Alone at St. Hugo

by Matthew Milia

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about

VINYL/CASSETTE: matthewmilia.com/hugo

All songs by Matthew Milia (Milia Songs, BMI)

Performed & produced by Matthew Milia & Ben Collins.

Recorded at Ben's house in Ypsilanti, Michigan between early 2016 and late 2017 to a TASCAM 388 tape machine.

Engineered by Ben Collins. Mixed by Matthew & Ben.

Mastered by Jeff Lipton & Maria Rice at Peerless Mastering in Boston.

Matthew Milia - lead vocals, backing vocals, acoustic & electric guitars, bass guitar, pedal steel guitar, 12-string guitar, mandolin, mellotron, organ, piano

Ben Collins - drums, backing vocals, bass guitar, trumpet, electric guitar, tambourine, shaker, Hammond organ, synths, piano, cello

credits

released May 3, 2019

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Matthew Milia Detroit, Michigan

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Track Name: Alive at the Same Time
Tuesday morning, Karen's in my bed
I can tell I might be in over my head
I haven't got a thing to do today
I'm swimming in the coffee
Trying to find a way

To tell you that I need you
And that it frightens me
But I'm agreed to
Stay around to see

And tell you that I love you
Whatever that might be
To be alive contemporaneously

I'm glad that you and I've
Been alive at the same time
It's just the way I’m trying to say
That I need you

I hope that you and I
Stay alive at the same time
It’s just the way I’m trying to say
That I love you

I walk myself down Michigan Avenue
I need a drink to think about what I should do
Before you hit downtown it's a no-man’s-land
And that's exactly where I tend to wanna stand

Constantly older than I ever thought I'd be
It seems the world stays young
And moves away from me

You're a little younger
It doesn't bother me
Tell your father what we said about Radio City

I'm glad that you and I've
Been alive at the same time
It's just the way I’m trying to say
That I need you

I hope that you and I
Stay alive at the same time
It’s just the way I’m trying to say
That I love you

Wednesday morning, Karen's in my bed
I can tell I might be in over my head
Seems there's nothing I can't do today
I'm drowning in the coffee
Everything's okay
Track Name: Puncture
Coffee grounds and awful sounds of parental bones breaking
Rental cars picking up stars in the making
Meanwhile the backyard has new knives for grass
It punctures my bare feet
And soccer balls hissing gas

The night that the winds rose abruptly and broke the fence
The unctuous world acquired a puncturing consequence
We slammed the storm windows from inside the bed
And I got so frightened when you slammed into me and said

On the smooth tar behind our unused local laundromat
A one-gallon plastic jug of 2% milk that
Slipped out of somebody's hand on a shortcut
Or maybe they threw it just to possibly see what

White cream expiring on a black backdrop can be
Sticky and violent or suggestively sexy
Or blessed and infested with the creatures of the heat wave
Stuck in the muck where our heaven had its street paved

But it feels different this time around
The sunburned bodies where I walk through the town
Way upstate where I stated my homage
To each organism that tasted the knowledge

Of dying ecstatically each time we come
Down to the river where I pierced my thumb
On the sharp gills of the perch I was holding
When all of the thrills of the search were unfolding
For me

The night that you proudly said you were immortal
And I wondered out loud how that would be an advantage
I said I thought death might be a merciful portal
To filter the holiness that we pilfered from the wreckage

Of coffee grounds and awful sounds of parental bones breaking
Rental cars dropping off stars for the taking
Meanwhile the lazy love we both outgrew
Is reincarnated as a girl who tastes nothing like you

You look different this time around
Is your middle name Catherine now?
Is your mother asleep in the garden?
Is your father still weeping or hardened?

And where is your bedroom that I'm made to memorize
Where all the red fumes of morning will vaporize
Where all the angels of sweetness were murdered
Where the holy completeness of that song was murmured
By me?

I feel different this time around
Not so ignorant to what I've found
Deep in the crease of the least of my brothers
Track Name: Congratulations Honey
Congratulations honey
It's once again that time of year
Your dad's Disability money
Seemed to make the bad things disappear
But it's even cold when it's sunny
It's even cold when you're near me
I tried too hard to be funny
I tried too hard for you to hear me

When the family storage unit closes forever
And you'll never hear the motorized ornaments again
In some white trash towns where the solace drowns whenever
The muffler putters away like a birthday balloon
Losing wind

I lost your name in the autumn
Is there something else that I can call you?
You left me down at the bottom
Is there something I could do to stall you?

