She called you up again,
didn't she? She was whiskey drunk at the bar and missing you. It's been
months like this and now it's summer. The nights are long and the heat radiates
from the pavement that she is drunkenly trying to trace in heels while she holds
her cell phone up to her ear, asking, can you come get me? It's been a long
year. For the both of you. Things are over and not over. That's the way
it goes, isn't it?
You can pick her up again if you think you should. You can drive your car down
those bumpy side roads and you can hold the wheel steady while she feigns
nervousness in the passenger seat. Keep your hands on that wheel though.
Don't let a hand slip to her thigh. And don't let one find itself
encompassing her hand. Do not give her any indication
that are you any safer now than what you have been before. She's a wreck,
and you know it. You're a wreck too, but you're doing your best not to
You can drop her off at her apartment, but don't walk her up the stairs to her
door. You can hug her, tell her goodbye, tell her goodnight, but she's still
going to want to kiss you. That kiss? Well, one of you will fall in love and it will be a mess.
So spend another late Tuesday night driving yourself home the long way.
Forget about the freeway. Sure, it's empty this time of night and
you could make it back to your bed in a matter of minutes instead of hours, but
lets be honest, you're not falling asleep tonight anyway. You might as
well use the time your brain is going to be spinning itself over this girl
enjoying the scenery of your city instead of memorizing your ceiling tiles.
You fiddle around with your iPod. Eric Clapton is more 2 AM on
Saturday, not Tuesday. And lets just be honest, it's time to delete that Kanye album. Slide your thumb over the screen again. Her Space
Holiday. She introduced you to the band years ago, before the mess
started. You actually liked them; you were surprised. So push play.
Let them sing you through your streets.
Let the electric melodies come in over your speakers. Think to yourself
about if anyone knows how to play anything that is not a sampler machine or
computer initiated instruments. Listen to the words for a minute and
forget about it. Remember the first time she made you listen to this,
smile, laugh to yourself, catch yourself in the words coming out in
know it kills me to see such a pretty girl so tired, you've got your mothers
cheekbones and your father's crooked smile. Find
roads to turn down that you haven't driven in years, maybe never. Maybe
you know it is a bad neighborhood. This area of the city, littered with
pool halls and dark alleys. You know you shouldn't trust the man
on the corner enough to stop at the red light, but you do anyway. You know it saves me to think even for a little
while, I owned the set of shoulders that you came to rely on. Like in that
movie theater when you whispered in my ear, I almost didn't make it, this has
been my hardest year.
The lyrics are staccato, articulated. The man's voice in the machine sings
them each so clearly, so cautiously, and you can't help but find yourself
agreeing with how he says them. Each one falls into place with the beat.
The electric drums cascade through the song just right. How many
notes of how many keyboards are harmonizing with each
other? You can't keep all the musical lines straight. You turn down
another road. You find yourself looking up at the buildings, admiring the
lights in windows making patterns they do not know they are making.
Admiring brick facades that are older than you, older
than the pavement beneath your tires; bricks that were lovingly sculpted into
place a hundred years ago by craftsmen, not workers. You don't know if
it is all the rush of emotions from the girl, or the music, or lack of sleep.
You find everything beautiful. I used to think I knew my way around this town, but I'm always getting
lost since you're not around.
How did downtown arrive before your windshield so quickly? You're not
certain, but the buildings here are different. Glass and steel, no bricks and
mortar. The streets are smooth. Your car has turned from a ship on a windy sea
to a train on smooth tracks. Effortless. No hands on the wheel.
No one is parading through this part of the city at this hour, even
though by the time sunlight graces the reflecting glass the hustle and bustle
will be at full flow. Your mind wanders. You've been thinking about the
beauty of this place for how long now? Time told in city blocks. Your
thoughts return to the girl. You hope she's sleeping by now. If she's
lucky, she remembered to eat before passing out on her bed. You know that
bed is soft. You know it will keep her warm. You wish you would have walked her
to her door. You would have taken that kiss, even with all its risks. Ran water
in the sink to wash her face, wiped away the smell of stale bar smoke and gin.
You would have put her in your t-shirt. She kept it, and you still know which
drawer she keeps it wadded up and hidden in. You would have tucked her
in. You didn't, but that does not keep you from imagining the scene
exactly as you wish it would have unfolded. You think about what kept her
at the bar this Tuesday. And the last. And the weeks and months before that.
You're a wreck, and she knows it. She's a wreck, but she's trying
not to show it. How
could so much good exist in such a tiny heart? Despite of all the pain she's
in, she never falls apart. And if she does it lasts the length of seven songs.
She dries her tears on her best friend's sleeves and dances right along.
You have to get yourself home. The record, if you want to call it that,
after all, it is merely a series of zeros and ones on a memory drive
the size of your fingernail, is over. You slide your thumb over the
screen again. You replay the last song on the last few blocks to your
apartment. You pull in your parking garage and sit with the engine
running until the song finishes. She's going to call you, drunk, and
asking for a ride home again. You're going to have to make your choice
again. You can walk her to her door. You can tuck her in. You
can refuse to go get her. You can call her cab, you can not answer your phone.
You can listen to this record on repeat through headphones while
memorizing your ceiling tiles. You just don't know yet.
When I think about my history,
a collection of events- filled with important characters who mostly came and
went. Regret is like a bill unpaid- it controls your every move, if you throw
it into the violent sea, it will always come right back to
you. The past presents the future- take your hands from your eyes so you can
wave to all the people as you roll through what's left of your life.
Good night to you,
I'm going home.
Her Space Holiday is the studio recording name of Marc Bianchi. He began
using the alias in 1996. Marc hails from southern California and has been
active with several bands and musicians as a collaborator for over two decades.
As Her Space Holiday, he has released ten studio albums as
well as several EPs and compilation works. Marc officially retired the
Her Space Holiday project after a self-titled final album in 2011.
Audio Astronomy (1997)
The Astronauts are Sleeping, Volume 1 (1999)
The Astronauts are Sleeping, Volume 2 (1999)
Home Is Where You Hang Yourself (2000)
Manic Expressive (2001)
The Young Machines (2003)
The Past Presents the Future (2005)
The Telescope (2006)
XOXO, Panda, and The New Kid Revival (2008)
Her Space Holiday (2011)
Italicized lyrics above are from Her Space Holiday songs "Something To Do
With My Hands," "Sleepy California," "You and Me," and
"The Past Presents the Future," which are released on albums The Young Machines and The Past Presents the Future.