The Screening Room

by David Charles

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released March 20, 2017



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David Charles Los Angeles, California

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Track Name: Sarah Lynn
Do you ever look up at the stars and feel like they're
tiny holes in the sky sucking out the air?
Suddenly, you cannot breathe because you are thinking
about how small you are and how meaningless it is.
It's so cruel to let people love you
All you're doing is promising one day you'll break their hearts.

Maybe now you should settle down, otherwise you'll get old
You'll get harder as time goes and more alone.
You're gonna do everything you can to fill a hole that can't be filled.
You're going to look around and realize
that everybody loves you, but nobody likes you at all
It is the loneliest feeling in the world.
Don't break my heart by inches next time. Do it all at once.

How do you make something right when it's so wrong you can never go back?
I don't know if I believe in real-lasting happiness.
All those well-adjusted people you see on TV, I don't think that they exist.
We've all done awful things but most people aren't as proud of it as I am

After you almost drowned, you decided to never again be weaker than the water.
On the first day, the lifeguard instructor said there will be times when you'll see someone in trouble
And you'll want to rush right in and do whatever you can,
but you have to stop yourself because some people will thrash.
Some people will struggle and try to take you down with them.

When I do bad things, I have something I can blame when people leave. I tell myself, it's not me, it's that bad thing I did

We're not all doomed. In the great, grand scheme,
We're all just tiny specks
Who will one day be forgotten.
All that matters is right now, this spectacular moment.
I finally figured out what love meant.
I can just feel it.
You want to be an architect.
Sarah Lynn.

Sarah Lynn?
Track Name: Burbank
"Between you and me, I am thinking about getting out."
Going away for awhile, swapping the stage for the crowd.
Travel to the farthest point
"You can't get any further before you start coming back"
You said, "We all think like this now and then.
This will pass"

I don't care if every plane is booked or every bus is broken down.
If every bridge is burned, I will face my fears and I'll set sail.
In case I don't see you...
Good afternoon.

"If we don't go now, it won't happen."
"How does it end?"
They dragged you away as you were shouting, "This is all pretend."

But I can't forget that fleeting face I've pieced together with magazines.
They took her away, but they can't erase the memory.
In case I don't see you...
Good evening.

If I'm going to destroy myself with spontaneity,
I think that I could use your help, I think I'd like a little company.

While I'm out on the water, you rush the rising sun.
"You're going to have to kill me" in front of everyone.
Then the storm sets in, increasing the wind
You can capsize me, but I'm tied to the ship.

Crashed into a wall painted like the sky and heard a voice up in the clouds who said I was too scared, so I walked up those stairs.
Before my exit, I took a bow.
In case I don't see you...
Track Name: Third Law
The fields are burning, crops becoming scarce.
The blight is growing, we are running out of air.
The dust is blowing, it sits heavy in our lungs.
You can't stop coughing, but there is nowhere to run.

This is where we were born, but we were never meant to die.
We are not meant to save the world,
We were meant to fly, fly away.

The beacon's calling, but it died before we knew.
"I am counting every minute same as you."
Time is speeding, every hour is seven years.
The swells are rising, there is no life here.

I know I can't make promises I know I can't keep.
I am just here to be your memory.
Whatever can happen, will
Don't make me leave like this
I'm coming back

The clouds are freezing, in this cold, dark, stark place.
The dead are waking "just glad to see another face."
The data's misleading, there is no surface below.
The coward is proving the will to survive overcomes all.

We're just spinning

I am heading toward the blackness, I'm not sure what I'll find.
"If you want to get somewhere, you've got to leave something behind."

I am pounding on the bookshelf, "Don't let me leave.
Make me stay" Now you know that it was me.
I'm sending you a message, we have evolved beyond dimensions.
Don't let go of that gift, it holds the answers to your questions.

She was right, this meant something more.
Love was not invented.
We brought ourselves, transcended time to change the past.
Follow thick and thin, something we do not understand.
The dots and the dashes are coordinates"
"We are the bridge."

Love was not invented.
Track Name: Placeholder
We are both just liars.
We're lying to ourselves.
This is where I'd leave you, but it would sacrifice my plans.

She just wants to be invisible and go to movies by herself.
This is where I leave her to lie silent in the ground.

The marriage is the key that unlocks everything else.
This is where I leave you to finish what I set out to pen.

We are not still in love.
We sleep in separate beds.
This is where I leave you to dangle from a scarf in this cell.

If that was what you wanted, you should've stayed in Dallas.
Should have stayed with your mother and married the Prom King.

When we lose, there's nothing.
From one chair to down to none.
This is why you need me.
All I hear is "not enough."

We are both just liars.
We're lying to ourselves.
This is where I leave you to crumble in the house that we've built
Track Name: Juniper
Float downstream, you'll find me on an island concealed in the woods.
Sleeping in the trees, waiting in a boat brought in by the flood.
Out here, I've only got two methods of protection.
Gotta take advantage any way I can.
There are fierce powers at work.

When I was ten, I got bit. Rushed to the clinic,
The doctor said I should have been dead in twenty minutes.

