Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Mike Gentry
"My friend had to drink/The blood from the heart of a deer that she killed when she was eight years old/Do you think she remembers/That taste/That taste/My friend quit drinking/Last year/Do you think that he will be okay/I wanna tell him that I love him/But I don't think he would believe me anymore/My friend lost her true love to heroin two years ago in May/Put a needle in his arm and didn't wake up in the morning/I'd run for my life/But I don't think I could catch it/My friend drew triangles over Midwestern skies/He saw everything/He saw everything/But me/My friend bought a cactus/Because she didn't want to hurt herself/I wish she wouldn't/I wish she wouldn't/My friend had a dream/He carved a vagina into his legs/For the loss of a grandmother/For the loss of another/It happens every day/I'd run for my life/But I don't think I could catch it."
Above you will find the lyrics to Mariposa's sprawling, seven-minute opus, "My Friend," an incredibly dense and aching song about one person's luck with friends and the faint hope that there's enough happiness out there for everyone to just get the tiniest piece. It's not asking for much, to just get a little bit. Mariposa is the personality of the music of Madeline Johnston and it's one that feels like a private ocean. It's like having nothing but a bottomless endlessness all around you. It's like being dropped into the middle of it and you're left not just hearing the words, but feeling them wrap you up, putting pressure around every part of you, causing a strange feeling of abandonment, all the while knowing exactly how you got here, that you might even be saddled with miseries (your own and those of the people closest to you, as is already pretty evident) and that you're never getting back. You'll just sink, with it all.
*Essay originally published August, 2012