Spent Butane (1999)

by Thunderegg



(Streamable only.) The 20th-century Thunderegg albums were originally distributed on home-dubbed 90-minute cassettes, but with the exciting arrival of the CD-R era, some tough decisions had to be made: The new format held only 74 minutes of music, so Universal Nut, New England Music, Personnel Envelo-file, and Thunderegg (aka Thunderegg IV, or just Runes) had to be reissued without some key tracks. Nobody really noticed, honestly. Or if they did, they were relieved, because perhaps they weren't really ready for "Sexy Swineherder." But now, we wager, they might be, because don't people miss the nineties? Here's the first round of stuff that never made it to CD, along with a few other things that never even made it to cassette in the first place.

NEW! Updated version features bonus tracks recorded after Spent Butane's original 1999 release date! We could've put out a whole other outtake compilation, but who needs that, am I right? We got this one going already, let's just dump it all here!


released September 7, 1999

Tracks 1-4 are outtakes from Universal Nut (1995). Tracks 5-13 are outtakes from New England Music (1996). Tracks 14-22 are outtakes from Personnel Envelo-file (1997). Tracks 23-33 are outtakes from Thunderegg (1997). Track 34 is an outtake from Powder to the People (1998).

Track 35 is an outtake from The Envelope Pushes Back (2000). Tracks 36-44 are outtakes from the 2005 Song of the Week project.




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Track Name: Pillowcase (take 1)
I’ll shut up now, I can see the words I say cut through you and still worm their way to the heart that was mine till today. The words I add make the cutting cut cold and fast. I regret what I have said but I know that words can’t take words back. What’s the point to making this whole thing break if we not only lie alone, we lie alone and cold awake? It was a mistake, whatever it was we discussed, far too much for 2 a.m. to ever be entrusted with. I’ve lost my way. I can hear my heartbeat race, dashing in my inner ear, up against my pillowcase. But just last night I heard yours pounding in your chest, and where we’d be in twenty hours, neither of us would dared have guessed. But we knew then, somewhere it jumped the tracks. And though some derailings can be fixed, another train’s coming, we can’t go back.
Track Name: Xantippe
It’s a complex world and you can’t make generalizations, unless they’re true. My life had been a non-stop chain of hesitation, till I met you. You took me on, you proved me wrong, you made me strong, then you were gone. So am I what I was when I was with you or with¬out you, or am I just alone?

I can’t remember if I ever knew you, but you’re always on my mind. I tried to run, I tried to catch up to you, but I just got left behind, Xantippe.

There is no satisfaction in satisfaction, because you always want more. You have a reac¬tion before I’ve even made my action, so what am I here for? Some day we’ll meet again when all is forgotten and all is well. I’ll say I missed you, I want you, I need you, I love you, oh sorry, I thought you were someone else.
Track Name: Sexy Swineherder
Sexy swineherder, have you heard her? Walking the pasture, pigs running past her. She raises her cry, she makes her pigs fly. She can do anything, Sexy Swineherder.

Hitch up your piggies, hitch em to a trough. Slop up some magic, get ready to take off. Like a rocket she rise from the darkness of the sty, and then with a blinding light, disappears into the clear black night.

Glide on, Sexy, glide on through the crisp cold air. Glide on, Sexy, glide on, tell yourself you’ll al¬ways be up there. The spell will wear off soon, and when it does, your pigs won’t have wings anymore. Glide on, now, Sexy, glide on home. Put your pigs to rest and go to sleep, go to sleep, go to sleep alone.
Track Name: Her Shotgun Life
She led a shotgun life, but she don’t understand. Twenty-one years in the passenger seat, a Camel fil¬ter in her right hand. She wanted to be bad so bad she could taste it in the scotch she had. She criticize me for not getting around and wonders why I don’t get my friends to give me a ride out of town. I tell her at least walking down my same old street feels different with these new shoes on my feet.

I realize your obsession, she says, it’s a fact of vast report. But I, for one, am not a brassiere, so don’t ask me for support.

