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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 show it.  
 
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 stereo. You 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
 
Studio Albums: 
 
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.

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