have to drive through Delaware one more time I sear I'll drive straight into a brick wall. Other than that I am good, peachy even. How're you doing these days? Did you ever make it out of our hometown?"

  "Well at least you're traveling. I bet you meet some interesting people too. Two years after you left for school, when we stopped talking as much, I decided I had grieved long enough and that it was time to go or I'd never be able to move on. I packed a bag, threw it over my shoulder and took the first bus out of town."

  "Where did you go?"

 "Everywhere. I took buses, hitch-hiked and walked. I made it across the country and back about three or four times..erm no definitely three. I saw Phoenix, New Orleans, Austin, Denver, San Francisco - oh man, Frisco was the best! and farther down the coast I spent way too much time in Santa Fe, have you ever been?"

  I admitted I'd never made it as far West as California, let alone Santa Fe.

 "What?", you gasped, "Steven, you need to see the boardwalk in Santa Fe. Its brilliant, totally not hokey or touristy, just genuine, you know? And you need to see the Redwoods. Its like, try to imagine the biggest tree you've ever seen, then imagine a dinosaur and then the love child of the giant tree and dino had a baby tree; that would be almost in the ballpark of what its like to see a Redwood."

  I laughed, "That sounds wonderful. Is that where you're living now? In a giant tree in California?"

 You laugh, I didn't realize how much I had missed your laugh. You tell me that although you did try living in a tree once, it just wasn't worth not having running water. You tell me that you ended up in Minneapolis and never realized how beautiful winter could be. You decided to stay. Now you're a long-term substitute teacher with a love for ice fishing. You seem happy, which makes me smile.

 I consider telling you how much I miss you, I consider asking you why we let each other slip away. I want to ask if you met anyone. Instead I make up a lie about having to run, having to take a roast our of the oven, having to save a pack of kittens from a burning tree, having to sleep, having to call the wife I don't have. You're disappointed and say we should talk again soon and that I should see the Redwoods. Then you're gone and its just me and the bottle of gin.

Porcelain Raft
Drifting In and Out