FAWM 2011 ~ World Spins Once

     February 13, 2011
     somewhere in middle america


AM ~ the morning (64MB zipfile)

00:00-01:00 the traveler's tale
01:00-02:00 the reveler's tale
02:00-03:00 the innkeeper's tale
03:00-04:00 the insomniac's tale
04:00-05:00 the paperboy's tale
05:00-06:00 the matriarch's tale
06:00-07:00 the athlete's tale
07:00-08:00 the parson's tale
08:00-09:00 the couch warrior's tale
09:00-10:00 the sheriff's wife's tale
10:00-11:00 the waitress's tale
11:00-12:00 the fisherman's tale


PM ~ the afternoon (71MB zipfile)

12:00-13:00 the philosopher's tale
13:00-14:00 the disc jockey's tale
14:00-15:00 the porchrocker's tale
15:00-16:00 the collegian's tale
16:00-17:00 the mayor's tale
17:00-18:00 the runaway's tale
18:00-19:00 the widower's tale
19:00-20:00 the pianista's tale
20:00-21:00 the absentee's tale
21:00-22:00 the barista's tale
22:00-23:00 the febristas' tale
23:00-00:00 the cab driver's tale


14 songs in 14 hours
recorded in the motel

download the 47MB zipfile

  1 horses and monkeys
  2 the ballad of puffinhead
  3 staring at the sky
  4 hickeyville
  5 hotbed
  6 retrieve the cheese
  7 going back to bilibino
  8 the serbian brigade
  9 on brighton beach
10 when erich met maria
11 down on banner creek
12 jamie johnson
13 don't wait up, ma
14 pocketful of love


world spins once
once spun world
world once spun
spun once world


up ahead lights appear on the horizon
at the end of a long stretch of highway
at the end of a long day
in the middle of winter

the quiet outside
the hum of the engine
the spell of wheels

to the right signs pass by on the roadside

twelve long bells

flickering reflections on the surface of moving water in the darkness below. over the bridge and into (the south side of) town on the north side of the river. past the old white church, faintly illuminated in the moonlight, where the bells ring in the tower... and the sound slowly glides away down quiet empty streets. how many (souls) lie sleeping as the clock strikes twelve... and how many are up to greet the new day as it begins? no cars on main street. a few in the parking lot at the diner. turn left down riverside and slow down to look into the shadows at The Edges. shadows move inside, behind the neon lights. barely visible, a couple stands silhouetted facing out across the water. a cold breeze blows past them carrying a newspaper cartwheeling across the road, then leaping and sailing off into the park. porchlights and lit windows in a handful of houses. the occasional streetlight. in the middle of the road, two crouched eyes glow motionless for a moment, then spring away and into the low hedges.

Cold February Saturday night.

It starts snowing, and the wine's been flowing since the sun went down. The sun went down the way she does this time of year. She went down early. Everybody else has gone home now, and it's just me and Samara. For an hour now, we've been lighting candles and watching the way the light flickers off the frost in the windows... We've been lighting incense and watching the smoke swirl and mix with the candleflame... and our heat and our motion... we've been lighting up and watching the wind out the window blow in off the river... make the leaves and the snow dance... make the leaves and the snow dance...

Cold February Saturday night

The wind's blowing, and we've been going since the sun came up. The sun came up the way she does this time of year. The way we all do. Slow and cold. We warmed up, though, and outlasted the sun. Outlasted one calendar day and stared out into the dark of the next. Outlasted the wine and the women... but the wind out the window is singing, and we're gonna walk out and into it. Walk down to the river and over to see who's starting this new day at the bar. See if the band's still playing. See if there's still music playing. See what they're still serving. See who else is out on a

Cold February Saturday night

lounge music, train, The Edges, bar sounds

Soon enough the whole world will be on a webcam.

But there will always be night. There will always be darkness. There will always be shadows. There will always be edges of illumination.

