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Dark Comedy Performance Piece of My Life

by Walter Etc.

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1.
Hey there Kait, don’t you think it’s time we move back to California, and paint a quiet life over everything that’s happened? You get your dream job and I’ll get the peace to finally work on myself, whatever that means in a seedy neighborhood with a view of Anacapa And everyone’s invited to visit whenever they’d like stay in the camper by the avocado tree witness our decadent paradise two peas madly in love or a psychosis I don’t mind Rotting on the vine Let’s get a kitten babe for you to cuddle with while I’m on speaker phone complaining how Ohio sucks and I’d rather be at home I’m looking forward to it I’ve got a plan that will bring the spark back sell off your grandma’s Nazi china and use the money to sign up for yoga I wanna relearn how to get you laughing Now don’t get so defensive I love you but admit this is getting sad and stale with age We’re happy for our friend’s success while secretly plotting against them Now don’t get too excited I’m sure we will survive this I’m willing, whatever it takes I mean it’s hard to miss the signs Darling for the first time we did nothing for Valentine’s I fear the dream has gone awry Failing by design We’re plotting against ourselves Insulting the divine Rotting on the vine Rotting on the vine We’re plotting against ourselves Insulting the divine
2.
White Lies 03:35
Telling white lies so we can make it to the morning Telling white lies until the conflict is avoided Telling white lies to myself can usually cheer me up or at least knock some sense in me Telling white lies to the one you love can keep that love alive Everyone you love will let you down And what? You’re just supposed to talk it out? I’ve forgiven you but there’s permanent damage now forming fault lines in my psyche and any random thing can trigger an earthquake it’s unlikely but it happens all the time where I tell you that I’m fine Cause I don’t want to bring it up again and burden you But I know you know it’s obvious I’m Telling white lies so we can make it to the morning Telling white lies until the conflict is avoided Telling white lies to myself can usually cheer me up or at least knock some sense in me Telling white lies to the one you love can keep that love alive Cause everyone you love will let you down And I get it You’ve got a whole new group of friends and you feel more like yourself when you go out with them Oh I can hear you now at another new brewery confessing to each other your salaries and they ask what your boyfriend does for a living you try your hardest to explain me They pick up on your defensive tone They haven’t met him yet, he’s never home But he always sounds stressed out when he calls you from the road but he’s just… Telling white lies so we can make it to the morning Telling white lies until the conflict is avoided Telling white lies to myself can usually cheer me up or at least knock some sense in me Telling white lies to the one you love can keep that love alive Might just save all man-kind So look me in the eye and do it Cause everyone you love will let you.
3.
O Baloo take me home Help me ditch the herd, take me where the people aren’t drag me on an all night drive north on I-5 to some complacent and boring town in Southern Oregon where the hills stay green and some nice old lady who believes in god makes me a cup of tea let’s me stay in a mobile home on her property where I sit and read outside retrain my brain to focus on one thing at a time ya… O Baloo take me home Let’s just ditch the tour and drive down to Mexico no one would care nearly as much as I’d be relieved to finally be anonymous and alone Carry me back to Ventucky, far from this show why do i feel so ashamed doing what I love? Maybe I’ve grown out of it is all I can think of I used to care about something The community that once was my everything is now ironically, the source of my anxiety somehow Not bummed I just don’t know how to feel Cause if this isn’t me well then who am I? I’ve had this identity for such a long time I’m a self-sabateur who doesn’t know when to quit cause I’d be nobody if I didn’t have this. O Baloo take me home Let me contemplate this in my own safe space where I grease up my wheels and recalibrate Live with a cat and an angel in a sleepy little beach town where my phone doesn’t work.
4.
