Album Cuts

The young master sat down at his typewriter, determined to reconcile this rift that had come between them. He was sure the typewriter was still equally mad at him as he was at it. Still, he knew it was an entirely silly argument that had queered their friendship, and they couldn’t stay angry forever. He might as well make the first gesture of good will toward the truce.

The typewriter, on the other hand, saw right through this ploy for reconciliation. It had noticed that the young man still had not taken the leap of faith to put a blank leaf of paper in the machine.

“Oh no,” it was saying, “you still don’t trust me enough with a blank page, do you?” It stared at him. “I’m not going to give you the confidence to do it. You’ll have to deal with it yourself before I can help you.”

The young man knew he was just being stubborn, but then it was being rather stubborn itself. There must be some solution to this stalemate, and they were both too proud to find it in themselves to concede something alone. Of course, the young man realized, that’s the solution. They needed a mediator, an inspiration of some kind. And what better inspiration, he thought, than music.

Clever boy, the typewriter thought. It didn’t believe he would play the inspiration card so soon. Still, the machine knew this was a mistake. This boy wouldn’t make it through the first song no matter how hard he tried. If he was going for instant inspiration, the typewriter knew it would backfire on him. As soon as the first single came on, he would be distracted by it. If he had any sense, he would skip directly to the album cuts that serve as better background.

Sure enough, he knew he was in trouble when he started humming along to the single that started off the album. Still, he was stubborn and determined to work through it. He knew that same machine was right, but maybe he could be the exception by proving the rule.

It saw where he thought he was going, but still wasn’t convinced he could keep it up. Now that he was rolling with it, the typewriter just hoped he didn’t screw it up by skipping through the tracks till he found the right cut. That would take all day and they wouldn’t even get to that blank page.

The young man did find it hard to resist the urge to skip through the singles, but once he got into the album cuts, he knew he could beat that machine.

It could hardly believe he was going to make it. Still, no page left. Nearly half way through the album, it began to lose hope. It should have known the kid didn’t have it in him. Then, an incredible thing happened.

Just when the album hit a B-side single, a blank sheet slid into the typewriter as if on the beat, and by the time the album cuts took over, the kid was on a roll. He always preferred the underplayed, underappreciated album cuts to the singles. This would be the perfect way to start.

All stories by Peter Di Cicco

< — Back to Fiction