I'm sitting in the backroom of The Edges. There's still an hour till closing time. It's been a slow and steady winter Saturday. And it's slowly winding down. There's about 6 people at the bar, 4 guys playing pool in the back. I'm looking at the week we just had and I'm looking at the next few weeks. And I'm watching five black and white screens. The front room, the back room, the front door, the emergency exit, and a view down the alley in the back. Soon enough the whole world will be on a webcam. Online. In the cloud. For now I've got five views of this place. And the alley cam looks out to the blurry edge of the light.

In the front the music's playing. The band finished awhile ago. Most of the small crowd drifted out into the night. A few people drifted in. There's a couple girls at the bar, they've been dancing. Keeping the guys at the bar happy. Keeping the girl behind the bar happy.

Two tables in the back. Two slow games of eightball.

Out front there's a taxi. Driver's leaning on the hood smoking a pipe. Something you might not see every day. Unless you hang out here. I see it every day.

Down the alley, the wind is blowing snow

Across the street from the post office, Maribel puts on the morning coffee. She knows that sleep has gone for the night. She looks out the front window and into the dark new day.

Soon she'll sit down to her writing.

The nights haven't given her more than 3 hours for over a month. Ever since she got that phone call, her stomach has been in knots, her lungs have felt tight in her chest, and what was left of the color of the winter has drained from her landscape...

She stares toward the front window, looking at nothing... with darkness outside, her eyes first focus on the glare of the pane, the thin sheet of glass separating the big outside from the small inside, and the reflection of the only light on in the house, the small red light of the coffee maker.

She's been drinking a lot more coffee this year. She listens to the dripping through the filter.

Beyond the thin glass, across the street, three blue mailboxes stand in front of the post office. She thinks of school days and valentines, and the memories bring a small joyless smile.

In the unbroken snow on the other side of the street, a single pair of fresh tracks mark some early morning passage.


[There's a truck rolling through town, slowing down and stopping at the end of a few select driveways.]

I hear the motor as it comes down our street. I roll over and lift my head off the pillow just enough to see the headlights out through the curtains on the bedroom window.

I really like my morning sleep... and when things wake me up before the clock goes... it usually guarantees what side I'm gonna get up on. But that car's been waking me up for almost a year now, dropping a big bundle of newspapers at the end of the driveway. And in about an hour, I'll hear my son get up quietly and go out to deliver those papers to our neighborhood. And every day I smile to myself when I see that car.

every morning
people rest in bed
you wake up and you
stretch your legs
the darkest coffee you've yet to find
the warmest house in the autumn time

don't let the rain fall down on you
don't let their darkness pull you through
don't let them tell you what they thought they knew
I wouldn't

I was a paperboy when I was twelve. Thirty-seven papers, 6 days a week. I remember reading the front page as I rolled the papers up... or put 'em in bags on wet days. I never would've read the paper if I hadn't had them there in front of me. I remember how the headlines surprised me... like there were so many big problems in the world, even though everything seemed okay to me. I remember when I realized that every place has got its problems... and the problems make the news.

sleepy city
heart of gold
summer nights
winter's cold
all the mornings... on darkened streets
all the headlines... people read

don't let the rain fall down on you
don't let their darkness pull you through
don't let them tell you what you thought they knew
I wouldn't
I wouldn't


(words by Sarah C. Hanson Hofstetter)

It's 5AM and I can't sleep.
Everyone in the house in dreams.
Asleep, asleep.

The babe lay quiet in her bed.
Quilts snuggle round her head.
She was asleep.
All three years of her was asleep.

He lay dreaming of snowy trails,
Sailboats with billowed sails,
Tried to say something to me...
Please, baby, come back to sleep.
Please, babe, try to get some sleep.

A nudge there, a push here...
The infant inside me dear.
Thoughts full and bright as day
Pull me from sleep, try as I may.

It's 5AM and I can't sleep.
Everyone in the house is deep

But I can't sleep
I can't sleep
I can't sleep

I can't sleep
I can't sleep
I can't sleep

I can't sleep
I can't sleep
I can't sleep


It's still pre-dawn dark on the Lord's day. And it's cold. But a couple of the high school runners never take a day off. And they never sleep in. Six laps around the high school track and they've already packed down the two inches of fresh snow. Most places the new snow added to almost a foot that was already on the ground, but the inside lanes of the track regularly get shoveled off by the dedicated members of the track and cross country teams. Four hundred meters of shoveling along the inside lane.

