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Needle and Thread - [single]

by Fred Händl and Mark Watson

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Needle and Thread is the story of girl. And of socks. And of voices in her head.


’T was the green socks she was wearing. The ones with the embroidered logo around her ankles. You know, the words so meticulously needled on the day, the day she lost her ability to feel joy. The darkened day, that not only obscured the sun from shining, but made cold all of her thoughts. As if all of her happy memories never were. No matter how hard she tried, she couldn’t find them. Sadness clinched its tight, boney fingers around her chest, preventing her from ever thinking of such happy thoughts.

She needn’t try, for all of those thoughts had disappeared and her new life was dark. Dark. Blacker than the darkest, starless night.

“I am not my thoughts”, the words in bright yellow thread. “I am not my thoughts,” a line she had repeated so many times. So many times when she was fighting her OCD. Something that had haunted her for ages, but now seemed like a walk in the park on a summer’s day. It was the only thing she could think of. Those words. “I am not my thoughts.”Words she had repeated as a mantra for years and years. The days she had locked herself in her room, and kept telling herself that she was not her thoughts. At the time, she believed that eventually, repeating these words, keep repeating ‘em, would actually free her from the prison in her head. That she would be free again, one day. Free of all the thoughts. The thoughts she kept repeating, the ones she kept repeating, weren’t who she really was.

Those thoughts were, of course, not who she was. But no matter how often she kept repeating them, no matter the best part of her each waking moment spent on saying them, it was to no avail. One could easily say that it was exactly because of it. Others would agree.

She was lonely. Lonely and alone with the words that were to make her happy again.

Until the new day, a new voice in her head told her it was no use. The voice that, not only told her, but convinced her, she should stop telling herself that she wasn’t her thoughts. For it was clear enough, it was plain to see that she was. She was precisely those thoughts, so why deny it? Why deny it any longer? Stop fighting. Succumb. Accept. Be the one in your thoughts.

And for one last time, she spoke these words. Very, very slowly, as she took needle and thread and embroidered them in a perfect circle around her socks. “I will not speak those words again, but I will have them with me, wherever I go. And I will go. Leave all I have behind, let the dark lead me. I will go, but will never know where to.”

- pause -

She found herself on the pebble beach, an evening cold. She sat down. Hunched in her coat. Took off her shoes and peeled off her green socks. She hadn’t taken them off for she knew. Not for ages. There were holes in them. Holding the socks in her hand, she, for the last time, read the words aloud. “I am not my thoughts.” She relaxed her arm. making it fall beside her, dropping the socks on the wet rocks. She walked into the dark water ... that stood in front of her.


released February 17, 2021
Vocals: Mark Watson
Piano: Fred Händl

Produced by: Bas Steemers
Story by: Fred Händl


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Fred Händl The Hague, Netherlands

1972. Pianist. Tutor. Composer. Performing musician. Author. Zappa nut.

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