The Moment I Wake Up

Lorne had been in LA all of seven hours when he heard Aretha for the first time.

He was cowering in an officially abandoned building, home to all sorts of transient demons who had never heard of Pylea. Outside, the noise of cars, millions of cows and the occasional gunshot was louder than anything he'd ever heard. He was wet, cold and a million miles from a home he never wanted to go back to.

The music was faint at first, drifting in from a nearby parked car, a slow piano intro almost drowned out by the surrounding din... and then that VOICE kicked in and Lorne's heart jumped out of his ass. He wept with emotions he never knew he had, let alone shared with another living being, stood at the window forgetful of everything around him, soaking up the tinny sound of the old stereo with his whole body. Everything inside him felt like it was shifting into place, finally finding a purpose as the chorus came around and the woman's voice ("Freedom, freedom, freedom, FREEDOM!") soared into the heavens.

The same day he was settled enough to have money and a place to put plug in a stereo, he bought the CD and stared at the track listing
"Think" (Franklin/White) – 2.15
refusing to believe it could be that short. Every time he listens to it in the years to come, he's astonished; the chorus only comes around once, not even halfway into the song, and it's over before he has time to miss it. And yet there's no time he can't summon up how it felt, steadying himself on the empty windowsill to stop from shaking, breathing in the dank city air, feeling the ache in his tired legs and have none of it matter. How beauty can come in brief, concentrated flashes and linger forever. How two minutes of heaven can wash away years of hell.

RIP Andy Hallett.