Posts tagged The National
Distant: Brian Stout

01. Writer

Brian Stout

02. Theme



The National:
Light Years


It starts easily enough. Not innocently, but easily. It might be a fight that neither person wants to back down from that ends with one person going to bed.

Never go to bed angry, I heard. How is that even possible without feeling like you’re giving in all the time?

It turns into staying up later. Falling asleep on the couch with a laptop. A half-remembered episode of some series only you want to watch or songs only you like playing through headphones.

You’re not the only one feeling it. What about those books? The therapy? The articles you read over lunch? It’s like you’re not speaking the same language.

Then it spills over into the next day. Quiet morning coffee and a halfhearted well-wish.

A couple meaningless texts during the day. Maybe about picking up something or the weekend’s plans. That one is especially comforting (or constricting, depending on your mood). This will go on at least through the weekend.

By the time you get home from work, it’s not active. It’s lingering in the air, resentment bearing down on shoulders. Maybe it’s more like a land mine that’s buried beneath the couch or carpet, waiting for a wrong response to blow the whole thing open again. Maybe it happens months from now. Maybe you step on it on the way to bed or when you’re getting ready for sex or right after. It might be a word or a thought that takes your mind out of what’s happening. If you’re always ready for battle, you never recover from the fatigue.

Sometimes it gets better for a while, but it’s hard to trust. You wrack your brain trying to crack the code. How do you make this stay? After a while, you just assume there are landmines everywhere. Some are dormant, some are live.

And the worst part is, you’re better than this. You both are. There are years and years of memories of things you never thought you’d be, never thought you’d say, never thought you’d do. And you’re not the only one.

For some reason, you’re not able to connect the fucking dots. It might look good on paper or for a few hours when there’s company but that’s it.

 A lot forgiven, little forgotten.