A Year in Prose

Seven people, each writing once a week for a year.

Posts tagged Death Cab For Cutie

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The universe shifts around us and we experience it daily in our five major ways and ten thousand others that we haven’t named or don’t bother mentioning, but of all of those senses, you favored hearing. I told you once I prefer tasting— the spices on shrimp, the fire in whiskey, my childhood wrapped up in a chocolate milk, and my romance summarized in the taste of cherries on your lips — you laughed at me.

You said the word listen, then you didn’t say anything else. I waited and wondered what you’d say next, what argument you’d raise, what that imperative would bring with it, but you were silent. It bothered me for a second, as I thought you must be trying to perfect your case in your mind like your lawyer father, that you were getting ready to bury me in impenetrable logic. I was wrong. You didn’t want me to listen to your bickering over something so insignificant and variable as your favorite sense. You wanted me to listen to the world buzz around us.

There was music coming from somewhere nearby, a trumpet playing over speakers that crackled. A birdsong here, and a plane’s roar there. Wind moving leaves, a cough and godblessyou and a sniffle and a thank you, all in quick succession. A train, somewhere. A universe with a song to be heard and adored and reveled in.

With all that to hear, you didn’t have to say a word. Your case was made for you. All I had to do was listen.

Here, now, on the phone with the emergency room, I change my mind again. I’d valued my hearing for years now, listening with you to everything to be heard, but as the noises the doctor makes become words and take meaning and the message gets to me, I don’t want to hear anything.

(Source: Spotify)

Filed under monday Stephen tasting Death Cab For Cutie

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It’s been two weeks. I’ve long since lost my job, but I couldn’t care less about work. Every day it’s the same; I sit, I hold her hand, I play her favourite music, and nothing changes. And every day my best friend walks in, brings me coffee and a bagel, and he prays for her. He doesn’t pray out loud anymore—I think he saw how uncomfortable that made me—but he prays all the same. I can see it flash across his brow as he closes his eyes.

It’s been two weeks. No change, no difference at all, and the doctors keep trying to tell me that’s a good thing. Out of the woods, they say. She’s not getting worse, just be patient. And all the time, Micah keeps praying. I remember I tried praying, the first couple of nights. I used to believe, and so I thought that maybe, maybe if I promised to go back, something might happen. Someone who’s never heard me before might listen.

It’s been two weeks, and Micah keeps coming, trying to help, trying to do anything, and he keeps praying. Last night I had a dream that Micah prayed for an exchange, my life for hers, and his god took us both instead. Micah walks in today, hands me a bagel and coffee, and starts to pray. Something in me snaps. I scream at him.

“STOP. Just, just stop, ok? Can’t you see that nothing is happening?” I catch him off guard; I haven’t so much as uttered more than a whisper for days. He looks shocked.

“No one is listening.” Malice begins to cling to the edges of my words. I’ve never passed judgment on others who believe. In fact, I often envied them, deciding long ago that if I couldn’t believe at least I could help those who did with their faith. But something in me snapped, and it’s all pouring forth.

“Your prayers are nothing but words to make you feel like you can do something. What if your god wills it that you lose your wife and son right now. What if, as part of his ‘bigger plan,’ your family must die. Will your prayers protect your family from god’s will?” He remains silent, tears forming. He lets me go.

“No. Nothing can protect anyone, if god decides it, or makes it, or lets it happen. So why the fuck do you keep saying these words, over and over, like some shield for your conscience not to realize that no one is safe from your god. No one is safe from anything. And there’s nothing you can do!” I start punching him in the chest. “You can’t do anything! So what’s the fucking point of praying?!” I keep punching, hard at first, then softer and softer as I melt into my own sobs. “There’s nothing I can do. I can’t protect her. I can’t save her.” I fall into him, crying as I haven’t cried in my whole life. He holds me up, and I cling to him, but I think he gets it. I can feel it, the realization that anyone can die at any time. It’s a crushing weight. “There’s nothing any of us can do.” We are crashing, colliding into truth.

