has adventure died? or have we become complacent without wonder and with whatever suppressants we can still afford. has questioning for a greater good run it’s course right into the great wall of subservience? and standing at the base of this great wall do we silence our inquisitive minds to stare up blankly towards the sun with out turned pockets, open hands and empty mouths hoping for rain? Does anyone care anymore and would it matter if they did? do we look for common ground anymore? or simply kick it back and forth afraid to connect to any of it, afraid that our eyes might meet. afraid that our souls might touch. is there still a horizon to sail and a wind to blow or has the sweet smell of loam turned to rot and even so does that breath of decay still fertilize new life or turn to dust on the sand. why is this asian guy in my office? why does he make so many noises, bodily and otherwise? he never stops fidgeting and fiddling with a phone? what does he even do? I asked him how his day was and he said he was driving “so…” Is that an answer now? if he starts to think about how his day really was or is would he begin to think of the week before and then in turn be caused to reflect on his entire life and then direct his attention to tomorrow and with screaming pain end writhing on the ground in hopeless incertitude? is that such a bad thing? no one knows but me.
I don’t feel at home in this world anymore
she said to me like i was seventeen still
like i still thought maybe there were people who did feel at home in the world
I said i learned long ago that no one’s home
no one’s ever home
never been home
and no one’s gonna answer your ding dong ditch.
Flaming dog shit on the porch ain’t no one gonna stomp out, I giggled through my shivers
Gonna burn neath the porch light till it’s ashes in the wind.
Then she laughed and said shut up
And I fell into the snow and she did too and I touched her lip with my thumb.
I saw that once in an old movie and i thought i’d like to do that
I don’t know shit i said.
im drunk i said.
She said ur tuff to figure out. I can’t keep up.
I could see her ancestors in her eyes.
And I said don’t worry it’s nonsense. It’s a racket.
And that was the first true thing i said all night. All year!
The sun was starting to rise at the horizon.
And my new old coat with the dead man’s name inside felt warm on my shoulders
as winds from the future passed through me like cool ghosts.
And I remember we sat and ate pancakes someplace and I ordered a beer as day broke and we watched all the hot shots walk through the freezing cold with breath like old stuffing in old couches. And I couldn’t wait to go home and go to sleep and put this weekend to rest. I was twenty years old. It was january 3rd. I don’t think about her ever and I can’t remember her name.
So proud to be able to premiere this power pop gem by Eric Hehr. If you’ve been following Eric’s musical career over the last ten years (as I have), you’ll know instantaneously — from the first drum beat — that this song could not have been composed by anyone else. And I mean that as a high, high compliment. Dig in n DOWNLOAD HERE. EO
AS SEEN ON THE ROOFTOP OF THE ACE HOTEL, DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES.
That cowboy blood is gushing out your nose, man. Clog it fast before it’s too late. You need a transfusion. You need new cells. But you ain’t having none of mine. I won’t give another drop. Thirty comes fast then it’s all downhill. At least that’s what they told us at the old hotel. Where Lucille Ball once slept. And Charlie Chaplin too. And where cowboy blood comes pouring out the elevators every night for no one. And where a part of you will sit and look into your drink forever. Do you remember heaven here? Did you feel it at the same place as me? I could climb this rock forever and never reach the top. I wish I had the words to say what I mean. Or the courage to not even try. EO
Mrs. Powalski was tired. The young girl in the upstairs apartment had spent sunrise to sunset pacing up and down the floorboards, blanketing Mrs. Powalski’s bedroom ceiling with merciless footsteps.
“It ain’t got nothing to do with my handy-work,” Horace grunted, bits of kolaczki crumbs tumbling from his mouth and into his beard. “If I was you, I’d talk with her and see what’s really going on. Suppose it ain’t got nothing to do with locks and doors…” Horace twirled his finger around his sweat stained Red Sox cap, whistling and crossing his eyes…”if you know what I mean.”
Mrs. Powalski sighed, picking up the cookie tray from the kitchen table. She offered to wrap up a small plate for Horace to take home with him, but he declined, stuffing one more kolaczki into his mouth and dropping another one into an empty pouch on his tool belt.