She said she thinks she’s changed a lot, she’s not nearly so analytical. I said if you noticed the change then you probably haven’t changed at all. And as she sat there silent giving me the longest, coldest, hardest stare, I knew right then I had to get her out of my mind or else I’d have to join her there.

All of those Camels have ruined your enamel and though kissing an ashtray is like kissing you, now that you’re gone, an ashtray will have to do.
Track Name: Rangement Verticale
Once you have recorded all four tracks, the next and last step is mixing them into a standard stereo format. Since the idea of mixing down is to bring the four tracks down to two, you need another, two-track cassette recorder which will act as the mastering deck. Connect, connect…
Track Name: The Lord of the Empty Beer Bottles
Empty beer bottles with their labels ripped off so the contraption won’t credit the deposit. Scratches for no itches, and itches for no scratches, a video and no way to pause it. Forty-eight pages of newspaper taking up forty-eight square feet of floor. Stop banging on the door. It’s blocked by an open drawer. Thirty-five pens, but none of them work. Someone pour a soda for this total jerk. More than thirty-five days since this jerk’s worked. Someone score some jerky for this jerky clerk. Well, no, it’s not that bad at all, and with nothing left to do, he can watch all the others in their hundred-dollar shoes. The ones that have the jobs, but don’t have an inkling of what an inkling is, or what it might be thinking. They just know that if a star is twinkling, it’s because they’ve been drinking. Come on, come off it, what’s with all the distress? This gift of two billion seconds was delivered express.

I am the lord of the empty beer bottles, I scatter them at will, or stack them in a pyramid, or simply smash them for the thrill. I collect the rounded sea glass that washes upon my shore, and gather it up, throw it out to sea, when I feel like having more.

There’s a wiffleball under my mattress, and I have to confess, it’s a comfort to know at least I’m not a princess.
Track Name: Interesting (Intercinema version)
Smoke all around me, it has found me, show me, show me something new. Song come surround me, come and drown me, sing to me, sing to me the way you used to. And I was just gonna say that I thought it was interesting.

I do adore you, but I must ignore you: It seems I'm always living in extremes. I'd go to sleep to forget about you, but I know that I'll see you in my dreams. And I was just gonna say that I thought it was interesting.