Suddenly beeps start to fill the room. Nurses rush in with a crash cart, screaming orders and trying to usher us out of the room. But we don’t move. We stay, weeping, and I am caught in an embrace, knowing that if I let go I’ll be lost into the void.

Filed under Lindsey Thompson Thursday Death Cab For Cutie What Sarah Said Hospital God

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30 Plays
Death Cab for Cutie
The New Year

Inspiration: http://www.oneword.com  Today’s word was “glimmer.”

A Glimmer.  A Spark.
By: Aaron Dethrage 

Gradually, Hope awoke, repeating in her head the words which had sung her to sleep the night before: “This year.  This year it will be different.  This year I will change.”  2011 had been a long pause for Hope.  It wasn’t her worst year—that was definitely 2006—but it had been a year of patterns, mundane and stagnant routines that she was ready to abandon.  She wanted adventure and excitement.  She wanted to become the type of person that effortlessly attracted those around her with her spontaneity and apparent reckless abandon.  She wanted to see new places, experience new cultures, and kiss new lips.  This year.  THIS year.

The adventure of her glorious rebirth excited her, and she pulled back her sheets and stepped out of bed.  Her cotton-socked feet touched the cold, hardwood floor resolute.  In the kitchen waited a pot of coffee, self-activated thirty minutes prior.  Hope floated through the house, her spirits ablaze, and poured herself a cup.  On the counter blinked a bright red three, missed calls from the night before.  She would sip, she would listen, and then The Perfect Year of Endless Adventure would begin.  That’s what it she would call it; she had decided.

“First new message.  ‘Was that it?  Oh, hi, Hope.  It’s your mother.  I’m sure you’re out having a good time.  Your father and I are just about to head to bed, but we wanted to wish you a Happy New Year first.  It was so great seeing you last week.  It always means so much to me when the whole family is together like that.  Now make sure that you don’t overwork yourself when you go back in next week.  You just seemed so tired at home, and you know how much I worry.  Anyway, sorry to drag on.  We love you, honey.  Happy New Year.  Keep in touch.”

"Message Deleted."  Mental note: Mom does worry too much.  I must make sure to avoid that in my new life, and I must make sure to regularly check in with her so she stays happy.  Check and check.

“Second new message.  ‘Party rock is in the house tonight.  Everybody just have a good time.  And we gonna make you lose your mind.  We just want to see you.  Shake tha-”

"Message Deleted."  Pocket dial.  Mental note: my new life must involve dancing.  I think I’d really enjoy dancing.

“Third new message.”

I bet I look sexy when I dance.  I bet I will meet more boys if I go out danc


The air hung still for hours, days, an entire, spoiled year.  Her name from his voice was all there was, all there had ever been.

“Hey, um, sorry, I must have pocket dialed you earlier.  I, uh, hope you are well.  It feels like it has been ages.  Jesus, I shouldn’t be doing this; I’ve had way too much to drink.  Um, you should give me a ring sometime.  We could grab coffee and catch up or, you know, whatever you wanted.  I… I’ve been thinking a lot about you.  I mean—ha, shit, I should end this before I make any real mistakes.  Anyway, um, Happy New Year.  Call me.  Bye.”

Her pink, cotton socks suddenly hardened into cement blocks and the scuffed hardwood floors became the mud she must trudge through day in and day out.  The Year of whatever she had called it would not happen.  She would save his message and pray that he meant it, and, undoubtedly, he will have not.  She’ll arrange her life into carefully staged run-ins, where she will see every other girl that he bothered to take to dinner, to take dancing, to take to bed.  She’ll cry alone to Ryan Adams’ Heartbreaker and hate herself more with every night.  This year will be nothing new.  This year will be last year, will be every year that she has ever known him.  This year.  THIS year—

"Message deleted.  No new messages."

And with that: a glimmer, a spark.  Hope found the brightest dress in her closet—the shorter one that the cute Starbucks barista had commented on two separate times last year.  She opened her front door, stepped out into the bright January sun, and gradually hope awoke.

Filed under Aaron Sunday a year in prose oneword glimmer New Year The New Year Death Cab for Cutie