And this morning, Peter Unorr and Jeremiah James will be doing twenty-five laps around the oval. Peter is striding ahead at a fast pace, and the younger runner is breathing heavily to stay with him.

Peter is a senior, and the upcoming season will be his last chance to compete for the state championship in the demanding 3200-meter distance, a championship that he seemed destined to win in his freshman year, when he placed third after pushing the state record holder into the final lap.

But then Peter started getting into trouble in school and around town, and his occasional drinking at weekend parties became a part of his daily routine. His training suffered, and his sophomore season was disappointing. The next summer, he was arrested after a fight erupted at a party spot in a nearby town, and although he eventually returned to school, he was declared ineligible for any high school sports. In his junior year, he languished and was unable to find motivation for training.

And so now he has just one last chance. He's been training seriously all year, and working harder than he ever did as a freshman, but it might not be enough to make up for the last two years.

Jeremiah was a standout freshman last year, competing in shorter distances, and the comeback senior has taken the kid under his wing to help avoid any difficulties in high school.

As they move into their third mile, a little more light brightens the sky, and a few more lights switch on in nearby houses. To the west, the outline of the water tower becomes visible on the horizon, silhouetted against the deep indigo. Peter looks at the darkened form and smiles as he breathes deep. It's too dark to see the graffiti that he painted there, after scaling the metal exterior.

Coming around the opposite side, he looks again toward the windows across from the post office. The lights in one window have been on since before they began to run. That's Eileen Buchanan, his girlfriend's older sister, and he knows that she has been having a hard time lately. Everybody in town knows it, but he's closer to it than most.

He breathes deep again and looks back to see how Jeremiah is doing.

'Come on!' he yells, 'We're almost halfway done, let's pick it up!'


This time of year, the sun comes up before the morning services at the old church. It may be light, but it's still cold enough that you can see the breath of the many parishioners when they make their way over to Main Street.

But that's still two hours away.

The first pale shades of morning light reflect on the water in the river. In places, there's a slight mist coming off the water. And a lone figure walks along the bank, heading north from the bridge.

Latet anguis in herba.
Non omnia possumus omnes.
Omnia vincit amor.
Audacibus annue coeptis.

Father Sikolski lives in the parsonage, right next to the church, but he leaves the house hours before the morning service and walks down to the bridge coming into town. Then he turns and walks west all the way to the rocky point where the river bends and goes out of sight. He's done this almost every Sunday morning since he came here 7 years ago, making exceptions for the occasional blizzard or heavy downpour. When the floodwaters almost crested the north bank five years ago, he paddled his canoe upriver along the submerged path that was three feet under water.

Quidquid id est, timeo Danaos et dona ferentis.
Fortunatus et ille deos qui novit agrestis.
Carpent tua poma nepotes.
Fugit ireparabile tempus.

As he prepares for his sermon, he takes this opportunity to take a good look at the community he serves, which he knows is dynamic and different every week.


[Song music, lyrics, performance by johnny kohler]

Hey, man, get up!
We gotta practice this weekend.
You slept all day yesterday, and we're gonna go watch the show tonight, so get your ass up.

What time is it, man?

The sun's almost up. Let's go. You've been riding that couch for over thirty hours.

What do you do on a Sunday morning in a small town?
Sit around watching the big screen tv
Or you pick up your guitar and play
You can dream of your name in the big bright lights
Hustling the dream on a Saturday night
But the couch feels good on your backside, baby...
It's begging you to stay.

Well, I lived a time or two myself in the big town
But no one's calling cuz they don't know your name
You can be a big fish or you can just go fishing in a small town
You know there ain't no difference cuz there's no one there playing that game.
Maybe just sometimes
I wanna get up and scream...
Why Why Why?
Hey! Did the world just pass me by?

Well, I ain't too worried and I'm in no hurry in my small town.
I got time on my hands, I got nothing planned in a small town.
It's all about the trees and my tranquility
Take a look around, there's not much to see,
But the road goes through it and there's not much to it,
And I like it this way.


