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September 29, 2020

Coal Miner's Daughter

Ella Hormel

Coal Miner's Daughter photo

Loretta Lynn
Coal Miner’s Daughter
11 songs, 29 minutes

The place is too small, but we don’t care. I don’t care because I’ve always liked small spaces (if I were an animal, I’d be one with a shell), and you don’t care because you’re a dog and as long as you’re with me and I feed you and I walk you and I give you somewhere warm to sleep at night you are happy. So we don’t care that we live in a glorified shed in the shitty part of Venice Beach and we have to climb a ladder at night to get into bed, which you do gracefully despite being four-legged, eighty pounds, and mostly blind.

In the mornings, when the sun blasts through the skylight two feet from our faces, we wake, make coffee, turn on Loretta Lynn, walk out front, wave to the neighbor, bark at her cat, apologize for barking at her cat, go inside, eat breakfast (scrambled eggs), climb the ladder, and get back into bed because it’s Saturday and the week has been long. 

On the days I come home smelling like stale coffee and fryer grease, you are waiting for me at the door. Sometimes I bring back a donut for us to split (you like the ones with bacon). Sometimes, when the air starts to cool, we walk the neighborhood. We walk towards the ocean, past the joggers and the skaters and the man packing up his t-shirt stand for the night. We try to imagine how they ended up in this place and what they’re running from. It’s something different for all of us.

It’s the spring of microwave dinners on the floor because furniture is expensive but so is dog food. It’s the spring of feeling lost in a city that is as hot as it is fast. It’s the spring of thinking about home but not wanting to go back. At night, we lie in bed, stare out the skylight, try to find a star amid the light pollution. We turn up the music until Loretta’s voice fills the room like sweet tea and carries us back to the place we left behind. This is our home now, we tell ourselves, and fall asleep on top of the covers.

And everything would start all over come break of morn’. 


Drink: Four-dollar rosé from Trader Joes.


image: Joanna Knutsen