Track 1, Is This It, reeks of a tired indifference. A relationship between two different people has finally caught up with them and it seems they’re tired of fighting the inevitibale. The relationship doesn’t go out with fireworks, rather it ends with a measured whimper, just another blip on the radar of their lives.
Derek absentmindedly picked up a peanut out of the bowl and examined it before popping it into his mouth. All around him, party patrons dressed in their expensive slacks and dresses told the same stories and laughed at the same jokes as the last time they were all together. Derek was tired of it. Actually, he was just tired. This wasn’t his scene and these weren’t his people.
He looked down at the glass in his hand full of an expensive beer he couldn’t pronounce. It tasted like tree bark and garbage. He looked around at the party, wondering if the rest of them felt the same way. Across the room, the host took a sip in the middle of a conversation. Derek was thrilled to see a flicker of disgust on his face, even if it disappeared a split second later. It was a little victory, but a victory nonetheless.
Why do they always do this to themselves? Who is seriously that concerned with status that they can’t get a damn beer they enjoy? This was not Derek’s scene. He set the beer on a table and walked over to fridge to see if anything might be hiding. Sure enough, a Labatt Blue was waiting for him. He cracked it open and turned back to the party.
Katy caught his eye and her smile died. Derek braced himself as she walked briskly over to him.
"Where did you get that?" she asked in a disapproving tone.
"The fridge. I think he was saving it for later."
"The stuff he put out tastes like pig piss, I can’t really blame him." Derek started laughing, but Katy didn’t think it was quite as funny.
"Please don’t embarrass me here. These are my friends."
Derek rolled his eyes.
"I’m at a party drinking a beer. Give me a fucking break."
"Do NOT swear at me."
With that, she turned quickly on her heel and headed back into the thick of the crowd. Derek shrugged and sauntered back over to the food. The good stuff was already picked though, so he found himself casually thumbing through the M&Ms.
A few minutes later, the host noticed Derek and walked over to him.
"Hi there, having a good time?" he asked in a polite tone.
"For sure. Solid spread dude." Derek answered.
"Thanks. I don’t think we’ve met. I’m Alan." He extended his hand. "You’re Katy’s boyfriend, right?"
Derek took it and smiled.
"Yeah, Derek. Pleasure."
Alan looked at the beer in his hand.
"If you need anything else, please don’t hesitate to ask."
Derek smiled again.
"I never do. Cheers." He raised the beer and walked out to the balcony, leaving Alan slightly taken aback. After a moment, he returned to the other partygoers, picking up right where he left off.
After his third cigarette, Derek heard the door open and close behind him. he took a deep breath and turned around. Katy was standing there with her coat, obviously angry.
"Are you ready to go?"
"Yeah I guess. Didn’t we just get here?"
"No. You’ve been standing out here for like 2 hours."
Derek looked down at his watch and his eyes widened.
"Shit," he said. "Well, did you have fun?"
Without answering, Katy turned and made her way to the door. Derek followed quickly behind her.
By the time he got outside, Katy was already climbing into a cab. Derek rushed over and jumped in before she could leave him behind. As he got in, he started to tell the cabby the address.
"He knows," Katy cut him off.
"Oh, awesome." Derek leaned back and stared forward.
They sat in silence for awhile. Derek opened his mouth a few times, but thought better of it each time. Katy finally broke the silence.
"What’s wrong with you?" Derek kept staring forward. "I try to get you out of the apartment, meet some of my friends, just be social for once and you can’t even try to have a good time. Do you know how important tonight was to me?"
"No, I didn’t," Derek answered flatly.
"How could you? You don’t listen to a damn thing I say anymore."
"I listen, we just don’t talk about anything."
"That is bullshit and…." Derek put up his hand.
"Stop. Just stop." Katy was shocked, but she didn’t continue. "We both know exactly where this is going so let’s not do it, not tonight."
"So we aren’t even going to talk about it?"
"Talk about what? Every single argument ends the same way. Every time. Without fail. Doesn’t that bother you?"
"Well, relationships are hard….."
"Relationships are a challenge. This is not a challenge, this is conflict. Constant conflict."
"What are you saying?"
"I’m just way too tired… I’m tired of this."
Katy blinked in disbelief.
"Are you breaking up with me?"
"Come on, we aren’t in high school. It’s not cut and dried like that."
"Then I’m confused about what you’re saying."
"Are you in love with me? Do you see yourself marrying me?"
Katy took a second to think. She hesitated, then answered slowly.
"I mean, we’re still young. That’s a long way off."
Derek smiled wearily.
"That’s exactly what I mean. I don’t hate you and I’m pretty sure you don’t hate me. But if we keep doing what we’re doing, we will not be happy. Period. We’re too young to not be happy." He looked at her in the eyes. "You deserve to be happy."
Katy was shaking her head, speechless.
"What do we do now?"
"Let’s just get home, sleep and figure it out in the morning. We’re both pretty tired…"