Six days a week I'm out the door before the paper gets here... And on the seventh I sleep late. Read every page of the Sunday paper.

Church service starts at nine. Long time since I been. Lotta folks head over there, other people start to stir around then, so... that's when I get in the patrol car and go to work. Father Sikolski and me, we go back a long way. We're in much the same bizness. Trying to save and protect the souls in this town...

All the small footprints winding together
Weaving their tales in the snow...
It's a small town on a long road
And the law is a one-man show.

I'd say we've got a lot of good souls in town. We don't have much violent crime here. My job is usually pretty routine... keeping the basic order around town. Monitoring traffic, checking on the schools, checking on the businesses... roads... the bridge... the clinic. The last three arrests here were people from out of town. And a I pull over a lot of folks who speed in here on the highway...

Life stands still down beneath Sawyer Hill
While the time and the water pass slow
It's a one-man show in a small town...
And the road is the only place to go.

We've got a lot of good souls, but... they've got their troubles. I try to support the church as much as I can... we gotta separate the laws of god and the laws of man, but... every soul's gotta abide by both.

So we pass time and keep our brothers in line,
And we wait for spring flowers to grow,
In a small town on a long road,
And every face is a person you know.


Hi, how you folks doing? Sit anywhere you like, I'll bring you menus in just a minute...

Hey! Good morning! Good to see you! Find yourself a seat and I'll come over in a minute.

There you go.

Thanks you guys. Have a great day.

So you made it into town. I got your message, but I didn't think you'd be up early... or at all. Sunday's my long day here. Twelve hour shift. I just do the evenings during the week. I was working days over the bridge for awhile. But... more money, less sleep... I didn't need those things. You want something? Here, look it over... Check the specials.

Here's your pancakes, your eggs and sausage will be out in a minute. More coffee?

Jim, how do you want your eggs today? Where's Nancy been this month, huh?

Yeah, you know, I grew up here... but I really didn't know anybody in town till I started working here two years ago. There are so many people... I mean I know everybody in this town now. Almost everybody comes in here sometime or another. And the folks that don't... all the workers here know more about them than anybody else. You know what you want? Hungry? Okay, how you want your eggs? You want onions?


Morning, Carolyn. No Carinda today? She have a good night last night? You wait up for her?

Here's your juice. I got a five-minute break coming up, you wanna meet me around back for a smoke. Get back in your breakfast should be ready, huh?


[moving water sounds]

You know
where I grew up
the rivers
were all frozen this time of year.

I sometimes go up or downriver to the lakes,
do some ice fishing.

Mostly I just fish off the point up here.
Trout, bass, pike.

I like fishing in the winter
because I don't have to get up early
because it never gets too hot for 'em.
In fact, the best time is around noon.

So on Sunday I walk along the north bank
all the way from the bridge, past town, up to the point.

Pretty quiet usually.
Sometimes a few people standing at the water's edge.

Lots of times I just see one set of tracks all the way.
I know those tracks.

I usually fish an hour or two, unless the weather is really unfriendly.
Or sometimes I gotta get a lot
for friends or just to stock up the freezer.
But I try to eat it pretty fresh... don't like to keep it too long.

Ahhh. Are you coming all the way out to the point?
More people out there, scare more of the big ones away...


Well, the bar don't open till noon, so ah was slow to git out of the house this morning.

Been sippin my morning coffee and uh, praising the lord, in my own way, and... well twelve o'clock finally rolled around. And here I is.

In truth, The Edges serves a bit of food up till Happy Hour, allowin me to fill ma belly an git ma start on the day in one sittin.

Sometimes I git me some bizness done here, too, though I do bizness all roun' town wi' jus 'bout e'erybody.

Why don't you tell 'em what your business is?

Why don't just sip on your own damn beer, kimosabe?

My bizniss ain't none of HIS bizness... but MY bizniss is... philosophy.

