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Posts Tagged ‘2010s’

Track 18: What Fades Away

What Fades Away

Katherine Anderson Howell

 

The baby was 3 months old.

I wasn’t happy.

***

I spin and spin around the living room. My head feels lopsided, like it does when I’m too tired, or when panic leaves me hollow. The baby is in my arms. The baby laughs. I spin. I bounce the baby. I force a smile, which becomes a slightly more real smile, which becomes a little laugh. “Shake It Out” plays on repeat. Florence Welch and I sing the old platitude,  “It’s always darkest before the dawn.” The baby doesn’t know darkness. He thinks I am sunlight.

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Track 17: Compilations

Compilations

Chris Baker

There’s a scene in Talladega Nights where Ricky Bobby’s father wakes him from hard slumber by way of a bucket of water. The parental rouse-à-la-douse, despite the trope, is almost certainly threatened more often than it is executed. While I found the stunt humorous as a kid, I never thought to question from where a parent’s motivation would originate for this and other sadistic reveille. I often reconsidered the concept during the summer of 2013 as I sat in my oldest child’s bed for hours every night, waiting for her to fall asleep.

Growing up, my parents never threw water on us to wake us up, but my dad had a penchant for bursting into my room in the morning while singing. You could never predict what he might be singing: Christmas songs, folk music, liturgical hymns, 1960s/1970s pop. But regardless of the genre, it never failed to annoy. Perhaps, it’s childish narcissism to require intentionality of the annoyance. My experience as a parent suggests that my parents spent less time thinking about us than I assumed at the time. My dad might have just been doing what comes naturally to us morning people; namely, enjoy ourselves while unintentionally pissing off everyone around us. But early morning retaliation is what I thought about as I sat in bed with my daughter, who was tired but awake. She was too excited or anxious or who-the-hell-knows to go to sleep on her own like she had for the previous four years of her life. So, I sang. (more…)

Track 10: Hip-hop Head

Hip-hop Head

Tyrell Baker

 

Music has been as much a part of my life as breathing: the voices of my own mother, grandmother, and women of the church; Parliament Funkadelic on my dad’s record player; Boogie Monsters and Lords of the Underground; Onyx and Flatliners; Pebo, Luther, Whitney and Anita. Aaliyah, Jill, Gerald, and Frankie. Music speaks to the melanin in my skin. It drives the functions of my brain stem. Rhythms catch my ears from down the block. I freeze until I can identify the melody. Music sends chills through my bones, motivates me to run a little farther, or work a little longer. I can’t live without it.

Between the thump of the bass and skeet of the treble, you can find me. (more…)

Track 5: The Only Time Sufjan Stevens Pissed Me Off

The Only Time Sufjan Stevens Pissed Me Off and How I Learned to Enjoy My Rabbit

S. Amanda Clevinger

 

I have a 12-year-old bunny named Persey, short for Persephone, queen of the underworld and harbinger of Springtime. I have been listening to a musician for 12 years named Sufjan, which means “comes with a sword.” Persey and Sufjan have a lot in common: they’re both rabbits (Persey, literally; Sufjan, Chinese zodiac-ly); they both have black hair and long eyelashes; they’ve both spent quite a bit of time in Oregon; they’ve both been on NPR; they’re the two people who I would save during an apocalyptic event. I love them both very much, I would even go as far to say I cherish their existences. Persey and Sufjan make me happy.

As for me, let’s do some free association. What do people say about me, Amanda, “worthy of love”? A lot of people say I’m funny. About the same number of people eventually ask me if I’m depressed or bipolar. Yes, I am funny and bipolar, the winning combination that leads to morbidness, strange looks, long nights that turn into long days, many essays and/or tears, and eventually suicide. (I laughed as I typed that … in trying to be funny, I just said something true.) (more…)