Keep Art Alive :: Art by Joshua Petker
“You spent half of your life trying to fall behind.
You’re using your headphones to drown out your mind.
It was so easy, and the words so sweet;
You can’t remember,
you try to move your feet.”
The alarm goes off, jarring you awake, the cold air permeating the room and making it near impossible for you to want to arise. The sun is still asleep, and everyone else in the house, as well. For a moment you cannot remember where you are, who you are, what you are. The haze of a dream is still hovering, and the worries that played in your head for half the night start in, a louder cacophony of sound then that annoying alarm. You stretch your arms above your head, reaching, first for the phone, and then for the music. Headphones in place, volume turned up, you sink further into bed, underneath everything, hiding away. It is like when you were a child, disappearing into a tent of blankets, and becoming invisible to the world.
Finally awake and out in the day, the cars speed by, the street signs a reminder of where you are, and where you are going – but everything is still a blur. You blink, slowly, each time keeping your eyes closed just a little bit longer. The music is still playing, this time from the speakers in the car, one side blown out from that night the two of you sped down the highway in the middle of the night, laughing, singing-a-long. This morning, though, you keep turning it up to drown out your thoughts, and memories. Wasn’t that what she told you just last night, to try and forget this, to try to forget him? Would be easier to forget yourself, you thought, and decided.
The ocean is just three streets away, the freeway exit to leave this town for good just two in the other direction, and home – whatever that means anymore – is far behind you now. The choices should feel endless, of which way to go, aren’t you supposed to feel free now? You stop now, pull over to the side of the road, too close, the back passenger tire half-on the curb. Your hit rewind, again and again, trying to remember the song – this was our song, this was his song, this was the last time. But all you hear are sounds and chords, the rise and fall of a familiar voice, and the fog of disappearing clouding your mind.
Sometimes forgetting everything is the only way to escape.Sometimes erasing everything is the only way to be free. But can you forget without losing yourself completely?
you can’t believe it,
you were always singing along.”
Eet :: Regina Spektor