Ah riginally come up this way on account of my old lady, she's from here, but ah met her when we uz both working in Oklahoma.... I you kin believe that. So I kinda come up here knowin all her acquaintances, and then slowly I got to know dern near everybody

Way I see it, you wanna live some high-speed life, all pressure, then you oughtta git yerself to the city. But if yer here, then you gotta turn that part of ya off. Some people ain't born with that part an some people IS... and some of 'em jist cain't turn 'er off.

When it come down to it, ALL towns... and cities... an places where people live... have got the same basic problems and conundra – the same basic struggles – and that's cuz they's natural and come anytime you git a buncha critters built lahk us together in one place.

I don't rightly know about the bigger picture or the MEANING or the PURPOSE... but if there be somebody up 'air, just a watchin, boy... jus gotta be like that teacher ya had, the kind give the class a big puzzle to work on all hour an then jus watch the sweatin and the pencils a flyin.

An then when the hour's done an the students are all exaspergated an lookin aroun to see if anybody figgered it out, then that teacher jus look at the class and say... Aw, there ain' no solution to that puzzle... or test... or problem.

Life ain' rilly a problem... and so there ain't really no solution. That's how I philosophize all that.

An this all jus reminds me of the letter I been fixin to write to the local paper. 'N' so if'n you don' mind, I think I'm a gonna start in on that letter while I got a good ol' head a steam goin.

You take care a yerself while yer here, an uh, well, you know where to fine me if'n you need me.


[Wooden Dinosaur song fades...]

[WD instrumental “Pabst Blue Monkey” in the back of DJ talk]

Hey there, listeners, welcome back to KSTR. I'm Jerry Raehker and it's 1PM on February 13. Hope you're having a wonderful Sunday. It's cloudy outside, but it looks like last night's snowstorm has moved south. Forecasts call for cold but clear weather for the next few days.

Thanks for tuning your FM dial to your own local small town radio station. If you're listening in on the internet... Hey! How'd you get this number? That's right, we're not streaming on the web yet, but that's set to change by April. So now you'll be able to tune in anywhere in the world that you can connect to the internet. Amazing.

We just heard Wooden Dinosaur, before that the new Iron & Wine and a classic song by CCR. More music coming up. The studio doesn't have a window, but down the hall I just saw Dead Air Doug and Jet walking across the park, heading this way. Doug's got his blue bermuda shorts on today. It seems appropriate to play this announcement now:

Dead Air Doug, walking down the street.
He's got a large dog that you ought to meet.
He's a very large man, guess his weight if you can,
And win a free lunch at The Diner.

Doesn't matter the weather, rain or shine
He'll be wearing his shorts in the wintertime
Every day at two, right after the news,
Catch Dead Air Doug on the radio.

And just a reminder, a little later in the afternoon, the ladies from The Febristas will be dropping by the studio. In case you haven't heard, they'll be playing a show tonight down at The Edges, and they're gonna stop in here first to have a chat with Honker and the Milkman at 4. They might even play a song or two... if I remember correctly, they've done that a few times in the past.

Keep listening for great music and local news and information.

[Instrumental rises, plays, and fades.]


[sounds of a rocking chair]

Cough Cough Cough
[sounds of a passing car]
Was that the Sotheby kid?
Where you think he's going so fast?
On a Sunday afternoon in winter?
Kids always in such a damn hurry.
Yes sir... not like it used to be
You remember before the road?
How we'd head that way on horses?
Take our time?
Yes sir... it sure was better then.
[Mbira loop starts, cars pass by]
Yes sir... not like it used to be
Yes sir... it sure was better then

[car passes, then a siren]
You see that plate?
Cough Cough
They never slow down over that bridge.
Signs up two miles away. Never slow down.
Golly Molly. You remember the old bridge?
Slow down for that, ha. Cough
Yes sir

Yes sir... not like it used to be
yes sir... it sure was better then
Yes sir.... Golly Molly
Yes sir... not like it used to be
yes sir... it sure was better then

>Ha ha
There he goes to wait for the next one
They never slow down
Cough cough
Well, I'm glad he's out... Sunday... people going to church
Remember the time you swam the river, 'cause the bridge was closed?
Yeah... No! No, that was Irving.
Ah, Irving.
Ah, haven't thought of him in long time...
Miss 'im.

