"It was dead at work today. Everyone pretended they weren't sick."
I wasn't the only one in denial of my condition, as we sat on her second-story deck overlooking the parking lot and the row of houses behind as the neighbor's cat cheated death on the balcony rail in between begging us for scraps of hot dog and spicy yellow rice that she and her fiance cooked up and in the course of our conversation we've realized that we're starting to get old when we're comparing notes on our illnesses, talking about work, and wondering about the next generation.
I couldn't stop coughing and sneezing, but was outside the whole day, basking in the golden glow, transplanting mint and basil into clay pots on the balcony, breaking up the earth around the house with a shovel to plant when it's time, walking the neighbor's dog and feeling like I live in a real neighborhood because I kept seeing people I know around everywhere. We've all come out of hibernation now, catching up on the last few months that we've spent in relative isolation.
Everyone was outside or driving around with radios cranked to 11, the sounds of Led Zeppelin, Marvin Gaye, and whatever reggaeton hit is rocking the club scene right now, and every time I see a car with rims and macho unprintable language making its trunk vibrate, it's always the most cracker of crackers. Keep it real, son.
This past winter made me starved for warmth and color and I'm looking forward to more nights like this of walking to the lake, sitting on porches and around fires pretending it's not as late as it really is.
I've forgotten about this album, which was the bridge from my prog-rock-guitar-goddess-wannabe days to the fabled land of pre-Garden State-indie, but it makes me think of days like these. The Pitchforkians may talk about emo, but latter-day SDRE was like Yes for the kids who wouldn't be caught dead in the land of 70's prog, with those build-ups, love-'em-or-hate-'em high vocals, and weird time signatures. I think I put this on every other mixtape I made anyone when I was 16.