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16

Behold Us Two Boys Sitting Together
(missing author)

0
terms
5
notes

nonfiction by Dave Madden: “I’m about to tell you about a friendship that’s lasted thirty years and perhaps the first thing to learn is that there are certain subjects we don’t talk about directly.”

? (2020). Behold Us Two Boys Sitting Together. ZYZZYVA, 118, pp. 16-32

20

[...] The snow would be piling up outside, we could see through the screened-in porch out back. His sister glued to her TV upstairs. [...] I pressed the record button. Our voices, tinny, seeped out into the room through his headphones and I breathed very shallow so as not to make extraneous noise. I sat there and listened to BJ play the solo, brassy and languid, and he nailed it in the first take. He picked the last harmonic, let it sing out and decay, then nodded at me. I stopped the tape.

Where is it now?

nothing's really going on or anything, i just find this so beautiful

—p.20 missing author 4 months, 3 weeks ago

[...] The snow would be piling up outside, we could see through the screened-in porch out back. His sister glued to her TV upstairs. [...] I pressed the record button. Our voices, tinny, seeped out into the room through his headphones and I breathed very shallow so as not to make extraneous noise. I sat there and listened to BJ play the solo, brassy and languid, and he nailed it in the first take. He picked the last harmonic, let it sing out and decay, then nodded at me. I stopped the tape.

Where is it now?

nothing's really going on or anything, i just find this so beautiful

—p.20 missing author 4 months, 3 weeks ago
22

[...] As mirrors of each other, we were a success, and for a boy hung up on what shared Converse might reveal, this felt like dying. [...]

And I saw my future stretch before me like a flat, snowy expanse. I would not get to reinvent myself in college. I would not get the new life I'd been dreaming of. I would be in High School Part II, BJ's continued twin. [...] I can't imagine not being your friend. I try it, and it's like imagining not having arms, or a foot. A worrisome question at the heart of every relationship: where do they end and I begin? For so long, you always ended over there. Like: right over there in a very clear place I could point at and walk someone over to. But over thirty years, I feel that things have shifted, and there's a worrisome question left for me now: what is it that still lies between us?

—p.22 missing author 4 months, 3 weeks ago

[...] As mirrors of each other, we were a success, and for a boy hung up on what shared Converse might reveal, this felt like dying. [...]

And I saw my future stretch before me like a flat, snowy expanse. I would not get to reinvent myself in college. I would not get the new life I'd been dreaming of. I would be in High School Part II, BJ's continued twin. [...] I can't imagine not being your friend. I try it, and it's like imagining not having arms, or a foot. A worrisome question at the heart of every relationship: where do they end and I begin? For so long, you always ended over there. Like: right over there in a very clear place I could point at and walk someone over to. But over thirty years, I feel that things have shifted, and there's a worrisome question left for me now: what is it that still lies between us?

—p.22 missing author 4 months, 3 weeks ago
24

[...] Music had been his major in college. Why wasn't he trying to make it his job?

"A job is a job," he said. "It's what I do to pay my bills. Music is my life. If I made my life my job, if I relied on it for money, I think I'd come to hate my life."

It was pitch black out, the dashboard's glow lit our faces orange. I was struck by the force of his voice, the volume of it in our little car. I'd rarely heard him talk that way. And then I was struck with a feeling, a new one. Behold us two boys sitting together, as different as head and tails.

i wonder about this tbh (with writing)

—p.24 missing author 4 months, 3 weeks ago

[...] Music had been his major in college. Why wasn't he trying to make it his job?

"A job is a job," he said. "It's what I do to pay my bills. Music is my life. If I made my life my job, if I relied on it for money, I think I'd come to hate my life."

