it occurs to me, in a conversation with lex about my potential move to new orleans, while "home again garden grove" is playing, that there are good reasons to find john darnielle's songs a centering force: sometimes, everyone around you is an absolute fuck-up, but at least it's a contained universe (college, for me); the solipsism and narrow worldview in his songs--even if that world is always on the verge of collapse--is a source of comfort. so shouting "shoving our heads, right into the guts of the stove, home again garden grove" is a way of acknowledging that crucial narrowing, even if it means relishing in the way things fall apart, even if it means accepting that you're tying yourself to something sinking--as long as you can see all the way around the hull, there's peace.
addendum, 5/10: i had a friend who drank too much—to prove that this isn’t the start of a thinly veiled therapy/aa plea, i confess that we all drank too much that year. but this one friend in particular got into a bad habit of falling down the stairs in our house. that the thud of elbow on wood on head on wood on legs on ribs, all the way to the floor, became a source of comfort during a difficult year is the paradoxical grind at work in “home again garden grove.”