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Good Morning, Midnight

by Becky Becky

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“Quite like old times. Yes? No?” Quite like old times. Nowhere left to go. A room like any other. A room without a view. A bed like any other: too big for me without you. A room with no soul. A room with no name and I: much the same. I have a place for lunch in the day, for drinks at night. I have been here for five days and four nights. I have arranged my little life. This funny little dress I wear leaves my neck and shoulders bare. I’m lucky to be dressed up to there in these hard times. Quite like old times. Nowhere left to go. Outside, Prague looks so very pretty, but, O god, what a bitch she can be, but she can’t kill me and I can’t leave her. Funny, I couldn’t leave you either. Do you remember? We lived round the corner from here. You bought me an imitation astrakhan coat. It was then I started calling myself Sascha, trying to change my luck, trying to grab it by the throat. Did it bring me luck, changing my name? Should I change it again? Am I sad? I guess. As sad as a circus lioness. As an eagle without wings. A violin with one string. As a woman growing old, learning to be cold.
I pull the past over me like a blanket and I remember. I remember from February to November. My mouth goes soft under yours. My arms go limp as you kiss me goodbye and you grin. Just like that, you walk out on me. I haven’t said a word, but I’m having a baby. One day you walk back in. I should say, “go to hell.” You tell me to peel you an orange. I should say, “peel it yourself,” but then you lay your head upon my silver breast. The sun, blazing hot, eating peaches together. These blue days that last forever. I like myself today and people are kind to me. They stand and give me their seat. My stomach is huge, but my face is pretty. I read most of the time and I am happy. Now, snow is falling. My hair is long and curly. I hear a woman scream, “Mother! Mother!” “Jesus! Jesus!” shouts another. “Chloroform! Chloroform!” I exclaim. “Courage, courage,” the nurse says. After, I can’t sleep, though he never cries. Should he be as silent as this? Is that a bad sign? How can he be so tiny? How can he be so pretty?
At the House of the Black Madonna, I cry like I knew I would. At the House of the Black Madonna, I say, “it’s something I remembered.” And it comes to me like a dog: I am standing in a white-washed room. You standing with your back to me. You cleaning your shoes. You sometimes bring home other women and I have to wait on them. It’s now that you betray me and I don’t like that, but I’m not unhappy. She looks at the tears in my eyes. I say, “it’s just an old memory.” She says, “sometimes I feel the same. That’s not to say I let everybody see.” Her voice is cold and clean. Like the nurse’s uniform in the hospital where our baby lay, freshly born. Still warm. Tag round it’s foot. I didn’t feel much. I didn’t feel a thing then. I haven’t again. At the House of the Black Madonna, my memories sing, “Let us live. When we give, let us give. While we live, let us live.” It comes to me like a vision. I finally make my decision. I will wear my little black dress. I will drink myself to death.
The streets, they sweat a cold yellow slime of hostile people demanding your time. She’s the perfect woman. She sings and plays the harp. She has satin skin, silk hair, velvet eyes and a sawdust heart. I’d give anything to say one word to her, but, O, what would I say? Call her a tiger? Only, tigers are better-looking, aren’t they? She looks at me smiling. I know what she thinks: That I’m getting to look old. That I drink. I say, “I hope there’s another war. I’m tired of this living. I don’t want to live anymore.” One day, I shall take a hammer from the folds of my dark cloak and I will crack her little skull like an eggshell spilling out yolk. One day, this fierce wolf that walks at my side will rip her abominable guts out and she will die.
Mask 03:58
This isn’t my face. I wear a mask. I can take it off when I like and hang it up on a nail. This isn’t my name. These aren’t my streets. I’ve got no name, no face, no country. I wear a veil. I know all about him from his trousers and his shoes, the girls he likes and the drinks he buys and the way he brushes his hair, but I can’t see his face. He wears a mask. Does he take it off at night? What’s under there? He was reading music. I think it was Bach or Brahms. He said, “heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard are sweeter.” He took me to a place. I lay down on the floor. I saw a businessman eating glass. I saw ugly creatures singing, “you don’t like and I don’t like you.”
Fire & Wings 04:09
