Cushion Throwing

by Ami Heller

Radiohead – A Punch Up At a Wedding (No No No No No No No No)

Picture a hot and humid August night. Perhaps something like 1:32 am. Mary and I are throwing cushions. Yes, cushion throwing. Packing up a restaurant patio. Mentally and physically fatigued after a ten hour shift, we toss the pristine pieces of fabric into an enclosed room, where they get locked up for their night sleep.
Then this song begins.
Mary pauses. Holds still. Cushion in hand. Looks up. To the sky? To the speakerphone? To whomever. “Such a good song. Such a good song” she says in repeat. And me, I am secretly ashamed that there is a Radiohead song I am unfamiliar with. So Mary tells me she saw them live in London, front row, singing this song. And it was amazingamazingamazing. I make a mental note to unearth this one.
It ends. We wrap up. Closing time. Silence.
At home. I bring to light a song about savagery in a presumably nonviolent occasion.
Now I hear this and recall a hot and humid night in August.
And thank Mary for pausing and holding still.