So, what did I do for the two weeks while the others were gone? Watched a chunk of Christian’s video collection, dragged out my old method books and flexed my fingers, and slept a lot.
What do other people do with themselves? I found myself wondering, not the first time I’d tried to imagine how the proverbial other half lived. If I had a day job, if I had some kind of social commitments, if I took my vacations by traveling to some exotic place, would I avoid this kind of moment where I could not figure out what to do and had nothing to put off doing? I could not imagine, though, having a girlfriend or boyfriend to spend the idle hours with. For the first time I wondered how Remo felt about living alone.
I began to understand why it was called “down time.”
I did do two things: I rented the loft in Chinatown for another two months so we could get recording and rehearse in earnest for the tour, and I made a lot of lists trying to decide what else to work on. Four songs were basically in the can: Windfall, Way of Life, Intensive Care, and Flashback (Caught). Carynne’s song titled itself in my mind: Wonderland.
Looking at the titles of the songs we’d done previously plus the half-finished ones in my notebook and on scraps of tapes all over my room I found a preponderance of titles beginning with “W.” The first song I had thought of as Carynne’s–Walking in Time–plus Welcome, both from our first EP, Why the Sky from Prone to Relapse. Windfall, Way of Life, Wonderland. Why not?
This is what I was thinking while combing my inventory for ideas to finish the current album with. I had a few more W’s in the backlog: White Flag, Whisper. I also had notes jotted down on a composition of Bart’s that had no lyrics but he had entitled Wish for Birds.
Now that I had noticed the trend, I found I had conflicting feelings for the new W songs. On the one hand they seemed to jump out at me, asking to be finished, but I also held a prejudice against them, like there was something pretentious or contrived about them now. Bart would flick my ear and tell me I was thinking too much. I decided to point the coincidence out to the others and then let music take its course.
When I got too uneasy at home from twiddling my thumbs I walked down to a place on the main drag, Bunratty’s. I think it had started out as a pub like dozens of others around here, but about ten years ago started having blues, white boy funk, sometimes ska. Now there was live music five nights a week with a regular rotating schedule of acts on the weeknights. Bunratty’s was the one place in the Boston area that reminded me the most of the bars in Providence, and of Maddie’s in Jersey. On a weekend I couldn’t get in, not for another month anyway, because they checked IDs. But on a Tuesday or Wednesday they didn’t care and I didn’t drink. If anyone recognized me no one said anything.
On January 4th, Mills called to say they’d finally decided “Why the Sky” should be the next single and wanted talk logistics about shooting the video ASAP. I was halfway through the conversation, talking about dates and directors when I realized I could pass this kind of thing on to Digger. I took notes but didn’t give him any commitments and told him I’d have Digger call him.