The Smile that You Prefer

from by The Gatekeepers

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about

A friend of mine overreacted to an attempt by me to assuage her anger that I'd failed to take her seriously on one occasion. I would receive furious emails sent at three in the morning on a Sunday and each was less coherent than the previous one. When I tried to correct this for the sake of clarity (they were getting incomprehensible) she attacked me further for acting like a grammar cop. Soon there was nothing I could say that wouldn't lead to further bullshit. She just liked the fight. The crazy thing is that we fought like ex-es but had never been anything more than platonic friends. Well, we weren't even friends, to be technical. More like occasional company. But obviously not much good even at that; the appearance of civility proved far more important for both of us than any genuine connection. Anyway .. I was so fired up after one burst of insults from her that I put this together while doing the shopping and finished the basic song at home. First thing I've written on keyboard for years and I knew I wanted harpsichord for it. So there you are ...

lyrics

THE SMILE THAT YOU PREFER
It was the kind of story that you keep out of reach
That you start in the airport and finish on the beach
But well thumbed pleasure and op shop fun
Will have a way of coming back and shaming in the sun
Uniforms and old regards, fluted glasses, champagne shards
Noises off and arc light sparks one missed cue and an exit in the dark
Choose death choose life choose noose choose knife
Use anything you want as long as we don’t recur
With reason shirking all its work
Meet me with your wishes and the smile that you prefer

Rusty shadows called us here
We walked among the spirits where angels fear
We tapped upon the graves where the real victims slept
And we broke into the bower where their pride is kept
The conch was cracked and the words were old
Marked down from when they first were sold
Some thoughts to make a barricade that can withstand a new tirade
Choose death choose life choose noose choose knife
Use anything you want as long as we don’t recur
With reason shirking all its work
Meet me with your wishes and the smile that you prefer

Sell the dresses sell the props and lines
Sell the markers and the exit signs
Keep the dusters and the office mints
Bag the vases for the fingerprints
All gone since all gone since

Evidence is thin today I starved to wear Exhibit A
I’m burning rage, I’m off my face with fond regret I rest my case
Choose death choose life choose noose choose knife
Use anything you want as long as we don’t recur
With reason shirking all its work
Meet me with your wishes and the smile that you prefer

credits

from Haunting the Path, released April 19, 2016
Words and Music Peter Jetnikoff 2013

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The Gatekeepers Melbourne, Australia

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