14 June 2007

8+

"Washer" by Slint which clocks in at 8:50

I'd like to share something with you. It's incomplete, but it's worth taking a look at. To me it is anyway, it's a time capsule. A window into 19 year old Matt's mind - a fraction of a short story that was never finished and barely even begun. I ran across it a few months ago when I was cleaning out my desk drawer and I found an old CD of data from my old old OLD computer. Many olds ago. Or more than that even, who knows, I barely even remember it.

Point is, I found this CD of old documents, and on that disk was a folder containing a series of short stories I was working on at the time. Most of them were things I'd write while listening to a certain song or album. All of them were intended to be made into films of some kind, none ever were. Such is the way things go. Anyway, here is one that I had forgotten entirely but remember writing very well. I was alone in the basement of the house I lived in during college. The year was 1995. I had my notebook, black fine-point pen, and the song "Washer" by Slint playing very loudly on repeat. I wrote...

He always took the stairs, always. Mother used to tease him and say it was because he didn’t like people. The friends he used to have would tell each other that he had claustrophobia. It made them feel better about themselves. Once, his doctor had remarked “it doesn’t really matter anyway because stairs are more healthy than elevators.” Though this was a body doctor, and not a mind doctor, that professional opinion alone was reason enough to justify the stairs. But strangely, the stairs had always seemed to justify themselves. Friendly stairs.

It wasn’t so much that he remembered everything (but he did - he remembered even the very first time the darkness swept over him as a small boy, it was like ten thousand thirsty candles sucking the air right out of his lungs)... nor was it that he dwelled upon everything already passed (the past, after all, was malleable in ways the present could only dream of)...

It wasn’t the voices he heard at night, alone in bed (though if he was honest, now looking back, perhaps that is exactly what it was). He clearly understood who they were and what they wanted (he didn't).

No, strangely, the haunting stemmed from the fact that all memories for him were pleasant ones. That is to say pleasant, nice, or at least melancholic. Nothing was painful in his mind. Pain and happiness were one and the same in memory; nay, pain from the past dulled into pleasure through the filter of memory. Was it that he forgot the bad things? Honestly he couldn’t remember.

He begged to remember. Nothing. That which once had inspired him to action was now soft-blue whispers told to ghosts minutes old. The pain would be his, unknowingly, forever.

“Think about that when you send him to the electric chair” the voices whispered.

Nobody heard them, not even the ghosts.
Soon after writing this I left it (and everything else in that notebook) for dead. Two years later I came across the notebook and remembered writing these stories. I typed up everything that was in the notebook and saved it on CD. Two months ago I found the CD of old writings and remembered again - forgot. Yesterday I finally purchased Spiderland for the first time (in college I always seemed to have a roommate who owned it), and last night I listened to it over and over as I fell asleep. I remember.

Buy Spiderland HERE on Amazon.

EAR FARM's 8+ is a weekly feature that showcases songs longer than 8 minutes. In the recent past these songs were featured on EF's 8+:
Martin Eagle Trio - "The Hipster"
Battles - "Rainbow"
Nirvana - "Scentless Apprentice"
Jesu - "Weightless and Horizontal"
Nuh Uh - "This Is Embarrassing"
The Cure - "Carnage Visors: The Soundtrack"
Aphex Twin - "Ziggomatic V17"
Agalloch - "In The Shadow Of Our Pale Companion"

To see a full list of every song featured in EAR FARM's 8+ click HERE.

7 comments:

carrie said...

slint kicks ass. i have a feeling this story of yours is like a story within a story within a story or something or that its like going over my head or something i dunno. but it seems to fit with the song.

Anonymous said...

ONLY ONE MONTH TIL SLINT PLAYS SPIDERLAND IN FULL AT WEBSTER!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I think this is the coolest thing I've read on Earfarm. That's saying alot.

george said...

I had a feeling Slint would be showing up on your 8+ section. Very nice.

Anonymous said...

I'm pretty sure Nirvana's "Scentless Apprentice" isn't longer than 8 minutes. Unless you have some live version I'm unaware of.

Matt said...

The version of "Scentless Apprentice" that's posted in this 8+ feature is a studio rehearsal version from their box set that clocks in at 9:32.

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