Today’s song is for Spencer over at oldblueeyes. His blog’s content is genuine, funny, and thoughtful all at once. Since I first found his blog a few weeks ago, I have wanted to write him a song. But no inspiration was coming to me. So I broke the mold and went directly to Spencer—I asked him if anything in his life warranted a song. He said two things: the “silly” situation of his being a filing clerk for a major record label and that he had just had a nice romantic weekend in NYC. I told him I’d work on the filing clerk bit—as it seemed more unique—so he gave me some good details about his job (now in the lyrics). But after I puzzled out the verses late last night, they felt…empty. I needed to fill this filing clerk with a goal, a memory, a…something. So, that romantic weekend became the chorus. This was a pretty quick and dirty recording: the guitar parts are harsh (if I had money I’d get a nylon string with a pick-up), but I like how the second vocal track beefs it up a bit. Thanks for playing along, Spencer. I hope you and anyone else who listens enjoys! — K.C.
Papercuts: The Life and Times of a Filing Clerk
The smell of cardboard and paper is always stuck in your hair,
and you buy extra strength lotion for those dried out hands,
but you can’t (lotion won’t) heal that dried out soul.
Papercuts are your prize; filing’s your goal.
You alphabetize by title ‘til those cabinets are whole—
whole, unlike you.
And you daydream about the last time,
the last time you were with someone;
how you counted her breaths,
and she counted yours.
Oh, her skin didn’t cut; it healed.
All the other temps are no consolation
because they mirror all your lonely feelings.
All those Johns and Jackies gasping for air,
laughing hollow laughs, sucking on cut fingers
to hide the blood that proves they are human.
'Cause they ain't whole, just like you.
You pray for some distraction—a way to kill the time.
You treat the mailman like a long, lost friend, and order pizza for the delivery guy.
And when they have to leave, a part of you dies.
You try and hold on, ignore that tension leaning towards the door:
you tell one more bad joke, ask one more big question.
You’re holding on to what you lost.