Golly Molly. Yes sir. Golly Molly, not like it used to be.
Yes sir... it sure was better then
Yes sir... not like it used to be
yes sir... it sure was better then
Ah, who's this? Melly Perkins? Hey, Melly!


Hey, Mr. Pommchmsmmmm!

Every Sunday out on that porch. It is not warm out today.

I guess I walk by here every Sunday, too. Almost always on the way to the college. I work every other day of the week, so this is when I get my work done. I wanna go finish up at the university next year... Wanted to go two years ago, but just... my mom was barely making it to get me and my little sister through high school, so... so I've been here, working and doing all the community college classes...

Another exhausted midnight
Down at the community college library
It's gonna pay off
when I get my... associate's degree!

Last year was really hard, and... I'm pretty lucky I managed to do all the work. Because I was hating it. And mom was... silently... really... really bummed out that I was here and not... gone.

Another night with the textbooks
Down at the community college library
One day
I'll go away
to the big city... and the university!

I also occasionally do community theatre.
I'm big into the melodrama.

So now what's next, young man? This book you hold has no secrets. Past the snowy outside, you hear whispers. What do they want?

Tell us now, your heart's desire, the labor of your fancy. Move your pawn, embrace the danger. What's your next move?

Your feet in boots, the only things you’ve felt, until now. The soles still new, buttons shining. They ask you, what is a road?

What is a road? The danger slips, around you. It settles in your throat, much like a toast- to roads, and legends. What is a road?

What is a road? And how shall i choose one? Is my aim to simply walk or to leave tracks? Who will walk beside me and when will these laces seem more slack?

Sip your wine, but keep your mind. Choose your choices wisely. The road throws curves, your feet may bind you, but through mist and storm and wilderness, carry on.


As the afternoon rolls past 4 o'clock, signs of Sunday evening are all over town... there's a last flurry of weekend traffic as families drive back from weekend trips and day outings. Some folks are returning home from afternoon church services. The parking lot down at The Diner will fill up as some people stop in to see Layna for their Sunday dinner. Others will arrive back at their own kitchens to be greeted by wonderful slow-cooked aromas.

There's a swell of activity down at the Crocodile supermarket. And I'm down here right now by the front doors, greeting local voters and wishing everyone a pleasant evening and a happy Valentine's Day tomorrow.

This year the holiday falls on a Monday. Our kids will go to school and many of us will head off to the first day of the workweek. Tonight we take a deep breath and prepare for what's to come.

And as a town, we prepare together for our future. I'm here to work with you to ensure that your home prospers. And to make this place even better for future generations.


[Words by Kim Beggs]

It's five to six
And they're gonna be ticked
How they gonna take it
When they learn I got hitched

Couldn't to do it right
Couldn't wait for winter's light
Couldn't wait to get me out of this
Dirty fucken town

That they could never get it clean
No matter how they uttered
To sweep away the memories
That were cloggin up the gutters

It's dirty fucken place
Full of dirty secrets
Comin round the bend
On the long dark haul

No jobs to be found
Couldn't take the bus
So I blew a guy on Main
He said he could get me out.

It was easy getting free
Getting married to the dark
With a lighter and a spoon
And let the needle do its part

Wish I left a note
To say I scrubbed away the sorrow
But I didn't have the strength
And I couldn't face tomorrow.


Home, 6-7 in a small town.........................................................................................

Stell walks the lonely streets alone....home....her thoughts escape to the unknown....home there is never anyone on the streets around....home...6 to 7 in a small town

Stell used to love herself a man.... he always left her alone..home..6-7 in a small town

She used to fly herself away..(from) home.......sometimes...she explored outer space.....most of the time she walked alone.....home....6-7 in a small town

oh she thinks about the games he would play
She'd call the bar..and they' would always say
Stell.....you know he's heading home
was her own


