by Ami Heller
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Sufjan Stevens • Casimir Pulaski Day
Winter 2006. I think was mild. Some snow and mainly harsh bursting winds. In a tunnel. Bitter and slashing on serene Heath Street West. The place I called home for three educational years. To the academia, via underground paths, to a grey and barren campus north-west of a city alive. This voice in the background was there throughout that season and to the end of my scholastic experience. I recall bright afternoons during Christmas break. Lying on my grandparents lush sofa, devouring Jonathan Franzen’s The Corrections and a musical masterpiece named Illinois playing in repeat. Revealing itself as the epic that it is. Walking to the supermarket in slush and creating cinematic snapshots of life with it being the accompanying soundtrack. Our final assignment in university was to write and perform a seven minute monologue. When my final words were said, lights were dimmed. Music was cued. Sufjan Stevens filled the space. A banjo. A trumpet. Angelic vocals. Harmonies. Piercing perfection. A tale about loss put to song, superior to any soliloquy I attempt to conceive. The stage went dark. I was done.