Ceremony (part V)
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.


Rolling Stones - "No Expectations"

"So, do you have a boyfriend?" asked Kevin, his hair now long and dangling silly in front of his eyes, wagging at his chin. He sat with his backpack awkwardly still on his back, at the table with his small coffee. He just didn't take it off when he sat down and now he felt weird about it.

Abby sat across from him, the sun beaming off her face like an angel, a messy-haired angel. She had to squint and sometimes hold her hand in the way of the sun, it was so bright. The other hand played absently with the hole in the knee of her jeans, her bike helmet beside her. "No," she said, smiling that unavoidable pain-smile. "Not anymore."

"Oh. Bummer," he said, looking down. Everything was a bummer to Kevin. Either a bummer or amazing. She let the sun hit her eyes for a while so she didn't have to look at him. He reminded her of being a nag. She was about to ask him about school, something she knew he would never do, but stopped herself in her throat, don't be a nag.

"What happened? Was it like our break-up?" he said, smirking and shifting his weight.

He didn't cheat on me if that's what you're asking. "No." Abby looked over at a girl doing her homework; looked like business work, spreadsheets and powerpoint. "It was just getting too...I didn't really like who I was becoming. I was becoming, sort of, dependent."

Kevin crossed his legs at the thigh, "Has it been long? Are you okay?"

At this question, Abby remembered why she liked Kevin. The way he asked "are you okay?" was always full of genuine concern, and it made her glow a bit inside, a true connection. "I'm doing great, Kevin. School is good, my nieces are wonderful, and my summer was totally well-spent, I have no regrets about anything. It just wasn't right for me."

Kevin threw the hair out of his face and grinned with his big teeth, "Amazing."

Supertramp - "Two of Us"

If you're watching this tape, or this DVD or whatever they made of this, then I've been killed in action or captured by the enemy. I hope I died nobly, I know Christ Jesus will be watching over me and avenge my death. I want to speak to you as your, well, former I guess, leader and as your father and as your friend. You're not like regular people. You're not some skinhead kicking in some woman's stomach or some rat-faced money-grubbing politician creep, you're not some working drone drugged by unemployment checks into thinking the government is there to protect you, that they're driving the ship, that everything will be all right. No, you're thinking for yourself. And that's a rare quality. It's Jesus Christ His-fucking-self who said "think for thyself and question all ye see before ye". And you are doing that. You are fighting. And if I have died or if I have been captured, then the fight must go on, and stronger still. Christ needs to know that someone has understood Him. Fight with equipment and with gear, fight the oppression and the greed of the power structure, fight faithlessness and moral nothingness, fight for the true word of the Christ King and bring His vision of the world into being. Lock and load.


In the sky over a green field, floats a hot air balloon, with Abby's mother and father inside. They eat strawberries and drink half-wine and talk about the air and sit in silence smiling out at the air. They married young and found their step and had their children and raised their children and left their home and found their life and shared their life and were happy.

[Buy Beggars Banquet]
[Buy Crisis? What Crisis?]

Posted by Dan at April 16, 2010 12:06 AM

Like. Lots. The whole thing, start to finish. The post-mortem manifesto is horrifying and deeply, deeply cool. And I know I said I loved how the Jesus cults weren't ever the whole story, but now I'm curious - why end with Abby's parents? Why not stop on 'Lock & Load'? It feels a little like a pulled punch. Maybe that's the point. Still, curious...

Anyway, thank you - it was great to read something STG a little longer, a little serial. Hope there might be more of the same in future!

Posted by Ryan at April 16, 2010 11:33 AM

You have a lovely turn of phrase that seems to always have some affect on me. Thank you for your posts.

I must say, though, that this blog is wonderful and I have thought so since first discovering it quite some time ago.

Posted by Rachel at April 17, 2010 6:44 PM

I'm not quite sure about some of the songs (but No Expectations sure is perfect. Some others were great, too) you chose, but I enjoyed the story. Very much.
Hope you do more serials like this, I loved it.

Posted by Tom at April 17, 2010 9:56 PM

Your writing is concise, clear, and vivid, which is truly a talent. I'm confused by the transition to the Jesus section. How did that come in?

Posted by SFCritic at April 19, 2010 12:13 AM

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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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