The Demolition Revival.
Don’t call it a comeback…
BY: AMANDA SCHAPPELL
What’s say we give this whole thing another try…
We’d love it if you submitted your articles to [The Demolition Sessions] . A comedic rant, a heartfelt prose, an encounter or experience you believe others need to be aware of. Whatever it may be, let your voice be heard.
If we’re going to destroy something, let’s make it beautiful. Make it unforgettable. Allow those to feel emotion through the power of the perfect display of our clumsy words strung together.
I’ve got a lot of love for those who write in the dead of the night. Keystrokes and crossed out spaces. If we must walk around a place on eggshells, let’s do it our own way. We always have.
E-mail your submissions to: thedemolitionsessions[at]gmail[dot]com
For those that are curious about our other whereabouts on the web, find us here: Twitter | Facebook.
Searching But Never Finding.
BY: MARLANE DISHER
“…the best you, you can ever be at that moment in time.”
Love. I think we look for it in the wrong places—moon-lit walks down the boulevard to raging bars, sun-kissed cheeks on bikinied bodies in sandy places, behind numerous pages of old books in a library, lip-stick stained mugs in local coffee shops, crushed sweaty bodies at concerts, dating sites. None of those places are bad places, but the just aren’t the right places if you’re looking for love. That’s just it… looking for love. I find the most unhappy people are the ones who are looking for love—searching for something that really can’t be found. They are looking for something they can’t really fix with love. They feel insignificant or unworthy unless they have someone and then they’re happy until it fades and the cycle begins again.
If you can’t be happy with yourself without being in a relationship, what makes you think you can be happy in a relationship with another? Being single isn’t a bad thing. You discover who you are and what you believe in because you only focus on yourself and the people you care about. You can grow in ways that you never thought you could.
Instead of looking for love, maybe you should spend more time looking for something that can be found—yourself. Go on adventures with your best friends. Do something you never thought you would. Get lost in a book on a Friday evening. Make your cheeks hurt from smiling too often. Get that tattoo you were too scared to get. Help others. Do whatever you do to make yourself happy. Love will find your when you’re at that place in life where you’re most comfortable—the best you, you can ever be at that moment in time. As long as you search for love, you will never be able to find it; love finds you when you’re ready, and when you’re ready it will take you by storm.
We’re Not Astronauts Yet.
BY: SAM COCHRANE
“This is my night and I own it. I’m calling the shots here and if I want to look at the world, I can look at the world.”
And all of a sudden there wasn’t any more light. Just like that. The TV, the computer, the refrigerator and the microwave were out too. The porch light, the main room lights, the kitchen lights. I didn’t realize how many lights I had around me until they were all turned off. I was surrounded by lights. Lights to show me where to go and lights to tell me what to do. The digital clock in the microwave had gone out.
I remembered that whenever the power had gone out when I was a kid my Dad would always go down to the basement and get a few candles and set them up in the candle-holders. He would light them and we were fine. It was this easy solution to the problem that made the electricity going out seem more like an adventure than anything. When the power went out we went camping in our house. Except I don’t have candles. I only have electric lights around and they’re all off.
“Two of Us” by The Beatles reminds me of my dad. Not the man really but the idea of my father. On Sunday mornings we might go somewhere we made an excuse to visit, like the zoo or a movie and we might listen to a song like this one. Two of us riding nowhere, spending someone’s hard earned pay. You and me Sunday driving not arriving on our way back home. I might’ve thought that the song was picked randomly from the tracks on the album. You and I have memories longer than the road that stretches far ahead. It was always stupid little things like that. He didn’t want to say anything important to me so he let a song say it for him. We’re on our way home.
My Dad and Charlie both liked the Beatles music from “the later years”. Charlie said to me once that it was because they had grown into their skins by then. Charlie and I didn’t talk very much. His favorite Beatles song was “Dear Prudence.” We never got to have our own “later years” spent talking or arguing. That’s why we changed so much. No one to watch us and keep the other in check. We were friends the way shooting stars cross each others’ paths. At the point of intersection the light must’ve seemed brighter than it really was. The ways light lies, shining brighter for us because we were together. The world seemed easier back then. What felt like years would go by and everything would change around us. And suddenly it would all click back in. Something in the air changes, or like salmon we swim upstream for no real reason other than a change of pace.
