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Feb 9, 2024

Aria Joie has a song stuck in her head. She knows all the lyrics. For a long time, whenever she thought of a song, she could hear the guide track too. Her own voice in her earpiece, peppy, encouraging, saying “One fifteen BPM! One, two, three, four!”, counting her through the dance break. That’s mostly faded away now. 

“Open up my heart,” she sings, and she folds a paper plate in half and puts it in the trash. “Tear open up my heart!” New job tomorrow. New colleagues. She’s going into a casino to check out some CCT screw-up. She measures out a little pinch of fish food in her palm, and tips it into the tank by the door. A neon swirl. 

It’s not “open up my heart,” is it? She’s got the lyric wrong. Get a glass of water, Aria. Clear your head. She wishes she could open a window but there’s no window in here. She pinches the bridge of her nose. “Open up—“ what was it? How long has she been misremembering?

Forget it. It’s not important. She goes to the kiosk in the lobby. Gets a soda and a gacha toy. Taps her foot to the music in the elevator on the way back up. Big day tomorrow. 

Blackout. The arena goes silent. And then her voice, the first words spoken in the show. “Do you believe in the power of love?” Lightsticks, like a heart beat. “Do you? Do you believe in the power of love?”

This week, on COUNTER/Weight 0.5: Thrilled Enough

Listen to my heart!


Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)

Featuring Keith J Carberry (@KeithJCarberry), Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal), Ali Acampora (@ali_west), and Art Tebbel (@atebbel)