Happy Birthday to my Mother
by Dan
Please note: MP3s are only kept online for a short time, and if this entry is from more than a couple of weeks ago, the music probably won't be available to download any more.



Joanna Newsom - "Good Intentions Paving Company"

It was still too cold to take in the outdoor car cover, the aluminum housing covered in a clear tarp, so the two of them sat in the car, in the cool evening as it rained in March. With March you take your chances. Sometimes you find yourself sweltering in the sunshine in a winter coat and boots, other times a spring coat will feel like you're wearing a plastic bag when the wind kicks up and around a corner. But that night the night was warm, a few degrees above freezing, and it was raining. They sat in the car, with the seats tilted back, and smoked and listened to the rain clapping softly on the tarp. The orange streetlight cast a swath on the road and silhouetted the smoke as it rose to the roof of the car. They had been doing this sort of thing since they were sixteen, the kinetic magic of those first few times being enough to sustain these past ten years. They would talk more openly than with anyone in their lives, listen to the radio and add up the parking tickets and imagine how they could steal that much money to pay them off. They used to make love in these times, in the car, and they used to laugh about who was the boy and who was the girl. Now they cast loaded snickers, breathed smoke up to the ceiling with a smile, knowing everything and knowing nothing.
"Can you roll down the window?"
"I don't know, can I?" while rolling down the window.
They had reached that precarious point where there was a list of necessary answers to any given thing, and they had to play out these little scripts every time one would come up. That tipping point where you can either hold those moments close like warm hot chocolate or dump them out like dishwater. And as with anything balanced ever so delicately, be it the pencil at the edge of a desk, or a book left open with a page in the air, it takes merely a breath, even a sigh, to move it.
"I think I'll get married."
"To me?"
another snicker, "No, silly."
The smoke wound out the window and out from under the tarp, and fought against the rain as it wound right up to outer space.



This is the first week of the WFMU fund-raising Marathon. As you know, I heartily endorse The Best Show on WFMU, and I entreat you to support them if you listen as well. If you don't know about the show, a good introduction is the Best Show Gems Podcast on iTunes (the show is also podcast in full). A sample podcast is below, of a brilliant half-hour of teasing a 13-year-old.

The Best Show on WFMU - "Mac and Jimmy Crespo"

(photo source)

Posted by Dan at March 2, 2010 10:56 AM

And that, folks, is how you do it.

Posted by Sean at March 2, 2010 1:16 PM

Loved the story, Dan. Thank you.

Posted by Bryan at March 21, 2010 10:17 PM

Post a comment

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about the authors
Sean Michaels is the founder of Said the Gramophone. He is a writer, critic and author of the theremin novel Us Conductors. Follow him on Twitter or reach him by email here. Click here to browse his posts.

Emma Healey writes poems and essays in Toronto. She joined Said the Gramophone in 2015. This is her website and email her here.

Jeff Miller is a Montreal-based writer and zinemaker. He is the author of Ghost Pine: All Stories True and a bunch of other stories. He joined Said the Gramophone in 2015. Say hello on Twitter or email.

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Dan Beirne wrote regularly for Said the Gramophone from August 2004 to December 2014. He is an actor and writer living in Toronto. Any claim he makes about his life on here is probably untrue. Click here to browse his posts. Email him here.

Jordan Himelfarb wrote for Said the Gramophone from November 2004 to March 2012. He lives in Toronto. He is an opinion editor at the Toronto Star. Click here to browse his posts. Email him here.
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our favourite blogs
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Back to the World
La Blogothèque
Weird Canada
Destination: Out
Endless Banquet
A Grammar (Nitsuh Abebe)
Ill Doctrine
A London Salmagundi
Words and Music
Petites planétes
Gorilla vs Bear
Silent Shout
Clouds of Evil
The Dolby Apposition
Awesome Tapes from Africa
Matana Roberts
Pitchfork Reviews Reviews
i like you [podcast]
Nicola Meighan
radiolab [podcast]
CKUT Music
plethoric pundrigrions
Wattled Smoky Honeyeater
The Clear-Minded Creative
Torture Garden
Passion of the Weiss
Juan and Only
Horses Think
White Hotel
Then Play Long (Marcello Carlin)
Uno Moralez
Coming Up For Air (Matt Forsythe)
my love for you is a stampede of horses
It's Nice That
Song, by Toad
In Focus
WTF [podcast]
The Rest is Noise (Alex Ross)
My Daguerreotype Boyfriend
The Hood Internet

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st-viateur bagel
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drawn + quarterly
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blue skies turn black
montreal improv theatre
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Cult Montreal
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