Glass Figurines

from by Primer & Grayscale

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about

When I was young I used to spend my summers at my grandparents’ house while both of my parents worked. My grandmother was a lively and expressive woman, at once sweet as molasses and sharp as a tack. She was a collector of various knick-knacks, and my grandfather, somewhat begrudgingly, allowed her to decorate their home with them. One of her favorite things to collect was glass figurines, mostly shaped like birds or cherubs. There was at least one on every end table or nightstand, and several shelves dedicated expressly to housing entire flocks of red and purple painted ceramic birds. My brother and I had rambunctious tendencies, and inevitably we would end up breaking one every other summer. Human life is something like my grandmother’s figurines. It is undeniably beautiful and precious, but delicate beyond measure.

The summer immediately after I left Kerr I got a job working for Geneva College’s Physical Plant. There were three branches to Physical Plant: janitorial, maintenance, and grounds. I worked for grounds, but quickly became familiar with people in all three divisions. One such person was a woman named Sonny, a janitor who worked in the Student Center during the afternoon. Sonny was always friendly and made a point to say hello any time she saw me. We were never especially close, but she was a clearly recognizable figure in my weekly life. At one point she heard from a mutual co-worker that I played in a band and asked me to play her niece’s wedding. I thanked her for the gesture, but politely declined for the sake of her niece. If there’s one way you should not start your marriage, it’s to the soundtrack of a local fourth-wave emo band. I remember clearly the day that Sonny died. The normal raunchy clamor of the grounds garage gave way to stunned quiet. I knew something was wrong as soon as I crossed the threshold. Physical Plant called an emergency meeting and informed us that Sonny’s husband had shot her in her sleep the night before, before turning the gun on himself. It came as a surprise to everyone: a seemingly random and chaotic act that left two dead and a daughter suddenly without her parents. I didn’t know Sonny that well, and I didn’t know her daughter at all, but for the weeks following I couldn’t stop thinking about what had happened to that family.

lyrics

Glass figurines on the mantelpiece
Standing at attention, begging to be seen
By anything that breathes

So beautiful but so prone to fall
And fracture into pieces, delicate and small
Delicate and small

And no one knows, no one knows, no one knows
No one knows how much it means until it goes
And no one knows, no one knows, no one knows
How to fix it once its broken

Barefoot footsteps in the living room
Speak into the silence, in calm familiar tones
On sore and tired toes

They raise the white flag to a broken home
And bury all the pieces, somewhere deep below
The things that help you cope

Cuz no one knows, no one knows, no one knows
No one knows the weight these shoulders have to hold
No one knows, no one knows, no one knows
How to fix you once you’re broken

What can I say
To help a girl that’s lost her mother
Because I want to make it better
But there is nothing I can do
So what can I say
Things are different, you don’t deny it
And I could never understand
So what can I say?
So what can I say?
So what can I say?

No one knows, no one knows, no one knows
No one knows, no one knows, no one knows
No one knows, no one knows, no one knows
How to fix you once you’re broken

credits

from Where Is Winter?, released April 22, 2017

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Primer & Grayscale Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania

Primer & Grayscale is a lyric-driven indie/punk/emo band from Beaver Falls. We're dedicated to making art that is honest, heartfelt, and thought-provoking.

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