I wanted to drive somewhere but I didn’t have enough gas, gas money or real excuses to be anywhere but in the apartment waiting for the power to go back on. Charlie and I used to go for drives whenever there wasn’t anything else to do.
“The reason we lost touch,” Charlie might’ve said if he were there, “is that you don’t even know how to get in touch with yourself.”
“It’s not really my fault like that,” I would’ve said.
“I stopped being able to rely on you.” Dear Prudence, won’t you come out to play? Dear Prudence, greet the brand new day. I wonder what John said to Paul right before they stopped making music together. Look where being friends with the same people for years gets you. Dear Prudence, won’t you let me see you smile?
Lifting myself from the conversation I realized just how quiet the room suddenly was. The heating had stopped so the noises from what I imagined to be old pipes also stopped and I could almost hear my own heart beat. And the lights still weren’t back on.
In the cabinet above the unpowered refrigerator I find a few AAA batteries next to a jar of pennies and books from high school that I didn’t like enough to put on my bookshelf. Things Fall Apart, One Day In The Life of Ivan Denisovich, and pennies that will never pay for anything. I put the jar on the floor so I could reach the books. Tip-toed, I grabbed them and took them back to the couch with the batteries. I think I disliked these books so much because of my freshmen year English teacher.
“What does a gravy ladle do, boys?” he had said in class. He wore these sweater vests that stretched over his belly whenever he sat down in his chair at the front of the class and leaned back, resting his head behind his hands. No one really replied. “A gravy ladle isn’t used to put two sentences together.” He took a gravy ladle out from his desk and used it to poke a hole in the middle of a piece of paper and slide it along like a shish-kabob. He did the same thing with another piece of paper. He held the ladle out, looked at us and let the papers slide onto the floor. The ladle wasn’t holding them together. “The ladle isn’t holding them together. A comma isn’t used to put two sentences together either. That’s not what the comma is for.”
I walked back over to the couch and put the batteries into one my old CD player I had. I put the headphones on and pressed play. “Don’t Stop Believing” came on. One of the CD’s Charlie had given me. Some were born to sing the blues. He made this for me, I thought. Don’t stop believing. Hold on to that feeling. It’s amazing the relics that people can leave behind in the smallest, and stupidest little objects.
After the song had ended another one did not start. I heard a rustling like someone was setting up a microphone. I heard Charlie’s voice coming from my headphones. He had recorded a message at the end of the CD.
“How have you been, George?” Charlie believed that addressing people by their first name, even when talking between just two people, created a “connection between the individuals.” Directness was always the way with Charlie. “I wanted to tell you about a dream I had last night.” I had a dim memory of this message that he left me. It was some kind of thank you or something.
“I had a dream about you last night. We were at some pool but we weren’t swimming or anything. And you were standing on one of those diving boards, or maybe you were sitting, and I was on another one, probably the higher one because I’m a better swimmer than you. We were both just standing still and looking into the water. Only the water wasn’t water because it was the sky. It was black and had all these tiny stars in it.” The recording cut out for a second. He had messed up and picked up where he left off in another take. “So anyways have a good day, George.”
“You too, Charlie,” I said. Knowing no one was in the room but me and compressed electronic signals being sent through the CD player to my headphones.
I remembered the day he had given this to me. We had been in my parents’ basement. Two years ago we had just driven back to my house together like it was nothing we wouldn’t be able to do for the rest of our lives. His house was unremarkable. Two windows on either side of the door. A walk way with a mailbox at the end. Beige plastic siding. But going down into his basement always felt like we were entering our own city. Down there at least, we had siphoned off the essential elements from the outside world: a stereo, two couches, each other and Monopoly. I spent most of my Saturdays and after-school afternoons there, not doing much except being.
I remembered that going down the stairs to the basement the air felt less warm the farther I went. It was no longer stuffy and stale from too much heat like the rest of the house. It seemed fresh. Everything was exactly the way we had left it before because no one else went down there besides us. The basement always felt like coming home. Not home in the sense of the house where I grew up but home to a safe place where you could run to when you scraped your knee.
“Here I want you to have this,” Charlie said.
“Can we listen to it now?” I said. He laughed.
“No, later,” he said as he smiled. “It will mean more when we’re both old men and we listen to it and laugh at how lame we both are.”
