My retirement plan is to sit in this chair and read philosophy.

He heard it somewhere southeast of El Paso. An old Mexican ballad maybe, not that he could understand a word of it, but the woman’s voice was the most beautiful thing he’d ever heard, faint and hazy like a well-worn memory. He imagined her lower lip trembling on some distant shore. Radio static fizzed through the song and he couldn’t tell you if there were instruments or not because he was so focused on that voice, the strange warbling sound of a vintage woman singing, reverberating with that 1950s audio trick making one woman sound like hundreds, a perfectly coiffured red-lipsticked girl standing awkwardly in a tiny glass booth with a giant headphone to her ear while fat men in white shirts and wide neckties chain-smoked and critiqued from a dark viewing room on the other side of the glass.

That voice, fighting through the AM crackle and fuzz, climbing out of the speakers and reaching for the light. He thought she was singing Spanish but it was beyond language, more like being a little kid and looking into the sun, a postcard dream. Then a drowsy voice mumbled the radio station’s call letters and he strained to catch a name when something hit the windshield with a thwack. A pebble or maybe a bug, one of those hard Texas beetles with yellow blood. A tiny crack appeared near the southwest corner of the glass.

Texas Radio Drift

From American Decay | 2015 | Bandcamp

Contains vocals recorded somewhere along the west Texas border in 2009. This track appears on American Decay, a collection of loops and reverberations recorded between 2009 and 2014.