Saturday, June 02, 2007

Well (Morphine)

Language: Dutch

Many, many years ago (about ten), Stan and I would invite people over about once a week to . . . well, I'm not sure what we were inviting people over to do. Drink, I suppose. I mean, it wasn't like we were quilting. Though drunk quilting is fun by itself (ask the Amish). But I digress.

I guess the term is "hang out." And when, on those occasions when we'd extended lots of invitations that people accepted, and the apartment was full of people in varying states of sobriety, there was a spell where sooner or later someone would propose a game of Murder in the Dark.

Murder in the Dark is, for those of you who don't know, where one randomly assigns a person at the party to be a detective, and another person is the murderer. This is traditionally done by writing on slips of paper, though if memory serves we usually used playing cards (for the uniformity and opacity). If you drew a jack, I believe, you were the detective, and if you chose something else (ace of spades?), you were the murderer. Everybody else got 2s and 3s.

The lights are then turned off, and everyone mills around in the dark until the murderer kills somebody. This is achieved by either finding a way to whisper to the intended victim, "You're dead," or else a strong, unambiguous squeeze or something, at which point the victim counts to some number (three? five?) and then cries out and falls on the floor. Everyone is then supposed to freeze in place, the detective (or someone standing nearby) turns on the lights, and the detective tries to identify the murderer by asking questions of everyone (except the victim, who is dead -- being the victim was kind of the crappy assignment, because it meant that you had to just lay there on the floor and not move while everybody else got to do something). Everyone except the murderer has to tell the truth, whatever this might be.

Only the detective or the murderer could "win" any given round, but that was okay because we weren't ever really playing for points or anything anyway. It was all about the mind games, and the chance to work through your issues with whomever by "killing" them, or at least groping them briefly. Pretty much the perfect game for college students, really. But, shit, it was fun. I'd play it now, too, except that the occasion doesn't present itself anymore.

The reason why I go to the trouble to explain and describe all this is, there was a designated mix tape1 that went with the game, which we started and stopped when the lights went off and on, and this was the song that started it off. So now the song conjures up all these mental images of being totally dark, except for the orange streaks of people's cigarettes waving around randomly (sort of a hazard of the game: people did burn one another sometimes, accidentally) and the occasional faint outline of a window.

Booze! Cigarettes! Sublimated aggression! Whee!


1(the "Strychnine" tape: for reasons we will leave unexplored here, all my mix tapes were referred to by chemical name. "Estradiol" was another early favorite, though it didn't have a game that went with it.)

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

You're well, well, well,
(well you are),
well well, well .
You tell me something is well:
tell me something,
tell me something.
You can read my opinion: tell me something,
tell me something,
tell me something.
You can read my opinion; you're something to me.
Tell your brain to read my opinion one more time.
Your brain can call me,
your brain, your brain calls to me one more time.
Your brain calls,
your brain, your brain calls to me one more time.
You push, you push,
push this way.
Well, you push,
you push well, push well:
It's something to tell your brain one more time.
Something calls me: you?
My opinion is possible.
Tell your brain to read to me one more time,
to call your brain,
your brain,
call your brain to me one more time.
Your brain, your brain,
call your brain to me one more time.
Well, you're good
this way? Well, good.

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