by Mari Ness
1. The first song is forgettable.
Even though you can't stop dreaming about it.
2. The second song is some sort of calypso number. It reminds you of some of the songs in The Little Mermaid, only instead of the sea, it's about walls, and stars, and holes, and dancing. You think. You're not really listening, though you find yourself dancing a bit in your chair, in the car, in the grocery store. You ignore anyone who looks at you. It's just a song.
It never occurs to you to wonder where the song comes from. Not this song, anyway.
3. The third song is, you think, some type of hymn. Maybe. You haven't been to church for years, not since you were very small, so you aren't entirely sure what hymns sound like anymore, except maybe Amazing Grace, and this isn't Amazing Grace. The more you listen to it, the more you aren't sure what it is, only that a thousand thousand voices are singing about walls and stars, and no matter how much you clasp your hands to your ears, or try to get your phone to play another song, it's the only thing you can hear. And that you're having to bite down on your lip to stop singing along.
4. The fourth song is heavy metal. You hate heavy metal. You always found it obnoxious and irritating, and that was before you dated the guy who was unable to play anything but Iron Maiden and Blue Oyster Cult, and liked to call himself Avant-garde. Which he never knew how to spell. Or pronounce. Hearing it now makes you flinch. You have got to make this song stop. Got to. And yet. You don't want to hear about holes and dancing and stars and walls. It follows you everywhere. The grocery store plays it. Your computer. The television. It ends every sitcom, every drama; it plays during the football halftime show. You mute everything. You put in earplugs. Your lip bleeds.