Because there's 30 years of back-to-school tears in your eyes
With the cleaning supplies that smell like coming home
And the leaves that scrape in their escape, it implies
A familiar voice that's growing faint
On the other end of the telephone

When the family storage unit closes forever
And you'll never hear the motorized ornaments again
In some white trash towns where the solace drowns whenever
The muffler putters away like a birthday balloon
Losing wind

Thinking about some house I knew in college
Thinking about some girl I knew in 6th grade
Thinking about the taste of her apology
And the smell of the coffee that my dad made

Congratulations honey
It's once again that time of year
Track Name: Sometimes I Feel Like My Arm's Falling Off
Sometimes I feel like my arm's falling off
I've been reaching so long for you
But you're in the place
Where all the addresses erase
And there's nothing that I can do

Just slurp on my stasis
I fell in love with every waitress from Sylvan Lake to Pontiac
Memorized their makeup and their eyes as they take up
A plate from here into the back

I'm aware that I'm disappearing
It seems to be the natural way

Oh, goddamn

Could you say you've ever been lonely?
Could you say you've ever really been lonely?
Could you say you've ever been lonely?
'Cause I don’t think you have

Sometimes I feel like our old answering machine
With an infinity of nights inside
Choke on the vestiges of soft-spoken messages
From a lifetime that crawled off and died

So I spin like a floodlight in the sky above, so bright
From the nightclub a couple miles from here
Where as kids in the danger we'd solicit a stranger
To buy us cigarettes and beer

And I'm alone at St. Hugo
When there's nowhere else to go
When there's nothing in the slush to find
I'm waiting for my mother
Or the touch of another
In the computer lab inside my mind

But I remember the feeling
Before the ceiling
Buckled under its own weight
I've tasted our fear since
The initial appearance
Of the expiration date

I'm aware I'm being evicted
I used to hold the skeleton key

Oh, goddamn

Could you say you've ever been lonely?
Could you say you've ever really been lonely?
Could you say you've ever been lonely?
'Cause I don’t think you have

Sometimes I feel like my arm's falling off
I've been reaching so long for you

Oh, goddamn
Track Name: Attention Students
Can you hear me mutter
Your social security number
As I clean my apartment manically?

I text myself to make sure
The world didn't turn to vapor
While you might've been trying to contact me

So I'll spend a mild winter
Having reconciled the printer
That duplicates your sick smile endlessly

They say your past was checkered
But with every dental record
I couldn't find a single cavity

And the night you wrestled me to the ground
It just felt nice to feel your touch
I'd rather hear the deafening sound
Than the silence of your absent clutch

So I brought you down to my world
With mention of how it once was
Attention students
Blaring in my ear

Will the man who she marries
Still be there in two Januaries?
I can't say
But either way the snow falls

I should do myself a favor
And curb this young behavior
Before my tongue slips into
Foreign phone calls

Another heartbroken sighting
Of your grade school name
In your mom's handwriting
The slow decay sure get its way
Now doesn't it?

So as you update your status
Prostrate on the mattress
Your word choice
Was in a stolen voice
Now wasn't it?

And the night you wrestled me to the ground
It just felt nice to feel your touch
I'd rather hear the deafening sound
Than the silence of your absent clutch

So I brought you down to my world
With mention of how it once was
Before the roaring
Snowmelt left me here

Yes, I brought you down to my world
Where you can hear the soft buzz
Attention students
Blaring in my ear
Track Name: Swollen Home
Always clearing my throat
In the exact sound as my mother
She drip-dried my raincoat
That I took from my dad's brother

This October will fill the Silverdome
Swollen home

Always smelling those burnt
Plastic TV dinners
After soccer practice we weren't so
Hungry as beginners

This October will explode the styrofoam
Swollen home

Birthdays next week will
Make it all fast-forward
So I press on your hot cheek till
I'm in the apple orchard

The cider mills of Rochester Hills
Where I rewind
And automatically
Taste the static we find

I'm tripping off you when I get that youth rush
Sipping off you when I taste your toothbrush
You were faceless in some weird dream that I had
On the basis that I feared that you'd turned bad
Empty Pontiac when the snows dust
Save a place for you outside my lust

Save a place for me when our homes bust
Track Name: Schemer
My scheme
Was to redeem
Every previous scheme
I had pulled

I thought
I had my shot
That's why I bought
Something for you to hold

Till I came
Back in the name
That I had when I started out

But I can't recall how it went
Or what it was all about

So I go power-walking with my mom
Through the first profile she had
On AOL-dot-com
And I may as well
Sign on

My dreams are of old teams
For which I warmed the bench on
The game where my grandparents came

And Halloween decorations
Mean a lot to me
To the spot in me
That's hotter than the autumn sun
But colder than the autumn's shoulder
When the fall winds run

I stapled my fate to skateboard kicktails
And rash attachments on desperate emails
I'm drowning in dry cleaning tags and safety pins

Do you think it's something you still can make matter?
I wake up every Sunday in the pancake batter
With all my soccer trophies just posed like mannequins

Twenty short years
In my narrow hallway house
The televisions muted
I've booted any spouse
On an anniversary
That's hinging off the door
The furnace is a nursery
For the only child we bore

And how it
Roars with old spit
On the carpet I installed

With my knees
Was it centuries
Ago when oh, how we crawled?

