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"That’s What You Get for Gettin’ Outta Bed" • Grandaddy (by Lauren Lavin)

It says: Keep on Fuckin’ Truckin’. It’s too big for me so I cut it real short with real big armholes. I wear it when I drive the van loaded with my shit from Los Angeles to Seattle with Mike in the passenger seat. He doesn’t drive on the freeway so I do it all, eating weed gummies like popcorn and smoking when I’m not eating. I reassure him I drive better this way. I’m cutting us through the central valley and since I’m driving I get to pick the music and if you’re from the parts of California we’re from it’s hard not to want to listen to what grows in your backyard, especially when you’re rolling through the hot dry and holy baked cowshit earth to leave it behind. 

I heard someone call it Methdesto once. Gramma lived in Stockton—did you ever play the Plea for Peace Center in Stockton?— and had a yellow pitbull puppy with long ears and a dingo face who would clamp so tight on the heavy rainbow rope toy that I could lift her up and swing her around in circles. Her name was Morgaine because Gramma had just read The Mists of Avalon. In a pizza restaurant, she told me spirits in the trees talked to her. While we stood in a line, a little boy turned around and stuck up his middle finger. Not like he knew what it meant, just like he was trying it out. I can picture her flipping him off and snarling back, but I don’t know if she did. She might have shook her head and said to nobody, Kids don’t know how to behave anymore. 

On my birthday last year my mom facetimed me because she was visiting Gramma. My mom had said be prepared because she doesn’t always know who people are, and I wondered how it must feel to have hated your mom and be forgotten by her. Freeing, probably. But I saw in Gramma’s eyes that she knew me. She lit up, used my babyhood nickname. 

Gramma said, I’m going on a long trip. Like a drive? A road trip? I smiled. Yes, she said. And I want you to come with me, Noni. I said, Yes! I love to drive. 

I’m trying to reach out and touch Mike’s past with the tendrils of mine. His friend just engineered a record for this band. I want to tell him about when they reunited for the first time in a dozen years, and about working the table at Bimbo’s for which I was paid in this shirt that was a dress on me until I cut it down. They were supposed to go on a big tour after this and then one of them died, at the age my husband is now. 

I want to tell him about the fuzzy lights and the low velvety ceiling of the small space and the ethereal synths and feeling the crooked parts of the teenager who first fell in love with the band rearranging themselves within me into something that hums. But I should focus on the road for a bit. Before we know it we’ll be blasting through our hometowns. Listen to this part of the song, I say. It’s just like the inside of a taqueria in the middle of the day in the places we’re from. 

Lauren Lavín is a writer/musician who was made in Mexico, born in Oakland, and currently lives in Seattle. Her work appears in Triangle House Review, Rejection Letters, Farewell Transmission, and other places.


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