As my groggy eyes adjusted to the sunlight filtering through my window, I decided to check again. And yes, the breeze stopped blowing, the leaves of the trees no longer swayed, the birds no longer sang, and the sun stopped its glorious procession across the sky from horizon to horizon. The clocks stopped ticking, their hands dead in their tracks. It is three o’clock in the afternoon on a summer day. It’s been three in the afternoon on a summer day for a very long time. The only conclusion I can come to is that time has somehow stopped in the quiet house where I stay.

Another 3pm in the bedroom whose mint green walls had become so familiar. The lamp is off; Natural light makes the room look less harsh and less artificial. Dust flutters through the sunlight and casts patterns on the messy comforter of an unmade bed. It makes a room feel preserved, undisturbed—like a historical artifact from a bygone era or a limited space that hasn’t seen the energy, bustle, or love that life carries with it for a long time. The gentle contrast between light and shadow makes the room safer and calmer.

I leave my bed at three in the afternoon. My mind may be still, but my body needs to move. So I run. I run until my chest heaves and my legs scream and my head throbs and I think I’m going to throw up. But no matter how hard I pushed myself physically, I still felt this lethargy. The dust drifting through the house has settled in my mind. it’s foggy. My thoughts aren’t finished, my feelings aren’t processed. I don’t – no, I can’t – admit that I have unmet needs. My mind acts when I call upon it. He does my request. He thinks about what I ask of him, and feels what I want from him. that it for me mind. Excessive fatigue. This summer, we’re relaxing.

My water bottle is empty and my body is reaching its limit. The car seat headrest blasts directly into my eardrums as sweat drops pass through my ear canals. In “Life on the Shore – In Death”, Will Toledo wails with longing, because his soul longs for an escape from the laws of nature. “The ocean has washed your grave,” he shouted to no one in particular. The tides bring with them a sense of dread. The water eagerly touches my feet as the dread swells with the waves. Feelings will not remain buried and my mind will crawl wherever it wants. I was foolish to think I could bury them on the beach, anyway. Beatling drums and powerful guitar distortion complete a powerful three-act song dedicated to painful queer love, depression, and mortality.

I finish my workout at 3pm and lie down on the floor. No amount of panting will get me the air I need as my head swims in the wet, murky waters of heat exhaustion. The deep, powerful hum of the plucked bass introduces the penultimate song to Twin fantasy Album “Famous Prophets (Stars).” The track moves at a slower pace and the lyrics evoke a deep sense of sadness. They linger longer than the album’s previous tracks: they’re nihilistic, cynical party anthems that rock a little harder than they should. Toledo sings about the faded bruises on his legs from his makeshift recording studio in the car, where he wrote songs dedicated to the deceased love he mourns. The song ends with fireworks, and the final verse collapses into chaotic misery. The line “But somewhere down the line, we won’t be alone” crashes and splinters and screams until it doesn’t make any sense. As a conclusion, the spoken Bible verse details putting his childhood ways behind himself. I don’t know.

I’ve experienced heartbreak, but not romance. I haven’t completed the full journey of maturity to truly appreciate Toledo’s art. The journey is a blossoming love of a broken heart, and finally a bittersweet retrospective as the feelings fade: “So pour one out wherever you are. These are just words now.” The aesthetic of teenage angst has an undeniable appeal. Toledo wrote the original text Twin fantasy You are seventeen years old. “Aren’t you too old for this?” I’m asking my self. I answer: Why are you asking yourself a question? I can’t give you that outside perspective you crave.

“What should I do? (Eat breakfast) What should I do? (Eat lunch) What should I do? (Eat dinner) What should I do? (Go to bed).” Even if you’re not hungry. Even if you are not tired. I don’t eat because I need energy to survive. I don’t eat because of the taste of the food. I eat because I can open the pantry and feel the rustle of the cereal box in my hand and the movement of my jaw as I chew. I eat because hunger hurts. I can stare at the grains as my spoon moves up to my mouth, down to the bowl, to my mouth, to the bowl. I don’t go to sleep because I have a reason to wake up tomorrow. I’m sleeping because what is there to do in Amelia, Ohio?

