Not Good Enough
by Emma
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.


Chain & The Gang - "Not Good Enough"

I phone this song at 8 a.m. and after two rings it picks up but doesn't say hi.

"Hi," I say, into the silence. This song and I have been best friends since the seventh grade and it knows why I'm calling. It knows everything. Have you ever had a best friend? This song and I do everything together, we finish each other's sentences, we have nicknames for people we don't like, I can call it whenever. Sometimes things get so close it's like sharing a spinal cord. We breathe the same. We repeat ourselves. We get each other. This song and me.

"I'm heartbroken," I say anyway, even though I don't have to. My ribs swell and ache when I breathe in. I can hear it lighting a cigarette. "Like but actually though." This is true. Things are not good. I'm sitting on the kitchen floor wearing men's boxers and a dumb t-shirt, with my knees pulled up to my chest. So far tonight I've eaten three toaster waffles, all dry, two still frozen a bit in the middle, and half a thing of "Italian-Style Seasoning" because it was green and in the cupboard and I don't know. You know how in CPR training they tell you that to save someone who's not breathing you have to crack their sternum first? This song knows I hate silence. Even though we're exactly the same height people always seem to think it's taller than me. I can hear it exhale, long. I wish it would say something.

"I'm going to go to the clinic. I feel like I'm going to die." Quiet, still. I spent all night pacing around, remembering things, and my hands won't stop shaking. The kitchen floor suddenly seems like the wrong place to be, I can feel morning starting to push through the windows like it's going to climb over me. "I looked it up on WebMD. It's a thing." The silence goes, Heartbreak? I'm blushing now, into my knees. I can picture it lying in bed, dangling its non-phone hand lazily over the side, smoke listing up, with the hedgehog skittering in nervous spirals on the hardwood like it does. I've never seen this song sleep. I'm not sure if anyone has.

My breathing is weird-paced and ragged. My arms feel too hot. I go, "I can't deal with this anymore." I go, "What I'm saying is." What. Still the silence. I've been awake for a full day, I feel flushed and bruised and stupid for calling. Can somebody explain why me and this song are still friends? When we go to parties everyone always talks to it first even though I'm clearly the better conversationalist, and last week it invited me out to the movies and never showed up or said sorry. This song answers its texts maybe 30% of the time and never asks how my day was and when we were seventeen it would steal my little brother's adderall and sell it to kids at the Catholic high school across the street, like I wasn't going to notice, and two weeks ago it borrowed my favourite pair of jeans and has yet to return them and probably it never will, probably it's wearing them right now, lying there in bed, not listening to me, this song has a dumb haircut. I don't care.

"Are you sitting on your kitchen floor wearing men's boxers and a dumb t-shirt?" it asks.

"No." Whatever.


I've been eating my food out of mugs because doing the dishes is too much for me, because of the breadth and intensity of the heartbreak I've been feeling, and how hard things have been, how I haven't been sleeping, how everything tastes like pavement anyway, except now there aren't any mugs left so last night I made tea in a salad bowl and just drank it that way, tipping the side of the bowl to my face, still sitting on the kitchen floor. I can hear this song smiling, down the line. One time at a party it stole some guy's wallet just because he'd been mean to me and we bought three 24s of expensive beer with his credit card and then threw all his I.D. into the river. There's sun now and I can feel my roommates moving, through the floorboards. I feel tired for the first time in days maybe. The weather. Something diffuse in my bloodstream. This song isn't saying anything, but I know that it's lying there, grinning its stupid smug grin, with its eyes closed, just waiting.

"It's not funny," I say, way too loud. And of course.

[Buy Music's Not For Everyone]
[Buy Meet Me At The Muster Station]

Posted by Emma at April 22, 2011 12:17 PM

Is Emma the new StG force?

Posted by Pedram at April 23, 2011 10:45 AM

Fuckin wonderful.

Posted by Nate at April 25, 2011 4:11 PM

awesomeness, thank you.

Posted by helene at April 25, 2011 5:05 PM

really, really touching

Posted by molly at April 26, 2011 1:23 AM

I re-heeealy like this - there's a calm hyperawareness about it that's somehow very comforting. Well, that or the bit about toaster waffles, which I *totally* get.

Posted by Ryan at April 27, 2011 12:23 PM

baha! sometimes i squeeze the toaster waffel between my knees to warm it - but mostly it's still frozen, and i eat it the whole time thinking that it would be better if i had followed the directions on the box

Posted by katherine Smith at May 27, 2011 4:30 AM

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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.

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