Bridge / Straw / Lake

by Hello Emerson

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Recorded on a long weekend in Pinckney, Michigan. This is Sam Bodary with his trusty and forgiving guitar, playing a single, live take of three songs that work together as one.

This is about falling in love with strangers, resenting the part of you that judges books by their cover, learning to be ok with the problems you have time to make for yourself, and wishing you could jump into lakes with all the other kids who do that sort of thing.

Please listen to the other half of this split cassette release at


released October 23, 2015

Recorded by Sam Bodary in The Hobo Hut in Pinckney, Michigan

Mixed by Victoria Butash

Artwork by Michelle Ewert



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Track Name: Bridge
i'm building a bridge
to the other side of this body i'm in
made of black and tan bricks
held together with glorified spit
and i wish yeah i wish
i wish i could see what the other half sees

i'm huddled up tight
a war is breaking out tonight
was there always this light
make me feel so hopelessly alive
but i hope yes i hope

i walk where i want me to go
part of me wants to break free
but these protein sodium
guanine and adenine
do they make me me
are they even listening

lanky thin at the wrist
funhouse images of happiness
shirts hang loose on this kid
who feels so much bigger than he is
but i am yes i am

i am in tune with this pulsing room
if i close my eyes i see these
neon pathways
thymine and cytosine
drafting my wants and needs
they're all laid out for me

back to the sunday commute
north on west end avenue
find that red cushion seat
just some water to start with if you please
i don't know i won't know

i just pretend like i'm in control
i bought a lease but it's still dragging me
cruel biology
barking incessently

you love her you love her
go touch her go touch her
you love her you love her
no i don't even know her
but no you love her you love her

and she turns to me
what can i get you to eat
just the regular please
Track Name: Straw
cause i am a growing boy
and i donate all my shoes
and make lists of things to do
when i forget how huge the world is
outside of my little cotton lined room

and the first thing on the list it says
go read a book and the second one says
teach yourself the cello or some instrument
and third gain a perspective of intimate distance
and maybe then it'll make some sense

cause the world it's all
it's a spinning around you now
so caffinate and quilt your skin

is this where we begin
to sort our problems out
the ones we make up
living easy lives
then we realize
we're growing up just fine

and i'm burning with the people
who all know they know me best
and if i try to fashion something
better from this mess i guess
i'll be no different from the rest

and i'll be setting tables then
cause you're dressed as the chef
and the fork goes on the left
and the knife goes on the right
with the edge slouching back against the spoon
and the others are gonna be here real soon

and the straw it sings and it creaks like a choir now
and the sticks sniff out the weak and they shout

who can we do without
you choose who you love now
you're far from grown but start pretending
you've got directions to make this man you're building

i am a burning boy minus any smell of smoke
cause all of the straw men that i made
are getting loans and moving in
into the open space in the back of my van

and they're all backseat drivers worse than any family
and they're laughing at my signaling
and whispering these little things like
you'll learn to love us all in time my dear
but for now keep your hands on the wheel

and the scabs on his head
they're growing in number now
so shoo them off
and pick away the doubt

but what could we do without
these little lovely doubts
cause they wear me down
to smooth untethered boughs
so let them swing back and forth on me
Track Name: Lake
the kids they're undressing long past the last light
threading through tank tops and taking off tights
just to flirt with the feelings that aren't worth the fight
as they toss themselves into the noise

and the kids they're all yelling and screaming i'm told
the pure incredulity of growing old
so for now they employ recreational cold
to fend off their futures and fate
at least til they graduate

so go jump the lake if you want to
go love every living thing there
but you won't find me there

the kids they're all sipping each other like wine
they found in the basement next to turpentine
on the paint splattered tool shelf of thin metal sheets
upturn those young drinks and repeat

and the kids they're all loving each other so well
but the clear eyes on campus say we're going to hell
so our promised damnation should make this feel better
but our hears burst right through our sweaters

and the kids they're all stretching their bodies and minds
and waking up strangers in twin beds entwined
with their past selves' potential and awkward first tries
all stitched together with lies that they find

on the parchment of campus one block west of high
where we show off ourselves and shrug off the uptight
and the well dressed composers of crumpled up lines
we highlight cross out and tattoo

so go take that leap if you need to
and show bashful wants when it's right
but mine i'll wad up and i'll bounce them against
the wall that we share every night

and the kids they call learners sit sleepless tonight
plain terrified of the thought that they hide
from their fine young acquaintances cheering outside
in the night in the night always in the night

they say how can we know we know all that we know
cause with each passing day oh i grow and i grow
more and more lost i'm told
til i'm told til i'm told
i'm repeating myself again

so whether or not a storm is in store
more sure than the soot in the water i pour
in the depths of my pottery bitterness absorbs
and it blackens the collar of the sink

he says why do i hide if i want to be seen
just hoping for extroverts peeking though screens
to knock on my window or the chipping front door
and prop me up on the wall

and say we haven't met before
but your face makes me want to know more
and i'm sure that you feel the same thing when i say

i grow more unsure by the day
and your home is so poorly maintained
and no i don't want to be this vain
and i know you're not seeking out praise but
you have such a comforting face

you have such a comforting face