Messing With the Settings

Craig Finn (2022)

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Lyrics: At sundown it feels like I’m riding a train I’m not on. We used to post up for days at this place in The Flats. She’d stare off into space and draw smokestacks on her placemat. She had a dwindling grace and a faith in the industry that never really made sense to me. While we were combing the place trying to come up with the funds for some phone number friend in some idling car, she said this probably isn’t where we I see myself forever. But for now it’s pretty much where we are. I never really argued with her basic observations because I wasn’t super into confrontation back then. I was mostly just about sitting by the window watching the flag in the front just twisting and twisting and twisting. We map where we’ve been by the scars on our skin. We can only sing the songs we’ve been taught to. Rachel always recommended messing with the settings. She said it’s better than settling for whatever they give you. At sundown it feels like I’m riding a train I’m not on. Rachel was practical. She always carried matches. She said she didn’t have habits they’re rituals. She threw salt over her shoulder when they rang for last orders. She held her breath when she got up from the table. It never really mattered that she was twelve years older except for when we talked about the 1980s. Because I was still showing up to Modern European History while she was trying to hold on to her baby. She started out teasing me calling me her partner in crime because neither one of us were supposed to be in the taverns. I had a suspended license and a court case coming up and the judge said he was seeing some patterns. She said at sundown it feels like I’m riding a train I’m not on. That all at once sensation of speeding and sinking. Fridays making eyes at guys cashing their checks and other forms of magical thinking. At sundown it feels like I’m riding a train I’m not on. They pulled me over five minutes from home. I went off to the workhouse for 38 days. When I got out I drove out to my brothers in Denver. He got me a job at the golf course. I decided to stay there. I heard she’d living off more of the same. That she got with that guy that took IDs at the door. Must have been last winter when I finally tried to text her. The number I had didn’t go through anymore. So I was a little bit surprised when Sam got in touch. Asked if I could be here. Told me what did it. It’s my first trip back after eight years in Denver. I drove in from the west and the city looks different now. All those luxury lofts that they built in the old factories reminded me of her faith in the industry. Rachel did her best with the deal she’d been dealt and that’s what I’ve got for her eulogy. At sundown it feels like I’m riding a train I’m not on.

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