Now dawn is breaking and my head is aching. I had way, way, way too much to think last night. And though you hate it when I say it, I'd say that every little thing is gonna be all right. And I was just gonna say that I thought it was interesting.
Track Name: Harmonica I
I could give it a name, I could give it a moniker, but it’s all the same to my harmonica.
Track Name: Leeza Has Been Briefed on Slack
LEEZA: So what’s wrong with that? AUDIENCE MEMBER #1: Well, who’s going to pay for it? (applause) I mean, you have to eat, you wanted him to have insurance. Uh, there are certain things that go to make up our way of life today, whether we like it or not. Uh, we have to obey laws, and that means we have to have a certain amount of cleanliness, we have to wear clothes… LEEZA: Well, now, are they not clean? AM#1: No, no, no, I’m not saying they specifically, I made that as a, as a, uh, things that… LEEZA: Just rules of society. Now, let’s get to this insurance question that she brings up again.…Sarah, are slackers losers? SARAH (panel expert): No, I think that’s a misconception. They’re also not necessarily just lazy. It has to do with doing things that maybe society does not recognize as valuable pursuits.… LEEZA: Sarah, are slackers losers?…Sarah, are slackers losers?…Slackers get a lot of stuff for free. CORRUPT PRO-ESTABLISHMENT FATHER #1: Richard could have health insurance if he signed up for school and took a full load. Now, I’ve even told him to go so far as to sign up for school, pay for it, take a full load, drop it, bring me the thing to send to the insurance company to prove that he’s in school, and he won’t even do that. RICHARD: Oh, you just busted yourself on national TV. LEEZA: We’ll let you get your chance at Dad next. We’ll also be meeting another dad who says that if slackers had actually faced a draft, they might think differently. And I have a list of things that parents will pay for, Sarah says maybe only the major medical, but you know what? They’re a lot of things on here, we’ll do the test when we come back, stay with us, we’ll be right back. RICHARD: Busted. CPF#1: I’m teaching him how to use the system and get by and live a life that’s in the real world, yes. (audience derision) AUDIENCE MEMBER #2: That’s different. That’s not using the system, that’s abusing the system.… LEEZA: Sarah, are slackers losers?…Sir, is your son a slacker? CORRUPT PRO-ESTABLISHMENT FATHER #2: Yes. Without a doubt. LEEZA: Now, you feel like, that, we can control the attitudes of these kids. How would you do that? CPF#2: Well, in our generation, there was the Vietnam War, there was a challenge, in our parents’ generation, there was a challenge, and I think this generation is lacking a common focus to see that life has certain challenges and that they have to commit to their society. LEEZA: But, now, you don’t want your son to have to face a war, or do you? CPF#2: No, not a war, but I think boot camp would be a really good idea. (applause) LEEZA: Good… (to SON) Do you feel that you have no social consciousness? SON: I have, I really don’t have any desire to go to a foreign country and meet people I don’t know and kill them. CPF#2: No, I was talking about a, a, a, a focus for the generation, whether it was the Depression, or World War Two, or something that people were facing as a society, or as a group. SON: That doesn’t mean going to a foreign country and killing people. LEEZA: But there are wars, I mean, clearly, there are wars all over the globe going on, now, I mean in our country, we’ve got our own internal wars…Sarah, are slackers losers?…Sarah, are slackers losers?… AUDIENCE MEMBER #3: I think that the generation, I’m part of what they say is Generation X. And you have to take personal responsibility for yourself, and these people aren’t doing it. (applause) You know, we don’t need a war, we don’t need anything, what you have to do is you have to look inside yourself and you have to—if they want to be creative, that’s fine, I’m not saying they can’t be creative. But you have to take personal responsibility for yourself, be creative if that’s what you want to do, work in a profession if that’s what you want to do, but don’t do it on your parents’ time. Do it on your own time. AUDIENCE MEMBER #4: I don’t think that, um, that our generation has abused Social Security. I think that the government has abused Social Security. (applause)
Track Name: This Is a Beer Ad
This is a beer ad, and don’t you go and mistake it. It’s for guys like you who want to go out and make it with the chick at the bar two stools away from you. Let’s give her a little guitar rock and see what we can do.

This is a beer ad, and nothing more than that. This is a beer ad, and it’s cool.

Chicks dig dudes that listen to raunchy rock n’ roll. Brings out urges in them that they can’t control. So give her a couple beers and take her back to your pad, yeah, and thank you for contributing to our beer ad.

Drink some beer. What are you, a queer?
Track Name: Salmonella
I have salmonella, I ate chicken that sat on the counter for too long. I have diarrhea and my stomach isn't feeling very strong. I have a temperature and I'm freezing in my bed, strangely enough. I must remember what the New Kids always said and try to hang tough. I'm an unlucky fella: I got salmonella. But those who live in glass houses must eat chicken in the cellar.

I have salmonella, I ate chicken at Main Garden that bit me back. It's just another ailment to precede my imminent heart attack. I wish I had a disease more chic that didn't affect my intestinal tract. I'm an unlucky fella: I got salmonella. It could be serious. But those who live in glass houses must eat chicken in the cellar. I think I'm delirious.
Track Name: Can't Pull the Trigger
Why does it always seem when I want something bigger that I can't pull the trigger?
Track Name: Chimney Climbers
A thread between this, that, those, and these can bring these machines up to their chimneys that blurt out smoke and screaming steam and process things that only seem. And in their seeming, grow and spin, but disappear upon the winds that always will beat man’s best soot and spend less time shifting and more to put these clouds into another place, in different shape and different face, in the empty looks of millions of folks who function by order from other ghosts, the ones that they’ve already become. The ones that say they won’t must have already become one.

