Frog in a
Richard Sonnenmoser's amplifier: writing, literary podcast, music.
Liner Notes for "Fall Under Falling Stars"
Norma Rae is one of a handful of movies I love because of something about it and the way I first saw it: very late at night, after having been out and having had an experience that left me feeling alien in my own skin, both lonely and more dedicated to being alone, and completely by chance. On TV. These movies helped me to steer into the skid of an insomnia. For most of them, I watched 45 minutes or so before I figured out the title of what I was watching. A feature of this experience is that the movie is doing two, seemingly contradictory, things. It’s helping me to push up into the mothy rafters the reasons I can’t sleep, and it’s also revealing the possibilities of sleep. A murmuring anxiety laced with soporific. After a while, I’m really, really wanting to stay up to watch the end of the very same movie which is making me sleepy. I know I’m dating myself. What I’m describing here is era-dependent. I haven’t had this experience in a long while because, if I can’t sleep, I’m likely now to watch something on Netflix, which isn’t the same. And so it won’t be long—immediately, perhaps, if you’re twelve?—until what I’ve just described will feel like that scene in the novel where the heroine notices the wax seal on the letters sent by her ominous benefactor look eerily like the bottom of the butter churn and then, using this knowledge, she endeavors to . . . . There’s a guitar move I was working at. I don’t know if there’s a technical name for it. The left hand is doing a whole hand pull-off and then quickly moving into the next chord. The distal phalanxes of the right hand strike the strings. Each finger of the left hand leaves the neck, pinky to pointer. A discernible leaving. Kind of an "arpeggio pull-off." The best one’s at 00:56. That's my favorite second of the song, by the way: 56. It was the beginning of Mardi Gras. Beginning of the century. Maybe twenty or so people in the Music Cafe in Columbia, Missouri. So there are two versions of me. One is 18 years younger than the other. One is making noises. Moaning in search of a harmony. The other isn't really thinking about the arpeggio pull-off, at least not consciously. One is having second thoughts, years too late, about "limned" and "one week sans Evan Williams." The other is sleepless, stuck in time, and sans courage to apologize for what he's about to do to his coldest friend.