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This story was inspired by an idea I had based on a love of music, writing, and couches. Its reading is meant to be enjoyed to the fullest extent with it's accompanying soundtrack, which was used in the conception and writing. I do hope you'll enjoy this little... experiment. If you have a half hour to kill reading this, I encourage you to follow along with this playlist.


It was 2 A.M.

(Alabama Shakes - Rise to the Sun)

“All I believe in is a dream

I haunt the Earth, though I am fully seen

In all my years I’ve never felt more sure than now

Well, I got to get off this rock, somehow”


The boy stared aimlessly past his half clenched fingers to the back of the couch. Music droned from his phone as he spaced out in the darkness. It’d been hours since he’d draped himself in heavenly comfort to fall asleep, but his tangled emotions aggravated his insomnia, obstructing his tranquility and locking him out of dreamland.


“I wake up, rise to the sun, I go to work, and I come back home” 




(Cage the Elephant - Telescope)


He slid off the couch and put on his jeans. He plugged in his earbuds and stuffed the phone in his pocket, ready to sound off the playlist that melded in with the static of his mind.


“In a far and distant galaxy

Inside my telescope I see

A pair of eyes peer back at me

He walks and talks and looks like me

Sits around inside his house

From room to room, he moves about

Fills his life with pointless things

And wonders how it all turns out”


Grabbing his hoodie from the arm of his blue resting place, he headed out the door, making sure not to let the screen door slam and wake up those sleeping. Down his dark empty street, he shuffled.


“I don’t think you understand There’s nowhere left to turn

The walls keep breaking

Time is like a leaf in the wind

Either it’s time well spent or time I’ve wasted”


Through the winding roads, he walked until he made it to the stretch before the tracks that carried the arcane locomotives rolling along through his hometown.


“Here in my mind, losing my friends

Fall on my face, do it again

You say, "How do you do?"

Man, how 'bout you? Man, how 'bout you?

To be free, to be sold

To be killed, to be safe

In my head, I'm alone

I'm not dead, I'm ashamed

Just like you, I've been trying to escape

In my bones, I feel cold

I give thanks to the Lord

Industry, in the street

Let me go, let me be

I don't need to be here

I’m alone, can’t you see? Can’t you see?”


Gravelly scratching cut through the air of the otherwise quiet street as the boy trudged forward.


(Dr. Dog Where’d All the Time Go?)


Ethereal sounds began to fill his ears as he crossed the street, preparing to round the corner for the long stretch of the walk. The last song had brought him out of his spaciness but this one seemed to want to pull him back in.


“Where’d all the time go?

It’s starting to fly

See how the hands go

Waving goodbye

And you know I get so forgetful

When I look in your eyes


Now she’s walking backward

Through a parade

And I’m stuck in the shadow

Blocking the shade

And there ain’t no way to sweep up

The mess that we’ve made”


I screwed it up. It’s my own fault.


(Red Hot Chili Peppers  - Midnight)


Halfway down the block, the next tones began to play as he crossed the road to walk parallel with the trailer park, set beside a curiously placed corporate mechanical repair building. A deceptive opening melody disguises a more foreboding track than is expected by the uncultured ear.


“Resonating in the shape of things to come

Never waiting when I know there's only one

Messed it up, but rest assured

No one ever thinks they're cured

Just a minute while I reinvent myself

Make it up, and then I take it off the shelf”


Sadness had already started pushing through his mindless headspace, closely accompanied by self-doubt and regret. Along the same path he once walked to get to school, he waited at the intersection to cross the still busy highway.


“Everyone knows anything goes, and now

We are the lotus kids

Oh, better take note of this

For the story”


The line roused his emotions as the pedestrian light lit up at the song's end. Pleasant strings chimed as he straightened out from the second crosswalk made for students traveling to his previous school.


(Flake Music - Vantage)


The thought of his recent departure from high school left him bitter with regret in his heart.


I wanted to spend more time with them.


He continued his walk to the sound of James Mercer’s younger years in his first band. He stopped to stare at his alma mater and remember the good times he’d spent with his friends there. Thoughts of loneliness and reminders of radio silence from those ones filled his mind. He shook it off and kept moving towards his destination.


(Red Hot Chili Peppers - Under the Bridge)


Melodious guitar strings & Anthony Kiedis’ voice began to fill his ears as he started his descent on his desired location.


“It’s hard to believe that there’s nobody out there

It’s hard to believe that I’m all alone

At least I have her love

The city she loves me

Lonely as I am, together we cry”


The lyrics rang out in his mind like a sobering splash of ice-cold water to the face.


“I don’t ever want to feel

Like I did that day

Take me to the place I love

Take me far away”


He approached the middle of the field in the park across from his newly departed school. In the dead silence of the air around him, only the sound of his knees hitting the cold, soft grass was heard. He raised his head, eyes filled with tears, and screamed. His loneliness. His rage. His sadness and joy all left his body in the hot air erupting from his lungs. He slumped down, hands at his side, and shed a final tear.


(Alabama Shakes - Goin’ to the Party)


He clicked the button on his cord. His paused playlist readied to be played. The melodious sound of a woman’s voice accompanied by gentle guitars soothed the turmoil that he had felt. A warm pleasant feeling began filling the void inside. 


In the middle of a grassy field with a playground to the north and hoops and half pipes to the south, a boy sat listening to his music.


“The night feels good when you feel like a child when people tell us we need to straighten out

I’m gonna walk right across this town yelling your name and I’ll wait for you to come on down

Have you had yourself a good time for a while lately now?

I just can’t understand what you’re so worried about”


His head cleared. Lungs emptied. Solace maintained. Only one thought remained in his mind.


(Alabama Shakes - Sound and Color)


“A new world hangs outside the window, beautiful and strange. It must be I’ve fallen awake. It must be. Sound and color-with me-for my mind and the ship shows me where to go when I needn’t speak.”


Time to go home. Let's get an encore for the road.


He scrolled through the playlist and hit repeat.

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