Like it or not, this is the life that I chose While she goes to work, I eat burritos alone I do the dishes before she gets home but other than that I’m a worthless stoner It’s a choice I make to stay in the mirage Keep crafting my secret EP’s in the garage Well, fuck the neighbors, I need the perfect tone She’s off in an hour and I still have some tracking to go I’m channeling the wall flower vibe Withered and fading in the background, hell ya It’s true that I don’t have friends but none of my hobbies use the buddy system When she wakes up she looks angelic and blessed She thinks I’m asleep while I watch her get dressed She eats kale with her co-workers and laughs at their jokes I go to lunch too, but I’m eating burritos alone Eating burritos alone….
5.
Please pray for me, my fish won’t eat she lays on the bottom and just stares at me I’m less afraid that she will die than be a representation of my life. Her water’s warm, her tank is clean Got two fish and a snail, good company Couple live plants, pH is right Doesn’t get scared when there’s fireworks or the train goes by And all summer I wanted to die I would tap on her glass, some sort of morse code for “why are we living like royalty, the charmed life, the dream but here I’m drawing a noose and you won’t fucking eat? Talk to me…”
6.
Gidget Etc. 02:42
Gidget’s hiding under the bed again she doesn’t like it when we fight she doesn’t understand why mom’s upset and dad is always leaving for a few weeks at a time She doesn’t get this is the start of something great she has no concept of sacrifice lying on the rug, in a little patch of sun licking at your fingers sleeping through the worst of times. And while she sleeps we have the talk circling around the fact that we’re both wondering if we’re… Better off calling this our natural end allow ourselves the space and time to think through our lives, our plans don’t hold back just say the safe word and I will untie you yeah, yeah, yeah Ya I know I’m doing that thing again and of course I know you’re right I’m spreading myself thin, saying yes to everything just to panic and then blow up on you one random night Apologize, make up, grow manic, and repeat this is what fucking up a fairytale looks like I’m sensitive and soft You, stoic shutting off But I know just what you’re thinking I know just wha you’re thinking You’re thinking that we’re… Better off calling this our natural end allow ourselves the space and time to think through our lives, our plans don’t hold back just say the safe word and I will untie you yeah, yeah, yeah Gidget might be the main witness in the biggest mistake of our lives or maybe this is love the hammer to the thumb of building something beautiful scraping up towards the sky
7.
Woke up to the warning it read “missile incoming” I texted some people my love and thanks then poured all the fish food into the tank and we crawled back in bed Kaitlyn and I in clean flannel sheets pathetically trying to watch Modern Family I started to cry as I held you tight Would say it would be alright but how useless is that? Turned our attention to our cat purring in our lap Oh the past is a story we tell ourselves and the future is a good idea be here now, be here now Oh the past is a story we tell ourselves and the future is a good idea be here now, be here
8.
Darling, the band is going to Japan and you’re invited I found your missing pearl ring and our land lord decided he’s not gunna raise our rent and we’re on a month to month You got a fat birthday check from your grandma out East I had a brief sigh with a Great White tangled up in my leash why? I don’t know But we went our separate ways citing creative differences Darling you look like a Sugar Ray song shining hair wet with reverb and a reason to live I once promised you I’d finally write a happy song Well here it is… “Things are Going Too Good” and it makes me uncomfortable things are going too good Feels like the Big One must be right around the corner or a terminal illness being served over the counter or my darkest secret will emerge or a fat asteroid will hit Earth things are going too good… Of course there’s a plethora of thoughts that I keep to myself because I don’t want to rock the boat But so what? So what? Ours was a bond so strong, chemists wonder how it breaks and ours was a bath so well drawn, old men wonder how it feels to sit in it and ours was the best part of a cult classic avant garde in a montage driving with our windows down singing that chickadee china the chinese chicken song Who cares if we’re broke and don’t have sex and getting chubby? We wake up to a view of Anacapa every morning So what? Darling our driveway is better than Hawaii I think our group of friends is bound for history books and when we get home I will love you with all my five senses things are going too good and it makes me uncomfortable things are going too good Feels like the Big One must be right around the corner or a terminal illness being served over the counter or my darkest secret will emerge or a nuclear war, shit. things are going too good…
9.
