The Grays file into the basement, pushing aside Jack’s clothing strewn which Dean has not yet collected. The quiet music makes everyone seem ghostly, and the light is low in the basement. Clyde slings his weight over the arm of the couch, and Evelyn and Brad climb into the bathtub together. Grady is eating his dinner, and Nick is fastidiously picking over his shoulder that which he wants to steal.
Vanishing Point makes the light coming in through the single window almost filmy and thin.
The song ends abruptly and Screenwriter’s Blues begins loud enough that Adam begins to wince against the sound of the rain and the songs brassy notes.
“This sounds like the worst anonymous blowjob I’ve ever had!” Nick yells over the music, and Brad raises one eyebrow at him and John blushes.
Love no more rings out like the benedictions given in church. The family remains still as they listen to the Ghost’s comments about Dean and Jack, and they duck their heads, self-conscious.
Love Potion begins soft enough to almost lose the beginning, and the lights return to the basement, slowly along with the volume. Matthew eyes Evelyn with suspicion during the slow fade out before it’s replaced with the brightest notes the Cure have ever mustered.
“What the fuck is this?” Rosie demands, and Clyde chuffs from the couch. The Ghost voices his confusion and Rosie’s cheeks flush.
“Babe, did you do this?”
Grady throws a fry at Clyde, who catches it in his mouth, the corners bent into a shy smile.
“Hell yes he did,” he says. “Wants his woman back.”
Matthew’s shoulders relax when Deux Petit Chaussons begins, and lights a cigarette. He stretches out on the bed beside Adam, who borrows one of Matthew’s cigarettes, and soon they are shrouded in a haze of blue mist.
The family drapes themselves over the hard edges of the basement, John sitting in the desk chair and spinning in it idly, Joshua laying on the floor and attracting others like a pillow, Rosie putting her head on his chest, Dean putting his legs over Joshua’s legs.
“You all look like the dregs of a party,” Nick comments from beside Clyde on the couch.
The Ghost confesses he is in love, and we all glance at the glowing face of the radio.
“You got someone’s attention,” Brad teases, but there is something cold in his expression.
“Nice girl,” Clyde mutters, half to himself.
“Liar,” Nick reminds him, and Jack squints false hatred at him.
“Well, you are not that, Love, not by one single inch.”
“No matter, Jack, Clyde thinks all girls are nice,” John quips, unusually quick for himself tonight.
There is a brusque feeling in the room that opposes the quiet. The family is tense because of the storm and all that it might have brought, waiting for disaster to strike, or for the Ghost to turn cruel.
In Heaven is the perfect underline to the mood of the room, and the Ghost points out our exploits in Hell with a fast and pointed line. Grady’s fingers knit into Nick’s.
When Venus begins, Matthew sits up vehement and spitting.
“I had been saving this for a surprise,” he pouts, and Evelyn laughs.
“I like this,” she admits. She blows him a kiss, which he catches and puts it into his pocket, next to a gear they found.
Rumor Has It brings confusion.
“What secrets?” Adam asks the room, and we all look around bewildered.
“On the site, there are secrets the Ghost planted,” Jack explains.
“Why did no one tell me about any of this?” Adam demands. Hands fold and eyes shuffle to the walls.
“I thought... “
“I was only just going to.”
“No, YOU said-”
“Fine,” Adam nods. “Fine. Fine. I’ll work it out.”
“This is kind of sad,” Evelyn comments about My Sex.
“Yeah,” Joshua says. “Yeah, but also kind of honest and brave.”
“He doesn’t wanna be dead,” Brad frowned.
“Too bad,” Clyde chuckled. “So sad.”
Blue Valentines hardly brings a blink from anyone, for all the times the family has heard it played low in Adam’s room during the winter months. Adam commemorates Evelyn’s death with the contemplation of his own until the spring returns. They watch each other from across the basement, maybe speaking inside now that summer is here.
Every You brings much the same reaction, as the family has all wished they shared the song with at least of one of the two it’s really about. Clyde watches the back of Brad’s head while he cleans his fingernails with his knife. Clyde’s expression is serene.
The Bangles pass in the envelope of that serenity. Dean starts his chores while dancing across the floor, and the Power of Love descends with a forced cheerfulness.
“We aren’t really ending the world,” Brad protests. “I swear.”
No one answers but Adam, who clears his throat.
“Ahem. Uh. Yes you are.”
Brad protests, but Nick cuts him off.
“You’re messing about with the flow of memory, pet. Good luck and that but you’re going to smash us all to bits.”
Conversation 16 makes Evelyn quiet, and she confesses the song has always made her think of Los Angeles, which was the subject of his first song.
The family stays quiet in the rain, thinking about sunnier streets and studio lots.
“NICK!” Joshua yells from the floor as the song ends.
“What, love?” he answers Joshua, from behind his knitting.
“IT’S OUR SONG!”
“Yes, it is that, now hush.”
“Everyone is so quiet,” John observes of the room, and eyes glance upward to the floor above, where the swamp is rising slowly.
Stardust puts a glaze over Dean’s eyes, and he dances with his broom. Minutely, the family scrapes themselves closer together. Clyde moves from the couch to the big bed with Adam and Matthew, and Joshua moves to the couch, dragging Rosie like a magnet.
Clyde clops his boots onto the floor beside the bed, and announces to the room his revelation:
“Means this storm is his.”
“Whose?” Brad asks, incredulous, and Clyde points to the radio face.
The family moves closer still. The bed attracts now John to make four laying on it. Brad and Evelyn sink together into the bathtub, stacked like spoons. Rosie sits on Joshua’s lap on the couch, and Nick and Grady squish beside them. Jack and Matthew sit beside the bed on the floor, hugging their knees. The power goes out but for the radio when Peter Gabriel sings, and Matthew begins to cry to himself.
“Are you alright?” Jack asks him, and he nods.
“It is only that I had a very long day.”
“There are many of those, eh?” Grady asks him, and he nods.
When the Ghosts demands we wake up, heads pop up and look around. Clyde claps his hands loud enough to sound like a gunshot.
We listen to the Ghost tell us to live, and then the song switches over and Joshua starts to bob his head.
“Yeah, I get that. Because life is a highway.”
This Must Be The Place has been played at every Gray House wedding, and so many looks are exchanged as it plays.
“I guess we’re spared tonight,” Adam observes, and Clyde growls into his mouth as they kiss, “You’re WELCOME.”