Old Habits Die Hard

by Jacob Earl

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    Second in a trilogy of EPs released in 2008. Semi-autobiographical stories about death, love, nostalgia, and childhood.
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1.
Klimt 07:35
bitter cold of mid-November of a year that i barely remember the night so cold, i could see my breath past the liquor store on queen st. west i was visiting Toronto for a week looking to get away from all the bleakness that had been weakening my mind and burying my feeling until even i was blind to them the print by Klimt on the washroom wall seemed to prophesize the fall the fragmented pigment related the story of me fucked up in all my glory my life had turned into quite the mess and how I had become obsessed with fixing everyone around and running away from my own sound concertgoers to the phoenix nightclub the double bill they’re seeing tonight, up first are local rockers; they’re righteous up next is a mainstream band; quite pretentious i don’t wanna stay for this shit let’s take off and smoke a spliff and listen to some trippy music drop some hits and really lose it when you land, you’re gonna land hard and that will be your sole reward a lesson learned the hardest way that you seem to have forgotten anyway now you have me completely disarmed and yet i feel no alarm i’m all too happy to go with the flow that takes me back to what I know staying up past four in the morning watching the night turn into day the sun beating down on the pavement and all the workers begin the daily fray soon I’ll join them once again this excursion eventually must end all that’s left is my rotting gut and an ashtray full of cigarette butts and the print by Klimt on the washroom wall somehow symbolized it all the city, the pity, the pathos, the power ever fading by the hour and there it lost its myth to me this great big place it used to be but it’s just like any other place on earth when it boils down to it, a piece of dirt c’mon, let’s go get some breakfast i don’t want this empty ache in my gut to last i’ve lost my desire for this place i’m ready to call it quits and forfeit the race bitter cold of mid-November of a year that i barely remember the night so cold, i could see my breath one more night towards my death
2.
Sleeping In 04:21
you will wake up on the other side of the river drenched in your pain subconscious shivers you will shed it like you shed your skin when you weren’t afraid to jump in or leave us you will wake up again from hibernation a season with the bears to hide sensation / starvation cold comfort, chained to dumbness of the social bravado that you weren’t afraid to speak out against… or be wrong don’t trade in your health for the game the ending is always the same you have left a sliver somewhere inside of my heart taken from the river you swam against the grain that is why I envy you, you have left the pain behind. you’re sleeping in you’re sleeping in
3.
old habits die hard old habits die hard out in red rock country behind a big scrub tree we sat beside your surrogate grave and talked about our dreams dad smoked a cigarillo i contemplated death we swapped old stories of you because these memories are all we have left and old habits die hard this one by far the hardest grieving for all your pain though you’re now the farthest from it i’d pray for you each day but what would that mean from a heathen anyway? ‘cause I don’t believe in god and if I did, I’d hate him for taking you away oh why couldn’t you stay? because old habits die hard my grieving heart beats out the pain old habits die hard old habits die hard
4.
Wild Life 04:20
this time we have is finite time already we have wasted enough on lies let’s put that behind us now and move on all these cancers could eat me up one day and I wouldn’t even get the chance to say how much i loved you and how much i needed you there So come and take a trip with me Camping up in the highlands for a week We’ll see where that takes us ‘cause tomorrow I might not be here I enjoy the wild life Crafting my home with wood and knife Will you join my tribe and settle down with me? And if you want to tie knot This is all that I have got It isn’t much to offer But it’s yours for keeps Let’s fall asleep under a weeping willow And dream the same dream on the same pillow We can spend the rest Of our lives together ‘cause I enjoy the wild life cutting my meat with a knife will you join my clan and settle down with me?
5.
Traces 07:04
you are lips all over my face but when I open my eyes i’m alone in this place green was the graveyard where we traced our path back to that epitaph once a year where we passed pathetic fallacy rain poured down from the sky it smeared up our faces so naturally and concealed the tears in our eyes back to the tool shed where we kissed and smoked up with every passing raindrop we avoided getting soaked up traces of lilac and tangerine linger around wherever you have been traces of ginger root on the mezzanine aroma of passion fruit but you remain unseen you are lips tracing down my back i am unfolding in your lap hell was the time i spent before we met and hell was the time i’ve spent ever since you left
6.
Just Ghosts 03:07
there was a time when we were all possessed with fever the glorious deceiver she whispered don’t ever leave her but you don’t have to grieve her it only mattered when we still had corporeal form i’m not in the habit of crying over a lost love feeling too much but not enough but I’ll indulge you this once because we haven’t got it all down to a fine science, this emotional stuff but wait there’s a second act full of action and romance you even get to dance frenzied in a trance full of criminal passion over the grave of everyone you never forgave we’re all just ghosts on borrowed time we haven’t hit the dirt yet we just finished the crime but we all end up together paying the same time it sounds like a bad joke; unfortunately the one you spoke when you swore off god and his justice and law and declared that you don’t believe in any of that hokey hoo-haw “it’s not real, my dear, if you can’t physically feel it here,” you whispered in my ear you took my hand and laid it to rest on your gently-beating breast there was a time when we were all seeking the same redeemer we just called it different names but it was all the same the vanity we couldn’t do without when we were physically cruel we’re all just ghosts on borrowed time we haven’t hit the dirt yet we just finished the crime but we all end up together paying the same time
7.
sitting in the dark alone at home call from Toronto, pick up the phone news on the other end of the line is bad i’m afraid I can’t handle this tragedy i’m not equipped for this abrupt end i never got to hug you goodbye my friend and though i knew the end was near i was ignoring it because of my own fear death it scares me out of my wits makes me anxious ‘til i can’t even sit still I’m a nervous wreck of a man Who has no belief in a greater purpose or plan so i’m going up to the Gatineau hills i got a thousand and one little memories to kill meet me in the summer on the lake we’ll visit the forest where we used to make out maybe we can relive the good ol’ days or start some new ones in the same type of haze you’ve grown more beautiful with the years and I’ve learned not to ignore my fears can i kiss you with all my heart i’d like this chance to start over the world will end in a whisper too soon maybe before the end of this tune i haven’t got time to mourn for the dead they’re not around to hear what I said but you’re here and you hear me whether you want to or not and until I get an answer we’re not leaving this spot let me take you back in my arms let down your guard and alarms we can fall asleep under the stars and dream of a time not too far when we have our own son or daughter and share a future filled with laughter ‘cause before we even know it the opportunity is gone faster than it even came along will we regret the way it all ends if we never even tried to mend? this is the way the world ends this is the way the world ends this is the way the world ends this is the way the world ends

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released July 29, 2008

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Jacob Earl Ottawa, Ontario

Independent DIY queer producer/songwriter/photog.

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