…in the seventies finally fall

Written by

Arcade Fire – The Suburbs

Toby took his tacos outside and crouched on a curb. He knocked some sour cream off onto the concrete, devoured the tacos without tasting them, crumpled the wrappers and tossed them over his shoulder. The wind had given out, and there was no way to tell it was wintertime. Toby thought he might still be hungry.

“You littered.”

Toby turned. He didn’t get up. A little boy had snuck up on him. The boy’s mother was still in the car, griping at someone on a cell phone.

“It’s true,” Toby admitted. “You’ve caught me in an unlawful act.”

“Littering is bad for nature.”

“Nature will be okay,” Toby said. “Nature always wins in the end.”

“You can get a fine. Up to five hundred dollars.”

Toby looked up into the boy’s face. Something was wrong with one of the boy’s eyebrows. “When the time comes, you’re going to make one heck of a hall monitor.”

The boy looked from Toby to the wrappers. They weren’t going anywhere–not the slightest breeze.

“Some people got it, some don’t. You saw me gladly minding my own business over here and something about that bothered you.”

“Are you going to pick them up?”

“You ever hear of an ice age?”

“Yes,” said the boy.

“It might take a long time, but we’re headed for another one. When the iace age hits, a couple of taco wrappers won’t make much difference.”

The boy shrugged. His knuckles were raw, along with his elbows. His T-shirt had a dolphin on it.

Toby stood and brushed his hands together, cleaning them of the gravelly dirt. He touched the boy’s shoulder.

“Your mom doesn’t love you as much as she used to. She thinks there might be something wrong with you. Is she right? Is there something wrong with you?”

The boy’s mouth opened a bit and his funny eyebrow scrunched. He turned back toward his mother.

“You’ve noticed, haven’t you? You’ve been monitoring her and you’ve noticed a difference in how she treats you.”

The boy stared toward his mother in the car, waiting to state her case into the phone. Her eyes were pressed shut with impatience.

“It’s all the bad thoughts you have,” Toby said. “On the outside you’re a hall monitor, but on the inside you’re one sick lad.”

[Text stolen verbatim from the opening passage of Citrus County, by John Brandon, a novel I read within 24 hours, giggling and weeping simultaneously the whole way through, before spending a sleepless night tossing and turning and pondering why my life is so empty.]

[Buy The Suburbs.]

(photo by Louie Banks)

2 Responses to “…in the seventies finally fall”

  1. Sam says:

    I didn’t think you liked Arcade Fire Zac? Anyway, I thought the album was okay. I’ve never been much of an Arcade Fire fan so I didn’t really have very high hopes. Worth a listen every now and then but nothing more, for me really.

  2. Zac says:

    I think Win is an atrocious, overwrought lyricist, but the tunes are pretty catchy. I’m especially digging the groovy rhythms of this new album.

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