Primarily, this is the story of Daniel Dunhill moving away for college and making a committed effort to trying to lose his mind. His older sister has visions of the violent deaths of her family members, which she finds entertaining until they begin to come true. Their father is under investigation for the disappearance of his own parents and Daniel’s friends all prefer drugs to coursework. All of this serves as a sieve for observations of ‘being qua being’ to filter through in layers of dissociative fragmentation.
“an Ear to the Drain” deals with the tyrannical censorship of human sensory ability. It’s a narrative collage of one person’s experiences with art, drugs and the regret of damaged friendships. These perceptions, like all human perception, may or may not be verifiable by a consensus based reality.
“With so few fans in attendance, all of us sat down on the checkered linoleum in front of the low stage. With so few fans in attendance, there was an embarrassing discomfort in waiting for the performance to begin. There was another, more popular band playing at a venue down the street. Clearly that gig had captured the music fanatics in town. Down the street they were pumping their fists in the air. Down the street the screams united in the air above the seats, forming a singular gale of enthusiasm. The twelve of us sitting on the black and tiles awkwardly discussed our recent record purchases in hushed mumbles, trying not to be heard by the seven or eight people we didn’t know. The band didn’t care how many eyes were watching them. They didn’t play for the ears on the floor. They played for glory. They came on stage and started screeching into the core of their instruments, prying the grains of the wood apart and releasing the molecular energy from aged timber. They turned their faces to the sky, wrinkled their eyes shut and screamed ancient intonations. The songs accelerated, growing more and more massive with each coda, racing around a track of diabolical urgency, repeating refrains until they carried enough force to ram through the skulls sitting before them.
They played continental songlines of King Equus dreaming, a dead reckoning of waves hammering through rusted hulls, the drumline of abandoned soldiers marching over corpses of their fallen brethren, funerary hymns levitating enlightened spirits to the lap of Brahma. They pressed their fists through their abdomens, wrapped arthritic knuckles around their intestines, drew the guts out from within and bowed them into deification. With so few fans in attendance, we nervously made peripheral eye contact between numbers, checking to see if material reality still had any influence over the present situation. With so fans in attendance, every sound was solely for me. I left the floor and left the venue and left my body, sinking into the soft burial of blissful sublimation. I broke my cool and laughed. I broke my cool with humid tears.
Nobody recorded the gig. There wasn’t any press coverage from college radio or underground zines. Only the twelve fans on the checkered floor, twelve apostles left to drag their torn minds back out in to the cold world, trying to make sense of the dream”.
Adam Melinn is a musician, philosopher and author. While living in Philadelphia, he taught philosophy and ran the Fedora Corpse Recordings label. After brief experiments in Detroit and Savannah, he now lives and writes in Denver, Colorado. Although he has previous published philosophical works with titles like A Romantic Ideology for Juvenile Delinquency and Panmnemism and the Value of Experiential Information, this is his first novel.