That Pop, That Stuttering Static and Hiss

If I were able to accompany each day with a soundtrack, it would be a full time job but today would be easy. Today is a stupidly nostalgic sort of day, the kind of day that would be accompanied by a soundtrack that was heavily tinged with the kinds of things we listened to years ago, songs grown silly in their earnestness.

Today, I heard a song that reminded me of you.

It was an mp3 file ripped from a cd burnt from a cassette we used to listen to.

This will have to stand in for a real history.

I am working on lists lately, cataloging various things – a vain attempt to organize something of this life. I remember making a list with you of all the people that we had kissed. That sort of thing. The places that I’ve visited, the books I’ve read.

I was writing down a list of all of the people that I hate or that I have hated at various times in my life when the song came on. Interestingly, I find that it is much emptier in the “now” column than the “earlier” column.

I’d like to think that is because I am a calmer, more forgiving person these days, but I’m afraid the real reason is closer to the fact that I find it much harder to care.

I realize that must sound a bit melodramatic.

The song was one of those old low-production-values numbers – more interested in lyrics and its own intentional weirdness. We used to think this sort of thing was changing the world. We believed in them, these books and albums – believed they were essential.

Really, they just came down to lists – our empty, numbered favorites.

C.C. Russell currently lives in Wyoming with his wife, daughter, and two cats. His poetry has appeared in the New York Quarterly, Rattle, and Whiskey Island among others. His short fiction has appeared in The Meadow as well as on and MicrofictionMondayMagazine. He holds a BA in English from the University of Wyoming and has held jobs in a wide range of vocations – everything from graveyard shift convenience store clerk to retail management with stops along the way as dive bar dj and swimming pool maintenance. His short fiction has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and for inclusion in The Best Small Fictions.

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