After settling in with a beer and a fire on the patio, I thought I was in for a relaxing evening. I was wrong. The dogs needed food, so I found myself grabbing my keys and walking out into the darkness.

On the way out the door, I opened a little-used cabinet door, behind which I remembered some old CDs. I grabbed the one on top and drove into the light mist of a warm November night listening for the first time in years to the Pet Shop Boys —  loudly, which is the only way to listen to them. I’d entirely forgotten some songs that, when they came on, I recalled every lyric. Among the lost gems were two worth mentioning (though, forgivably, the videos haven’t worn well):

• These delicious lines in “So Hard”: “I’m always hoping you’ll be faithful/But you’re not, I suppose/We’ve both given up smoking ’cause it’s fatal/So whose matches are those?”

• Even better was the deep cynicism of “Rent.”


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