Oh I bought you a blanket in Mexico it had baby blue, green, and pink stripes I was so excited to give it to you thought it could be a gesture to usher in our new life Cause darling I don’t want to go on tour anymore I don’t want to play this game chasing popularity I wanna get a normal job settle does in this funny town I’ve been thinking about marriage for the first time in my life But when I got home you were immediately acting weird I could tell you were drunk said a quick “thanks for the gift” then stood up for a hug I still wonder to this day why you were sitting on the rug? I said “darling this south swell was wonderful we camped alone at some perfect point break how was your work trip? what’s wrong? I know it’s been a minute since we talked but really its only been a couple weeks plus some days…” and after some pressure you cracked and said you needed a break ah… But breaks are for high schoolers afraid of change or college kids who grow bored and want to find some strange How long have you planned this? Just rip off the band-aid Just go I dont want to convince someone to be with me who doesn’t want to be with me No, I bought you a blanket in Mexico it had all the colors I knew you’d love I was so stoked to give it to you but now I use it as a pillow on the nights that I get fucked up
10.
I rode my bike to the pier, then downtown up the Ave, then E Main, back to Midtown. With one eye out for cars, and one for sketchy massage parlors it’s been one week since we last talked Wonder if I should call her? Caught me in the taqueria reading Peter Pan I feel less lonely here even if they don’t understand me when I ask for no cebolla, cause it upsets my stomach There’s a ghost that haunts my house at dinner and here I’m hiding from it Caught me in La Tapatia reading Treasure Island It hasn’t sunken in yet, but when it does, it will be violent. But if Jim Hawkins and loyalists can fight off mutineers Maybe I can get over this in the next 6 or 7 years Met up with Milk Flud at the Point on a small but offshore day the sign says “Be Back in 15” which means you never have to pay and as we’re zipping up our wetsuits he asks, “are you doing ok?” And I know the response that I should give “How did our lives end up so good?” But if you asked me to complain, I’d tell you there’s one big thing I’m missing… Baby, you’re not coming home, are you? Have you been missing me at all? Do you feel sorry for me? We built a perfect life, so why would you- Why would you just throw it away like-? If this was a dark comedy, I’d find it pretty funny to end up lost and broke on the wrong side of my twenties Now suddenly I’m shameless and can get myself to rally I went solo to the fair to see Sublime with Frankie Valli When I get home I bum a smoke off my Ventucky Neighbors They feed me a bunch of tequila and tell me who on the block are tweakers They ask me where my girlfriend’s been and when will i propose? I shrug and tell them “work trip” and “well, who fucking knows.” This is my life without her And yes, there are some benefits I do a lot more yard work and I make a lot of artwork and I randomly now floss more and I feel like I’m less sensitive Hey, maybe I’m less sensitive See, I’m making the best of this Met up with Ernie at the Dredge on a big and soupy day in the morning marine layer, water silver, sky was gray As we rode the rip along the jetty he asked, “Are you doing ok?” I said, “Jesus. You guys are really worried about me? Aren’t ya? I’m fine. These things take time. This too shall pass, or, something like that.” Baby, you’re not coming home, are you? Have you been missing me at all? Do you feel sorry for me? We built a perfect life, so why would you- Why would you just throw it away like-? If there’s a moral to this story, I 100% missed it She lives in Santa Barbara now with Yvon Chouinard’s assistant I thought she was my thrift store girl, and I, her surfer boy I thought that we were Jim and Pam but turns out I was Roy.
11.
Please, no more visitors for a while I’m peopled out and broke as hell and need my beauty sleep I keep having visions of her ghost on the sofa she’s watching The Bachelor humming in the bedroom changing the duvet cover What was it that I was trying to say to you right before you said you needed your space Maybe if I could remember in a well-written letter then we’d still be together You think about it, I’ll wait… Once a person wants to leave that’s their truth and I see no point in changing their mind. Give me 100 years of solitude a box for the photos and a lifetime to grieve and I’ll be find, just… Please, no more visitors for a while I’m nursing myself back to health and slow to process these kinds of things What was it that I was trying to say to you when you came to get your stuff from my place I hope every omen in your life seems to say “you wanted this” I stay awake til dawn in a bed too big, fighting homesick nausea I pace the neighborhood, dying to remember that feeling I was trying to explain to you right before you opted out of our game for two Was it too much of the real world eroding our youth that broke our seven year love spell? You think about it, I’ll wait…