So maybe this one’s going to school, and that climber there is paying dues, and clearly those are moving up, and these ones here are near the top. Providing the thread between this, that, those, and these, making it plain which are the machines, ushered into fire and out the chimneys to burn and reburn this, that, those, and these.
Track Name: High Falutin' Cowboy
High falutin’ cowboy ride a lightning spark, catch a leather banshee throwing rotten eggs at the dark. Dunk a head in cola and let the tollbooth shine, waltz in four-four, get the back door, it’s time to unwind.

Nothing smells like something else, a glass of bad red wine. Your two mouths both broadcast you got nothing on your mind. A game of catch takes new dimension when you’re doing it alone. Your face is so-so, so it’s a no-go, now go and get the phone.

You think you know me well but I lied about my name, and when you don’t know what to call me, my face just fades away. I’m a nightmare the next morning the details you forgot, and as they fill in slowly you wish that they had not.

Diamond mighty Mouseketeer squeeze my water bottle. Check the oil, fill the gas and butter up the throttle. What’s the point of living if I already habitate? Put on your new shoes, forget the blue news and try hard to relate.

Now I am exhausted think I’ll grab a bite to drink. I don’t think that you have thought about how I think that you can’t think. Please hand me that catalog, I’ll mail-order happiness. Don’t know what the postage is I guess I’ll have to guess.

Let me climb the tree that you got lying in your yard, it got struck by high falutin’ cowboy’s lightning rod. Tell me where I am and I’ll pretend I’m there with you. There’s nothing to fear here, hand me a near-beer, and I’ll be drunk by two.

The leather banshee haunts my street but I saw her yesterday, flattened on the pavement, a carton of eggs by where she lay. She’d been dunked in cola, anointed in her own way. Now slow to a roll and pay your toll and get in the booth and pray.
Track Name: Quaran-teen
Must you be away from me? It’s self-inflicted quarantine. I think about you constantly. Why must you be away from me? At the end of each work day you’re still three thousand miles away. Why is it that what I do doesn’t include being with you? The one thing that I most adore isn’t nearly what I wake up for. I should quit and drive across this land and take you away to start a band, and take you away to take your hand.
Track Name: Treehouse
Walking in my wet shoes on the way to Saturday, I had a bibbling buzzing buildup in my throat and as the gray sky darkened slowly was when I realized that feeling was the winter light internalized.

The sun has long since tucked away but everything’s bathed in residual rays, not a sound except our feet treading on through ice-crusted snow where no one has gone. Not in winter, not now, but they don’t know about the tree two miles in, and the tree’s treehouse.

No one’s dad had built it, this was all the kids. No secrets passed in some back yard can hold on to their lids. But no parents bothered venture far as distance unmeasurable by car. So blood pacts levied in this wood were the real thing, no goody-good. A thousand kids had made its climb, how could it not stand a test of time?

Let’s go—to the treehouse. Where we’ll know—that we can’t be found. Before—there were things between us. Before—we made the hard fall to the ground.

The only time in all their lives they could look down on someone six-foot five, and as long as passwords utter-ed, access gained and buttered bread for all the members in good standing and muddy water for the pledgelings and cakey dirt and wormy things and other vile sufferings that if you went and squealed about would banish you from the treehouse.

The treehouse now stands empty, a skeleton up the pine, but to its ghosts, its official hosts, there’s no such thing as time. And it may last forever, but if it falls to the wind, that pine will be chopped to timber and the treehouse will rise again.

I’d like to take you there one day, if I could only recall the way. The path is lost, the leaves are gone, maybe someday when the sunlight’s strong.
Track Name: Liz Phair Is in My Spit Chain
Liz Phair is in my spit chain, which means that we embraced at some closed down drive-in theater at a parallel time in outer space.

I kissed Emilie, Collin did, too. Funny that I’m telling you this: I’m not sure if Collin knew.

