I will find something
"I didn’t understand" Elliott Smith
Done, that’s a fucking good one.
"Sing to me of the man, Muse, the man of twists and turns driven time and again off course..."
Continuing journeys across a changeable terrain...
The day comes with an edge on it. Or is it you? The approach/avoidance of spring is getting tedious. Fighting or dodging sickness for weeks now has also worn you down. There’s been a gradual slipping, and the edge of the cliff keeps looking a little closer. At least you have been able to rely on catching up every weekend. If not catching up on your must-do’s, at least being able to restore your reserve by indulging in your want-to-do’s. Now this one, and its missing hour, and you’re behind even on the weekend.
You can taste the bitterness on your breath when you first open your eyes. Your mind wakes quickly, already anxious about tomorrow, though your body protests. Legs and arms and torso are content to turn over and stay in bed. Mind and eyes keep turning back to the clock. :51 after, now :53 after, still :53 after, :56 after, :58 after. Mind breaks its agreement with body and drags it out of bed before the change of the hour.
Standing now, it seems everywhere you turn there is an accumulation of the little things you’ve been letting slide. The laundry, the dishes, the unread books, the broken shoelace, clocks needing changing, the dead batteries, the disorganized pile of shoes, the bills that need paying, the paragraphs stopped mid-sentence, the applications awaiting everything under the name. You’ve got to get out of here. You check your cash, and it looks like enough: good thing too, as there’s nothing here for breakfast. You leave your notebook and its blocked projects behind and head over to The Place.
It doesn’t come out when you trip on that raised edge in the sidewalk. It doesn’t come out when that driver honks too loud at you when they weren’t even close. It doesn’t come out when you sneeze all over your hand with nothing to wipe it with. It doesn’t come out when you see your reflection in the glass door and realize your hair’s still however you woke up with it. It doesn’t come out when you find someone else sitting in your usual seat, or when you sit on something left behind on the seat you settled for.
But then you’re distracted as you take your first sip, and spill a single drop on yourself. At that same moment, your waitress realizes that large group didn’t tip her. Chef grazes his wrist on the door of the oven while reaching in. Your neighbor discovers her pen is dry. That argument at the counter reaches its pique. Someone checking the paper is amazed by the news. Across the room, someone panic that it’s an hour later than they thought. From every voice in the place, the same word: different pitch, different inflection, different intent, different cause, different energy, same word.
After, there’s a recognizable release, and the gate opens and lets out that breath you’ve been holding.
We’re thinking about the power of using the right word at the right time, no matter how many times you’ve been told it’s never the right word. We’ve got the jukebox playing songs all using it, by groups and in songs that might make it surprising. If we’ve left your favorite out, just make a request. Try to make it politely, and we’ll try not to curse at you.
Rockin’ The Suburbs – Ben Folds
Manifest Destiny – Guster
Pursuit of Happiness – Lissie
Lay Me Down – The Dirty Heads
Girlfriend – Avril Lavigne
If You See Kay – The Script
Why Can’t You Be – Third Eye Blind
Rootless Tree – Damien Rice
What Are You Waiting For? – Kathleen Edwards
Come Pick Me Up – Ryan Adams
F-cking Boyfriend – the bird and the bee
HYFR – Drake, Lil’ Wayne
Clack Cadillacs – Modest Mouse
Elephant – Jason Isbell
Horseshoes and Handgrenades – Green Day
Scared As Fuck – An Horse
Broken Crown – Mumford & Sons
Fuck This – Dennis Leary
Fuck This Shit – Belle & Sebastian
Don’t Marry Her – The Beautiful South
The Great Escape – We Are Scientists
I Didn’t Understand — Elliott Smith
Little Lion Man – Mumford & Sons
1972 – Josh Rouse
Fuck You – Cee Lo Green
Closer – Nine Inch Nails
A Better Son/Daughter – Rilo Kiley
Rico – Matthew Good Band
22 Fillmore – Chuck Prophet
Oxford Comma – Vampire Weekend
I Will Survive – Cake
Have You Forgotten – Red House Painters
You Don’t Know Me – Ben Folds
[Where’d that extra space between lines come from? Fuck.]
You get used to the gravity.
The blocks fall down.
The balloon sags and sinks.
The leaves dim and drop.
Expectation becomes apprehension.
You may stumble to daunting heights.
Certain to die of falling.
And the easiest thing seems
If you knew, you’d crave forgetting.
Tumblr without her would be like:
Hociwici without the agrimony.
Rabbit stew without the offal.
Cayo Romano without the Angostura.
But she’s not fed up yet.
It was the summer then, and on Sunday mornings, early, I’d get up and go to a pick-up soccer game with my best friend. We’d get to the field a little before 7 in the morning, and take our time getting our cleats on and our limbs moving. We’d choose sides for the game by 7:15 and start playing. It’s best to start early in the summer here, before it gets too awful.
The game would go on for an hour at a time, then take a break for water and to redistribute players for fairness. We would usually finish up around 11, by which time nobody was really running much anymore, and the sides had dwindled from 16v16 to 9v9. The sun would be up enough to be oppressive, the humidity would resist any attempt to move quickly through it. The artificial turf we played on would cook our feet through the soles of our shoes.
This one week, I couldn’t stay after for the customary hanging around. I had a lunch date. I made the mistake of actually saying so, and had to withstand some good-natured teasing about my priorities. I thought about changing my mind, but have never been any good at reconsidering plans once I’ve agreed to them.
After getting cleaned up, I drove to the restaurant where we were having lunch. She met me in the parking lot with a big smile, pulling me by the arm to the door, telling me she had a surprise for me after. She had set everything up while waiting for me to show, and she couldn’t wait to spring it on me.
After lunch, we walk out of the restaurant together, and she asks, “Are you ready?”
I guess so, sure, what is it?
“Right here, next door. I made you an appointment for a pedicure.”
I admit that I neglect myself in certain ways, and that not taking any more than cursory care of my feet is one of them. I mean, don’t get me wrong, they’re clean, and I change my socks at the appropriate times, but still, the calluses that are there are welcome to stay, and my toenails have not held up well against getting stepped on so many times on the field. I’m sure that’s what the intention was, to do something for me that I wouldn’t choose to do for myself. She left me sitting with my feet in a soak, and went up front to read a magazine.
This particular day was not going to be a great day for a pedicure though. I had sore nailbeds on each foot from getting stepped on that morning. One had bled into the sock I had taken off after playing. Both feet were blistered from friction and heat. My feet were trying to tell me to leave them alone today by becoming sensitive.
There was something about this particular nail technician, when it became clear that I was sensitive, she took it as a cue to be more harsh. More than once, I wondered if she was trying to see if she could get me to cry out, and more than once I felt it would have been appropriate to the sensation I was having, if not for the setting I was having it in. She did a thorough job on my feet, leaving no painful area unworked.
When it was over, I used both hands to stretch each sock out before carefully sliding a foot into it. I retied my shoes three or four times trying to find a pressure that would bind my wounds without lighting up my nerves. I found a workable compromise, took a deep breath, and walked out front.
“Wasn’t that great? Don’t your feet feel just a million times better?”
Oh yeah, they feel great. Thanks so much. So thoughtful.
“What do you want to do now?”
I don’t know. Something where we can sit down?