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Out in the Yard

from Atavist by T. Hallenbeck

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When she came to get everything back,
I was out in the yard dozing off the sunshine.
She asked where he was, I said, "Inside",
so she walked up the stairs and I saw she'd
been crying. And from inside my funky old house
came the voice of my roommate splitting hairs
with his girlfriend. For an hour they bickered
and screamed, hurling insults, and I heard it all
from the yard.

She left in tears, but I knew she'd be back,
or he'd storm to her front door with flowers.
They're like that, and it happens alot - they're in love
and it makes them angry.

After a while, my roommate came out and said,
"Sorry you had to hear our dirty laundry."
Then he broke out the pipe and we got really
stoned and hung out in the sunshine.

In my mind I invented a girlfriend who'd
fight with me, throw things, be jealous and nosy.
And my roommate, he soon wandered off,
leaving me out there hopelessly stoned
in the yard.

She leaves in tears, but I know she'll come back,
or I'll storm to her front door with flowers.
We'd be like that, it would happen alot -
always at each other's throats.

And that day I saw the real me: unemotional,
holding it in, much too guarded. I guess the
intense things in life pass you by when you're
like that. That's why I'm alone in the yard.


from Atavist, released October 12, 1999


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T. Hallenbeck Oakland, California

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