Collin lived in Guatemala, where he dated a girl named Joanna, and Joanna went to an Urge Overkill show, and afterward she hooked up with Nash Kato.

I don’t know who Liz has slept with. There’s a lot of things that I don’t know. But I do know she went to Oberlin, and she might have hooked up with Nash Kato.

Liz Phair is in my spit chain, from Emilie to Collin to Joanna to Nash. I don’t know the details, but I’m sure of it, and maybe I just swallowed an atom of Liz’s spit.
Track Name: St. Joan
I sat down at a quarter to twelve, half-drunk and wholly all by myself. Something I must have said. She got up to change and then she fled. I may have bored her right out the door, I acted so desperate to score. But baby, I want so much more. You’re all that I ever hoped for.
Track Name: Coming to the Chorus
I make eighty million dollars to tell you things such as the following: Bind me in the stitches of our deepest motives, divine the richness of our sweetest moments. There. I've done my job. Eighty million dollars is twenty for each of us, or four mil for a record straight to my pocket. That’s four hundred grand a song, one hundred grand a verse, except for songs like “Endgame” which don’t even have any words.

I’m coming to the chorus, I’m coming to the chorus, I’m coming to the chorus, I’m coming to the chorus. That was the chorus.

I get five grand a word, Peter gets a hundred grand a chord, and Bill and Mike get paid for nothing because this is one of our mellow acoustic numbers. I don’t even have to rhyme. For that, I get paid overtime.
Track Name: You Showed Them to Me (take 1)
You’re talking to me and ooh, I love the way you’re talking through me, baby. Everything I’m hearing, everything I say, it’s like you knew me, baby. Ooh, and all declension melted to sweet cliché—I knew you’d ruin me, baby. But I said I’d read your poems and now I want to kill the day you showed them to me, baby.

Four years talking lying in a standard issue bed, we didn’t doubt it, baby. We would tie the knot, get hitched, we would soon be wed. You’d never be without me, baby. Ooh, you said forever, I trusted what you said, you were devoted to me, baby. I’ll always picture the first time you raised your shirt over your head and showed them to me, baby.

I said that I loved you and I slipped on the ring, you said you loved me, baby. Then doing the dishes, you lost it in the sink. That was pretty clumsy, baby. Ooh, you said your parents would treat me like a king. You’d introduce me, baby. Next morning they dropped over while we were disagreeing. You showed them to me, baby.

We sure weren’t fucking and we sure weren’t friends. It was getting gloomy, baby. So I said divorce me, and that was what you did, in fact, you sued me, baby. Ooh, I got the Porsche but ooh, you got the kids. You hung the jury, baby. Now I get to see them on alternate weekends. You show them to me, baby.
Track Name: Ephemeral 97
Ephemeral, ephemeral moments, time that I’ve spent with you is time I want to lock away. Berietta, mudslide, a Blue Hawaii, melonball on the side, a few Rumplehoos to make us lose our blues and everything’s okay. And please don’t set me down, not until you’re finished. Finished with me, that is. I don’t care what time it is.

Ephemeral, ephemeral daydream, let my mind go wandering, it always knows its way back home. And thoughts of you dominate my thoughts of late, and I can’t figure out how I did without your phone calls to my dark. And please don’t wake me up, I don’t care what time it is. The last time for us, that is, unless it’s not because you’re no longer his.

Ephemeral, ephemeral mood swing, why do I feel that what I’ve said is permanent and what I’ve done can’t be undone? And what compensation can I propose for a mouth that would have been best left closed? If I look in your eyes and apologize, the I’m sorry comes two words too late. And how can I deny that I’m not disappointed that the only time I know that you will hold me close is when you’re holding onto this grudge?
Track Name: The Allergic, the Clergic, and the Lysergic
Here's a song for the allergic, the clergic, and the lysergic, all sitting together in the emergency room. Their causes of injury were wildly divergent, but the hospital's the best equalizer this side of the tomb.