[from Wikipedia:]
'The classic Fermi problem, generally attributed to Fermi, is "How many piano tuners are there in Chicago?" A typical solution to this problem would involve multiplying together a series of estimates that would yield the correct answer if the estimates were correct. For example, we might make the following assumptions:
1. There are approximately 5,000,000 people living in Chicago.
2. On average, there are two persons in each household in Chicago.
3. Roughly one household in twenty has a piano that is tuned regularly.
4. Pianos that are tuned regularly are tuned on average about once per year.
5. It takes a piano tuner about two hours to tune a piano, including travel time.
6. Each piano tuner works eight hours in a day, five days in a week, and 50 weeks in a year. From these assumptions we can compute that the number of piano tunings in a single year in Chicago is
(5,000,000 persons in Chicago) / (2 persons/household) × (1 piano/20 households) × (1 piano tuning per piano per year) = 125,000 piano tunings per year in Chicago.
We can similarly calculate that the average piano tuner performs
(50 weeks/year)×(5 days/week)×(8 hours/day)/(1 piano tuning per 2 hours per piano tuner) = 1000 piano tunings per year per piano tuner. Dividing gives
(125,000 piano tunings per year in Chicago) / (1000 piano tunings per year per piano tuner) = 125 piano tuners in Chicago.'

There's really only one person who can PLAY the piano in this town. Aaaaa... There's some people got pianos. There's some people had lessons. There's Mrs. Marsh at the elementary school, she teaches music...

But this girl... I mean, she don't play Beethoven... but you just gotta hear her.

Sunday morning congregation
sings praises to the lord
I play the organ for the choir
and strike a righteous chord
And I don't tell nobody...
what I sang the night before.

I started going to services again because of her. I'm not saying I ever lost religion or nothing... and I've always liked to hear all them voices singing the hymns, but... I suppose I heard one too many long sermons in my, uh, formative years.

There's something in her in her voice... and in the things she makes that piano do... they just make you believe.

Every Sunday I play the organ
Get my righteousness restored
Don't tell nobody... only God and me
Know what I did the night before
Saturday night I play down at the cabaret
Sunday I come and play for the lord


[Meanwhile, back at The Diner]

Layna: Hey, Billy. Where ya been? I haven't seen you since before Christmas. You been back with your mom in Georgia?
Billy: Nah. Work and home. Truck's broke down, too, so I been working on it.
Layna: Check it out. New menus last month... How's Calli? I haven't seen either of you guys for awhile.
Billy: She's still gone.
Layna: Still? Wooo, long time. I'll be back to get your order, sweetie... make sure you look at the back page. Chocolate coffee strudel!

[Pause. Billy now soliloquizes.]

She's still gone. Her brother said she called last month from Costa Rica. Last October we were talking about starting another big project this spring, another grant for local paintings and graphic art.. but she was gonna be back a month ago.

It's a long winter. I was thinking about taking some time off and driving south... but that old engine finally just quit turning over. So that was like my Christmas gift this year. The gift of stasis. Like a big giftwrapped ball and chain around my neck. So... I've been working on the engine... and this winter has been working on me... I haven't heard from her since right before Christmas.

Hombre guapo llevando sombrero
Senora guapa bailanda bolero
estoy solo febrero entero
ella esta en Costa Rica, estoy roto

Layna: Here you go, sweetie. Let me get you some more coffee.

She's still gone. I'm still wondering what to do. I'm starting to think she might not come back at all. She's been here 14 years, but, man, she doesn't have much in this town. And she talks every day about the beaches. She talks every day about leaving.

Maybe she already left.
Well... She wouldn't be the first.
Goddamn Costa Rica.

mi vida triste se fuga
y yo voy a paso de tortuga
Me retuerzo como una oruga
Conmigo ella no apechuga
Ella a mi mucho madruga
Ahora sus lagrimas enjuaga
Senora guapa muy sucio juega
Esta fresca como una lechuga
Senora tiene muy guapa pechuga
Hombre guapo tiene arruga
Senora guapa no tiene verruga

Layna: Thanks, darling. Don't wait so long to come back now.


The Barista's Tale
you just got in?
about an hour ago
how far'd you drive today?
seems like years
i came that way, too
last night we were in january
you made it in one day
both of you?
he's in the car.
in a parking lot after dark in a strange town?
for an hour?
i've missed you.

