Sunday, August 8, 2010

"Love, I Guess": A story based on "Pyramid" by Andreas Vollenweider, as suggested by musician Ulrich Schnauss (10/100)

Love, I Guess

Keri had moved out of our cabin in the fall, but I found out where she went to. Every once in awhile I’d pay the grocer’s boy in town fifty cents to call her up and just listen, write down everything she said. Which was this: Henry, I know it’s you and you need to stop calling me and figure out your life. Except the boy was thirteen and a terrible speller, so when I’d go into town to get supplies and pay him, he’d hand me the notepad paper he transcribed her words onto and it’d come out looking like Henree you aint never bin a god dam foole til now and I just need to see things you cant show me. I dont hate you but im gonna let the police no abowt this if I get won more call from you I sware to God. I’d thank him and give him his fifty cents.

“She sounded mad, Hank” he said to me once.

“You didn’t say anything, did you?”

“Nope. I just listened like you said.” He clicked the two quarters together. “Why you havin’ me do this, Hank?”

“Love, I guess.”


“It’s,” I started and then stopped. “Go like this.” I held my arms out in front of me with my fingers pointed up, elbows bent at a ninety degree angle, and then tilted my hands towards each other at the same pace until the fingertips touched gently in the middle.

The boy copied me exact. “Like this?”

I took my pointer and middle fingers on each hand and walked both of them halfway up his slanted arms. “Like that.”

People in town started talking about how Keri got her pilot’s license in December. I kept watching for planes to fly over the farm. It was late April when one finally did, and I started making the shapes the next day, when the winter wheat was knee-high. I counted the rows and had my whole crop all drawn out on some graph paper. Every couple of nights I’d belt some tennis rackets to my feet and go make a big shape in the wheat. First it was something simple, just a circle or a triangle. Then I’d climb up on my roof to get an idea of how I did.

I wasn't great at first, but eventually I got better. And wild, too. I could make a horse. A guitar. A cowboy hat. I made a three-tiered cake over the course of an entire day, all by myself, rolling my feet like an ocean and flattening the wheat. I made angel wings. Medusa's head. I was crushing the crop with expectations, strapping leather to leather and trying to see how much more beautiful it all could be, each strand of wheat laid down flat and looking up as part of something larger than itself.


Andreas Vollenweider is a Swiss harpist who, in my head, walks everywhere with his harp. He's really into non-violence and all that stuff, which makes total sense, because his music is so chilled out that I'd find it really hard to beat anyone's ass while listening to it. He worked with Carly Simon on some stuff, so we know her taste in musical collaborators is far superior than her taste in men.

Ulrich Schnauss ist sehr gut. He is an electronic musician from Germany. His music takes nods from shoegaze and all sorts of electronic/hip-hop stuff and just keeps layering it all together until there's some really gorgeous soundscape where there was previously only a smattering of noises. He's released music under his own name as well as various others such as View to the Future, Police In Cars With Headphones, Ethereal 77, and others. I can't say enough nice things about the guy. And he looks like a suave and less "I'm going to eat your children" Nick Cave. And his name is fun to say. Like I said, the dude's awesome. My personal favorite album of his is 2001's Far Away Trains Passing By, but you can't go wrong with any of his stuff. His record labels sued Guns N' Roses. It's hard to say Axl doesn't have shit like that coming to him."Knuddlemaus" is one of my favorite songs ever, which is something I know I say a lot, but it's always true.

"Knuddlemaus" from Far Away Trains Passing By

"Blumenthal" from A Strangely Isolated Place

"Never Be the Same" from Goodbye

Our Band Could Be Your Lit on Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace.

Next week: A story based on "Pulaski Skyway" by Clutch, as suggested by writer Eirik Gumeny.

1 comment: