The History of a Nervous Path

by Josh Belville

i saw you careless on gangsters there on the tv in front of me hiding out for a weekend felt like a goddamn eternity you should try to talk them down you know they run the whole damn town i saw you careless on gangsters out in the backyard, you went too hard spending nights in a bunker deep underground, could we discard all these truths you like to spew in front of men who could kill you we've no sense of how they feel i'd rather not see that reveal i saw you careless on gangsters now we're a wanted man and wife all this running from gangsters never thought i'd see so much strife i saw you careless on gangsters won't it behoove you to shut your mouth cause we're running from gangsters all day all night, we're heading south i saw you careless on gangsters
i'm overcompensating i can tell to all these people i don't know so well when i'm around you it's a whole different story about a man who doesn't feel like a phoney i took a valium so i could seem all put together like a human being my skin was crawling i kept on calling and by the end i was buh buh buh bawling find me a nook in your heart remind me that i'm not crazy no one will ever find out the steps i took to leave the house sending my food order back tripping on the tipping math you just bought majority shares in the history of a nervous path pull my leg to find me in fresh air at the mall and i'm pulling out my hair i took a chance because i need you beside me even if that means i'm stuck in a macy's fluorescent lights nick my pallid skin can't remember when i last breathed in i'm feeling dizzy this place is busy find me a bench and something fuh fuh fuh fizzy i know i'm crushing your day sadly you see me sighing can't comprehend what i say i'm doing all i can to drive you away never once answer my phone twenty steps to take a bath you just bought majority shares in the history of a nervous path so many fish in the sea why did you choo choo choose me i'm just a bag of nervous energy sleep til the sunset's over spend the night seeking closure finding no answers here nobody knows the answers here another day disappears and i'm just as foggy as before
everyone's talking out their ass today gotta find a new group of friends eighteen, stuck in the middle of nowhere akron, ohio! myriad of hours to while away working at the lonely hardees on the east side taking smoke breaks in the parking lot and not just tobacco! pack my aging backpack to the brim board the train heading west watch the sun streak by in the empty sky i am longing for a new life longing for one let me go might as well go to university smack dab in the middle of town 21 and i'm a freshman in akron ohio! studying business like the bourgeoisie working mornings at the einstein brothers bagels i'll never see a coast on either side no matter what i do jab my thumb out onto the interstate hope i'll hook a ride to portland maine or oregon i don't care i'm just longing for a new life longing for one help me go all these years i thought i could run away but i'm stuck in the middle felt my roots grow deep i keep losing sleep i am grasping for a new life grasping for one let me go standing knee deep in a mortgage wife kids and a couple of dogs 55 and finding peace here in akron ohio! tryina loosen all this baggage take a couple swings at the brookledge golf course my handicap is high but i'm alive in akron ohio!
surveys the crowd the only place she feels safe the lights and the sound her bodice it starts to chafe imagines the crown placed on her head when they said what knows the pageant standing outside trying to light a smoke shivering hard her jacket slung like a cloak stung like a bee she finds her words before all the girls are culled in herds she needs words what knows the pageant the other 49 seem calm (like the end of a broken record) they've got the judges in their palm (and hearts rendered out of cardboard) she feels nothing in her chest (but a brand of insipid feelings) fakes a smile when she's addressed (but the lights have her reeling) the announcer speaks in all bass, no treble his question a mess but she looks so good in her dress what knows the pageant surveys the crowd the only place she feels safe the lights and the sound her bodice it starts to chafe imagines the crown placed on her head if only she remembered what she said... what knows the pageant
i took a step up to the podium i cleared my throat into the microphone everybody raised their eyes at me as if they'd already known i made a statement i took some questions i answered some and i left some open i thanked my wife and i thanked god but most of all i thanked my cpa for fudging the numbers hiding the stats throwing my money into a laundromat taking my alibi and making it stick now here i am answering the public all these cameras keep on chasing me all these people don't buy my line they think that i'm a big old phony they think that jail is where i should spend my time i told them something they want to hear got home, laid in bed and nursed my beer in my head i thanked a corrupt system but most of all i thanked my lawyer for preparing a statement taking my bribes showing the courtroom that i'm a real good guy drinking my whiskey and being a prick now here i am answering the public inst no one i know can ever touch me no onw i know has got the joie de vivre i've built my mansion on their bodies i caught their accusations on my sleeve if you were worried well here's the thing you're just a pauper while i'm the king i took your money and thanked you too but most of all i thanked my goddamn self for scamming the system devising the scheme turning your sadness into a fucking meme living the good life and taking my pick cause now here i am answering the public
