i lived in a basement

by Sam Talmadge

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1.
wake up in the afternoon the day might get away from you if you're not quick. another day of doing nothing probably would be enough to make you sick. but why should I get up and have more time to kill? another hour's just another hole to fill. but you get up anyway you make yourself some breakfast and you go outside. you try to do the things you like. take the train from Forest Hills to Massachusetts Avenue and feel okay. you plan to meet a friend there and you know that's the kind of thing that keeps you sane. but why do I need people to feel like myself? I'm not like some book that you pull off the shelf. "entering mass ave," says the voice that you have surely heard a thousand times. get off the train and do the things you like. meet your friend for dinner and the second thing you tell her's that you feel depressed. you didn't want to say it ‘cause you're trying to make your friends your therapists. "so never mind enough about me how are you? I know talking about myself is all I do." she shakes her head and says it's fine and gazes at the menu while you wait in line and she asks you is there something there you like? make your way back home and you know that means you'll have some time to be alone. you could read a book or self reflect or wash the dishes but you're on your phone searching through the Internet for true love A thousand flashing faces and the swipe of a thumb. fall asleep and dream about the sex you really want to have in real life or dream about the other things you like. try to do the things you like.
2.
the reunion 03:13
so we meet again and we shoot the breeze with shaky knees talking just as friends and you, you haven’t changed the words come out of a familiar mouth it all still sounds the same but I can tell there’s so much that you won’t tell me about the life that you can live without me so we speak carefully about this and that as though we never had a common memory but what is there to say when you can tell I’m not doing well by what’s written in my face ‘cause I can tell there’s so much that you won’t tell me about the life that you can live without me then we say goodbye with our eyes cast down looking at the ground as though someone had died and if we meet again I’m sure that I will be the one to find a reason to be friends and someday you know you’ll have to tell me about the life that you can live without me
3.
If there’s a day of the year that I sincerely fear it’s the anniversary of the day that I appeared out of nothing well I was warm and wet and without regret but now my birthday is a day that I’d just like to forget without hugging so cut up the cake blow out the candles this is a special day to be someone and look at your friends they’re happy to see you now that you’ve made another trip around the sun and if I had my way then there’d be nothing to say but still my friends insist that I should cherish the day instead of brooding but a homemade meal can’t change the way I feel about watching my life go by like the tape on the reel of a movie so cut up the cake blow out the candles this is a special day to be someone and look at your friends they’re happy to see you now that you’ve made another trip around the sun and if my celebration is a yearly date then I deserve to know exactly just how long I should wait to be dying if it’s a viral disease or a chemical breeze that kills me, I don’t mind it just as long as it sees that I am trying so cut up the cake blow out the candles this is a special day to be someone and look at your friends they’re happy to see you now that you’ve made another trip around the sun
4.
the exchange 04:25
picture me somewhere nice and warm a small café that I’ve been to before all the same nothing changed still alone I sit down and look out across the room and there you are. No one’s there with you you check you’re phone and sip your cup and get your coat then you’re gone now picture me laying in bed at night wide awake, but I don’t know why but soon enough I start to drift and fall asleep but in my mind, I’m acting in a play as myself reliving yesterday and there you are the same café we almost meet but it’s a dream now picture me waiting in a checkout aisle watching you and you’ve been there a while so I smile and so do you the line moves on but it’s your turn to buy the things you want to buy an exchange is made while I feel dead inside ‘cause all I want to do is talk and make a friend but then you’re gone
5.
randall 03:42
Randall Randall, half-man, half-superstition lived in a castle as tall as the sky and while the world was burning Randall took to learning from some books that told him how to live and die. and he said, “I can see the waters rising, but I just gotta do what’s right for me and I know this worlds gonna drown, but when the waters reach this town I’ll be the king of the sea “'cause when I get to heaven St. Peter’s gonna call my name and say ‘Randall, you sure are clever! you know I woulda done the same!’ he’s gonna take me by the hand and let me be God’s right-hand man In a heaven where there’s no one to blame.” now Randall owned a thousand busts of every man that he’d ever trust and he watched them from morning until night and without a world to see Randal rewrote history as the struggle of a man that’s always right and he said, “I can see those waters rising, but I’m sure the people know how to row and I know this worlds a gonna drown, but when the waters reach this town I’ll be the last one to go “'cause when I get to heaven St. Peter’s gonna call my name and say ‘Randall, you sure are clever! you know I woulda done the same!’ he’s gonna take me by the hand and let me be God’s right-hand man in a heaven where there’s no one to blame.” now Randall died alone a starving sack of skin and bones decaying in the comfort of his bed and after a long wait he finally got to those pearly gates now this is what old St. Peter said. “well Randall, we’ve been watching you for some time now I though your castle would just sink and I know you’re religious man but I gotta say I’m not a fan. oh Randall did you really think “that when you got to heaven I was really gonna call your name and say, ‘Randall you sure are clever!’ cause I never woulda done the same I wouldn’t take you to purgatory you’ll go on to hell that’s the end of story in heaven there’s no one to blame
6.
good morning, it’s Sunday holy Sunday you had too much to drink see the morning light and all the pieces of Saturday night but oh, it hurts you to even blink feel the weight of your head and feel all the sweat that’s coating your bed and lay there still until you have had enough now go downstairs and go to the kitchen and wash down the taste of Jameson with a glass of water that’s cool to the touch now drink it slowly and drink it with care ‘cause when you drink it you become aware that you are going to throw up and it’s not the first bad morning you’ve had but something about this one is making you sad as you feel the acid splashing in your gut well maybe it’s the promise you made to yourself. You said that you would stay away from alcohol or at least for a while or maybe it’s because you’re all alone with your head on the table with a broken phone or maybe it’s just been too long since you cried when you were sixteen you drank your parents’ liquor and you smoked too much weed but somehow you were as happy as you could be but look at you now with your head on the table with a drippy mouth you don’t feel so serene but you start to stand up slowly ‘cause you know that the only way to feel better is to let it all go so enter the bathroom door lift up the toilet seat and get on the floor open your mouth and just let it all go
7.
22 years 02:22
you know, after 22 years I have learned a thing or two about being sad. but when you call to comfort me I think how lucky I must be cause you are the best friend that I have ever had. and after all these 22 years I have learned that it gets better slowly over time. but if I start to doubt myself or if I need some help I know you’ll be there by my side.

about

i wrote all but one of these songs in a basement apartment at fordham court in jp. they are here and they are for you!!

credits

released April 24, 2018

all songs written by sam talmadge

all instruments and vocals by sam talmadge except for accordion on tracks 4 and 7 by aidan scrimgeour and additional vocals on track 3 by elise leavy. also they are my best friends.

recorded by curtis killian at flamingo bush studios in west roxbury massachusetts 8/17-12/17

mixed by curtis killian and sam talmadge

produced by aidan scrimgeour

mastered by peter atkinson

photography and cover design by my dad, mac talmadge

thanks mom and dad
thanks chuck honnet and nine athens music
thanks all my friends for being there for me
thanks anu sebstad, steven long, and elise leavy for lending me their instruments
thanks rubin who let me have the big room in our shared basement apartment
thanks samia companies LLC for never taking care of our rodent problem

<3

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Sam Talmadge Boston, Massachusetts

Songwriter, fingerpicker, composer based in Boston MA.

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