• Josh Vesper

Rubber Band Moments

Rubber Band Moments

or: the effect of music on self-talk: a narrative itinerary


[with the music of Spellling and Alexis Marshall]


by Josh Vesper.


On September 19, 2021, a moment of understanding was realized. This moment was not a pointillistic spec of ink relative to the greater landscape of a personal storyboard. No. I hate pointillism. //The moment was a hot rubber band, stretching, pulling, and sculpting itself across the hours of the day. The melting rubber sept into every groove, nook, and cranny in its path. // Yes. That was the moment.



11:00 AM

Wake up. It’s late. // The internal dialogue deafens. // Think straight. Stretch. Think right. Think less. Not that. Not that either. Think more. More. more. More!! Just right.


11:30 AM

I cannot stay trapped here. Pull the shelter back and away. I cannot operate this machine today. Craving organic movement. Travel on foot. Where are we going? Anywhere but here. Do not forget your glasses you must have Vision. Do not forget your journal you must have Voice.


Wired headphones as intravenous therapy. [PLAY] - [Spellling – The Turning Wheel] stave off the dehydration.


12:00 PM

The walk is brisk, but unhurried. No screens, just feelings. [Spellling – TTW-“Little Deer”] Feelings are terrifyingly beautiful. Who is the little deer? Am I the little deer? Maybe I am the hunter. “Little deer, little deer, the arrow hurts to fly to you. How do I fear, little deer? To take the precious life from you away.” I do not want to be the hunter. The hunter has an honorable duty, and I do not envy the honor. The world passes me by, I pass by the world, life in synchronicity.


12:30 PM

Like a beached whale, I have arrived. Whether you like it or not. [PAUSE] I can hear the surface level interactions again. How are you today? So nice to see you! Ope do I really need another coffee today? Oh shucks! I guess so. Suppress the urge to vomit. I need to go back to that dreamland. The cathartic absence of reality launches me higher than any drug could ever wish to. Spend another dollar. Another dollar. Another dollar. There are worse addictions to have. Do not fear, little deer, you have those too. [PLAY] - [Spellling – TTW – “Boys at School”]. With the press of a button, optimism is no longer dead. “I hate the boys at school. They never play by the rules.” I will never exist within a prison of rules. You. Must. Leave. Now.


1:00 PM

I seek no destination. Just move. Fluid and clean and natural. Just move. [Spellling – TTW – “Sweet Talk”]. “I hear the musical words. In the arc of a rainbow. In the spider’s harp.” [STOP]. //I am no longer deaf.// I hear the wind and the birds and the cars and the beggars and the salutations and the yesterday rain and the wine glass clinks and the sweet nothing whispers. And I walk in the blissful silence.


1:15 PM

Silence appears most often in places of discomfort. Thank God the church gate is open. 2000 years of religious dogma casts shadows over the meticulously cared-for shrubs, the ornate fountains, and cobblestone crucifixes. I have the journal. Project Voice in the silence. Project Voice in the silence. Project Voice in the silence.

2:00 PM

Church is dismissed. I must walk “home.” Must. Musty. Dusty. Walk “home.” My dreamland meets its antithesis. [PLAY] – [Alexis Marshall – House of Lull. House of When – “Hounds in the Abyss”] “Are you the one letting the air out the tires of my car? Are you the one breathing on the other side of my bedroom door? Are you the one walking across the mouth of my open grounds?” thoughts untamed. uncontrollable conversations with myself. this young man is paranoid. trademark on that pussy™. trademark on that pussy™. trademark on that pussy™. The abyss of reality returns, I am “home.”


2:30 PM

The door opens unwelcomingly. [Alexis Marshall – HoL.HoW. – “It Just Doesn’t Feel Good Anymore”] “Don’t get up. Don’t go out. Don’t touch anything. Don’t look at anyone. Don’t look at anything…You have OBLIGATIONS. Stay where you are. You have OBLIGATIONS.” I reside in the prison of rules. //obey. collapse. cover your eyes. the kitchen floor has never felt more comfortable//. no Vision. fear is an unforgiving god. I fear it. they cannot see what I see and what I see is everything in the nothingness of blindness. the tears flow //let them// I do not want to cry //let them//let them//. [STOP] open your eyes. there is still light here.


the moment has passed.


you are safe now.

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