chocolate-milk-motel asked: Yeah, there's a merch table. Or at least there was when I saw him. They had a few shirts, a poster or 2 and CDs/Vinyl.
There ya go, previous asker!
acab-rocky asked: when you went to the jeff mangum show. did they have a merch table?
Unfortunately, I haven’t seen Jeff Mangum live, but I do believe there is a merch table at his shows.
Also, one of these characters is a time traveler, so there’s that.
“You remember the first time you heard it?”
“Heard this record. You remember?”
“Yeah.” He turned the shiny black disc over. The needle dropped and “Oh Comely” began. “I don’t really think anyone forgets, do they?”
“Not without time travel.”
“Is every time the first time with you?”
“No. The first time was still special. So special I listened to it four more times and learned every song by heart. It’s all in here now.” She flicked herself in the head. “It’s in the diary. I know what it was like.”
“But you don’t really.”
Emily turned around, and the look in her eyes startled him. She looked almost…hurt. “Secondhand loves are still real,” she said, picking up the album sleeve and running her long fingers over the drum-faced girl. “Hasn’t she taught you anything?”
Not sure what to do, he took a careful step toward her. When she didn’t move, he slowly circled his arms around her waist so that they touched everywhere but where the cardboard square was in between. She leaned her head on his shoulder. “Tell me about your first time and I’ll tell you about mine,” she said.
“It was my thirteenth birthday. It didn’t actually feel at all birthday-ish. My aunt and I were driving to Ann Arbor for a funeral. Or maybe it was a wedding. All I remember was that it was eighty-eight degrees in May and I had to wear dress pants. Anyway, we rented a car for the trip and there was a CD of it in the car stereo. It was a burned CD. There was nothing written on it or anything. So we just popped it in and—I think my feet literally left the ground on the first note. I guess I was kind of suspicious at first. I’d never heard anything like it. But we just let it play and didn’t say anything and by the time ‘Two Headed Boy’ was on I was just curled up under the seatbelt in this little squished spider of awe trying not to make any sounds so my aunt wouldn’t turn and look at me ecause I was like almost hyperventilating and she was already reasonably convinced I was off in the head somehow, so. Then when it ended we just let it start over again. It was like a three hour drive and we didn’t speak the entire time. I also didn’t say anything at the funeral. That album gets in you, you know I was worried I would open my mouth and the bagpipe solo from ‘untitled’ would come out.”
“A valid concern,” she put in.
“After that I got kind of obsessed with finding out what it was. Me and Polly took the CD to a bunch of record stores but nobody knew. Finally her parents took us to New York for a week and we played it in a record store there and this guy new NMH and talked about them and the whole Elephant Six bunch like they were his god and king and was like ‘Do you have a record player? Do you know anybody who does? You have to get it on vinyl. It’s like magic on vinyl,’ and we both got out all the money we’d brought, but we didn’t have enough even together, so this guy in the record store just freakin’ gave it to us, like he said ‘you know, just take it.’ So…we just took it. And then when we got back and listened to it, we laid on the wooden floor in my attic on either side of the record player, and I could feel the floor vibrating under my back, and I remember thinking—like, not exactly this, but the equivalent of this, in the weird way you think deep important things when you’re thirteen—that nothing was going to ever really be normal for me again, now that I’d heard this.” He stopped for a long breath. “And then about ten years later, you came.”
They swayed back and forth to the music for awhile. The music and medicine they needed for comforting.
“Oh! Was I supposed to tell you about my first time?”
“That was the plan, yeah.”
“I’m sorry, I forgot myself. My first time was three days after it came out. Or twenty years before. It’s a matter of perspective. I was nineteen. Hmm. You’re the first person I’ve ever said that to. I had been so in the groove of saying ‘I am nineteen.’ I thought I would say it for another several months, at least. But I like saying this thing—I was nineteen. It sounds like a very innocent age, saying it that way. I was nineteen, and I worked at the Manhattan station. Now, the Late 20 Manhattan Station is a thing of beauty. Runs like a clock, twenty-three ports. Twenty-three people can come in from twenty-three different places in time and space all in the same instant, and we would be ready for all of them. But that’s not what I loved about it. What I loved was that the front—the thing concealing it, the thing it pretended to be—was a record store. And most stations have a front. You know those little shops where everything they’re selling is decades outdated, and you never see anyone go in, and when you do, they shoo you out and actively militate against you buying anything and you wonder how the hell the place does a business? Most of those are stations. Now are you ready for the dark truth about Roger Angelotti?”
“He just wanted to run a record store. That is seriously the only reason he lobbied so hard for that position. It had nothing to do with the prestige or the pay or my lovely presence. He’s just always wanted to run a record store with a little bit of time travel on the side. He fixed it all nice and just up and started serving the vinyl-related needs of the community.”
“I’m assuming this is relevant, although there are no guarantees anywhere.”
“I’m getting to it. So one night he left me to close up the place, but then he came back. Not just back, but back. He was coming from the nineties. And he just says ‘you need to hear this’ and grabs my hand and pulls me through a conduit and we get there and he’s being very mysterious. He tells me to sit down. He knows me very well. And then it starts…” The song began to slow to its inevitable end. She stepped away from him, holding her hands out. “And the whole world ends and starts over again.”