Tutorial (ft. Natrina Gandana)

from by Wooden Swords



The lyrics, the vinyl static and the overall emptiness of this song were all created before this short story was seen by either one of us. It is a beautiful coincidence that this story by Natrina Ganada aligns so well with the track. In a way, Tutorial - E.P tells the same story.

An Empty Apartment
Upon an empty apartment, his eyes followed as she paced back and forth. His eyes lingered as she put her hands through her hair and his desires he withheld. The lightly furnished apartment with scattered notes on the bed and vinyl records playing softly in the background, the same scene she described for the future that they both wanted. Nothing more in an apartment than each other.

Together (in the past), they pictured this obtainable future. A small, lightly furnished place to call home. Just him and her, no kids. Dirt poor and happy. They would both work their day jobs, but come home to each other every night. The bed would be nothing but a mattress on the floor with a stack of books and newspapers on each side of the lonely piece of furniture. They would spend their nights reciting their favorite quotes from their favorite novels and listening to their vinyl records, as they get mildly drunk from a bottle of cheap $20 wine.

So there they were, in this small, lightly furnished place to call home. No kids. Dirt poor. A bed on the floor with a stack of books on each side. The vinyl record playing in the background. Cigarettes burning out with her lipstick on the filtered tip.

She can read his mind as his eyes trail the contours of her body. He can read her mind as their eyes meet and she looks away. He knew every freckle on her skin, every story for each scar, he knew it all before. He wanted to learn again. He wanted to know more. But he didn't love her anymore. That love was dead long before they parted. The love that once ignited the path to the future they wanted, now a dark dead end.

She knew that. Despite his longing looks and lingering eyes, he did not love her. He loved the idea of her. The idea of someone to love. The idea of love in general. The idea of someone's heartbeat next to his. But then again, she couldn't deny her curiosity. A simple kiss would answer all the questions she had wrecked her mind with. She imagined his lips on hers as he would tell her about his current life--the new album he is working on, the new girl he is talking to, the books he has been reading--she imagined his lips on hers.

He imagined her body next to his. He imagined feeling her skin, the soft skin he knew so well. Loneliness had gotten the best of him and her familiar face had him lusting once more. She was close enough to touch, to smell, to kiss, but he wouldn't dare. He wanted to, but he did not love her anymore. She showed him some songs she wrote. Lyrics inspired by him. As she sang with her guitar in her lap, her soft voice he remembered so well filled the room--he admired her, oh how he admired her, but he did not love her anymore.

She wanted nothing. He asked for nothing. In his head--in his hidden memories, he can see her once more. Her face close to his, eyelashes tickling his cheek, the corners of her lips raising as she smiles slowly, the freckles in her eyes staring back at his. He could see her the way he knew her. The free spirited teenager with kaleidoscope eyes who allowed him to experience a once in a lifetime type of love. The type of love that ignites so bright that it destroys everything around. A crazy, insane, out of control type of love. Love.

She loved him once. Loved his kind heart. He spoke of poetry and religion and finances and all she kept thinking about was that fourteen year old boy she met so long ago. Fourteen and filled with angst. Fourteen and believing he was so mature. Fourteen and rebellious. Fourteen and angry and happy and depressed all at the same time. She loved him.

They were older now, more realistic now. They no longer believed that love was going to solve everything. They no longer believed that love was enough to fix the external bullshit that pulled them apart. Their love was toxic--poisonous, addicting, and unpredictable.

Towards the end of their love, they hated each other. Truly hated each other. The person that they once loved had disappeared with time and the real person came out. She hated him in details. The way he chewed his food. The way his seemingly deafening breath kept her up at night. The way he smoked his cigarettes so the filtered tip was drenched in saliva. She hated him in details.

He hated her too. He hated how her voice would get higher around people she wanted to like her. The way she would put on her make-up in the morning, as if she was trying to impress someone. The way she faked independence to hide her insecurities. The way she craved attention. The way she needed him. He hated her.

Two people with multiply personalities, tearing each other apart trying to uncover the small fragment of authenticity. Insanity filling the brim of the psychotic cup they graciously devoured to remain inebriated.

It was getting late. The streets were abandoned. The vinyl record static cracked. The silence grew. She looks down at her fiddling fingers, he gazes at the top of her head. Her familiar perfume filled the room. A kiss would be so simple. She looks up. Eyes meet.

And there they were, in an empty apartment. Strangers once again.

-Natrina Gandana


A familiar face, a stranger's soul

I don't know you anymore, [no] I don't know you

A familiar face, but a stranger's soul

In another life I could look once more

Lives once entwined, now separate paths we go

[I was a] a tourist in your life, but now I'm going home

I'm going home.


from Tutorial, released April 10, 2012
Vocals performed: Natrina Gandana, Christopher Norwood, Zulfikar Poluan

Lyrics written by Natrina Gandana and Christopher Norwood



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Wooden Swords Los Angeles, California

Wooden Swords is a collaborative project between the artists Zulfikar Poluan (Of Swords) and Christopher Norwood (Repeated Measures).

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