i've got a feeling deep inside and it's bubbling up gotta stitch myself together or i'm gonna go nuts if you wanna hear me cry just step in the queue i've got tear ducts that mack trucks could drive right through like a zygote in your belly splitting rapidly hope this feeling doesn't put me through agony cut it unborn there's a 6/8 shuffle in the back of my head it's the incessant pounding that'll knock me dead i've got a bellyache like a bellyacher should you built a pyre round me baby and i supplied the wood like a virus that has entered a healthy cell i've got bad superstition like a warning bell cut it unborn i took a potion i swallowed it down tried to eliminate this nasty-ass frown it worked for a moment but when i awoke whatever i was feeling went from specific to a broad stroke now i'm casing the city looking for a cure someone to hold my hand to make me feel pure cut it unborn
You Touch Me 05:21
i came alive when you pulled my strings you held me up and we danced to everything we kissed and all my worries melted i missed the softness of your lips these moonlit skies never looked so starry til i saw them in reflections in your eyes keep your cheek close to my chest let me feel you breathing on my neck you touch me and i feel starlight in my veins swirled around and on my tongue what remains i speak to you with love and understanding you touch me and i find life less demanding please find my voice among these passing strangers and hold it above for it is tuned to angels and it can feel your wingspan growing i sing to soothe your troubled heart these are the words written on lined paper that i put to chords and i sang to woo you i hope our hearts define collusion let's start with all the love divine i was waiting for this moment sleeping in my own mistakes hoping one day i would wake up next to someone who'd ease my heartache
you're always talking in complete sentences but i still wonder what you're saying you're speaking in an alphabet with nothin but guttural parlance and not as much conveying it's hard to form a bond when it's impossible to respond so won't you help me out and start speaking english baby sometimes when you make the bed i'm seething cause who cares if a bed is made it's not like the rest of our life looks perfect the bed's just a place where we get laid the mess is where i thrive it reminds me that i'm alive so won't you help me out and leave all that shit alone pancakes are a sucker's breakfast i swear they just fill you up too fast sausage and a waffle, two eggs, hashbrowns now there is a meal that's built to last so here's where i went wrong you were my pancakes all along so won't you help me out and be better breakfast baby judy heard your mother say that one day you'd die in a burning building seems a little harsh in hindsight though at the time i agreed with everything and i would start the fire yeah i'd build the biggest pyre so won't you help me out and give me a reason not to nothing is as good as you think it is it's all just a goddamn shitpile take a step away from facebook see how your clothes make you look so juvenile life has no meaning we're all gonna die so won't you help me out and die first! la la la la
In Altars 05:42
take solace in the fact that you’re a sliver in the universe that you’re taking up a tiny little spot as the virus on an atom called earth so ruthless your attack trying so hard to destroy this nucleus but no matter the tonnage of the bomb you’ll never find out if this was ever worth it so descending to your knees fingers searching for an answer from above crying out for divine love for someone to tell you why in altars you describe how the land was formed by omni hands how the life was given gentle breath how you owe your soul to one above but something doesn’t jibe you’ve scanned the ancient pages for connection rubbed your fingers over tiny fonts wondered how small the smallest thing could be? pressed your palms together thus formed the question of the meaning of us the shiver in your breath but nothing left from the heavens to discuss now your parish wants to know what you learned in the mountaintop glow there’s a hollowness inside no answer coincides and there’s no wisdom to bestow… in altars came the pain told the nonbelievers what they want to hear kept the crusade as defense against affront while you studied secretly the smallest things your responses were to feign and pretend that something out there loved us all but in darkened rooms the tears would always fall as you reconciled your existential angst when you looked up at the stars to distract yourself from numerous wars fought for an abstract cause you pause and mourn the death of scores and scores your god just never spoke your consciousness never awoke to the sound of the praying mass you cast aside the belief with a sigh of relief i only wanted to find that special part in my mind where love built its nest so there i could rest take solace in the fact that you’re a sliver in the universe that you’re taking up a tiny little spot as the virus on an atom called earth