The allergic made plans on this Thursday evening to go visit some friends for some must-see TVing, but didn't count on their feline companions and experienced sinus expansion beyond all previously known transoms. He ran into the street and got stung by a bee, and then his eyelids swelled shut and he couldn't see a thing, and his fingers were so swollen, he couldn't open the Chlor-Trimeton, and he got run over by an ice cream truck driving without its headlights on.

The clergic happened to pass by this sticky, rumpled mess and asked him if there was anything he'd like to confess, and the allergic whispered yes, and as the clergic leaned in closer, the two were approached by a young lysergic doser. The lysergic was demented, as is usual for these types, and started whaling on the both of them with a leaden sewer pipe. He knocked the clergic's head in and then he climbed a red phone booth and he screamed, "I am Elroy Jetson!" and he jumped and chipped a tooth. And the three of them lay groaning in a pile on the ground, and they remained there until morning when 911 finally came around. They were scooped up off the pavement with a giant plastic spoon and dropped off in front of the emergency room.

The allergic, the clergic, and the lysergic, who knows which one will survive? One couldn't see, one couldn't fight, and one just couldn't fly.
Track Name: Jetlag
And all along the earth is spinning, at every second, new days beginning, but if we run fast enough, this night will never end. We’ll reach the coast at just past seven but in our heads it’s almost eleven. We’ll keep buying time till we’ve got nothing left to spend. And then astronomers on other stars will set their telescopes upon our car and say our headlights shone four billion years ago. There’s nothing that I’d rather do than ride a particle of light forever with you and coast past heaven into the great unknown.
Track Name: She Sells Seashells
Well, the way she handled herself up at the bar, I liked everything I’d seen so far. A Scotch, a schnapps, Schlitz straight from the tap, they’d give her more and she’d just set them back. I asked her who it was that she worked for, her answer came clear as golden ore: She sells seashells by the seashore. She sells seashells by the seashore.

I said, You can say that pretty great, and tried myself, but couldn’t get it straight. Stuttering and stammering at all the wrong times, but she said when it’s your job, you eventually get it right. She runs a little seashell stand over in the powder sand, cause she sells seashells by the seashore.

I was impressed, I must confess, that she could lay down her line without a single misstep. It was a mess with all those S’s but she said it with finesse, I tried it again, but still had no success. She leaned in close and said she’d be my coach, said if you want to get it right, you gotta start slow. Repeat: She sells seashells by the seashore.

She said the most important thing is you gotta relax, brought some Red Label to our table and a bottle of Black. I emptied rocks glass after shot glass and by last call, I think I’d gotten the knack. Don’t let your tongue twist up your lips, she leaned in once more, said, just like this: She sells seashells by the seashore.

The barman called out it was closing time, play word games on your own clock, not on mine. And we spent the rest of the night practicing speech, and when I came to the next morning, I was lying on the beach. Alone, alone, and not a soul in sight, but the surf sought to remind me, whispering in the morning light: She sells seashells by the seashore.

I walked forever on the powder sand, searching for the seashell stand, but I found nothing, and then it occurred to me, why would she be selling something that I could find for free? Her words were lined up to deceive, and what kind of fool am I to believe that she sells seashells by the seashore.
Track Name: What Was I Gonna Do? (version 1)
Everyman knows everything and everyman’s a fool, but everyman’s got a whole new think coming for when he meets the likes of you. You defy all known statistics and what I pin on you. You’re an atheistic mystic, a sugar-free sweet tooth. What was I gonna do? You’re fading in the distance. You ran away, should I be chasing you? What was I gonna do?

If I had to buy you a present, I wonder what I’d choose. I could buy you the opposite of what I liked, but either way I'd lose. I’m cutting tighter and tighter circles. When I drop over I come in twos. The rabbit and the turtle, I don’t know which one of us you refuse. What was I gonna do? You’re fading in the distance. You ran away, should I be chasing you? What was I gonna do?

