Listen to my “Stale Bread Winner” song here.
This song is like a mashup of memories for me when I used to work at UPS and at a warehouse.
Part 1 describes me waking up for work early in the morning during the winter when it’s still dark out. It’s one of the worst feelings…especially when you don’t like your job. I wanted to use certain image and sound references that I’d see and hear when I was still groggy getting ready for work. Like the dark rings under my eyes, they seemed to get thicker and darker each morning and the sounds of sporadic traffic would always makes me think of ocean waves which lead me to the lines, “it’s not safe in the water, the levels rise, the shoreline’s getting shorter”. These lines refer to the lack of job security and rising unemployment levels in RI especially between 2009-2011.
Everytime I walked out that door I didn’t know what was going to happen. There was this inevitable and unavoidable doom that felt like it was slowly creeping into my door like a rising tide giving warning about a coming storm. Like there was nothing I could do to stop it, I would just have to tread and keep my head above the water until it was all over. A ritual I had before going to work was kissing my wife and every time I would get this renewal to work harder and push further.
The car scene is a specific moment I had one time before leaving for work. It was like 15-20 degrees outside, I was sitting in my old Geo Prizm that did not have heat, freezing, blowing into my hands to keep them warm and trying to find a working radio station. Finally B101 came through, the oldies station, and I just sat there as time passed.
I didn’t care that I was late, I wanted to fucking quit, I questioned everything I was doing. I felt like I was way behind in life. I never forgot that moment and as I wrote this verse. The line, “I never learned from the classes that you taught in, so I won’t live by the books you wrote me off in” came to me.
My life’s outcome is not going to be determined by anyone else.
I control my own destiny.
The system was not going to categorize me or pigeon hole me.
I keep fighting and keep working harder.