Features | Awards

The My Junior Prom Award for Being Sad on the Dance Floor

By Corey Beasley | 12 December 2013

Postiljonen :: Skyer

Darlene Schermerhorn. Are you reading this? It’s me. Try to remember. My locker was right next to yours. Okay, it was three hallways away in the East Wing and yours was there in front of the gym, but that distance is nothing compared to the vast sunbaked plains of the adult-sized human heart. I was late to US Government eight (8) times one semester because I took that detour just to pass your locker, and I would’ve been suspended if Coach Camden hadn’t been soused from sipping firewater out of his Biscuitville coffee cup all those mornings. I used to slide into my desk, ninety-eight seconds after the bell, and stare into my reflection in his pinkening scalp, imagining your face next to mine there in that bald canvas. I’ll always think of you when I think about the Potsdam Conference. Potsdam. It could be your middle name, you Germanic treasure, you lily of the Rhine.

There were three times I almost touched your hand:

In the cafeteria, April of our freshman year, when I thought to return a single curly fry you’d dropped on the steel tray line;

In shop class, handing you a coping saw, my fingertips coated in sawdust (it would be too much to touch your fingers flesh to flesh);

At our junior prom, on the dance floor, my weak ankles (thank you again, father) giving way beneath me midway through the Humpty Dance, your palm on my shoulder to steady me (or to steady yourself as you laughed and laughed, still a dulcet tone even under the circumstances).

If only we’d had this Postiljonen record, Skyer, then. With us there in Moose Lodge 1727. Postiljonen means “clouds” in some Scandinavian language—did your ancestors know those of bandmembers Mia Bøe, Daniel Sjörs, and Joel Nyström Holm, perhaps meeting them in the early 1940s? (Excuse me if I’ve brought up a family shame.) And clouds Postiljonen provides, billowing synths and cooing vocals to help us float away, above the school, away from concerns of curfews and orthopedic shoes, past Kip Diefendorf, who you always preferred to me, though you know as well as I that a prominent forehead is a sign of a diminished capacity for abstraction. Or, if you wouldn’t have danced with me then, not even with the bittersweet 4/4 bliss of “We Raise Our Hearts” pumping over the cheap PA, Skyer at least could’ve provided me solace, a soundtrack to dance away my heartbreak with a trio of commiserating Nordic blondes. Mia Bøe’s voice melts into these songs like a lingonberry cream left to suffer our Virginian heat, reverb soaking steady beats and mounting synth tracks straight to their wintry bones. I could sway to “On the Run” forever, or the Balearic-meets-Baltic pop chill of “Plastic Panorama,” or the saxophone rush of the final moments in “Atlantis.” M83 comes to mind, as does Air France, as do you, Darlene, always, forever.

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