Mrs. Powalski wondered if Horace was right. Afterall, the young girl in the upstairs apartment was a stranger to Mrs. Powalski – a first time tenant who had only been in the building since the beginning of the month. It was possible that she had some mental issues unbeknownst to Mrs. Powalski -“probably a bit loopy” as Horace had put it earlier.
Mrs. Powalski walked Horace out of the building, watching him saunter up to his rusted Ford pick-up truck, throwing his tool box into the back bed. Horace waved, starting the engine to the Ford, “Let me know if you need anything else, Mrs. Powalski. I’ll be by Thursday to look at the plumbing on the second floor.”
A groaning rumble escaped from Horace’s pickup truck as it pulled down the street, leaving Mrs. Powalski alone on the front stoop, her arms crossed over her floral-print apron.
This had been the third time this week that the young girl had asked Mrs. Powalski to change the locks on her apartment. Originally, Mrs. Powalski had thought the changing of the locks was a cautious contingency on the young girl’s part. “You have nothing to worry about, my dear,” Mrs. Powalski had told the young girl , watching her as she autograph on the lease, “Everyone in the building is very kind. I only rent to good, wholesome people.”
A few days later the young girl knocked on Mrs. Powalski’s door asking that the locks be changed. When Mrs. Powalski asked why, the young girl held up her cell-phone. Mrs. Powalski squinted at the cell phone through her thick-rimmed glasses, focusing in on a picture of the young girl sleeping in bed. Mrs. Powalski shook her head, “I’m sorry, honey. I don’t understand.”
“Somebody took this picture of me last night,” the young girl said, pointing at the picture on her cell phone, “But nobody else was in my apartment last night. I was alone.”
Mrs. Powalski could see that the young girl was clearly frightened. She called up Horace to replace the locks that day.
Two days later, there was another knock on Mrs. Powalski’s door. When Mrs. Powalski opened the door, the young girl stood there once again, bags under her eyes and hair in tangles, holding up her cell-phone to Mrs. Powalski. On it was another blurry picture of the young girl sleeping in bed.
“Those were brand new locks,” Mrs. Powalski explained. “Horace installed them just the other day. Nobody else had a key to them.”
“Well somebody was in my apartment – again,” the young girl said, her hands shaking.
Mrs. Powalski watched Horace’s Ford disappear from sight down the road, her eyelids feeling increasingly heavy. Maybe the young girl was of an unsound mind. The way that she had paced around her apartment all last night like a bull? Convinced that somebody else is in the apartment and taking pictures of her while she’s sleeping?
A cab pulled up to the building. Mrs. Powalski squinted her eyes. The young girl stepped out of the back of the cab, holding a suitcase. Mrs. Powalski greeted her as she walked up to the porch.
“Have the locks been changed?” the young girl asked.
“Yes, my dear,” Mrs. Powalski replied, “Horace just finished up. You didn’t talk with him earlier today?”
The young girl shook her head. “No, I just got back from my parents. I stayed there last night – didn’t feel safe in the apartment. I’m sure you understand.”
Mrs. Powalski furrowed her brow, looking past the young girl.
“Was anyone else staying in the apartment last night?” Mrs. Powalski asked
“No,” the young girl replied, “Why?”
I’d heard of flashing lights and sirens rising to cacophony, a million stories built up into the sky. I thought New York would be overwhelming, but what I found was beautiful. I found silence. I saw the city sleep in its season of hibernation, the aged concrete turned innocent by the snow. I found intimacy in the humdrum and friendship in the faceless crowd. I thought New York would roar, but I heard it hum in inertia and somewhere I left my heart to find it again someday, hopefully. HM
Above is a love letter to my hometown, scored by my favorite song off of The ORWELLS’ new record (out tomorrow). I couldn’t be prouder of these boys. Thanks to NPR for the premiere. EO
Produced by Matt MANDARINO
Directed by Eddie O’KEEFE
Cinematography by Delaney TEICHLER
Costume Design by Kaitlin JONGEBLOED
Special Thanks to Luke LUCAS and Nick MATSAS