When I came to, the whole world split and came together new.
I knew right there I would do anything for you.
You are a dream I don't want to wake up from.
Nightingales tattooed on your hands for good luck.

I've got a snake wrapped around my arm to serve as a reminder.
I can't get caught. I can't get bit again or I'll die.
When my messenger arrived, that bastard's brother gave him a black eye.
You said you'd wait. Just a couple days.
"Hold tight"

Five o'clock, you knew the plan but you didn't show up at the side of the motel.
The boys tracked you down at a bar off of 61.

You make mistakes and you don't care about no one but yourself.
Bed down with the worst, and you come running back for protection.
You know damn well that I've killed for you.
You're the reason for this trouble I'm in.
The only chance I have is to set you loose.

I gave up on you. You gave up on me.
"Moving into town." You made me a thief.
Bonfires, crosses, and a wolf's eye.
"Why would I call you back?"
They were all lies.
Enjoy this river while you can, before they tear this place apart board by board.
I have let you down.
A man and wife are supposed to love each other.
I don't know about that anymore.
(A man is supposed to be in charge of his own affairs.
He sold her a pack of lies, dropped her down a flight of stairs.
I've got the anti-venom, I will die or sweat it out.
If it was up to me, I'd run his whole family down.
I try to never sleep in the same spot twice.
Marriage just don't work, can't keep running our whole lives.
She's led me across the country, there's a bottle in her hand.
Looking out for herself, I'm throwing my fists into the sand.)

She may say that I'm a born liar,
Well I don't traffic in the truth too often, but I do love her.

Dodging shotgun fire and bounty hunters,
I say my goodbye, and dive below the water.
Sink and hide before I start over,
Emerge just in time to see the river meet the ocean.
Track Name: Orchid
Today is the first day of the rest of my life.
I am a walking cliche, just trying to survive and adapt.
It is a profound process, feeling yourself change,
But it's almost shameful like you are running away from the past.

After the accident, in a coma for 3 weeks.
Regained consciousness, wasted no time to leave, not coming back.
If I'd almost died, I think I'd leave my marriage too.
A quick glimpse of the other side, almost gives you an excuse, like a free pass.

Life is filled with things that are wonderful to imagine,
Easy to fall in love with, but fleeting and out of reach.

The hurricane swooped down like an angel of god.
Leveled the greenhouse, maybe I was being judged.

It's intoxicating to be around someone so alive.
To care about something so much, I want to know what it's like.

But change is not a choice, it just happens and you're different.
I lied when I wrote the book because I was disappointed.
All desire is absent from my protagonist
There's one thing to remember, you gotta wow them in the end.

Miami, 3 years later, rendezvous in secret.
Torn apart by alligators, no flower can be worth all of this.
To the swamp, I'll take the hostage.
My brother hides in the backseat.
A sudden head-on collison.
The future, through the windshield, hits the street.

This love is mine.
You don't have the right to take it from me.
I decided a long time ago to own what I find.
"You are what you love, not what loves you."
Track Name: Donor
You can take my eyes and my heart.
You can take my liver and my lungs.
You can take the keys, the deed, and take over my home.

I need an ambulance
9212 West 3rd Street Los Angeles
This is not an accident
"Who is the victim?"
I am.

"Seven days, God created the world. In seven seconds, I shattered mine."

I'm gonna push you to the edge.
Sickened by these insults and my own test.
"You are surrounded by so much beauty, but you can't see it.
Do you think that's fair?"

Hesitate, then recite seven names, seven lives.
"We have a plan. Do what you promised me."

Let me tell you a story about a boy who dreamt of flying.
He jumped and fell from a tree and broke his arm,
Then tricked and fell in love with a girl who had a broken wing.
She only dreamt of running without worrying

What if she had time?
What if we got married?
What if we had children?
What if the pager beeped?

Flashback to a car crash.
Selfish, reckless, and distracted.
In the blood and glass,
The bright new diamond was the only thing intact.

I left while she slept
"I'll explain it all tomorrow," I said.
But with her blood type, doctors gave her 3-5%
So I filled the tub with ice and jellyfish

You can take my eyes and my heart.
You can take my liver and my lungs.
You can take my kidneys, take the marrow from my bones.
Track Name: Supralux
She was nothing, just a girl off the street
With dreams so big, so naive, she would believe anything.
He didn't even know her name, she was just a piece in the game.
Chasing the promise of fame, the man in the corner-- a remorseless "machine."
The man with with the cash has sealed her fate.

"When you dance with the devil, the devil don't change."

He was an "artist" who dealt in perversion.
He directed the torment from behind the lens.

When you walk down that stairwell, "the devil changes you."

Rather than dig out the bullet, I'll use the butt of my gun.
Bury him in tapes and filth and I let him burn.
The monster in the mask beneath is just a man.
Leave him writhing in the grass, bleeding from the abdomen.
"There is no one left to finish this."

He died the only one with the combination.
She couldn't live with his secret.
I gave her a choice between never knowing and knowing the worst,
Her daughter will never come back.
She can hate me for it.

"When you dance with the devil, the devil don't change."
Track Name: Blue Ruin
I ditched work today,
Took a train out to the bay.
I don't know why, I don't typically act impulsively.
It's freezing on this beach.