When I came
In with the name
That you gave me when I woke

Gently, evidently
All our time is just some kind
Of joke

My scheme
Was to redeem
Every previous scheme
I had pulled
Track Name: Abruptly Old and Caffeinated
Service to the landline
Disconnected in year twenty-nine
And the nervous black universe
In the soft pit of your mom's purse
Where the years hid
In the Kleenex
And the tears slid
Down her V-necks
And the spring thawed us
Like a carton of ice cream
But we woke
Didn't we?
In a nice dream

Sooner or later
The sad refrigerator
Is holding brands that no one knows

A young imitator
Is standing in the crater
And he's wearing your forgotten clothes

And now we're young adults with tongues
Burnt on boiling coffee
The asthma in our lungs
Burnt away so harshly

Back when we were
Elated from the moment we're created
But who anticipated we'd be
Abruptly old and caffeinated?

Show me how you felt
The night we heard the world melt
From my room in some year
In some life far from here
And tell me the new name
That you earned when spring came
How it burned in your mind
As I learned it a third time

Each single person
With a tendency to worsen
I seem to think that we'll be friends

Why don't you call me?
And tell me all about the little way
You're terrified that this all ends

For now
We're young adults with tongues
Burnt on boiling coffee
The splinters from the rungs
You sweetly plucked them off me

Back when we were
Elated as the red sun penetrated
It slowly self-deflated
And we're abruptly old and caffeinated

Oh, what'd you do today?
You sleep until the sunlight is upon your eyes
And you won't get your way
If you don't try
To reach into what belongs to you
And take it back
But you don't want to

My mother's neighbor saw my picture in the paper
Holding a high school photograph of her

I look just like my mother if you mixed her with another
And froze in time the way they were

When they were young adults with tongues
Burnt on boiling coffee
I memorized the songs
You sang them to me softly

Back when we were
Elated as the girls that you once dated
The lips all separated
And you’re abruptly old and caffeinated

Elated from the moment we're created
But who anticipated we'd be
Abruptly old and caffeinated?

Elated, from St. Hugo graduated
Downhill we will spill
Over-caffeinated
Track Name: Why Is It?
Today I didn't leave the house
But a friend came by for a visit
Oh, why is it?

I called my mom
I called my dad
I listened to some new records
Anna had
Oh, why is it?

I hear your voice in every room
But there's no one there
There's no one whom
I'd like to know but you
Why is it?

That I can tell
That you see the world the way
I do and I might as well
Stay around to see
If you can tell
You're the one I wanna see
And selfishly
I need to know
If you wanna
See me

Today I didn't leave the house
Though the weather was rather exquisite
Oh, why is it?

I paid the phone bill
I sent the rent
I made a dent in Crime and Punishment
But I still wanna know
Why is it?

I signed some 25-cent checks
I forged my neighbor's name
For the guy from
FedEx
Then I went back to bed
Why is it?

That I can tell
That you see the world the way
I do and I might as well
Stay around to see
If you can tell
You're the one I wanna see
And selfishly
I need to know
If you wanna
See me
Track Name: Karen's Just a Kid
That photo of your dad at your current age
Splattered like the ceiling of the microwave
Now the TV's splattered too

Someone sucked the sweet milk
From the bottom of your bowl
Your mom's been sad
I think she lost control
She tried to call you but you let it ring
Each toll for you

Don't believe
Each summer evening
Will be grieving in any way for you

We all know the plan
And the glow from your suntan
Will orbit in the planetary
Through and through

And maybe Karen's just a kid
But I still wanna know
What she hid inside
Her little room

I'm feeling like a little boy
With nowhere else to go
With nothing left to taste
But spit and gloom

And how'd you get so prone to this
Exaggerated loneliness?
When you can't even catch your breath at all

And Karen just turned 21
And you still yearn for anyone
To answer when you call
But Karen's just a kid

That summer you went mad down in Waterford
Your mom and dad went unmonitored
You tried to call them but the line was dead

Well, I can't even tell you what time of the year
We find ourselves
Or what hemisphere
Or the shape your mouth took
When you looked to me and said

You said
Don't believe each little evening
Will be leaving
Its tender mark on you
We all know the score
And the jacket that you wore
Belonged to someone you swore
Would be immaculate and true

And maybe Karen's just a kid
But I still wanna know
What she hid inside
Her little room

I'm feeling like a little boy
With nowhere else to go
And nothing left to taste
But spit and gloom

And the cops creep up 14th Street
At the stop sign in the backseat
I see some kid I knew in study hall

And every day the world just shrinks in
Some familial extinction
Till it's so very small
And Karen's just a kid

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