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Slow Learners

from Lit From Within by The Paperbacks

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Your hair unspools like a pool of black ink. The spot where elastics had clamped it in place now is marked with a kink. I think: I haven't seen you this loose in a while. Because your glasses' thick rims; your conservative coat; your matching defences, resplendent and fully impenetrable: they are aberrations that have hardened to a style. Remembering the days that you felt so free. You'd walk around topless, smoke pot and you'd act like it was no big deal. I believe that you really thought that was true. But we were so small town. We were so naive. We were relocating, escaping to Portland, where we thought we could be ourselves, but our pasts fastened to us like glue. Deferred adolescence, small deceits. Adult swim lessons and G.E.D.s. Slow learners, slow learners. And I'd like to place the blame on everyone else: the bastards who hit you, dismissed you and forced you to abandon yourself. But I know I could never strike myself off of that list, because you would ask me for things I could easily provide, and I'd put it off, I would scoff, I'd swap jobs, I'd avoid, I'd deny. I'd freeze you out. I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I was just learning about myself, too. I never meant to hurt you. Chorus.


from Lit From Within, released January 12, 2010


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The Paperbacks Winnipeg, Manitoba

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