I order another drink. I feel like a goddess. I’ve made my decision: I will drink myself to death and tomorrow I will dye my hair. Maybe blonde, for a change. On my passport, it still reads your name. I said I didn’t love you anymore. I wanted it to be true, but I wasn’t sure. I still love you from this cheap hotel. What happened? Didn’t I treat you well? He is not a young man, but not quite old enough to be my father. I ask him what it’s like to have money and he says, “well, it’s murder.” Outside in the fresh air, I can’t walk, I’m so drunk. He laughs and says, “O, you young women. You dance too much.” You were staring at the floor when you said you didn’t love me any more. Goddamn, I love you madly. Goddamn, you treat me badly. I need money for my hair. I need money for my teeth. I need money for shoes that won’t deform my feet. There are bars where they like me. There are bars where they don’t. There are looking glasses I look nice in and looking glasses where I don’t. There are dresses that will be lucky and men that will make me happy and those that won’t and so on and so on and so on and so on. They come in a glass, these lovely little things. Give me more of this feeling. Give me fire and wings.
“Here’s to you,” I raise my glass, “but now you have to go.” “You can’t kiss me and say that,” he says, “you can’t tell me there’ll be no show.” I see a blue crescent moon. A scar smile across his throat. Each hand wrings the other, like a baker working dough and there we are. Struggling on the bed. My dress torn open at the neck. He’s holding me down. My knees clamped together. “We have all night,” he says, “we have forever.” His fingers gripping my arm. His knee pushed between mine. “We have all night,” he says, “we have time.” This is just a game. I shut my eyes. This is just a game for a worthless prize. I’m strong as the dead, but I must shut my eyes because it hurts when the dead come alive. “Now, that wasn’t so bad,” he says as he straightens his tie. He’s looking in the glass. I put my arm over my eyes. I don’t want to see him go in case he says ‘goodnight’. The door shuts without a word. I turn over onto my side. I make myself as small as possible. I draw my knees up to my chin. My mouth is swollen and bleeding from where it was bitten. There’s blood on the white sheets. There’s blood on your handkerchief.
Shut me in. Shut the damn devils out. They can’t reach me now. Outside my window, I hear a sad song. A voice crying out. There’s nothing quite like this hell of lying broken down in this cheap hotel. We all dream of escape here. I don’t care. I’ll dream the hardest. One day I shall hear this song on trumpets and these walls will fall and rest. Nothing on but the radio when I fist hear that sweet, sweet sound. Lying on the bed with you, brand new. My hand is your hand. I don’t know if I love you yet, but I know I like you more than any man I’ve ever met. Music fills the room like smoke as you join me undressed. That song playing on trumpets and the walls fall and rest. Out there, people have hearts like stone. Pay you a grand for a kiss and a korona for your soul. I sold both many times to men who only love when they betray their wives. That song isn’t quite in tune. That’s not how I like it best. Let me hear it on trumpets and let these walls fall and rest. Let them play it on trumpets. Let them play it wrong. Let them call it jazz. Let them call it what they want.
Darkness 05:34
You have the right to pay me the little that you pay me, lodge me in a small dark room and clothe me shabbily. You can harass me with your thirst until I blush at a look and cry at a word. You have the right to open my legs, break my arms and snap off my head. You have the right to own my body, but not to laugh at me. You do not have that right, but it’s the one you hold most dearly. There’s only so much darkness I can take. We can’t all be rich. We can’t all be happy. We can’t all be so goddamn lucky. There must be a darkness to show up the bright colours. Some must feel pain for the pleasure of others.
Sophia 04:58
I came here to die or be reborn. I left the only place I called home. I left too much sin to forgive. I can not, I will not atone. So, I will cast myself into the river. No friends on the bank, I’m not a strong swimmer. I’m sure to sink like a sinner to the sounds of laughter. I will cast myself into the river. I will sink like a stone. You can let these cold Czech waters keep my ruined bones. Sophia went down to where the river flowed, wild, wild Sophia. Sophia went down to where the river flowed, made a hole in the water. Then, out of the deep dark water. Hair set and shampooed. You would never know that I had been in it, except there always remains something of everything you go through.


Written, recorded & produced by Becky Becky, inspired by the work of Jean Rhys.
Written and recorded in Stockholm, Linkoping & Malmo, Sweden, Hamburg & Berlin, Germany; Prague, The Czech Republic; Edinburgh & Anstruther, Scotland; Brighton, England & Seythenex, France.


released May 1, 2014


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Becky Becky

literary-inspired electro-synth-pop-ecletic-lo-fi-diy duo gemma l williams & peter j d mason

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