I had strep throat all weekend. Or at least what I think was strep. I didn’t visit the doctor, though I probably should have. Doctors scare me, or more accurately, the entire enterprise of healthcare scares me, a for-profit nightmare fraught with error and macabre injustice, a system built on a mythology of success.
Even still, had I opted for an antibiotic prescription, my illness surely would have been cured within a day, but because of stubbornness or fear or doubt, I stayed at home gurgling saltwater and googling home remedies. As I endured days of pain, swallowing became an event, and as saliva gathered in my mouth, I became an agent of my own fate: pain came only when I ate, drank, or downed my own spit—my throat didn’t really hurt when it sat idle. One can imagine the anxiety that ensued, especially when I tried to sleep: “don’t swallow, don’t swallow, the pain will be unbearable, don’t swallow!” But I had to swallow eventually, and when I did, the lump in my throat swelled with fury, as if to say, “you insolent bastard, you knew what would happen.”
How does all this relate to this new Abyss X track? Well, it doesn’t really, not a whole lot. But then again, maybe it does, for the simple fact that this is what was going on in my life when I listened for the first time, my throat throbbing, thoughts about the American healthcare system running through my brain. And what is art without placing it in the context of one’s own life?
As you listen to Abyss X’s haunting vocals, eerie chords, and echoing claps, perhaps you too will have the opportunity to consider the song in the context of your own reality. Stream below.