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Thursday, December 30, 2004 

I am the best 17-year-old ever

I was up until 4 am this morning but then woke up at 9:30 and have been unable to get back to sleep. Stupid brain. I felt like feeling sorry for myself, so I put on The Meadowlands loud and sung along at the top of my lungs (sorry neighbours). This of course necessitated pulling up the lyrics so I wasn't just singing choruses, and I was struck again that the Wrens' lyrics, moreso than most rock bands, actually work pretty decently as text poetry. I'll curb my enthusiasm and just give you one example. I do think it works, even wihout the song.

13 Months In 6 Minutes

not yet 21
with introductions done
a first slow dance just ends.
I was at my best
we ignored the rest
(my band and your friends).
But as better night became best day we left the party while last records played.
What started as dessert back at your house
ended on the couch... hours at your mouth... sunday's on our hands.
We followed where it led.
I followed you to bed.
We started secret plans.

Forward 7 months:
I've only seen you once... I never call on time.
Trying to seem tough, I said one visit's enough
enough to keep you mine
(of course it wasn't...)
We were done by june.
You'd graduate and leave for london soon.
Your layover at newark's near my house.
We met for dinner there... just one hour to spare
your 20's all mapped out.
I'm in my driest drought
feeling old and shot and how.

And this is what I thought: I seem to still be caught... I'm a footnote at best... I envy who comes next... wish we could just make out.

'The hour's almost up', you said into your cup.
And it makes no difference now
(as I help lift your bags out)
that I'm lost and out of rope
while on my wrist you wrote
your newest number down.

I kind of said your name but you'd turned to your plane so I backed my car out.

I knew we'd never write (somehow that seemed all right) but this counts as calling three years out.

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Ian Mathers is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in Stylus, the Village Voice, Resident Advisor, PopMatters, and elsewhere. He does stuff and it magically appears here.

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