Posts from 4th November 2001

4
Nov 01

NOVEMBER SONGS

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NOVEMBER SONGS

Up above, no lights. No moon, not a star. Somewhere off to the right the A40 is a shimmy of white headlight dots, we turn a corner and it’s gone. The bus stops, out of duty. Nobody gets on here, ever. Nobody gets on here, tonight. All around us are silhouettes. But that pretty French word feels technical and misplaced. These are bulks of shadow, squat and fat and black. Barns or walls or treelines by day, now lightless and limitless.

Nobody ever gets on here at Lewknor Turn but sometimes people get off, walk out of the bus-stop puddle of light and into the dark. I imagine them walking towards these walls of gloom, into them, and every time the bus stops here I imagine myself getting up, slinging my bag across my shoulder and following.

But instead I tough the volume button on the discman and as the bus pulls out from the empty stop the music gets louder. I am listening to a CD called Low Birth Weight, by a band called Piano Magic. The inlay of the record shows stuffed, dead-eyed kittens, having a tea party. The music is skeletal and brittle like a dry brown leaf. The first song is called ‘Snowfall Soon’. The singers pick their way across their lyrics like the songs are frozen rivers. The last one starts ‘A sky without god is a clear, clear sky’. The spaces between the clockwork beats and the wind-up noisemakers are crisp and sharp like the air must be out there, at the bus stop, on the edge of the dark. I love this record for all these things. I cannot imagine putting it on with another soul in the room. I will play it every Autumn for the rest of my life.

A few minutes from Lewknor Turn the A40 grows rows of streetlights, and the shapes outside fade into a single, safer darkness. It is light enough on the bus to write, so I get out my notebook and I do.