September 28, 2006

Game Night

It was a new tradition
we must have started only
a year or two before
the first tumor was detected
on my cousin Dawne’s liver.
We’d get together right after
Thanksgiving to play
Cranium or Trivial Pursuit,
spend time with the family
without the stress of holidays
or having to leave for midnight mass.

Three days before she died
I went with my brothers
to her house, where we
had never been before. We walked
up to the hospital bed in the
living room. Ralph, the oldest,
took her hand. She barely
opened her eyes. “Hi, Dawne,”
he said. “It’s Ralph, I’ve got
Marcus and Dan here with me.”
She looked at us, like she was
sorting through all the memories
of her life. “Game night,” she said,
her voice unrecognizable.
“Is it game night?”

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September 19, 2006

Indie Rock

When I fix that busted high-E string and start neglecting my personal hygiene, I'll pack my Crate combo and my DIY aesthetic into my brother's busted-ass Astro van and head out on the road. We'll build makeshift bunks out of two-by-fours in back and sleep on shelves above the gear. I'll ramble on about J. Mascis and the JAMC while the bass player sleeps off the hangover of last night's show. In the passenger seat, the drummer will wax poetic about the greatness of Death Cab before their appearances on The OC. We'll argue about whether they whored themselves out or if it's ok to use FOX to get more people to hear Ben Gibbard's angelic voice. We'll blast the band that opened for us in Cleveland last summer, but is too good to return our calls since they got the cover of AP. When we get tired of sleeping on couches and floors we'll pack it in after one last show in Chicago. Retired by 30, I'll sit at my desk, filling out forms. I'll drive in rush hour, listening to new albums by bands that are good, but not like we were back then.
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