On Candy Apple Grey

31Oct07

Today we accepted a Halloween gift of a candy apple, which we considered for a moment before we were transported to the last time we encountered one, this just a few days after 9/11 (which is not to say this is a story about 9/11). Like so many others, we had gone down to walk among the smoking ruins and gape at the thick layers of dust left on the buildings south of Canal Street. We passed a candy store on Chambers Street and impulsively (oddly) purchased a candy apple. This done, we went to the park by City Hall, where we admired the apple’s translucent red armor in the heavy sun; but as much as its artificial splendor enticed us, we could not manage more than a few bites before we gave up and threw it away; the apple itself was the opposite of crisp and the candy hurt our teeth.

Our thoughts now drift back to the present, where soon — almost instantly — we succumb to our next memory, this one older and far more compelling; there is a familiar wave of distortion we don’t even need to hear to recognize; there is a heavy, plodding bass; there are the maniacal drumbeats and insistent, obsessive cymbals; most of all there is the angry melancholy of Bob Mould who screams into our thoughts and reminds us of what it’s like to be alive:

“Shatters your brain in a million tiny pieces
The sounds you hear aren’t coming out right
You think it might be mystic, you think I might be cryptic
The crystal in your china case is breaking in a million tiny pieces”

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