Recorded in the Rubber Room during the Summer of 2001. Nate Graziano leant his verse, and a small portion of his liver to the project. It’s his spoken word that finally tied everything together. The songs are mostly older ones that had only been heard on a few muddy 4-track tapes.
- 12 Steps
- Slider Game
- Enough for Everyone
- Last Row
- Held Together
- Twenty Minutes
- Brittle Pair
Everything has changed somehow, The stable ones have broken down, Now all I am is out of bounds and tired of looking in. Tell me dear what would your parents think, Of this helpless child with his self-cut hair and drunken grin? Am I strange enough to fit into rebellious tendencies? I'm on my knees, The courtier of courtless kings. There you are, and here I am, Ereiam. My parents thought I might be someone. I'm sorry mom, sorry dad. Sorry everyone who gave a damn for me. Hell that ain't bad, I'll build a tune around my lethargy.
I'm still too uptight, to hold your head responsibly. The shit I've learned to hide, has crept inside and learned to cripple me. I'm pregnant with the stench of my apologies. The little things get big, You feed him right, the kid grows long and taught and wiry, He grabs the stool beside me, And we laugh the drunken revelry of the next self-helpless group. Twelve steps from the bar to the stoop, To your front door, locked tight again. Eventually, you'll let me in to see the idiot exposed, Full blown and swaying in the glare of your dad's new track lighting. And the idiot sways inviting. The idiot sways, and a fly on the wall would fly away, A little too bored with the little we say When we're faced with the closing speeches, Bite your tongue, speak your pieces. I'm just a child, I am certainly subservient. I'm just a child, I am certainly self serving.
You're flawed, So deep it hardly shows. Perfection to the stone, But it eats your mind away. You're sick and you know it, You feel yourself growing down, It's a slider game, You're obsessed and it's lame You know you'll never figure it out. But you picked it up, Now you can't, Put it down. Hey corduroy kid, It's all slide or it's all skid. You can hide your hands in your toughskins man, But your palm's already been read.
She slit her wrists again last Sunday, It wasn't that deep, she wasn't that lonely. She was only waiting for the Cosby Show to go away. And Teri's not bad when she's giving head, When she first wakes up and when she goes to bed, But in between she's got all these things to say. She put it up on a pedestal, Like the cracker-jack prize, her thighs are lined with gold. And if you've got the pick and a torch-light helmet, If you're not too quick, and you're not that eloquent, You can be the first one in, You can be her first big disappointment. And where do the bad days go? They crawl between her legs. But each night's a brand new start, Each man's a brand new bed. I'm just drunk enough To think that this whole scene might be contagious. And I'm sane enough to want to save myself. Man, her eyes got cold, everybody says so. But if you spread it out thin enough, There's enough for everyone.
All the clowns are restless tonight, As the brittle moonlight wanes a proud banality. Another voice stands up, The crowd sits poised to take her down, Her hands sweat, her voice breaks, And the wounding laugh rings out. Hey sick grace, you sounded great tonight. I loved the way you sought to hide your eyes in your chin. And if you'd let me in, then you and I could walk away. Slip, soft, warm and dark away. Her voice hung taught like memory, As she scanned the crowd for some sign of recognition, Someone who had listened. And I sat, loaded, cocked and harmless, Afraid to meet her eyes because, who was I? Hey sick grace you sounded great tonight. I loved the way you turned calm, collected, and cried. And once you've learned that they don't mean anything at all, They haven't got the time. Then you and I can walk away. Were I a finer fool, I'd learn to keep my insight mine. It's the same sad golden rule, Your silence is a virtue. And I'd swallow my distaste, But it's so hard to keep it down. It's hard to keep it down. The first row wants the knowing grin, The third row wants free beer. The last row's halfway through the door. The last row's halfway home.
It's all held together with quick secret smiles and magic gray eyes. And now I remember why I stayed alone for such a long time. Because it hurts when you're here, And it hurts when you're gone. Shut my head up with That look that scares the words from me. I don't want to think about anything, I just want to lie in your arms. It's all held together by one restless night that I can't throw away. And now I remember, The greater the pleasure, the deeper the pain.
Mom I still have sperm. You know, that seed that We both thought to be defective. Turns out that shit swims to beat the band. And if I talked it up enough, I think you'd be amazed at The crazy shit I'm thinking. Your little boy just made a little man. I played scissors-paper-stone, Caught a tiger by the toe, Now I'm shit scared, I know they fuck you up, Your mom and dad. The first time they had me by the balls, The doctor asked me, "Cough," And I said, "No, but sometimes I have headaches."
Hands slip the cotton down, Good intentions, wrapped around your ankles, Bracelet tangled in the fray. Listless, roaring starlet, The vodka tonic spilled casually, And a laugh like breaking glass. But everybody laughs, reserved and impartial. You're just two drinks from heaven, You're three sheets from hell. You're better than gone, It's purple haze. You love the dancers, You hate the craze. You sweat the music, serpentine. Out of step and out of time. You're all that you can do. But Sarah's on fire tonight, Like one of those cars in the breakdown lane. The neighbors all gather 'round, To soothe the burn and feed the flames. She's dressed to catch the eye of desperate middle age, The losers and their wives, And the congregation sways to the Bee Gee's wounded choir, The ice-cubes dance. The Dead Ones perspire, ever so slightly. It's only a thought, It's one drink, One night. It can't be helped. We're not ourselves. We can't be helped.
Fare thee well, We'll cut it out we'll light it up. And who could tell what we'd become? So burn motherfucker burn, Give us the heat of your dying. We'll teach you all we've learned. We don't sleep. We are the light, We are the way, We're handing you judgment day. So burn motherfucker, burn. Burn motherfucker, burn.
I gave in to all those useless flowered verses, Brainwashed by Neil Simon's heroines. I should've guessed I should've slept. I never should have listened. I should've known that no one ever thinks that quick. I feel like a child, You make me want to seem repugnant. But I'm on trial, A hanging jury of your fears. I know I'm beat. I know enough to plead the least of my offenses. I'll be right in. And there were times When you would smile the brilliant grin Of morning passion. My skinny arms couldn't hold you strong enough. But now there's times when you don't speak, And I can feel the tension building. I'll be outside, Come and find me when you're through.
The whole thing was fairly discrete, Just a car crash in calm beige relief. The victims all tastefully maimed, The crowd practiced holy restraint. And you and I, we were charming, bland, and arrogant. We each played the scene to a tee, Hopelessly weak and secretly confident. The brittle pair sits down, Safe in the knowledge there's no one around. The house lights flicker and dim, The crowd rushes out, the guilt rushes in. And in the silence her voice seems unkind, As she breathes her closing line, "Who am I this time?"