It was pitch black out, the dashboard's glow lit our faces orange. I was struck by the force of his voice, the volume of it in our little car. I'd rarely heard him talk that way. And then I was struck with a feeling, a new one. Behold us two boys sitting together, as different as head and tails.

i wonder about this tbh (with writing)

—p.24 missing author 4 months, 3 weeks ago
26

Let's be Beage. Age forty. White. Brown hair. Six feet tall, maybe two-hundred pounds. Married twelve years to the girl we got set up with after college, who teaches history to middle school kids. Let's live in a townhome in a suburb of Washington, population 71,000, with our two sons, Oscar, nine, and Jack, four, and our dog, Melvin, and drive thirty minutes to work at an engineering firm, where we and the team we lead help rezone properties for developers to build what they're dreaming of. Let's drink beers at our work lunches, wear sideburns that border on muttonchops, and buy a leather iPhone case that looks like an old prayer book. Let's believe in God, but skip church. After the kids are in bed, let's record songs on our iPad in our basement, where our kids keep all their toys and we do the same, our guitars and amps and accordion and pedal organs and our bottles of Scotch tucked away in closets and cabinets. Let's mow our own lawn. Let's have a car payment. Let's have a mortgage and a habit of railing against home ownership, which we call a crock. Let's have, overall, a softness that makes us attractive in a spatial sense, makes it easy for people to want to get close to us. Let our talents glean to music, and let's develop those talents to where we can pick up any instrument handed to us and play "I"m a Believer" or "In My Life" well enough for everyone in the room to sing along. But mostly, let's play those songs alone, in our basement, our friend since fourth grade living 2,800 miles away, where his guitar case sits behind his bedroom floor, coated in dust.

:(

and yet - is the alternative better?

—p.26 missing author 4 months, 3 weeks ago

Let's be Beage. Age forty. White. Brown hair. Six feet tall, maybe two-hundred pounds. Married twelve years to the girl we got set up with after college, who teaches history to middle school kids. Let's live in a townhome in a suburb of Washington, population 71,000, with our two sons, Oscar, nine, and Jack, four, and our dog, Melvin, and drive thirty minutes to work at an engineering firm, where we and the team we lead help rezone properties for developers to build what they're dreaming of. Let's drink beers at our work lunches, wear sideburns that border on muttonchops, and buy a leather iPhone case that looks like an old prayer book. Let's believe in God, but skip church. After the kids are in bed, let's record songs on our iPad in our basement, where our kids keep all their toys and we do the same, our guitars and amps and accordion and pedal organs and our bottles of Scotch tucked away in closets and cabinets. Let's mow our own lawn. Let's have a car payment. Let's have a mortgage and a habit of railing against home ownership, which we call a crock. Let's have, overall, a softness that makes us attractive in a spatial sense, makes it easy for people to want to get close to us. Let our talents glean to music, and let's develop those talents to where we can pick up any instrument handed to us and play "I"m a Believer" or "In My Life" well enough for everyone in the room to sing along. But mostly, let's play those songs alone, in our basement, our friend since fourth grade living 2,800 miles away, where his guitar case sits behind his bedroom floor, coated in dust.

:(

and yet - is the alternative better?

—p.26 missing author 4 months, 3 weeks ago
28

Once, I and a friend of ours blindfolded BJ and drove him somewhere deep in Fairfax County, the end of some generic cul-de-sac inside a nest of twisting cul-de-sacs. We set him in a car, madde him wait a few minutes for us to drive off, and then let him find his way back to a bar in Hendon. If he made it back in one hour, we'd buy his beers that night; if not, he was buying. The friend and I drove back in my car, excited about the contest, feling pretty good about the confusing place we dropped him. I parked in a lot across from the bar, and as we walked toward the entrance, guess who was standing there waiting for us.

His whole thing is zoning, land use. A master's in urban planning. [...]

—p.28 missing author 4 months, 3 weeks ago

Once, I and a friend of ours blindfolded BJ and drove him somewhere deep in Fairfax County, the end of some generic cul-de-sac inside a nest of twisting cul-de-sacs. We set him in a car, madde him wait a few minutes for us to drive off, and then let him find his way back to a bar in Hendon. If he made it back in one hour, we'd buy his beers that night; if not, he was buying. The friend and I drove back in my car, excited about the contest, feling pretty good about the confusing place we dropped him. I parked in a lot across from the bar, and as we walked toward the entrance, guess who was standing there waiting for us.

His whole thing is zoning, land use. A master's in urban planning. [...]

—p.28 missing author 4 months, 3 weeks ago