Let’s go down to the seashore or to the Delaware Water Gap. Forget all that came before and what’s coming down the track. When I’m lying, I’ll tell you that I’m lying, so even lies will be true, and in the still of the night I’ll tell you that I’m dying, dying, dying, dying over you. What was I gonna do? You’re fading in the distance. You ran away, should I be chasing you? What was I gonna do?
Track Name: The Mighty Battlecat (take 1)
Your voice echoes in my head as I’m lying in my bed and pays no mind to my kind silence or respect for my weakness. It repeats reassurances I know I never heard and sings a song of memory that hasn’t any words. There once was a time when I thought I had a chance, told her when she wasn’t looking was when I danced. I could make her laugh when I talked about the past, but impressing in the present was a little tougher task. I wished upon a fuzz ball that came drifting my way that you would fall in love with me one day, but the wind would not permit it and the wish will not come true. It blew the seed back to me instead of blowing it to you.

By then it will be too late for that because Cringer never became the Mighty Battlecat.

So let’s fast forward to when I’m thirty-four and I’ve rented a car to visit you and yours. I almost get lost on the ride across, but for once I take a right turn at the fork. I’ll know you wound up with someone strong because your driveway is so long and I’ll know that I won’t dress like him and I’ll hope that you won’t rub it in. But injury would be insulted twice if you said the same thing that you said tonight, that you have warmest memories of times forgotten long and gone. Why couldn’t I have been there to remind you all along?
Track Name: I Don't Love You
I don't love you, and what am I supposed to do to get it through to you that I don't love you?
Track Name: My Mad Hatter (1998 version)
Here ya go man, let me into access to the party hearty, the scene of my crime, baby, so you think you’re such a smarty well no you’re not well maybe, but there are some things I’ll never admit even when both you and I are right in front of it. It don’t matter, my mad hatter, you were butter on my bread when I had her, I put you on a big silver platter, and from there, I don’t care, do what you dare.

So here we go again, nunchuks in the hand of the local bully men. Is this where I began to hide in corners and fireplaces from the ones with the skateboards and the holes in their faces? They were powder in my chowder back when I was ten but now I’m the one that’s running from them.

Ma’am you know where’s the hardware store? No I don’t you little whore! Stay here and I’ll abuse you a little more. You love it cause you think you’re worthless to your core. But sometimes the things you use for protection are the ones that bring you down by your power of suggestion.

Why do I play Operation with the toaster every day? Why do pans catch on fire while what’s in them stays the same? Why do I ride the cable wire, looking for someone to take the blame? Why do pans catch on fire, while what’s in them stays the same? It don’t matter if you’re madder, I got the arsenic into your batter, the cookie is the last thing you’ll eat, I want you going out with something that tastes sweet.

Well it’s Simpsons on at six, Simpsons on at seven, Seinfeld on at seven-thirty, Seinfeld on at eleven. Picking up the phone to make a call to you. Don’t I have anything better to do? It don’t matter, my mad hatter, you just fell with a resounding clatter, then you asked me what was the matter, I said I was feeling fine even close to divine.
Track Name: The Baby
Tell me a little about the baby. I’m gathering information.

William Calderon: That baby that was born with the mustache and the teeth? Nah, that’s some nasty....Maribel told me about that, that it was born and said something bad was gonna happen.

That’s all you know?

William: Yeah...it had a mustache and teeth.
Steven Polanco: I even saw it on the news, right?

It’s not on the news.

Steven: Oh. What it was on, then?

I don’t know.

Steven: Anyway. They told me the baby was born with a mustache and teeth. And I just heard right now that it said in Spanish, Algo increible va a pasar.

What does that mean?

Steven: “Something incredible’s going to happen.” And then it died. And then I heard something else: that they said it was born with a mustache and teeth and—
Gilberto Brioso (interrupting): —and nails—

It had nails?

