Personal Soundtrack

26 Jun

 

The Song

Leap by The Cave Singers

The Cave Singers’ frontman Pete Quirk has a guttural, ragged voice that sounds like it was birthed in an unnamed swampy backwoods hollow.  There’s a timeless feel to his ragged vocals; it’s easy to imagine some bearded frontiersmen sounded the same way as they sat around the fire singing whiskey-fueled songs about grizzly bears and loose women in the 1800s.  The Cave Singers’ woodsy, raw sound comes through prominently with Quirk’s voice, and the band behind him utilizes  a mix of twangy guitar lines, propulsive drum stomps and the odd fiddle or harmonica to further this sonic theme.

“Leap” begins with the simple combination of Quick’s restrained vocals and a bubbling guitar line before building momentum behind some brisk drumming and harmonica flourishes.  Every part of the song picks up energy as it goes along, culminating with Quick alternating vocal and harmonica runs in one yearning ode to ‘flying free.’

The song’s title isn’t mentioned once in the lyrics, but all it takes is one listen to understand why it was named “Leap.”  The band creates the pure feeling of leaping into something – the slow build of momentum in the approach to the edge, and then the joyous, unhinged rush of finally jumping.  Whether that leap is a literal one or figurative one, it doesn’t matter.  The basic feeling is the same, and The Cave Singers would like you to feel it with them.

The Activity

This is it.  This is your last chance.  The ferry terminal is coming up on the left.  Why is your heart pounding like it’s fifth grade again?  Fuck.  Fuck.  Say something.  That you want to see them again.  That you may be in love.  No.  That’s weird.  Tone it down.  But something.  C’mon!

…..

Well that was just sad.  Capped off that amazing conversation with a simple Goodbye as the coolest person you’ve ever met just walked away and on to a ferry boat.  You only got a first name.  Will probably never see them again.  The universe gave you a gift – you both happened to be on the airport arrival curb at the exact same time, waiting for a cab at the exact same time.  Making small talk, finding out they were going to catch the ferry right by where you live.  You, on a whim, offering to share the cab that pulls up right then.  With a knee-weakening smile, they agreed.

The rest of the ride passed in a blur – connections like that are only supposed to happen in movies and trashy e-books.  And all you could muster at the end, as they looked like they were maybe, just maybe, waiting for something more, was a Goodbye.  And now they’re off to the ferry, ready to take off to another life while you head back to yours.

Now all you can do is listen to the ferry horn sound out, mockingly, as the cab sits in traffic.  This is going to bother you for a long time….No.  Not today.  The second ferry horn sounds out, and you look back – the boat hasn’t left yet.

What have you got to lose?  You either slink away or go down fighting, yeah?  The third ferry horn sounds.  It’s about to leave.  Fuck it.  You toss the driver some money, throw open the door.  Grab your bag – all you’ve got is a carry-on to worry about.  The universe knew.

Take off running.  Boat’s not moving yet, you’re still good.  What are you going to say when you get there?  No time to think now.  Through the Walk-On tunnel, heading to the boat.  Were you supposed to buy a ticket there?  No TIME TO STOP.

Someone’s yelling at you – probably the ticket-taker.  Hopefully you aren’t breaking any federal laws here.  Hop over the divider saying “BOAT FULL”.  The horn sounds for the final time.  You’re on the walkway, you can see the cars on the bottom deck of the ferry.  The walkway shudders as the boat detaches from the dock.  There’s now open air between the walkway and the boat, and it’s getting wider by the second.  You’re almost at the end of the walkway and haven’t slowed up.  Full speed.  There’s no one there to stop you – it’s just open air between the walkway and the ramp on the ferry.  They haven’t closed the gate yet.  Quick calculation – can you make the jump?  Too late to crunch numbers.  It’s just water if you don’t make it.  Time to leap.

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