En Garde

by Riposte

Retreat 01:22
Randall: Was I worth the save? The life i’ve wasted, loved ones I couldn’t face. “Where were you from” Where were you at” “Did it hurt?” “We’re so glad you’re back” I’m fucking tired: Climbing out of bed, of out this bottle, climbing out of debt. Climbing out this pile of shit I fell in. Been on an incline since the fucking hospital bed. I’m tired of being on the mend. So, let me go; I’ll steal my dad’s Astro and pawn everything that isn’t nailed down. I’ll shut everyone out ( pretend to have the strength to do it right this time) But I’m sweating in the pre-dawn, every cough a shotgun blast. Every gasp. Rattles the ribcage. A New Day: add up all your good-boy points and come up short. Another day of wondering what the fuck all this is for. Shawn: dried blood binds my arms to these sheets. another day and i find no peace amidst the whir of these machines. who's going to pay for this? my body is already paid in full. they said they could save me. i thought i was saving myself from another day, another lie, and from the rest of this lifetime pretending all this was fine
Time Served 01:55
Randall: They think they know who you are “Gang banger” \“young thug” with a bad heart “Put your fucking hands on top of the cop car. You may not have warrants but that kid don’t look like you” And even at 5 years old I knew They could take away my Dad A lifetime of conversations on opposites of glass. No lawyer would keep this family whole Or take back the memories that they stole. There’s bitter kids all over the hood Damaged with loss b/c a “Good Guy with a gun” Deported his mom or shot his pops. Slowly pulling away everything they’ve got I’ve never met anyone who wanted so badly to be hated. Shawn: how can we live in a world where this happens day by day. you're not the only one who took an oath to serve and protect. our families, our loved ones? we'd do anything to keep them safe. you think that badge gives you the right to act with impunity but the people have spoken and you're guilty on all accounts
Randall: What’s a nickel in the klink? My nino’s done a dime. I been in county lock up. It ain’t so bad with short enough time. Wish you’d let me hurt him, take back what he took from you I don’t understand the way you live. Why are you defending him? Is this just the way it is? But I’ll back off. You need me more than you need revenge. I hope you realize, you deserve better friends. Just know I would have done the jail time for you. Shawn: another day. another bruise. another excuse. you can't stay here but you can't leave. i know what it's like to feel powerless but if i'm this afraid i have no idea what you must feel. you don't have to go through this alone. i'm going to give you time. i'm going to give you space. i just hope you're ready before it's too late. i get that it's all you know. i just want you to know better.
Rout 02:14
Randall: You really have to want to hurt the family you love You think it really hurts enough? Could you be that selfish? To act on this resentment? Keep it coiled for their sake But I earned this I deserve this And it’s mine. I’ve got the bad shit you can’t take out I’ve got the bad shit you can’t fix Maybe you can’t fix anything Maybe you just thrive in spite of yourself. Sometimes not drowning is just enough And that is the hardest part. Shawn: take one look around and bury this pain deep inside yourself. you don't get to know what it's like to escape. you forfeit that option the day this began. i never asked you to be here. i never asked for your love. i surely never deserved it. i hope in return, mine is enough
Priority 03:05
Randall: You took the polaroid when my nose was bleeding From missing all the signs I was misreading You got a towel or something? I mean, It’s fucking up the carpet. Nvm just keep the picture Don’t think I want to remember this. Give me the one - if you think it means something - Of that time I counted the hairs on your stomach. Do you want anything of mine? Negotiations could take months. Drown me in your color Cut me into your confetti I want to rain on you. If you loved me you would have killed me Turn my skin into a nice coat So I could be with you wherever you go. Shawn: this was our moment. captured in cellulose. forced to fit this frame. burned to film with light. all the things we could ever be are two dimensional now. all the things we could ever be are in this closet collecting dust. a part of me forever, lost in this exchange. it means more to you than it ever did to me. i can be dismantled. you can take me with you.
Sortie 02:17
