In the Dark

Welcome back, dear reader, its been a tough couple of weeks. And months.

Its been awhile. Thanks for reading and…

A big Happy August Birthday to Christine – friend, roomie, concert buddy, LYLAS


It’s a good time to mix cocktails. To read. To run.

It’s a good time to lie down on the living room floor in the dark and listen to music.

It’s a good time to remember. Good times.

An apartment off Riverside Drive, Austin, Texas. One, two a.m.

In the weekend’s early hours, Monday’s college classes and assignments don’t get a sliver of brain space. Nope. Not yet. Maybe tomorrow.

You’re old enough to buy groceries, split an electricity bill and plan for a future, but young enough to appreciate that a home-cooked meal is just an hour’s drive away.

Lingering in that post-club buzz, you and your roommate open the last beer in the fridge. Half for her, half for you. When you were out tonight, you saw that guy, the pharmacy major soccer player from Fort Worth, who shares the little house off Duval with two other guys. You remember that house, the Mexican blanket on his futon, the Stevie Ray Vaughan poster on his wall. But you still don’t know what you did or didn’t do, to make him stop calling.

You turn off the kitchen light and lie down on the soft beige carpet of your breakfast-bar, connecting-bathroom apartment. Shoes off, feet up on the dusty rose sofa passed down from your big sister. A throw pillow under your head. In the corner, a string of white fairy lights wraps around one of those fake ficus trees, but pretty soon, you’ll turn those off too, and the only light will come from a streetlight, which sneaks in across the parking lot, over your tiny patio with its hibachi grill, and through the beige vertical blinds of your sliding door. Sliding door number 27 of 48 in this complex off Riverside Drive.

In the darkness, your roommate presses play. She leans toward nostalgia—tunes from high school, tunes her parents liked. You need a little heartache in your soundtrack. To the mix, you both add songs from bands you’ve seen or are going to see in the months to come. Because you’re young and you’ve got tickets for another Saturday night. Another chance to dress up, to drink and laugh, to run into guys you swore you were crazy about.

Some nights, the two of you can’t stop talking, dissecting the Fort Worth’s of the world, until the mix tape ends and you pull yourselves up to toothbrushes and beds. But those nights are rare. Most nights, talk is minimal, nothing really. The music’s the thing. Filling your small student apartment until you both drift off on the floor, not even three songs in, because your world is full and experience is exhausting.


Click here for 20 songs to listen to In the Dark

a playlist of old favorites and recent inspirations

‘Lights’ – Journey

‘I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You)’ – Aretha Franklin

‘Subterranean Homesick Alien’ – Radiohead

‘Final Days’ – Michael Kiwanuka

‘You Are The Everything’ – R.E.M.

‘Life’s What You Make It’ – Talk Talk

‘Warrior’ – Laura Marling

‘Shatter’ – Liz Phair

‘After Midnight’ – JJ Cale

‘Cry Myself to Sleep’ – The Judds

‘Summertime Rolls’ – Jane’s Addiction

‘New Born’ – Guadalcanal Diary

‘Woman’ – Neneh Cherry

‘To The Ground’ – Death Cab for Cutie

‘Wicked Game’ – Chris Isaak

‘Song to the Siren’ – This Mortal Coil

‘Come Down in Time’ – Elton John

‘Now’ – Edie Brickell & The New Bohemians

‘Into Dust’ – Mazzy Star

‘Chloe Dancer/Crown of Thorns’ – Mother Love Bone


photo illustration by therockmom / Copyright © 2020



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