By Mike Faloon
Allie and I had a lot of errands. We're going away in a week. We're renting a place in Gloucester, Massachusetts and we have to bring our own sheets and blankets. Time to get a rooftop carrier. Allie found one on Craigslist. That was our first stop.
Then we drove up to Patterson for a walk in the woods. There's a trail that cuts through a swamp and there were a lot deer flies. We didn't mind when they hovered. We were okay when they landed but we turned around when they started to bite. After stopping at the p.o. box we went to our local idyllic coffee shop. The screen door creaks but doesn't slam. The tables don't match. There are books and magazines and puzzles and kids' toys all over the place. At this particular coffee shop, though, you have to deal with the grumpy old hippie at the counter. She was relatively nice to Allie today. She didn't frown once when Allie asked about the muffins. Grumpy old hippies disappoint me more than other people because I always expect old hippies to be nice and wise and mellow, like all their time with those Arlo Guthrie and Jefferson Airplane records helped them figure out how to be better people.
We saw a movie, too. We do this about once every six months, we see a movie that doesn't have any animated characters. There was an early showing of Midnight in Paris, the new Woody Allen movie. It was pretty good. Owen Wilson time travels back to 1920s Paris and runs into the Fitzgeralds and Hemingway and Gertrude Stein and Picasso and Dali. The best parts are when the characters monologue about why people make art.
When I got home I popped open a beer, thought about the movie, and listened to Summer of Indifference. A lot of my teaching colleagues come back to school in the fall talking about how they're ready to be back because they were bored at home. This perplexes me. I'd make a good summer consultant, help people find engaging ways to spend their free time. Just as long as they agree that hot summer afternoons are best spent with good beverages, movies, music, and conversation.
I'd listened to "Ocean's Skin" four times in a row by the time I started writing. It's a great way to close out side one. Along with the movie and the summer heat and next week's trip, "Ocean's Skin" was a perfect fit for today.
Running past the railing
Watching boats come in from the sea
"Ocean's Skin" would go well with Robert Frost poems or Richard Brautigan's Trout Fishing in America. For that matter, "Hand" would go well with Edgar Allen Poe or H.P. Lovecraft. I'm not sure which writer would go well with "Maycrowning."
 "'Ocean's Skin' is all gibberish nonsense." – Jeff, e-mail 7/15/11
From Learning to Surf, a one-shot music zine by Mike Faloon.