Younger and Older

by Colporteur

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released June 30, 2015



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Colporteur Huntington Beach, California

We put too much effort into making music no one really listens to, then we give it away for free and beg people to tell us what they think about it.

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Track Name: Younger
Counting how many dinner plates are left after last night’s fight. We lost two in a rain of porcelain. You looked pretty bad, bleeding down your arm. I could hear the way your voice, it changed, grew desperate when real fear was present. When he grabbed the dishes from the cabinet. Sitting down to eat, thanking God for this meal. We care tonight about normal things. Ask me how I’m doing in my classes. He asks to pass the salt. I can’t help but flinch, it’s hard for me to forget. I’m no good at pretending that last night I wasn’t terrified.
Track Name: Afraid of Coming Home
The nights were long. We heard him waking up. I felt my skin crawl. The way we'd sit and hold our breath, and see what kind of mood he’s in. I turned down the show, stared past the TV screen. Why do we need to be afraid of coming home? When I asked you to kick out the man who’d been punching holes in walls and pushing you down the stairs, I didn’t think that it would be hard. I was only twelve years old. I didn’t know you cried as much as I did. Then, at fifteen, I was reading a lot of Sylvia Plath poems, staring out windows, and dwelling on gas stoves. The trail of blood reached halfway down the block. I got to miss school. When he was stabbed, I hoped to God maybe he was dead. We wouldn’t have to be afraid of coming home. When I asked you to kick out the man who kicked you so hard while you were down he fractured your arm, I didn’t think that it would be hard. I was only twelve years old. I didn’t know you cried as much as I did. Then, at eighteen, I was ready to get the fuck out of that place. I love you, but I think I needed the clean slate. When I asked you to wake up, you said “I don’t feel good.” Well, you felt bad every day for ten years. I didn’t think that lying in bed would keep you safe from that fucker’s fists. And I was right. It didn’t, did it?
Track Name: Against The Wall
"Be still, don’t you cry. Please, son, close your eyes.” I spent the next forty minutes acting like I couldn’t hear the screaming coming from downstairs. We play the hand that we’re dealt. "It hurts less than being alone. When he hits me, I know that his hands aren’t his own. If you could only see the way he looks at me, like I’m the only girl in the world and I’m his. Even if I don’t want to be.” The knife he threw, it missed narrowly, but I wish it’d hit me. Then, maybe you’d listen to me when I said that that man is a monster. When I close my eyes, all I see is him grabbing your face and pushing you against the wall.
Track Name: I Watched You
Surprising even myself, I showed up. Just to sit at your side and watch you die. I watched as several family members I hardly know anymore gathered close and said things like, “She won’t be in pain anymore, where she’s going.” I kept my thoughts to myself. I couldn’t think of one thing to say. I watched you die. I thought back to times I’d lie awake at night, wondering why you seemed to hate me. The whole room went silent. We all listened for your ghost leaving, but no one heard anything. I watched you die. Me and several family members I hardly know anymore.
Track Name: Love's A Lot Like
You start to lose your mind every time you drink. You talk about dying one more time and I’ll leave. I swear to god, I’ll leave you. When you fell asleep with your head in my lap, I matched my breathing with yours, let my legs go numb. I didn’t bother waking you up. Love’s a lot like treading water. I swear to god, I’m leaving. Remember the time you collapsed in the front yard? I found you next morning, your skin cold as ice. I kinda thought you’d stop drinking then. And I am tired. You talk about dying every time that you drink. You start to think of dying as an escape and I swear to god I’ll leave you.
Track Name: A Reason To Try
I am full of shit. When I speak, I never say anything. I just spew this bullshit and it sounds like I fit a dozen excuses around my teeth. I’ve got them stuffed up in my gums. When you saw that the driveway was empty how soon did you leave for your mom’s? You told me to find a reason to fucking try. I spent all night looking, but all I found was a bent cigarette in between the car seats and a shit hole bar that served watered down drinks. I tried to drink my way into thinking I was right. When you told me to go to hell, did you imagine that I would stay? You told me to find a reason to try. You told me to be more like the person I was when you first met me. When you told me to grow the fuck up, and instead I reached for my drink. I was a piece of shit. When I think back to the times—all those times—that I could have done right, and instead I sank lower. I could have died, and back then, I wouldn’t have cared if I did.
Track Name: Older