What did you do today?
I spent all day recording songs.
Oh, yeah... it's february.
You over at your friends' place?
They're not really friends.
Ha ha... well, every rose has its axl.
I got a room at the motel today, just for the recording.
Did I tell you we got kicked out of canada?
No... but you were pretty disparaging about Regina when you called.
We just hung around too long, I guess.
I know the feeling.
One too many loonie jokes, eh?
Are you okay?
Don't start that again. You know what my grandma used to say.
She said a lot of things.
If you need a place to stay, I'll sleep on the floor.
I don't know... maybe.
Just offering. Lord knows, you can take care of yourself.
I met a guy in here earlier. Got his number.
We're still married, you know...


Okay, everybody!
Thanks for coming to our special Sunday night Pre-Valentine's Day Party at The Edges.
It's a work day tomorrow, so take care of yourself tonight.
When you leave, please don't drive if you've been drinking.
If you don't have a designated driver and you need a ride, taxis are outside waiting.
We're so happy to have had the Febristas here tonight, and they're gonna play a few more for you now.

[The Febristas play...]

Six o'clock every morning, I pick the clothes up off the floor.
Leave his breakfast on the table, drag myself toward the door.
One time over the bridge before sun-up, working hard for the jack.
One time over the bridge after sundown, drag my tired ass back.

Little river keep rolling rolling all the way to the big ol' sea.
I'm a modern girl...
Has your SMALL TOWN got enough for a girl like me?

Sun comes up on this small town, but it don't warm up a thing
Sun goes down in the evening, I'm waiting for the phone to ring
I can see both ends of this road I'm on when I step outside the gate
Still got time and money to blow this town, how long am I s'posed to wait?

The highway keep on rolling, far as the eye can see.
I'm a modern girl...
Has your SMALL TOWN got enough for a girl like me?

I seen twenty years of winters round here, and every one gets a little more cruel.
Where mama and daddy walked the same old streets, and grandparents went to school.
The world outside might be big and wide, but sometimes it feels like a game.
They told my papa he was going somewhere, will I tell my boy the same?

Little river keep rolling rolling all the way to the big ol' sea.
I'm a modern girl...
Has your SMALL TOWN got enough for a girl like me?


[sound of a car engine]

Alonso: So how was the show?
Melody: Great. The Febristas haven't played here since last summer.
Harmony: They've gotten a lot better. They've been playing in the city.
Melody: Lauriessa says it's been going great.
Alonso: I haven't talked to any of 'em in a long time... you both heading home?
Harmony: We're both going to my house.
Alonso: Alright...

Alonso: Big plans for Valentine's Day tomorrow?
Harmony: Ha! Work... maybe we'll meet the guys for dinner.
Alonso: Well, have a good night, ladies.
Melody: You too, thanks, Alonso.

[door slams, car takes off]

[piano song starts on the radio]

Ah well.
Another week, another Monday.
Another seven-day cycle of some sort.
On the seventh day he rested...
But the next day, back to work...

Another year, another Valentine's Day.
Another time around the sun.

Never thought I'd say it...
but I kinda like this town.

[radio song comes up]

I watched the sun go down
hours ago
Then I watched all her light drain away
Waiting all night
for tomorrow
Waiting all year for Valentine's Day

there's plenty of dark in the nighttime
there's plenty of stars in the sky
there's plenty of tears in the wide rolling seas
there's plenty of reasons to cry

plenty of time for the straight and narrow
the songs and the women and the wine
and all the king's horses and all the king's men
plenty of time... for all tomorrow's valentines

there's plenty of seed spilled and wasted
there's plenty of roots in the mud
there's plenty of blood spilled in anger
there's plenty of hearts pumping blood

plenty of time for to find cupid's arrow
and to taste the sweet fruit of the vine
and all the tired horses and all the good men
plenty of time... for all tomorrow's valentines

I watched the sun go down
hours ago
Then I watched all her light drain away
Waiting my whole life
for tomorrow
Waiting all year for Valentine's Day