Ugly couches’re like ugly dogs: they’re everywhere and they have a certain quirky charm. Maybe you’d prefer a pretty dog or a clean, lovely couch…you don’t know; it hasn’t come up. You feel lucky to rest your head on something – in a dressing room, an apartment, a hotel lobby. You tame squalor by allowing it to suit you.
Musicians know that, like tamed dogs, a tamed couch will follow you around. “I coulda sworn I saw that couch in Milwaukee,” I think, staring down at a stained hunting scene stretched over a seat cushion in Denver. And then again in Santa Fe. This particular couch followed me all the way to Nottingham, England. I squinted at it suspiciously. So it can swim, I thought, placing my backpack strategically over an ancient, gray wad of gum.
The filthy couch that doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, of course. Not true of the bottomless coffee cup you try to fill up the next morning. Not with coffee necessarily. You’re hoping that the big waitress in the sky’ll deem you worthy enough to pour a hunk o’ liquid love into your fragile, china cup. Which she often does. However this fragile china, like I said, is bottomless. You may have tamed a gum-encrusted seat cushion, but it is unlikely you will ever tame the draining vessel that is your heart. It is voracious. “How many sugars you want with that?” she asks, refilling your empty cup. “How many you got??” you ask her, panicking.
She does her best to keep you full of sweetness, because the waitress is good at her job when you can catch her eye. So you begin to feel a little stronger, a little less panicky. Skating along on this temporary lift of enough, you begin to notice the fragile china hearts gripped by white knuckles all around you. My god, they’re everywhere! Then you remember the packets of sugar you carry around in your pockets with other people’s names on them and count them, hoping you have enough to ease their pain. You do, of course. This love, the kind that fills draining, fragile vessels, is, of course, bottomless.
This month’s Throwing Muses demo, Curtains / Triangle Quantico is here. Find this song and all my recent work, in multiple formats – including lossless, free for download on my CASH Music pages. Information on how you can support my work by becoming a subscriber is here.