Gilberto: —and they said—
Steven: —and then they said—
Gilberto: —it was like, it was like—
Steven: Shut up, I’m being interviewed! And then they said its brother was going to die. The baby told its mother that its brother was going to die. So the brother died, and on Friday everyone else was going to die.
Gilberto: You know what I heard? Ms. Leistikow was saying stuff about it. Your own staff member was saying stuff about it.
Janai McCrae: The baby said we’re gonna die on Friday! On the twenty-fifth. And he was born with teeth—
Rohanie Parbhoo: No, no—the baby said something incredible was going to happen. That could be something good, too.
Janai: No, look. After the mother got the baby, the mother died. Then the baby said something and then the baby died.
Rohanie: I’ve heard so many different stories, it’s not even funny.
Oprah Nin Valdez: So yesterday in the news, right? They said this Dominican lady gave birth to a baby. So the baby—I was watching it—so the baby came out with a mustache, a beard, and teeth, and he had “666” on his forehead. And then he told his mother, and he told the doctor, that the world was gonna end on March 25, 2005. Stay up till 12:01 and you’re just gonna see the whole world collapse before your eyes. And then, like, the mother died, and then he died, and then the brother...and the sister...they died.

Are you going to stay up until 12:01?

Oprah: Hell, no. I’m going to sleep.
Rodney Morris: They said that it had “666” on its forehead—
Daila Viteri: —and that it had a beard, teeth, and it talked.
Rodney: And that it said we were gonna die tomorrow. 12:01 o’clock.

Does it really have “666” on its forehead?

Rodney: That’s what they said. Ask Rosa.

Rosa, what do you know about the baby?

Rosa Cepeda: They’re talking about that it was born with a mustache, and it had teeth, and it was talking. It was like, “Oh, tomorrow everybody’s gonna die.”
Rodney: And that all the doctors and nurses that dealt with the baby died, too. That’s what I heard.
Rosa: The mother and the baby died. But I think it’s either the devil or somebody just made it up. I need to see. I need to see things to believe.

Geoffrey, what do you know about the baby?

Geoffrey Rojas: Huh?
Rosa: The baby—
Geoffrey: Oh! Yeah! I heard we’re gonna die tomorrow. That nigga said, “Oh, the twenty-fifth, we’re all gonna die”—

He was born talking?

Geoffrey: Yeah. He was born with a mustache, a beard, and teeth. And after that, the mom died, and after that the doctor took the baby and said, “Wow, this is amazing!” And the baby said, “Amazing it will be on the twenty-fifth.” And then the doctor died. And he had “666” on his forehead. But you know, these damn Dominicans and their damn superstitions.
Claudia Wilson: That is not true. This is Claudia. Listen. That is not true. Y’all need to stop saying that bullshit. Because it’s not true. And if I ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever hear somebody say that, I’m gonna smack them.
John Gomez: We’re all gonna die! Aaaaaarghhhh!
Erica DeJesus: The doctors saw it had a mustache and teeth—
Stacey Bosques: And it started talking Spanish.
Erica: And the doctor was like, “This is incredible,” and the baby was like, “No, what’s incredible is what’s happening on Friday the twenty-fifth,” or whatever.
Stacey: And it died.
Erica: And it died.
Stacey: And the mom died.
Erica: And it was talking Spanish.

And the mom died, too?

Erica: The mom died, and then the baby was born.

Is the doctor still alive?

Erica: They said that the doctor’s in critical condition. The doctor is dying.
Stacey: For real?
Erica: Yeah. And that they want to interview him, but he can’t talk and stuff.
Track Name: My Heart Is Saturn (demo)
The Dream Machine tells me it’s three minutes to one. I’d been reading those green letters since three past eleven. And I got all cosmic as I watched the clock tick off minutes from my years when I only arrived here yesterday. (Or whatever the sayings say.) We were created as gleams of the sun, but then a great big blackness poured down to separate everyone, as if all the light were jettisoned.

It seems that I have seen all that I want to see to be convinced that I’ve stumbled on heaven. I once thought I was all alone, I once thought I didn’t need anything, but my heart is Saturn and baby, you are its rings.