Into the Void

“So I sit on the edge, wagging my feet above the abyss.”
– Jim Harrison


Except the abyss is the Toto song Africa playing in an empty shopping mall at 3AM with not even mall cops on Segways to hear.

Stuck in my head again after all these years when I’d finally stopped hearing “I bless the rains down in Aaaa-frica” over and over until the brink of insanity.

See, now it’s got you too – la la laaaa la la. We’re fucked. Toto on endless 80’s repeat, which was bad enough the first time around.

I blame Columbine on Toto – it wasn’t video games or bowling it was those songs from childhood scraping at the inside of Dylan Klebold’s head until he was going to kill someone.

The Toto subreddit has hundreds of clips of Africa playing over the speakers in empty car parks, stores, janitors pushing the floor buffers of despair.

I watch them all, again and again, and the absurd music video that first ran on MTV and everything on Wikipedia and Google.

There’s no way out but through.


Day 8, 28 Days of Unreason


24 thoughts on “Into the Void

  1. Where was I in the 80s I wonder – totally missed Toto but having googled it can see “janitors pushing the floor buffers of despair.” many from Africa no doubt. This has all the atmosphere of ‘Dawn of the dead’

    every couplet a winner…”mall cops on Segways” – a runaway line!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. When I hear that song- all I can see is Zack Braff and Kristen Bell – they did a video for their last trip before having kids, to guess where? LOL. I agree with Vivian, very Stephen King like. great write!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Are you equating 80’s music with hell? Yeah, I’m on board with that. The hollowness of it all echoes in your words (in that Mr. Grumpy Pants kinda way.) I like how you connect all sorts of despair with it all. As a side note, I hadn’t heard that songs in many years, until day-before-yesterday, so this is extra surreal for me. So, are there really cops on Segways in the malls these days? That feels sci-fi / futuristic. This is a truly unique take on the Harrison line – great stuff!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, mall cops on Segways is a thing. Big market segment for the company. I hadn’t thought of that song either in years, until one of my sons started sending me links to empty malls and parking lots playing it. Apparently in some corner of the internet Toto playing in empty malls is also a thing. Awful, and now I can’t get it out of my head. The Abyss for certain. I thought taking out despair on them was good, since so relentlessly uptempo and singsong.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yikes! Spam your son – that’s just plain abuse! LOL. I still can’t get over the Segways in malls thing – I detest malls and never go to them. I also completely missed the pop music of the 80s, so your poem had a bizarre feel.


        1. Yes, that is part of it. Up until a month or two ago I couldn’t have told you one thing about ’80’s pop music. Total void then and now, (to echo the idea here.) But stuff like this *was* at the periphery. You do start to remember it after you hear it. Part of the creepiness. How all that happened and didn’t happen at the same time. Or something like that.


  4. Eerie write! Toto, on the scale of the 80’s is actually close to the cream of pop/rock. Think Flock of Seagulls, Depeche Mode, and Wang Chung. I think having them play “I’ll Be Watching You,” or “Our House (in the middle of the street)” would be far creepier.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks. I thought that at least some folks would remember this, given how popular it was at the time. Agreed, in some ways they were a high water mark. Was mostly just pushing the dark/light idea.


    1. LOLOL! Thanks! It’s really a great song. Amazing how hard it is to get out of one’s head. I just thought it was funny to call Toto the abyss given how bright and uptempo they are. Sorry to make you cringe!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. This does have a Stephen King feel. I’m with Jilly about the mall cops on Sedways. I try to avoid the mall, too. But now I’m going to have this song going through my head for the rest of the day.
    There was a TV show on a couple of summers ago called “Braindead” where these alien ant creatures crawled into people’s ears and ate their brains–it took place in Washington, D.C. It seems as logical an explanation as anything else. They all heard the Cars, “You Might Think.”

    Liked by 1 person

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