BY EMMA WESTCOTT //
I love laying on the floor. Call it a failed coping mechanism, but the carpet has always been fantastic to me while my brain slowly empties itself into the hood of my sweatshirt. It’s on the days where words are too loud, but silence is way too quiet; you aren’t sad, per se, but you also aren’t happy; there’s no storm clouds, but no sun either. It’s finals week. It’s the minutes after you finish a good book. It’s the empty days, the days where you forget to feel or can’t feel or refuse to feel anything other than the floorboards under your feet. So, instead, you just lay down. On the floor. Lights off. Waiting for it to swallow you. There isn’t really a destination to which you want the floor to whisk you away. It’s just a break, an infinitesimal pause in the continuous stream of seconds and minutes and hours that make up your time on this planet. So, the floor won’t take you anywhere, but that’s okay, because the floor is where you want to be.
I am a firm believer that every moment has a soundtrack, whether or not you can hear it while you’re in that moment, so I thought I’d give you my soundtrack. It’s what I use whilst waiting to finally mesh with the fibers in my carpet. It’s cinematic and calming, giving you the big moments and depriving you of them. It’s possible that I could be entirely off base or too abstract, and no one else uses a shag carpet like a mattress after they finally finish their accounting homework, but, if that’s the case, maybe I can put you on.
Usually in this state, anything too jarring will ruin the moment. Anything with too much crescendo will disperse the now-gathered fog that’s laying on the ground with you, so the beginning of the playlist must be calm. “Sleep Thru Ur Alarms” by Lontalius will settle the thrumming in your ears with its lilt. This track never quite reaches any sort of climax, which is exactly what you need sometimes when the events outside of the song are already reaching an overwhelming peak. So, it’s a palette cleaner, a way to wipe the slate clean. It makes way for the tracks that follow. The 1975 track next, “I Always Wanna Die (Sometimes)”, despite its name, is honestly quite uplifting. Matty Healy reassures you that you aren’t alone in how you feel, and he understands and relates and urges you to look at things his way. This song almost lifts you off the floor; it puts you at the top of a Ferris Wheel with your best friend, right when it’s just cold enough for a jacket. “Futura Free” begins as soon as you get off the ride. You zip up your jacket, walk across the fairgrounds with your friend to your respective cars, and get in to drive home, all while Frank Ocean tells you a story, all the while you’re still on the floor. The Grizzly Bear track up next is almost sonic whiplash; “Will Calls (Marfa Demo) will bring you to both poles of the Earth in six minutes and 50 seconds (both of them still cold). M83’s “Wait” is the first floor-hand that reaches up to begin your slow melting process. It’s the first hint that you are becoming a carpet fiber, or a wooden floorboard, and it feels like its grabbing you somewhere way deep in your chest, and just pulling, pulling, pulling.
“Loving and Losing” by Delaney Bailey is a collection of comments people left about what it feels like to be in love, past or present. It is a perfect example of bittersweet, an in-between. Perhaps it’s what plays when you are halfway through the floor, with part of you in your bedroom and part of you in the insulation. “High’ by 5 Seconds of Summer is next. My favorite from their album Calm, it is lyrically desperate and begging and sad, while musically being resolute and sure of itself. I kind of want to do snow-angels to it (or maybe carpet-angels?) “Seven Devils” by Florence + The Machine is what plays when you’ve made your decision to stay on the floor. It’s what frames the thoughts “it’s actually pretty comfortable down here” and “I’ll just grab the blanket later”. M83 knows how to write a song, because “My Tears Are Becoming A Sea” is your celebration song. It’s the floor setting off fireworks that singe your eyelashes and warm your face because you’re going to stay on that carpet for at least one more song, all while still pulling. Always pulling.
That final song, of course, is Fine Line by Harry Styles. Personally, it’s my favorite song of all time, so maybe I’m a bit biased, but I think it encompasses any and every possible mood, or maybe the feeling of having no mood, which is exactly the feeling that got you to lay down in the first place. It’s swelling and pretty and it flows smoothly down your ear canals and past your chest and settles somewhere in your abdomen. It acts as sort of a retractable leash held by the floor; you can get up and walk around if you want, you aren’t trapped by any means. But, to some extent, part of you is still in that carpet and it will wait there to be reunited with the rest of you in a few days when you lay down again.
1. Sleep Thru Ur Alarms by Lontalius
2. I Always Wanna Die (Sometimes) by The 1975
3. Futura Free by Frank Ocean
4. Will Calls (Marfa Demo) by Grizzly Bear
5. Wait by M83
6. Loving and Losing by Delaney Bailey
7. High by 5 Seconds of Summer
8. Seven Devils by Florence + The Machine
9. My Tears Are Becoming A Sea by M83
10. Fine Line by Harry Styles