I’m a sucker. Sitting on the curb in front of a record shop. Pet Sounds seeping out of the outwardly prominent speakers just at the soffit, in all it’s vintage nostalgic glory.
This is the most commercially-bent indie record shop in the industry, now inhabited by a Cold Stone Creamery, or a Baskin Robbins. In any case, now a polar opposite in the grand scheme. Sweet products, but offensive. Like some infuriated toddler, denied a treat or a toy. Screaming while maturity, the tortured mother of adulthood, looks on in dismay.
Its closing time, the night is deep and boiling over with seasonal appeal, illuminated partially by the fluorescent lights within. Its companion; the soft red glow of a huge neon sign, conjuring nightmares of 7.50 an hour, and a constant migraine. A never-ending stream of dot-matrix inventory sheets, an incubator for never ending suspended heedfulness, as ne’er-do-wells shove DVDs into their unmentionables.
My co-worker Brian puffs away on his clove cigarette, and bestows upon me his unfiltered thoughts, along with the gift of unfiltered fumes.
God Only Knows is playing. I’m sneakers up over this girl who works with us behind the counter, paid the same peanuts, but rising above in an all-encompassing furor of brunette locks and angled mascara; smokey-eyed wonder, and youthful adventure.
I’m barely 20, but I feel too old to have a crush like this. The universe is laughing at me. This epiphany presents, as a single snowflake winds its way down through the nebulous venue of a breezy winter evening, and is most ceremoniously followed by thousands more.
It’s quiet, no one’s on the road. A virtually empty parking lot is spread before me, and any sound is heavy-handedly dampened by a languishing snowfall, fresh as of two days before. Sing it, Brian Wilson.
There’s the creak of thirsty hinges, and bells chime on the glass pane door as it opens and closes.
“Goodnight guys” she says, breezing past us into the night, towards her phantasmic blue-gray car. My eyes are glazed over instantly, her taillights glinting and twinkling in my retinas. Pupils are dilated as if by 8th-level hell’s resident optician.
What good would living do me?!
God Only Knows continues to run its course, into my ears, through my veins, and down into my stupid, idiotic heart. A whirlpool of endless desperate musings. Never have I been a smoker, but a black n’ white, hauntingly noir me would ask to bum a cigarette, ‘cause he had the shakes. Anything for a fix.