Change Is The Tune We All Dance To

Loren Victory

I pace the apartment in loose fitting jeans and tight tee, simultaneously mouthing the lyrics to Velvet Underground’s “I Can’t Stand It” and thinking how I might keep my girlfriend in luxurious undergarments. Time is starting to slowly burn like doll-eyed plastic, mouth perma-fit for bottle, in a house fire. And, I can hear the dogs.

There are times in a week when I feel alive like Iggy on stage and the rest feels like gum stretching sneaker-to-street midday August in New York. The shift, punch-clock transition fucks with my head like six a.m. catatonia of post eight ball binges. Sleep or breakfast. I can’t decided, so neither. And I begin to look for it, not knowing what it is, and I pace the apartment.

The thing about change is it doesn’t reveal itself in any form or order. Rather, leaves hastily scribbled, broken English Post-its in hard to reach places. I can only re-arrange them (those at arms length or gathered from underneath unfamiliar armchairs) in any multitude of combinations in an attempt to break the Wehrmacht Enigma cipher, presumably typed out by some ghost in a Janis Joplin stupor.

Fuck or fight. The light from across the street is casting a long shadow of an open slat stair case on white siding and I know I have one more chance tomorrow, but now, I can only reflect on a morphine haze that maybe was an opportunity or may have been a coma well passed. I blink long ignoring the rich man’s daughter and trivial ‘must’ and ‘should’ that infest the air like forced anchorman smiles on morning television and instead try to focus on the lone dress that hangs in my closet, a reminder of fortune favoring the fortunate and why I’ve been lead to the edge of madness/brilliance.

It may be some fatal flaw that keeps me grasping firm on the freedom that I hang in each new place as some way to make the unknown and strange feel like home. It’s not drapery or some Kandinsky print or the scratch of London Calling on a freshly hooked up turntable that quiets the nomadic urge to push it’s shoes under the coffee table and throw bare feet up and sink in. It’s usually the slow comfort of freedom that peeks a head out from under the bed like a kitten newly arrived from a box in front of the market. Unsure of the surroundings and new smells and still damp with the reluctancy to uncoil the stored energy of springed tendons.

At every corner they’re selling comfort in three for the price of one, point of purchase, disposable, at your fingertips. I can hear Dr. Phil on the soapbox, shaking fat, tactless, new found wealth fists at fresh Einsteins and Vonneguts, spewing cereal box self-help like peppermint flavored vomit, conveying the wisdom of blind responsibility and the burning of freak flags. I catch myself listening and staring at classifieds in the pre-made, just add water section of the newspaper and after realizing I’ve brushed up too close to the collective hypnotism, I spend the next three hours tying to wash it off my clothes.

Her voice rings in my head, unexplored and luminous each time I hear it, and all at once, I forget and am reminded of everything. Happy. I wish I could play the tune from sleep to sleep. A soundtrack to drown out the noise of listening station pop and coffee on a stick and safety in what the next guy is doing, so I can solve the mystery of the Post-its and pull my freedom from the box yet to be unpacked, stretch it across the wall and go underwear shopping.


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