Montauk in February
My head is as clean as a baby

In the booth, you were spiking your coffee
Introduce yourself, your name conveys mercy
We trudged out on the frozen lake
I lied to you and invented constellations.

What if the ice breaks?
I have been completely erased.
No more damage to my brain than a night of heavy drinking,
I will go to sleep and wake up without your memory.

Can you hear me? I want to call it off.
Please let me keep this moment, just this one.
Try to hide behind humiliation and thoughts I have buried,
I'm a child bathing in the sink then I'm spinning down the drain.

I know that you are not a concept.
You're just another messed up person
Looking for your own peace of mind.
Even then, I still thought you'd save my life.

I wish I had stayed,
But I was so afraid.
I wish I'd done a lot of things,
But you said, "so go" with such disdain.

You said "intimacy is sharing things."
You want to know me, but my life's not that interesting.
I will get tired. You'll get bored and run away.
It's what you do. And I guess that that's ok.
Track Name: Carcosa
You don't pick your partner like you don't pick your parents.
We're sliding through our lives like carts on a track, that's the terrible secret.
Everything outside, eternity is looking down at us.
You can't remember your past lives, so you can't change it up.

Everything we've done and everything we'll do, we're gonna do again.
Over and over, like a lot of dreams, there's a monster at the end.

Digging for any clues in the ruins of a burned out church.
Racing to a red light, two empty jars, fulfillment and closure.
Making up fairy tales just to get through, what does that say about you?
You'd rather drop a coin in a wishing well than buy yourself dinner.

We all live in a trap of belief and gene-deep certainty.
Such a tragic sense of entitlement. "Surely this is all for me."

I've got a bad taste in my mouth, aluminum and ash.
The Louisiana sky looks like it's burning from my neural damage.
Infidelity is one sin, but my true failure was inattention.
But I know who I am after all these years, there's a victory in that.

When I was under, I had a vague awareness, I could feel my definitions fading.
Beneath that darkness, there was a deeper warm, like a substance.
I could feel and I know my daughter waited for me there.
I was a part of everything I ever loved and we were all just fading out.

All I had to do was let go. And I did.
And I disappeared.
I felt nothing but that love.
Then I woke up.
Track Name: Splice
Wake up alone and the streets are empty,
Racing through the city, 42nd and Broadway.
Breathe out in relief, it's all only a dream.

Young enough to believe we can live forever,
Relishing the sweet, and ignoring the bitter.
Tell me, "What is happiness to you?"

Awake until morning, delaying the pleasure,
Sharing old nicknames, and caricatures.
I barely know you, but I know that you saved me

I came back to life under Monet-like skies,
Felt the same buzz as our first sunrise.
"Every passing minute is another chance to turn it all around."

Everything is sculpted by iconography,
It all feels familiar like an album or a movie.
We spend our whole lives pursuing our dreams,
But never think to go to sleep.

When I walked out that door, my past had followed me.
"Four times really means something," I acted carelessly.
I said that I loved her, I would have said anything,
But the car kept gaining speed.

Woke up hungover, never saw you again
Unable to cope, I signed my name to a contract.
One last wave goodbye, I won't remember this.

Three days in late December, I'm told I was missed.
Amidst my oldest friends, you somehow knew me best.
One night, true love was within grasp and I'll never forget.


Even in my dreams, I know I am about to wake up.
I turned what I love into what I'm most afraid of.
Now will you look at us, I'm frozen and you're dust.
I'm sorry I shattered what had only begun.
I lost you the moment I sat in the passenger side.
I hope I find you again in another life.
Track Name: Tangent
Come to on a canyon road, bike back down the mountain home.
Witness the wreckage left behind, "Where do you go at night?"
"They don't know where it came from." This was never supposed to happen,
But I'm glad this place was flooded,
Otherwise, you and I would've never met.

This universe is highly unstable, it's going to collapse on itself.
"Destruction is a form of creation."
Do you believe in time travel?

The artifact fell through, now I see circles stretching from their chests.
I know exactly what will happen, destiny dictates their every step.

Do we mourn beings that never knew sorrow or regret?
Do we mourn animals that never feared death to begin with?
I'd like to believe that I am not alone, but I've never seen the proof.
I just don't debate it anymore, the search for God is absurd.
I am doomed.

A storm is coming that will swallow all the childen,
But I will deliver them back to their doorsteps.
I'll send the monsters underground
Where no one else can see them, except for me,
Because I was supposed to be asleep.
I can't betray my destiny.
As the living receiver, walking with the manipulated dead.
Expose the motivational speaker and his dark secrets.
Follow Frank into the future, put a bullet in his head.
"Go home and tell your parents everything is going to be ok."

The sky is going to open up.
I guess some people are born with tragedy in their blood.
The engine detached on the flight home.
I was there to greet it to close the wormhole.
I was there to greet it to end this nightmare
I was there to greet it once and for all.

I went laughing in my bed.
I went laughing in my bed.
As I waited for the crash, I just couldn't help but laugh.
I went laughing in my bed.