i popped this existential pimple let the pus drain through my brain spent all summer searching for a symbol made to resemble a paper plane coasting through my memories with language on its wings it landed on the only spot whereupon my sadness clings unfurled like a wellworn ship's sail and fraught with boolean strings recited all, but destined to fall i'm trying hard to keep my senses i'm remembering it feels a little hazy but i'm remembering a time when i implied i'm not doing fine infer what you will but i'm holding still i'm remembering i squint my eyes hard in the sunlight and reminisce alone while crows parade around my chimney always boasting about how far they've flown what can reply? i think there's nothing to compare now stuck in vacant introspection i'm reflecing to thin air and prying through these stubborn neurons hoping for a little tease of something i have done in the past i am trying hard to keep my senses, please chorus and i may be old, i may be wise but my faculties aren't wired like they used to be, i swear i'll have my supervisor fired for this gross negligence oh wait that's me, i forgot i hope i won't forget that next time wait ... forget what i call the number on my bracelet just so i can hear a voice remind me what i'm doing in my home like i even have a choice these days i wander through my mind like a hiker in the spring always trudging ever upwards wond'ring what view the peak will bring and every time i see the faces of my family in the clouds i call their names with so much love i am trying hard to keep my senses
1. i thought life was getting easy now that i am in my thirties but i'm still a floundering man there's no other way to say it tidal waves try to erode it but i'm staring at my death there's always something buzzing in the back of my mind why can't i just be happy? oh, i'm bursting with decay why can't this feeling just go away? there's no end to this delusion i go where i see illusion steep my brain in fictional worlds dark is my bedroom at all times writing songs with some half-assed rhymes sleeping until i'm dead please don't complete this sentence don't ever tell me the odds call the cops if i stop breathing oh, the sunset looks okay but why can't this feeling go away? i'm looking straight at you when devastation gives in the boo i tried all my damnedest to find solace in this (never the only one always the lonely one though i know) 2. i never called you boo but i thought of you when i wanted to there is a silent wall in between us all can't you hear it fall? there's no mistaking, i'm just a paradigm who's run out of time you left a bag of bones full of pheromones and some cursed unknowns life looking for a sign trying to unwind this raveled road i'm drowning on dragging you along letting go before i find a way to trap your mind i've got a great life i'm just sad all the time all of my family loves me i'm just sad all the time i've got a perfect life i'm just sad all the time all of my friends adore me i'm just sad all the time (he's got a great life) i'm just sad all the time (all of his family loves him) i'm just sad all the time 3. i'm alive and i am numb with wanting tell me who tell me who i am it's contrived but i can't feel much feeling tell me why tell me why i can't there are days down in the cellar where it's dark and nothing wants to light and there are nights when i am restless can't contain the desire fight sunlight shines into my dark bedroom i arise to greet the afternoon not so fine but adequately simple i devise a plan for my room rearrange all the pieces find a space for every little thing rest assured that i will rend asunder this decay i will find a way every step finds me going forward every breath strengthens my attack there's a boon in picking a direction heading out and never looking back there's a path that winds around your ending we all choose to stick to it like glue but i'm glad that i could wrench myself free when devastation gave in the boo
dim the lights it's 2525 and the human race is glad to be alive after the bombs fell and nearly killed us gather round and open your iron lungs pick from packages green blue or brown set it right on your stomach and thank god for my sophisticated feast square all the nutrients i need are in there my sophisticated feast square i have no teeth i have no hair try to keep from making a single sound there are too many bandits running around and they've got the weapons so keep it quiet here's a straw to suck down your pasty mush you've got all day you don't need to rush enjoy all the flavors and thank god for chorus your ancestors once ate real food that they grew out of the ground but the desert is a wasteland and there's not a single plant to be found you're the endpoint of a bad day try not to make that your only takeaway soon these squares will not be enough and you'll pass away just like everyone does! settle back you're in for an awful trip keep the bubbles out of your iv drip try not to panic it's just existence think about the future you'd like to lead one where actual produce is used to feed all of the people but until then thank god for! chorus


A collection of acoustic songs from FAWM 2016. Song titles were taken from the excellent FAWM site "Titular":

Buying the album will get you two additional bonus tracks: "Simply Nuclear" and "Swimming," a song from 2009.


released May 12, 2021

Josh Belville - lyrics, vocals, guitar
Hydrogen - drum machine!
Matt Blick - bass and glockenspiel on track 2.

Cover art comes from Flickr's The Commons:


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Josh Belville Portland

Actor/musician living in Portland, OR.

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