Songs Only You Know: A Memoir

By Sean Madigan Hoen

Eighteen-year-old Sean Madigan Hoen was once suffering to maintain his involvement within the city’s hardcore punk scene a mystery from his relatives. Then he realized that his father, too, had a moment life—as a crack addict. 
 
Songs in simple terms You Know begins within the '90s and spans a decade in which the family members fights to carry itself jointly. Sean’s father cycles from rehab to binge, his heartsick sister spirals into melancholy, and his mom works to spare what might be spared. in the meantime, Sean seeks salvation in a neighborhood of eccentrics and outsiders, making tune Spin magazine once known as “an art-core mindfuck.” however the nearer Sean involves figuring out his musical dream, the additional he drifts from his relatives and himself.
 
via turns heartbreaking and mordantly funny, Songs in basic terms you recognize is a fierce, compassionate rendering of the chaos and misadventure of a tender man’s existence.

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And get a load of his tan suede jacket, new for the season, a middle-aged sleekness he’d by no means sooner than experimented with. His hair used to be trimmed. A decent-looking guy. associates’ moms had advised me so, yet merely now that I saw him with a tinge of postrehab, postdivorce sympathy did I realize how he’d weathered in a turning into means. Coronary surgical procedure, his many scrapes with life—these hadn’t stolen the ordinary dignity in his face. He didn’t appear like an addict. You’d by no means bet. “Let’s move, Bozo,” he acknowledged. Following final night’s foiled perform, I’d visited Will on the top flat, the place we’d spun files till the sky became eco-friendly. in a while got here 3, 4 hours of sleep—something like that. “Life’s in consultation, boy. Suck it up. ” I’d now not noticeable Dad for weeks. to listen to that he may nonetheless comic story like this was once a convenience. He snatched on the bedspread, trying to tear it off in one movement, and that i fought to maintain lined. I’d long gone to mattress bare for no cause except that I disdained doing laundry, which left me with little greater than the pair of denims I’d toss beside the mattress every one evening. there has been a short tug-of-war, in which I used all my power, until eventually Dad laughed and acknowledged, “We’re ready on you. ” YEARS earlier than, DAD may were up overdue Christmas Eve sanding and hammering, gluing jointly the final seams of wooden. ahead of sunrise, Caitlin may have woke up me to creep beside her into the lounge, the place we’d locate his do-it-yourself provides: A gymnast’s beam. A hockey internet. A clubhouse replete with monitor door and shingled roof. We’d validated their building, working our arms alongside the sanded grain whereas Dad sipped espresso, looking at over a leaf of the unfastened Press. such a lot of hours he’d spent drafting plans, leveling the beams, stapling shingles and fastening the hinges. His presents had an aura—his contact. Mom’s will be hidden within the branches of an ornament-cluttered Douglas fir, and we’d fake to be unaware until eventually the instant she stated, “I imagine I see anything within the tree. ” She’d constantly loved a good-hearted disdain for man made Christmas bushes, wincing on the inspiration of those gaudy impostors. “Plastic trees,” mother could say. “It’s simply no longer a similar. ” but upstairs in her new domestic stood a fresh-from-the-box man made eco-friendly imitation, its branches plugged into an aluminum rod. Caitlin used to be zoning at the tv whilst I emerged. Dad sat beside her on Mom’s flower-print couch, showing out of types. mother labored the kitchen range, calling, “Almost ready,” with the impenetrable courtesy she’d perfected facing special-needs scholars. at the lounge ground sat a keyboard, a disposable, toylike contrivance. “Your mother stated you must research piano. ” the thrill in Dad’s eyes hit me like a slug to the kidneys. What on the earth may possibly he have outfitted me by way of hand? He’d patronized the neighborhood tool store in its place. “Tickle a few ivories? ” a growing number of, it was once jazz i used to be hearing. The atonal, mind-bending style that did away with melody. The pianists—McCoy Tyner, Cecil Taylor—were my favourite.

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