even if your eyes won't open, you can still hear the weekend sound track
< the saturday night ride | The Waking Sleep >

It hits you on Sunday, often starting at about four in the a.m.: nothing you've ever done has ever had any meaning. You being pacing your apartment, first to get a glass of water, but shortly it's anything to keep your bed from spinning into the infinite vortex of the night before. You sit down, you stand up, you put pen to paper and write love songs to famous hangovers of your past:

(04:00:00. The First Big Weekend by Arab Strap off of their album The Week Never Starts Round Here)

You are perhaps the worst because you came along before all the others. You filled me with a sense of urgency and revulsion. You filled me with the dread that my youth was gone by the start of summer, the hope that it might be restored once winter ended. I still feel you sometimes, pounding a steady kick drum beat in the back of my skull.

(04:04:52. High Noon by DJ Shadow off of his album Preemptive Strike)

You are twice as bad. You make me collapse as urgently as my first hangover, but for entirely different reasons. I was a victim in your Cretian labyrinth, you were a minotaur bearing down on me, every second closer, every second matching my one step with two. I could never see where you were coming from. You arrived before the sun even set.

(04:08:54. Ex-cowboy by Mogwai off of their album Come On Die Young)

You were my strident love. Horseless. Toothless. All scream and no mouth. We'd sit idly in dark bedrooms, holding each other, when you'd break the silence, ringing in my ears, reminding me of the follies of nights previous. You were a reason to quit. You were every reason to continue.

(04:18:06. The Beautiful Days by Swans off of their album Soundtracks for the Blind)

You were a special kind of nausea, a precious onanism that would appeal to my lack of self-control and always end in self-hatred. I needed you so badly when you were never around. You always arrived just in time to catch me at my worst.

(04:25:58. In Dark Trees by Brian Eno from his album Another Green World)

You. I still miss you. I still love you. You were a delicate disgust, something I could swallow back and handle in the presence of company, something I could take to work and wash away with coffee and tedium. I still have the gouging trails, the tear marks you left when you went away just as another one arrived.

(04:28:31. Nothing Left 1 by Orbital from their album Middle of Nowhere)

I remember your dancing on my brain pan. Few could make me endure the pain of the morning after, but you tried your hardest. By the time you showed up, every bird outside my window was pounding shrill little daggers into my auricle. You either covered these sounds or amplified them at your will. I could never read your intentions, could never tell whether you were laughing at me or singing me back to sleep.

(04:36:23. Three Wheels by Dirty Three from their EP Ufkuko)

I would turn on my side, gaze out the window and see you coming with the approaching light of day. You would come slowly, taking your time to burrow as deep as you could into the top of my forehead. You had all morning as far as you were concerned. You could wake me up with kisses and then shatter me with crescendo. By the time you left, I hardly knew who I was anymore and sometimes that felt just perfect.

(04:44:00. Black Dada Nihilismus by Amiri Baraka and DJ Spooky from the Offbeat: A Red Hot Sound Trip compilation)

You attempted to redefine me, a black man in a black beret shaking in the corner of my darkened room, blowing cancer into my lungs. I loved what you were saying, but hated the way it would crawl into my spine and play the cord like a one-string bass. You cried about rape, the end of the world, Billie Holiday. I cried because maybe I was guilty too. I knew I wasn't, but you were there so I could convince myself otherwise.

(04:48:11. Remember Me As A Time Of Day by Explosions In The Sky from their album How Strange, Innocence)

By the time you walked in the door, I was ready to give up. You were one of those rare moments of morning clarity after nights of revelry, a time when I knew I could reinvent myself, become the best person on Earth if I only got to the shower in time. You were secrets -- and secret smiles. You were a sunset on Friday. You were the childhood anticipation of Christmas. I was always sorry to feel you withdraw from my body because I knew what was soon to come.

(04:53:40. Neely O'Hara by Bright Eyes from their EP Every Day and Every Night)

You were always the one that destroyed me. You were my past, my addictions, my troubles all rolled up in one swaggering form. My only comfort was the chaos of your departure. In it I could see every valley, every doll. I could see them all swallowed, like sleep.

This is the only reason I miss you: I know I will see you again.

By now your love letters are finished, your current hangover tolerable. You know the day is ahead of you, and suddenly that's not so insufferable a thought.

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