High Places

03/07 - 09/07

(emusic.com/Thrill Jockey; 2008)

By Traviss Cassidy | 9 June 2008

DOMINIC and MARKEY (who bear no resemblance to any of CMG’s writers, nominal coincidences notwithstanding) have been friends since day care, and now that they’re in the third and fourth grades, respectively, they’ve got more to worry about than finger-painted T-Rexes and one-upping fat Susan in tether ball.

[ In the sandbox ]

MARKEY: Hi, Dominic.

DOMINIC: Hi, Markey.

MARKEY: What did you do in school today?

DOMINIC: I made a monkey puppet.

MARKEY: Cool. Does it have hairy arms?

DOMINIC: Actually it’s made of construction paper. And it doesn’t have arms.

MARKEY: Brbrblb. My cement truck is gonna smoosh your He-man.

DOMINIC: Hummm, what did you do today?

MARKEY: I stayed home sick (cough). But, see! I can just fake it whenever ‘cause my mommy always buys me something to make me feel better today she got me a CD. It plays music like a cassette tape but it’s sharper and flies farther when you throw it. Its name is “High Places.”

DOMINIC: Have you listened to it?

MARKEY: Obviously, like, I listen to way more music than you duhhhh.

DOMINIC: DRINK GOBLIN PISS!! [ Reaches for his zipper but then decides against it. ] Um, what does it sound like?

MARKEY: It’s jingly like when my pocket’s full of quarters for the arcade and there’s this girl who sings like she could be my mom singing a lullaby by my bed. It’s fun I like that she sings all about dinosaurs ‘cause dinosaurs are neat. I want to be her friend because she always has sand in her pockets and I do too. Sometimes I have sand in my hair too.

[ MARKEY pulls his pocket inside-out. Sand pours out along with two cat turds. He shakes his head, spraying out more sand and another cat turd. ]

DOMINIC: Kitty doodies!!!

MARKEY: But she’s also really growed up because she sings about the yoooniverse and sun and stuff. She says it “takes a lot of guts to be a little baby in this place” but she totally isn’t a baby if she knows about the yoooniverse and sun and stuff. My little brother is a baby and sometimes he tries to eat his own toes. I bet this girl doesn’t try to eat her own toes she thinks the world is too crowded and the people are making too many clouds so maybe we should be scared instead of happy. I never thought about that though my teacher said one day the sun will explode.


[ … ]

DOMINIC: Sometimes I think I had more fun in kindergarten ‘cause I could play with tree branches and gooey snails and not think about where they came from or when they will explode.

MARKEY: But wait—I’M NOT DONE!! Another reason I really want to be this High Places girl’s friend is because she knows how to play with banana slugs and other super-cool stuff and think about where they came from and when they will explode and still have fun! She keeps saying she’s so little but I know she’s not little ‘cause she knows the word “her-afro-did-it” and doesn’t try to eat her toes but then she has so much fun that I think maybe she nibbles her baby toe sometimes.

DOMINIC: One time a squirrel tried to nibble my baby toe and I cried.

MARKEY: Dom! LISTEN TO ME!! I’m in the fourth grade which means I know a lot more than you do and I can beat you up with one finger GOSH! Also my bike has shocks and you know what that means. Did I tell you that this CD is really short just like you? HAHAHAHA!! It was over before Rugrats had even finished which means maybe this CD is a baby CD just like maybe this High Places girl is a baby who knows a lot more than most babies. It makes sense in my brain which is bigger that yours and I think this CD would be scared of being on a shelf with bigger CDs but then maybe it would just play with them. I mean this sounds really playful like two friends playing LEGOs and clicking their tongues. I think next time I listen I’ll play along on my Fischer Price xylophone because they could use another instrument and I’m awesome at playing it.

DOMINIC: And I could bring my Raffi bongo set!

MARKEY: No you can’t because that’s not ahhh-vont garrr—it’s just stupid, okay? Besides, they already have alien drums that they play by slapping wet silly putty on a microchip, so we don’t need your bongos. My mom told me Raffi is cliché anyway.

DOMINIC: Humph. [ Slowly reaches for his zipper again. ]

MARKEY: This has to be the album of the year if you really think about it, Dom. Dinosaurs and oceans and yoooniverses are really big things to fit into such a little CD but these High Places baby-kids shrink them down to my size and your size—which is like the size of an ant! Heee! That way we can play with them too just like you’re playing with your wee-wee.

DOMINIC: It’s a banana slug. Get ready for the laser!