Randall: Moving product til I’m sore in the neck Burn my hands - singed with regret Say hey, Bossman say hey, whens the shift end? “It ends when you’re dead” “Can you work overtime this weekend?” Join a union - call out sick Still can’t win Even fridays feel like shit Get a degree, go to therapy Still can’t win Go broke making art Give your away your heart Still can’t win Get drunk Get sober Feel like shit I can’t even afford the fucking room I’m in. Tired of running and being found No rest til you're in the ground. Shawn: this half dead broken vessel on parade through this factory floor. the blue mucous binds the burlap fibers and weaves them into my lungs. breathe it in. breathe it out. and the rest writes itself. i could fall to pieces right on this concrete. it wouldn't even matter. they'll get every piece of me in time. it won't even matter. change the names of the things we barter with. change the game all you like, you still can't win
Randall: These songs aren’t anthems Won’t make the bad parts shine clean May not ever reach your ear, may not leave the inside of me These words are distractions from the snake in my gut Ready to unfurl. No sweeping grand gestures. No shattering revelations. Just a person spending a Saturday in bed Trying to appreciate the fact that they are still not dead Love like you know what the word means. What else is there for you to do. You say it’s real now like it wasn’t real before These have always been the stakes Life and death on the edge of the grave Shawn: the hesitation that comes before saying these things that inevitably fall on deaf ears. this distraction, built to fail you. leave you as hollow as everything else. i never meant to let it build up like this. just leave it (like i can't leave well enough alone) i let it grow so large it could choke me. it wraps it's hands around my throat and it's winning
Destreza 02:44
Shawn: lying here with my thoughts. so far from you. your hand reaches out but i am already gone. i owe you so much that i can never repay. this distance that we feel here and now is everything we could have been here in this life. if it all ends right now, can you tell me: was it worth it? these traces that we leave of ourselves are barely fingerprints in the end
Envelope 01:56
Randall: Guy with a sword over there! Slime!- up in the tree Death! Poison breath! Grab the salt we’re so close So. Close. I won’t forget you. I’ll look for you. Make sure you stay safe. Hope you know what it means to me to not feel alone. Up in the sky! Dragon up high! We’ll do this together. Shawn: listen, we've come a long way from those crossroads we had to drag ourselves through. and if i've learned anything, it's that they were just a checkpoint for the horrors up ahead. return here. back to the sanctuary. may the old gods preserve us like they never have. like they never will. it's always been in our hands. no one gets left behind. we're going back for what you've lost. tell me. tell me what you need to grow
Randall: Haven’t seen you now in 6, 7, 8 or 9 months. Worried about how we left things. Believe me, I’d have been there had I not been struggling myself Sorry I wasn’t there for you then and sorry I’m not there now. Maybe we’re just better friends when we’re both not so depressed. You’ll have to let go and say goodbye Never ask the reasons why Watch us get older and bitter It’s not that I hate you now it’s just that things feel better When you’re not around. I don’t hate you now - it just feels better when you’re not around And we’re not together Shawn: i needed someone to trust. not someone that needed me. and i'm sorry. i'm trying to find a place to settle in. let these wounds heal and prepare for the new ones. where is the device that measures our intentions and where they land?
Lunge 02:12
Randall: Our sorrows carved from cave walls to chew We’ll behead the king, disband the state and start anew Like the bitter was never spewed Like our bodies never poisoned. Spit out our sins Carve this jubilee into our trees. I am the combined effort of everyone I’ve ever known And I loved them all. I love all my friends. I won’t spit another drop. Redeem this sin with every hard victory fought. Shawn: backing away so i can come back full force. this dark hole i'm sinking into is not because i'm afraid of the world. it's made me afraid of what i might become. i drowned myself so i could be back when you're ready to hand out second chances
Advance 02:13
Randall: Still can’t sleep at night. Even gave those breathing exercises a try. But the weight still sticks to my ribs. I’ve been in recovery Since I can’t remember when. Taking stock and making time. Cut back on all my drinking Going back to where I’m wanted Going back to the people who love me Getting back to what was me I am trying - the least you could say Be patient please while i settle into place. Shawn: 15 lbs of glass: an attempt to weigh me down. i can't remember the last time i slept through the night. now, lying there at the mercy of anxieties running free. give me something. i'll take whatever i can get. give me anything. anything is better than this. 15 lbs of glass, doing nothing for me. i've given up on ever sleeping through the night


Riposte is:
Randall Avilez
Shawn Decker

recorded, mixed, mastered by s. decker @yoguwit studios, lafayette
cover art by r. avilez



released January 30, 2019


all rights reserved



Middle-Man Records Indiana

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