After my meal at 3pm, I return to the room where I woke up. It was time to lie down, stare at the ceiling and wait. There is nothing to wait for. I’m tired, but not in a way that makes me sleepy. I sleep, sometimes for 10 minutes, sometimes for three hours. But I always wake up at 3pm dreaming of anywhere but here. Anywhere but the mint green walls, the half-open white shutters, and the dim afternoon sunlight. No matter how much I beg, the dreams don’t stay with me – they are too fleeting. The only part I can keep with me is the deep feeling of loss, that when I wake up I leave something very important behind.

“Poor child,” I chided myself dismissively. “Is your summer vacation not enough for you?” Self-deprecation does nothing for anyone, anywhere. It’s just an indulgent expression of false self-consciousness. What it does is reinforce the fact that I still don’t do anything for anyone anywhere. great work.

I head downstairs around 3pm and smell homemade dinner. This smell reminds me of home and that I am okay. Warm food, warm house, so it should be fine. I see my grandparents, and time seems to have never stopped in their quiet home. I notice every day that they seem more tired and move more slowly. I look at the old photos illuminated by the radiant morning sun, whose faces have not yet fallen from the immeasurable weight of their age. They are preserved in the warmth of the rising sun.

“Isn’t three in the afternoon a little early to make dinner?” I ask and they look at me confused. They say it’s not three in the afternoon and the sun has finished its daily procession. They regale me with tales of warm orange light splashing on the clouds to contrast with the deep blue of a rapidly approaching night. I shake my head and tell them it’s still three in the afternoon. They talk to me as if I came straight from those pictures where I’m still a rosy-cheeked angel riding on their shoulders. In my naive indignation, I want to protest. I want to pretend I’ve learned to walk on my own, just like they did before. I earned my stripes. Now they are strangers. I see these strangers tired, hurt and lonely. I want to carry them on my shoulders. But I’m too busy worrying about 3 p.m

I feel very lonely at 3pm. I lived with a dog who kept me company when the walls felt too empty. I was told that he died while I was away. I had a soft spot for dogs when I was younger. I cried when I was 10 when I read Where the Red Fern Grows. But time and the world rob you of youthful compassion and wisdom. I never cried next to him like I always imagined I would. I didn’t cry at all. I think I always knew he would leave his peaceful home here, but some days I find myself waiting for him to return. It doesn’t seem real. Not before I saw the empty dog ​​beds, the dusty toys stashed in the garage, the cold, and the calculated ads for dog-related products that didn’t even bother to ask if our dog had died. The beds, the toys, and the ads cried more than when his sun drifted over the horizon.

I brush my teeth and go to bed at 3pm. It’s so bright I can’t sleep. But eventually, the bored lullaby of my incoherent thoughts subsided. I wake up at three in the afternoon, and it’s still bright outside. I miss those summer nights in the Midwest. I think of the flashing lights of fireflies and the sounds of wayward planes flying overhead, and the celestial glow of the moon that has enchanted artists and astronomers alike. These thoughts give me a faint smile. There is rest at night. No, this is an illusion born of isolation. The night is dark, and my sun will set in time. I feel the waves caressing the shore.

Nothing I think makes any sense anymore. Nothing I say sounds original. Nothing I do has any coherence. My life is no longer a story with a narrative, characters, or morals. It’s broken and scattered and no one has a clue how it got back together because no one knows what it looked like in the first place. However, I have to at least try to pick up the pieces.

There’s a hidden beauty in 3 p.m., because all the problems that put bags under your eyes and give you gray hair seem so far away. I would tell every stranger that it is three in the afternoon, but how can they understand if their clocks are not as stuck as mine? They simply told me that the sun was moving overhead and that they had a life to live. 3pm is

A bedroom with mint green walls.

To carry them on my shoulders. But I also-

Feel what I want it. that it for me mind. Exhaustion –

What I’m doing is reinforcing the fact that I’m still doing nothing for anyone –

Are you asking yourself a question? I can’t give you that –

I feel the cereal box rustle in my hand and my jaw moves-

There is rest at night. no-

Stop. breathes.

Do you think that if you put the pieces together the right way, strangers would offer their sympathy? If I wrote my three-season song, would I still be preserved in the warmth of the sunrise? If I were preserved and immortal, would I resist the pull of the tide and the glow of the moon? All that’s left is to hope that the breeze will blow again, that the leaves will flutter in the wind, and that the birds will sing. My sun will set in due time. I lie in the fleeting afternoon light.

Daily Arts Writer James Johnston can be reached at

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