Staying Afloat in Small​-​Town Ohio

by Nathan Gepper

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This is a collection of songs that I made while trying to stay afloat in Ashland, Ohio as a confused, sad, angry young man.


released December 14, 2016

Artwork: Wes McBride
Everything Else: Nathan Gepper



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Track Name: Something's Got To Give
Every time that I close my eyes I'm caught off guard.
Like a fucking surprise, my mind is amiss.

Every day blends into the next - I'm losing touch of reality.

And when I open my eyes I see what's around me.
We fool ourselves with our lies and it make me wonder..
If my friends think the same about the lifestyle we live.
We always play this game.
Something's got to change.

Every day blends into the next - I'm losing touch of reality.
I want to change the way I live - something's got to give.

Something's got to give.
Track Name: Paralyzed
Didn't know what to think when I met you, I found you attractive and fun.
I thought that since you liked me you might be the one for now.
We went on a few dates and talked well; laid in the evenings 'til light.
I'll never forget the way you used to look at me at night.

I'm paralyzed by you tonight.

Sometimes when I see you now I still see that look in your eyes.
But I know it's just a moment no matter how hard I try.
I think about talking about it, just bringing it up - spitting it out.
But I know it's not worth it - and I know I'm not worth it.

I'm paralyzed by you tonight.
Track Name: Why I Am
This is all we are.
This is how it is.
This is why I am.
Track Name: 'Ten
When we met,
Things were happening then,
Things were exciting then,
Everything was new, always something to do,
And if not we could always just talk

Now we sit,
Alone in our minds, amongst our so-called friends,
Now we sit,
And we contemplate how it came to this

As we sit,
we stare at eachother and smoke cigarettes,
As we sit,
We wait and we wait and we wait

We wake up,
Accustomed to this, so used to it
Go to work,
And put our other face on

Who are we
When our lives are nothing but routine?
So we sit
And get stoned, and drink, and eat.
Track Name: No February Lover
It's the peak of winter
It's the mildest so far
I'm trying to think of a time
When my wounds didn't scar

I've got the space heater on
It's not even that cold
I'm just thinking of the times
When I didn't feel old

I've got everything I could need
But something's still missing
Perhaps a positive mindset
And a pair of lips to be kissing

Every year I start to feel this lonely
And I really miss my mother
Or any woman's company at all
As I've no February lover

I'm wrapped up in a blanket
Trying to finish this song
It's three in the morning
I'm four beers along

I wish I had some whiskey
Hell, or any liquor
But I know I'd just think of some girl
And how I couldn't fix her

I've got everything I could need
But something's still missing
Perhaps a positive mindset
Or a pair of lips to be kissing

Every year I start to feel lonely
And I really miss my mother
Or any woman's company at all
As I've no February Lover

I've got everything I could need
But something's still missing
Perhaps a positive mindset
Or a pair of lips to be kissing

Every year I start to feel lonely
And I really miss my mother
Or any woman's company at all
As I've no February lover
Track Name: Interlude
Uppers, alcohol, and THC; when will I leave? Even out of my town I find myself surrounded - the same monotonous cycle of nothingness.
"What would I achieve elsewhere?" I often ask myself in this state. Nothing? The same thing? Different environments precipitate and culminate into what?
Since EIGHTEEN I have found introspective thought more amazing every trip, plight, and night, especially. From no one to everyone whom I care.
I faintly recall my time from 14 to 17; my adolescence! What did I do? What did I achieve? Nothing. The same thing as now.
If I were to add up everything I've accomplished I believe I'd have a handful or so. Feelings > Tangible things.
PLANS? Get out of my comfort zone - where I have shielded myself from true experience. That is an exaggeration, I'll admit. For I HAVE learned:
Intimacy on many levels (though rarely all at once) The pleasure of the flesh, mind, and self.
Understanding, or atleast putting forth an effort to. Ideas shared through inebriation of our bodies; but is it real?!
Refined tastes in the arts of humans (atleast from the last SEVENTY years or so) A telescopic view up 'til now.
"LOVE" and the confusing behavior associated with such a word. The experience of such a profound emotion affecting every act/thought/desire.....
Rhythms and tones emanating from my own two hand - my own two feet accordingly. SOMETHING from NOTHINGNESS?
Perhaps! That is the closest thing thus far. ALAS, a cohesive PASSION: Both frustrating and enlightening.
'Less I sleep, I must forget my waking life by most any means possible. Thankfully there are exceptions.
'Else I die, I shall not forget those who DO care. Madness is a stranger beast than most and WILL breach LOGIC.
Amnesia of the metaphorical HEART. DENIAL of the good - focus on the not. Betrayal of the past. Maybe..
The understanding and acceptance of the TRUTH; that WE, even YOU and I, perceive, think, and long for so, so much more than WE, even THEY, can attest to. We DECRY this simplistic notion - for FEAR is predominate in US in ALL.
Enmity of of what is unknown feeds ignorance - or bliss? I prefer to think the FORMER, for the latter IS unknown to most.
neutrality, negativity, and positivity are all equal. Still! This is as trite and meaningless as anything - the whole DAMN thing.
Would it gain anything with sobriety? I can't remember and daringly refuse to recall such times. Repeatedly: over and over and over and over and over and over.
Even when I try to think in an optimistic light - I CANNOT see. That vessel of light is dim. it. is. not. OUT.
It. will. glow. and. BURN! with conviction. Not here, not yet... and not alone, I hope..
Speculation, of course. So which is worse - dwelling on what was OR pining for what may come to fruition?
Appear before me, you! And embrace me and convince me of another way superior to mine! But not in God or mysticism, see? Something REAL. From within you. I will try to find something REAL in me.

