‘Brother’ by Gerard Way, or Hour of the Wolf and Wet Asphalt in Streetlight

Hesitant_AlienI’m supposed to write another Cried But Did The Thing Anyway blog. In fact, I was supposed to write it last night, but I was having a tough evening, so I told myself I’ve got another twenty-four hours. Now, it’s less than an hour before this is no longer a Monday post, and I’m still drawing a blank as to what to write about. I know what next week’s post is going to be about, but this week’s?

So instead, I’m going to talk about a song from Gerard Way’s new record Hesitant Alien. It’s the fourth track on the album, and the first one I got properly stuck in. I’m going to talk about this song, titled Brother, and about three in the morning.

Because that’s what it sounds like. Brother is a song that sounds like streetlights reflecting off wet asphalt at three in the morning.

Listen while you read, why don’t you…


Three in the morning. The Hour of the Wolf.

This is the time when it’s bad luck to be awake – and I speak from experience, not superstition. This is the time when the top of your head opens, and the universe pours in, smashing through too many doors that you normally keep closed, and leaving you to deal with the resulting mess. I night-owl frequently, and I’ve come to think that one of the reasons humans are largely diurnal is to protect them from the hour between three and four am. Our tiny minds weren’t meant for that time of… night? morning? Neither. Too far into the night to be late. Not far enough into the morning to be early.

This is not what Brother sounds like.

Not the heavy, cramped three in the morning of a room lit brightly in an attempt to shut the night out, but only serving to emphasize how dark it really is outside of it. Not the nowhere-hour of paralysis spent holding on to whatever it is that gets you through the night (and at this point, hell knows what it is, because all the usual things are failing you, breaking in your hands, or turning against you).

Like I said, it sounds like streetlights reflecting off wet asphalt. Outside. Where the night feels less dark, between the yellow glow of streetlights overhead, and a thin film of gold underfoot. It’s still three in the morning, but out here, it’s the kind that will eventually turn into four, and then five, and then dawn. It’s a morning that you chase from the other side of night, and when you catch up with it, your eyes are tired, but your mind has that weird dizzy clarity of an all-nighter that ends with a walk outside.

The universe withdraws from your brain, leaving it shaken but intact. Maybe, a few hours later, you’ll look back on the hour where every door in your mind was flapping loose, and see something that suddenly makes sense. Or maybe you’ll shake your head, and shrug the shreds of hour-of-the-wolf thoughts off your shoulders. But that’ll come later. For now, you’ll walk on wet asphalt, under slowly fading streetlights, towards four, and then five, and then dawn.

And this, to me, is what Brother sounds like. The heaviest piece of night that glows from the inside with the golden promise of a morning.
wet_asphalt

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2 Comments

Filed under Art and Music

2 responses to “‘Brother’ by Gerard Way, or Hour of the Wolf and Wet Asphalt in Streetlight

  1. Pingback: Cried But Did The Thing Anyway – Readers’ Questions Week | The Coffee Clef

  2. Pingback: Cried But Did The Thing Anyway – Writing Descriptions, Part 1 – Places | The Coffee Clef

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