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Tough Like Diamonds

by Don Blake

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You could call this a retreat, But I prefer "walking away", Become the karaoke star, Reading every word in time from the screen, But how can I not be here and not be here with you? Let’s talk about the smell of rain, Or how summer left us early again, Obviously you feel the same, Just take care not to give the rest away, So here I am a ghost, Haunting familiar streets, Only detectable by the right electromagnetic machines, But still, how can I not be here and not be here with you?
I’m losing my deepest held principles, They’re flailing like leaves on the wind, Just out of reach, I sit grinding my teeth, Wondering when everything ends, Who will I be then? Who am I even now? I’m terrified of everyone who’s so sure that they know what they know, I’m no optimistic fool, But pessimism’s just depressing isn’t it? The fundamental goodness of humanity, Is hanging by a splintering thread, We hold up our hands for every mistake, In an eternal Mexican Wave, Can we be better now? Why put off till tomorrow something which you can do today? Oh, I hate that phrase, I’m no pessimistic dick, But being optimistic’s not realistic any more, I dunno?
Chemicals 01:40
Put your faith in the chemicals, Blood pressure’s off the charts now, My sweat is soaking through my bed, The needle in my arm is keeping me intravenously fed, Somewhere nearby my headache stings and pounds, I’m tracing echoes of an alien sound, Lightspeed in outer space now, I’m rollercoasting through the stars, I’m seeing crazy things but no signs showing where you are, I’m hearing distant voices, they’re singing through the telephone, In a forgotten language, I need to find home, Breathe it in, Drink it down, Swill it round, Spit it out.
We were looking for a thing like adventure, In a place where it just really isn’t, We find it anyway, it’s a shame we couldn’t stay, At least we can look back fondly at the blur, Just a series of broad strokes, I can’t forget how that song goes, Even if we made it up on the spot, Everything in it’s place, necessary learning, Not mistakes, Oh, what can’t I attempt to rationalise? If the time is always right, I’ll embrace those pensive nights, If the starting point is now, Who’d regret anything? What’s the expiration date on the memory that I prefer to you and me? On a sketchy Sunday afternoon, We’re detectives with limited clues, Let’s be friends again, A world a phone call away, Let’s self destruct as long as it’s not only me who breaks.
Here we are destined for the edge again, In our boat filled with stubbornness and ignorance, Will we float? If we do then that means we’ll burn at the stake, Here we are dancing round the flames again, To our gods hoping they will bring the rains again, But if they don’t then we’ll shower in the shit that we create, We’re cracking up and we’re coming undone, But I think we’ve got this, ‘Cause we know the pages we turn because we wrote them, It’s a setback, insurmountable setback, Hardly means a thing anyway, As i’m speeding on the high road, I can see I need to let go, Now I’m saying, Please believe I think we’re alright.
Reflex 02:24
Both of my eyes are a bloodshot red, And when they close they see the same thing, My teeth are falling out, But I can do without, It would be smart to keep my mouth shut, I wonder is everything we do just a reflex, Like a plastic hammer against a kneecap? Whenever I tried that my leg always stayed still, I couldn’t stop this train of thought, Even with the brakes at full pelt, It would be just my luck, If the chances that I never took, Amount to something in the mix up.
Wasting Away 01:55
It’s becoming easier to kill my time and blur my days, Into a hazy memory til it disintegrates, So I wait, I worry, I’m wasting away, I’ve got a hundred more excuses than I had before, I set myself a boundary at my apartment door, Made no plans for the future and now suddenly I’m there, Accepted my lethargy and I find it hard to care, Better lock myself in, So I wait, I worry, While my colours are fading grey, I wait, I worry, I’m wasting away, I might as well be in a chamber, Pressurised and under water, A place where I can’t hear the waves, And I can’t feel anything,
I.D.S.T. 01:33
Scarred our knees, Skinned our elbows, Waxed the curb, Stole sensors from the lamp posts, Scratched our names, Into the tarmac, Ran away, Set ourselves on fire, We’ve carved our place in time, If you Destroy it it’s Still True, And when you see foundations start to crack, I hope the memory will get me through, Looks the same, Doesn’t fit right, The colour’s drained, The cold has gotten colder, Scratched our names, Into the tarmac, We were here, Never to be forgotten, We carved our place in time, If you Destroy it it’s Still True, After the ruins turn to stones and dust, I know the memory will get me through,
Did I shed everything I was, Half a life ago, Or a lifetime from where you can see it? Is there a code in every breath, In each discarded fingernail, That points exactly to where all this started? What’s the opportunity cost, Of cataloguing every moment lost, In the space between decades, Before they become amorphous blobs? I’m a one trick pony, I know, My old elastic brain, Snaps back always the same, Something to be said for the familiar, Review, contextualise, It’s always sunset, never sunrise, It sits frozen in time in the mirror, They said that the definition of insanity’s expecting different results, Alright, I’m not quite there yet, But it might be nice oh just this once, Done my ten thousand hours worrying, Any day now I will solve everything.
Next Weekend 02:32
Sitting on the fence, Reading up and taking notes on, How to tell our friends, "We can’t make it, we’d love to make it", Maybe next weekend, When I’m free I’m calling you, But now, I’ve got a list of stupid things I need to do, I’d laugh if it wasn’t true, Shall we pencil in? Take that chance again? I know, I need to be in it to win it, you know, That I know, that this doesn’t have to be finished, So maybe next weekend, we’ll paint the old town red, We’ll put aside excuses and get outside of our heads, But now, my drive’s in the lost and found, and this apathy wears me out, Could I lose it all? And we’re always catching up, And we’re always catching up on catching up, And we’re always catching up.
I’ve never really stolen a look at a face, And done a double-take, And felt my heart sink like a stone, I’ve rarely ever sat by myself in the dark, Not knowing where to start And honestly been alone, Been approached by someone that I didn’t know, And followed their words slowly, As my world turns upside down, Woke in a cold sweat from a dream of things that could never be but feel more real than everything else, now, I think it would have broken me, She didn’t need the noise of a party crowd, Those foundations sound, Let’s keep on keeping on, I didn’t know what we might be capable of bouncing straight back from, Until I saw you do it first, She must come from a resilient bloodline, unscathed and tough like diamonds, Come on and do your worst, Hindsight’s twenty-twenty and I’d osmosed plenty from you if I didn’t realise I had, until now, I think it would have broken me, And by the way just remind me, Never to mess with you.


released May 9, 2018

Recorded and produced by Bob Cooper at Crooked Rain Studios, Leeds


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