I want to find that genuine shit, you know?
Track Name: Cleanse
I'm cleaning my bed of your blood and your smell
for I toss and turn restlessly 'pon it.

I'm cleaning the dirt off my lonely white wall
from our heads, and the smoke, and our sweat.

I'm flushing my mind of your loins and your smile
as I'm indefinitely deprived of them.

Keep finding your clothes, so I made a pile
don't worry, I'll get them to you soon.
Track Name: Oxytocin
She wakes up alone for the first time in weeks
She's lonely.
She gets up to see who else is awake at the house where she stays
There's no one there.
She looks around frantically, hoping anyone will appear
She starts to cry.
She picks up her cell phone to try to call the guy that she fucks
He won't pick up.
She tries to think of someone else she can call that hasn't left her
There's no one else.
She sits by herself, still crying, wondering what went awry
She's fucked herself.
She thought she could get whatever she wanted all of the time
She was wrong.
She cared too much about herself to realize
She got left behind.
Track Name: Sociopath(etic)
If I can't get exactly what I want, I'll lie to get it
I don't mind if you hate me in the end
I'm hooked on instant gratification and I'll justify it in my head
I'll say, "We were never even friends."
So if you do get hurt it's your own damn fault for even trusting me at all
Should've got to know me better, this is who I am
You're expendable to me because I have but one goal in my life at all:
Feel good right now
So don't get in my way, don't believe what I say; I'm not responsible
I'm not responsible at all
I just need one person to convince otherwise and I'll use them 'till they know me
And then I'll cast them aside

And then I'll hide
And then I'll hide

I'll change the color of my hair to hide
I'll paint my nails to forget
I'll say I hate you
I'll say I hate you
Because you tried and couldn't help

No one can help
No one can help
No one can help
Track Name: Buddha Tattoo
Do you remember being good?
Not an ounce of resentment toward you.
You got a god damn Buddha tattoo on your wrist;
a mark of righteousness.
So does it make you sad now?
That misplaced trust invested in you.
And does it make you sad now?
How many of your friends are through with you?

Buddha Tattoo, what happened to you?

So when did you turn bad?
Was it at the duplex on Broad?
Proudly walking up those wooden stairs of lies...
straight to your room, just like you do now.
Turn a room into a home; and turned a home into a house.

Buddha Tattoo, what happened to you?
Buddha Tattoo, what happened to you?

You've stolen from your friends,
And cheated on every single girlfriend you've had..
Now I know you're depressed
And that that's why you obsess over twiddling your thumbs..
But now it's time to man up
And become the good person that I used to know!
All you've got to do..
Is fix those fucked up mistakes that you've already done.

Buddha Tattoo, what happened to you?
Buddha Tattoo, what's happened to you?
Buddha Tattoo, what's happened to you?
Buddha Tattoo, what's happened to you?
Track Name: You Only Lose A Friend When You Never See Them Again
I sit alone in the home that I've known for 21 years
Trying not to think about her, trying to focus on my beer
And when I wake up, if I sleep
I'll just think that I'm a dweeb
And if I ever do fall asleep
I know I'll see her in my dreams

I lay in bed by myself 95 percent of the time
Digging a hole in my mind that I'm unable to climb
And if I ever get out of it
I know I'll do it on my own
And if I ever look back down
I'll have to reap what I have sown

I love my parents and my friends, I'll be there till the end
I've made my fair share of mistakes that I'm trying to mend
And if I die before I reconcile
I just want you all to know
I never meant to be cruel or vile
And I'll die without a foe

You only lose a friend
When you never see them again