Title: Four Conversations and One Kiss About a Tape With Stairway to Heaven On It
By: Emily Brown
Song: Stairway to Heaven
Artist: Led Zeppelin
Album: Led Zeppelin IV (alternatively: ZoSo, The Hermit, or The Runes)
(Image taken from http://orangejuiceinbishopsgarden.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/mixtape1.jpg)
“You made me a mix tape?
“It’s got, uh, Stairway to Heaven on it.”
“Don’t you like that song? I love that song.”
“Listen, I don’t think we should see each other any more.”
“I think we should move in together.”
Six months later
“And I said, they’ll take my weird-ass tape from me when they pry it from my cold dead hands.”
“That’s my baby.”
“I think this a good party. I think we throw good parties together”
“Someone said that Dave was doing coke in the bathroom.”
“I’m going to go puke on the door.”
“I swear to god, I’m going to marry you.”
“Did you already puke on the door?
Because you smell like ..”
“Like amazing? I threw up in the yard. Twice.”
“You smell like Boone’s Farm and tuna.”
“It’s going to be so great. When we’re married.”
“Like a fish who’s been drinking spritzers.”
“Do we have spritzers?”
“I’m going to throw up again.”
“Now? Right now?”
“I love you so much.”
After a year
“This isn’t mine. This is yours, this is yours, this is yours, this is yours…This is MINE, this is yours.”
“I get it. Okay? I get it.”
“This is yours, this is yours, this is yours – “
“I get it! I’m coming.”
“And this is mine.”
“What do you want me to do?
“Put them in a box. Put everything in a box and get out of here.”
“One of yours!”
“We have our own boxes?”
“We do now.”
“Don’t you want this?’
“I made you this.”
“I don’t want it.”
“I wish you wouldn’t do this.”
“Fine, I’ll keep the damn tape.”
“No, I mean please don’t go.”
After two years
“You fucked her!”
“What did you want me to do?”
“You fucked her!”
“How could you?”
“Would you like a demonstration?”
“This isn’t going anywhere.”
“I’m going to move out.”
“I don’t want you to.”
“I think it’s best.”
“You think a lot of really stupid things.”
“That’s what you said about the tape. I was right about the tape”
“Fuck that fucking tape. I should have thrown that that stupid tape at your stupid face.”
“But you didn’t.”
The day after tomorrow.
It is early evening.
The girl is chopping carrots for dinner, Walkman shoved down the back of her pants in the space between the denim and her skin.
The boy, sitting on the floor against the bookcase, looks through the door and sees this, and thinks in a quiet way about her skin, and its warmth.
The girl, still chopping, begins to dance to the music of her headphones, moving in small ways at first, then giving up her knife and plastic board she dance, the tape deck dancing with her, riding the rise and fall her body as she moves through the door into their living room, around the table, in front of the bookcases and over the plastic cases of the tapes scattered on the floor
She dances her dance around him while he stares at the blue lights of the stereo, trying to ignore her. She flings herself down on top of him, messily wrapping her knees around his waist, the Walkman falling up out the top of her jeans.
She puts the headphones over his ears and he falls backwards, her hair falling down over both their faces and the headphones over his ears.
“This is actually a pretty good song.”
Emily Brown is a sometime playwright who retired to study anatomy and read comic books. She writes lists onTumblr, and she complains about strangers on Twitter as @MissBrowntoYou.