Keep your hand cupped behind her head, press your granddaughter to your chest. Remember when I used to be that little? We talk about regret. Forgiveness is a big commitment. When you got clean, spent so much time saying how sorry you were, and I forgave you, I had to let go of all that anger I got used to carrying around. I had to let go of that steak knife I went to bed with every damn night since I was twelve. The one I snuck upstairs to my room, thought I’d use. But getting older doesn’t just mean you realize that the good things don’t last. It’s learning that the bad things don’t last either.
Track Name: Letter
It was last Tuesday when I found that letter I wrote in a box of shit that I haven’t looked at in years. It was long ago, but I can still remember the night I wrote it. I meant it to be the last thing I did. When you’re young, your problems seem so damn big. I spent each night contemplating how much pain everyone would be in if I ended it. I don’t know why I haven’t thrown that damn letter away. I guess it just reminds me of how much better these things get. When you’re young, all you can see is how shitty everything is. I never thought I could be this happy. Never thought it’d be me.
Track Name: We'd Never Be Like Them
If I didn’t know any better, I’d say that you couldn’t sink any lower. Does stealing appliances out of a van and doing meth make you more of a man? Would you be impressed if I lied and said that I can’t get out of bed without a hit of something, too? Sneaking cigarettes and failing all my favorite classes, I was trying to be someone that you thought was cool. Man, you’re so fucking cool these days. Staying up all night, blowing smoke out the window, talking about how strung out our parents were. We’d never be like them. We had such big plans. We were the exception. We’d never be like them.
Track Name: Bigger Ideas
I can play everything back. I can still see you dressed in everyday clothes. You look comfortable, you could just be sleeping. Except for that cross around your neck. Twenty-five cents, it was cheap, it was plastic. I placed it on your unmoving chest. It was a small thing to do, but I was such a small thing then, too. I’ve got bigger ideas now about death. I can pretend you’ve not left. I can still see you exist in every decisions I’ve made. When I listen to my heart, I pretend that it’s you and that I can feel you in my chest, and in my blood, coursing through me. But when I see you in old photographs, you never move. And what’s worse is I’m starting to replace all those memories with the memory of me sitting here looking through pictures. I can keep telling myself that if you were here now, you’d be proud to call me your son. I don’t think I remember what your voice sounded like. But I can remember one thing. The way that you smiled when your son kissed your cheek. I put my small hand on your hand. You couldn’t feel it, but you could feel what it meant, and I never stopped letting you know what it meant to me. And I can feel you in my lungs. Not when I breathe, but when I can’t catch my breath. I feel you in my limbs. Not when I move, but when I can’t find the strength to.
Track Name: Escaped
If you don’t want me to lie to you, don’t ask me why I haven’t called or where I’ve been. I’m sorry that we never talk anymore. It seems like it’s been ages since I’ve had a reason to pick up the phone. I hate to admit it, but I’m scared of that state and its ghosts. I’m so glad that I escaped the bigotry and ignorance that grows in that place. I’m sorry that we never talk anymore. I’m ashamed to let anyone close to me know what I have for a family. I’ve seen the type of person you are after drugs. You changed a lot since I left back in ’98, or maybe it’s just me. I grew up, got a real job, met a girl, and I fell in love. I’m responsible for my own actions. I try not to hate anyone for no reason. I have a child of my own, and I can’t imagine ever treating her like you have treated your own children. Treated your own family.
Track Name: Subtle Difference
It's like when all the lights are off at the end of the night and you can finally think of the name of that song you've been humming absent-mindedly all day. I put a face to exactly how much it is that I can love. There’s been this great big change from my small discovery. There's been a subtle difference in how I look at everything. Sitting awake and listening to her breathing, I think how important it is that now there’s more than just me. Because when all is said and done at the end of the day the only thing I really need to do is be there for my daughter. Lying awake and thinking, “If this wasn’t me before, then it is certainly what I need to be now.” Throw all the other stuff away. I know mistakes were made, but I know now what’s important.
Track Name: A Garden
Flowers wilt on the back porch where they’re meant to get more sun. No one’s looked at them in days, so no one notices they’ve died. We try to do what’s right. We wanted a garden where we could grow and cultivate our own. We’ll find a suitable spot where we can grow this great idea that we can be happy. The record crackles, we hang paintings, worry she’ll hate pink things. With two nails sticking from between my lips, I turn and ask you if we can do this. We turn on the light and wipe our eyes.