12.
Take me as I am Neurotic, unravelling, still good for a friend That's why you should understand if I get tired and slip away To update the note in my phone of confessionals secretly hoping that someone reads them so next time I convulse on the bed, you can take me to Panic Attack Paradise where your mother's singing Edelweiss it's slow jazz on rainy days stoned painting landscapes on some giant canvas indulging every little tangent of my clean and quiet home ba ba ba ba ba, ba da da da da da ba ba ba ba ba, ba da da da da da Cheer up, Walter, stick to the original plan create, have fun, and don't get phased by their marketing jargon don't think too hard about it just let it pass through maybe write it down for more uptight types of people to argue about assign some arbitrary meaning some peripheral purpose like, what if the whole reason for this was to bring your broken legacy to this forgotten town? ba ba ba ba ba, ba da da da da da ba ba ba ba ba, ba da da da da da
13.
We met up at the bottom of Sanjon I locked my bike up to a pole You were waiting where the storm drain meets the sea I was wearing the Patagucci shirt you got for me You asked what have I been up to? More of the same, just without you But really every creak I hear in bed I hope it’s you coming up the steps You rubbed your eyes and said it’s really good to see me And your tear drop fell onto my knee I still feel wet there eternally Said your therapist thinks you might have ADHD and we both broke out in sobbing laughter at life’s absurdity And I regret that the whole time, we never took off our sunglasses I wish we had I wanna know what your eyes looked like so bad on that late afternoon Tuesday, I didn’t know what to expect No, it didn’t hit me til I left that this was the last time we’d ever talk like this… You know, we’ll let months pass by with no communication Maybe cross paths in some accidentally awkward situation then a year will pass with only cordial happy birthday texts then you’ll find a serious partner and our relationship will become the template you measure against or a fond memory at best no, it didn’t hit me til I left that this was the last time we’d ever talk like this Oh we were just 19 and we fell in love hard and fast at 22 in Honduras counting on just each other and our backpacks by 23 we’re moving into our first shared bedroom and I’m watching you paint the walls baby blue Retired in the Rose City, too young for the Holy Grail always going out for brunch and a garage sale Then our big move back to California, beginning of the end but I just thought this is what the good life looked like at 27 Restoring an old camping trailer through endless trips to Lowes or hungover sunny Sundays making you breakfast burritos or grabbing your hips in the empty aisles of Trader Joes of course, pushing you into waves at Mondo’s but no, tonight will be the loneliest of my life I feel that rotten homesick feeling all the time the same I’d get in Kindergarten sleepovers at Kris’ but now I can’t just call my mom to come pick me up and fix this No, it all came pouring in when I left that this was the last time for a lot of things. It’d be so much easier to hate you regret the day I decided to date you and replace sadness with resentment and booze But i don’t want to live like that I’m happy for and proud of you I think we really lived it up babe I cherish all that we’ve been through So thanks for growing up with me these seven or eight years You were my best friend, I’m gunna miss you.

about

Produced by Ian Farmer at the Metal Shop in Philadelphia
Mastered by Ryan Schwabe

All songs by Walter Etc.

Dustin Hayes - vocals, guitar, bass, ukulele, drum machines, synth, keys, percussion, random stuff?
Kris Schobert - drums, percussion, harmonica
Ian Farmer - synth, keys, drum machine, percussion, vox, random stuff?
Milk Flud - swoosh noise (Thanks For Growing Up With Me)
Kyle Blessing - violins (No More Visitors)
Zack Robbins - synth, percussion, drums (Thanks for Growing Up With Me)

Thanks to Ethan Farmer for lending us his ukulele and Matt Schimelfenig (sp?) for lending us his Nord :)

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released March 27, 2020

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Walter Etc. Ventura, California

The story of Walter being written through a bunch of albums....

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