From Leaving Jackson Wolf . . .
“This is Mitski. She’s my favorite.”
And from the mini Bose poured a voice with that rainy-afternoon vibe similar to Lana Del Rey’s, backed though by a broader range of instruments that included some ass-kicking guitar. The arrangements and Mitski’s voice also had more range. Sometimes it was apathetic, sometimes it was desperate and it ticked both up and down. Whatever it was, it was really good, and you could see McDougal totally lose himself in it. We all had stuff we got lost in, but McDougal brought it to another level under that ominous gray sky when “Your Best American Girl” started to play.
Sitting there, he began to sway to her moody voice moving over a slowly picked guitar. With the additions of bass, drums, and a bed of buzzing atmospherics, the song’s momentum ramped up, and the swaying turned to gentle rocking as the music permeated every molecule of his being. When the song reached its breaking point, there was an explosion of guitars, and Mitski’s voice went from moody and vulnerable to a towering kind of righteousness. Jumping to his feet with a burst of energy, McDougal threw open his arms like some sort of miniature Jesus on the cross, and with his head bent upward to the sky and his eyes closed, he radiated on the spot. And with each change in the music, he contorted his little body while violently opening and closing his arms. It was fascinating to watch him become one with the tune. When it ended with these little effects, like fuzzy electric sparks being put back in a box, I turned to Lexi, wondering if she saw what I saw, and sure enough she had this awestruck, blown away look on her face.
McDougal slowly lowered himself back into a sitting position on the crate and said, “Wow, I’m really drunk.”
But he wasn’t drunk. Not from the beer anyway. Neither were Lexi or I. It was astonishment or something we were drunk on.
After several awkward moments of not really knowing what to say to each other, we decided to call it a day. We stashed the remaining tallboys deep in the shrub along the fence and loaded up on Altoids and walked home in relative silence. McDougal turned off at West Woodside, and I walked Lexi to her house on Tifft Street. As I made my way back to Lockwood, where I lived, it started to rain a bit, and even though I had to come up with a way to keep my five days off from my old man, I couldn’t get McDougal and all that had happened today off my mind. I mean, what was that?