The night ended with us laying on the floor looking up at the ceiling. It was cream and stuccoed: just like every other suburban subterranean refuge. I looked over at my friend and in Charlie’s face he had the expression of a child looking up at the stars, where every second you discover a new one as your eye adjusts to the dark. Only he was discovering specks of dirt on the ceiling as he was passing out in a brightly lit basement in the suburbs.
We went outside and climbed the fence and hopped the foot to get onto the roof overlooking the sidewalk in front of the house. We were too far away from the ground to feel like we were part of the world but too far away from the sky to think we could ever get to the moon.
My world still was powerless. It had been almost 3 hours and I was still living AAA to AAA battery. It was getting dark. I went to go buy one of those battery powered lanterns from a hardware store on the corner. The cold air seemed wet and the wind blew so that you could hear it chasing itself through the narrow driveways between houses. I felt damp and off balance the moment I started walking. The walk wasn’t too long but it was long enough that my cheeks were red when I got into the store.
It was dark and small inside. It was taking up the room that a house had once been in. The door jingled closed and the man at the register looked up.
“It’s chilly out there, huh?” The clerk said to me.
“And windy,” I said. “My power is gone.”
“Yeah, we’ve got the reserve engines going over there,” motioning to a small generator behind him.
“At least you’ve got that. It must be like nothing is different,” I laughed. I went up the aisles and found a lantern and brought it to him and checked out.
The sky had gotten clearer as I walked back and the sun set from blue to orangey-rose and then to a deep navy. I turned on the lantern inside and it lit up most of the room well enough.
The street outside my window is completely dark except for a few candles and small lights poking through curtains in windows across from me. Far away I can make out taller buildings, all brilliant and lit up. One has an electric clock tower attached to its side proudly showing the world an analog 9:24. As far away as the tower is, it’s still brighter than the moon. Shining only dimly hundreds of thousands of miles away, it almost makes sense. I wondered if anyone else could be looking out of their own windows and sitting on the floor. This moment seemed so quiet and easy to pass over that it was just mine to secretly hide in.
I hop up onto the window’s ledge inside my room. I put my back against the corner and lean my back up against the glass. I don’t care if anyone sees me from the outside. This is my night and I own it. I’m calling the shots here and if I want to look at the world, I can look at the world.
I slide the glass so the window opens. The glass is stuck and hard to open sitting down with one hand. When it snaps open the wind and the cold air outside come rushing in my face reminding me not everything is as peaceful as it looks. Reality of the scene bursts in to my room loud with wind and some one unlocking their car outside, causing the car horn to go off three times. A woman wearing a tan raincoat and a hat gets into the car. I don’t recognize her but I can’t get a good look at her face. She could be old or young, but probably somewhere in the middle. Her shoes were going through the puddles and I could hear them sloshing as she ran to the car.
I wished that I knew more about who she was or where she was coming from. She was in the kind of hurry that was too slow to be that urgent. But she was hurrying anyways. The overhead light turned on as she opened the door and off and she closed it. She put the key in the ignition and turned it, lights went on in the car. Green, orange and red lights for the speedometer, clock and stereo. I couldn’t hear the stereo, but I imagined songs she could be listening to.
You and I have memories longer than the road that stretches far ahead. She pulled into gear and drove into the main road and turned right. There was a gas station, the hardware shop, fast food and the west bound freeway in that direction. I didn’t know where she was going but she could be going West in order to start a new life for herself. To get away from the memories she has just lying around over here. Driving into the unknown at 70 miles an hour.
When In Rome…
BY: AMANDA SCHAPPELL
…from the cuffs of the jacket you rolled up and smoked. …So you don’t wear your heart on your sleeve.
“When in Rome…”
The coffee may taste warmer, the sweets sweeter,
and you trick yourself to believe
it’s not because you’re paying extra for the ambiance.
You see, the walls are lined with compliments and books
stacked higher than your ego-
Just a reminder to come down from those clouds.
(Ones I tend to mention but you always fail to care about.)
Once upon a time… there were these good, good vibes.
Before I often had to sleep in increments of time.
I shouted from the rooftops, “Bad news loves me more than you do.”
and for the first time, I think someone listened.
I’d like to think you’d douse yourself in these transgressive qualities,
yet extinguish them from the cuffs of the jacket you rolled up and smoked.
…So you don’t wear your heart on your sleeve, or something like that.
However, I am too transfixed by the edges of your smirk to notice.