The Gas Station, et al.

Everything goes away, everything goes away.

I always have music in my head. Never a full song, but a couple of lines or two. Tonight while I’m sitting on my boulder behind the house that sits in front of the forest, I hear the refrain from a Radical Face song. I don’t remember the name, I never pay attention to song names actually, but the lines: “Everything goes away. Everything goes away.” I hear that as clearly as if it were playing right now, not just the lyrics but the music too. It’s crystal clear. Or, as clear as crystal.

I wake up with songs too. This isn’t just a drunken-foresty-naturey-outsidey thing while I’m sitting on my boulder tipping back beer. In the morning, before my eyes open while my fibre is sensing regret over waking up again, I’ve got this period of time that I’m barely aware of, and while I’m stirring and coming out of a dream that was inevitably about something I shouldn’t have done, I get lines of songs I’ve listened to. Really, these are songs that are prevalent on my playlist, so that I’m waking up hearing them isn’t really a stretch. It’s all probably nothing, actually, but it feels like a whole shit-tonne of something when the first thing running through my head in the morning is to the tune of “But if you are dying, why aren’t you scared? Why aren’t you scared like I’m scared?” (Typhoon – Sickness Unto Death) or “All my uphill clawing (Iron and Wine – Trapeze Swinger) or “A year from now we’ll all be gone/All our friends will move away” (The Head and the Heart – Rivers and Roads). That’s how I begin my days. And once my days have begun, that’s what sits with me as the hours trip away.

And so, with that, after chugging back my morning smoothie with kale and frozen berries and some other stuff, I’m off to the gas station to sell the locals booze and smokes. Ya, they’re getting fuel too – the owner keeps his prices lower than all the stations in the city – but what really keeps them going are the “Two packs of darts. Sorry, I don’t remember what you smoke. Player’s Special, two of ‘em.” and then “I’ll take a bottle of Crown Royal too. This one? No, the 2-6.” I look out the window by the till in the hope I’ll see the eagle that nests across the highway. I black out for a second and, “Hey, I said the 2-6.” Fucking hell.

And now, on the doorstep, I “Deep breath, Billy. Deep breath.” I walk through the door, look around, and I smile.

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