Hailstorm & maelstrom
Josh was in a really weird spot in his life. His mental issues were as of yet untreated so he was pretty delusional. He was living in this sort of fantasy world with no consequences to anything he did. Josh had just broken up with the first person to ever treat him right and was trying to fill a void left in me by bringing in new people to my life. He met D the way all the kids are meeting people these days, through the internet. To be specific it was a dating app, Tinder if I recall correctly. Now I know what you’re thinking, “Hey Julia didn’t you just say he was 16?” Yes I did. Should he have been on Tinder, probably not. I’d like to remind you though he was 16 and a sophomore in college. In his head it would’ve been weird if he was hanging around underage people seeing as he was in a different phase of life then them. But I digress. Josh saw D’s profile and thought they were one of the prettiest people he had ever seen. He wanted to be with them and be them at the same time. They matched and as it turns out they were at the same college, in dorms just a couple minutes away from each other. They both went out onto our balconies and waved at each other and he knew instantly he was going to fall in love with them. The first time they were gonna hang out Josh was nervous as hell, at this point he didn't know if it was a date or not (they were getting sushi) so he didn’t want to accidentally fuck up in anyway. Throughout the date they talked about music, school, just general life, and also D’s boyfriend at the time, Victor. Josh was a little let down, but hey a new friend was still good too! So he paid for the meal (with money made from selling weed to white kids, its a great job you should try it) and they left to walk back to campus. Josh and D smoked in D’s car when they got back, then said goodnight.
Through the next couple months Josh’s feelings for D grew greater and greater. Sometimes it was unhealthy. For those who don’t know, he has BPD. If you don’t know the term “favorite person” in relation to BPD I recommend looking it up to understand his relationship with D a bit more. They were Josh’s favorite person for awhile. When they introduced him to their friends it was great but he couldn’t focus on anyone but D. He wanted them to focus on him in the same way but they never did. This crushed him. A lot of nights after hanging with D and one of their friends Josh would feel utterly unimportant, and he would spiral into deep self hatred and suicidal desires. Thankfully, he wasn’t an asshole so he would never put this stuff on them, he’d keep it bottled up inside, letting it consume him wholly. There were ups and downs, times when they were single and he thought “Oh hey maybe I have a chance” and then they’d be dating someone else. Sometimes they would say things along the lines of “I’d totally date you if not for your age.” They were only about two or three years apart and in the same year in college and even worked at the same place, so hearing this was always a crushing blow. He felt like he was as close as possible to them but it would never be close enough. He just kept on getting my hopes up for nothing.
That was all true until one week at the end of the fall semester in 2021. Josh had at this point grown pretty close to D’s friends, they were practically his only friends now. He’d often crash in their dorm room on the couch after playing pretend bartender for everyone. During this particular week D decided to join them and they both crashed on the couch together. It was kind of painful to be that close to them and just be friends, but it was also nice. You see D and him had been going through a rough patch in their friendship lately, so being closer than they had been in awhile was kind of a relief. One night near the end of the week they went out with another one of D’s friends and took mushrooms. Throughout the whole night he kept getting this feeling that D was into him, but he just chalked it up to the shrooms. That is until they invited him back to their house, and they talked, then they kissed, and they slept together. The next day he woke up and for the first time possibly ever he didn’t regret having sex with someone. They decided to start dating right away, and things seemed so perfect. But, Josh was still just as lonely and just as unhappy with himself. He thought maybe if he could pour his whole self into someone better than him he could find his purpose. Fast forward several months and Josh is livid. He’s speeding down the highway on the way to D’s friend’s apartment. He knows in his mind when he gets there he’ll catch them with a guy they told him wasn’t there. And that’s exactly what happened. He yelled at D, the first time he had ever yelled at someone in my life. He called D a liar, he called them a bad person, he called them things he wished he could take back. He drove back while they sat in the passenger seat and cried to him trying to explain the situation. He wasn’t hearing any of it though, he was just planning out my next moves. They got back to D’s place and Josh started packing his stuff right away. His parents had kicked him out for being bisexual and smoking cigarettes awhile back but his only option now was hoping they would take him back. D begged him not to leave. In the end D convinced Josh to stay just one more night, and he gave in and slept on the floor. The rest of the night he laid on the ground and thought of every single way he was at fault here. If he was just a normal blonde white boy with hair that never got tangled and blue eyes with no trace of green, maybe they wouldn’t have needed to betray him for someone like that.
Hailstorm & Maelstrom by Coin Locker Kid is the harrowing story of what happens when you take the wrong route to self-discovery. It’s a tale about desecration, emasculation, and dissipation. The project presents a self-hatred so deep, that the erasure of its protagonist is seen as a good thing. As soon as the record starts, we’re thrust into this deranged fantasy world. In it our man steals the life of a woman, taking over her completely. He ruins her just by nature of being as vile as he is. He is filthy and black, she is pure and white. He cannot help but ruin everything, there’s something fundamentally wrong with him. Or so we’re told. You see, if taken at face value Hailstorm and Maelstrom paints a picture of an abusive man who’s only benefit to the world would be to kill himself. The absolute scum of the Earth worth less than the cheap wine he guzzles before making a scene in front of his partner’s friends. I don’t believe this is the full story though. You see, behind the self-loathing so present here, there lies a character who at his core is deeply hurt. He can’t understand this hurt, and it makes him lash out. There is a constant battle between the Light and the Dark present throughout the whole CLK discography. It’s easy to think the Light is the right side, and I think that at this point in time this character subscribes to that belief. He doesn’t want to be how he is, he wants to be the Light. The desire may seem innocent enough, but the consequences are fatal. He thinks he’s longing to be what is right, but in reality he is straying so far away from what he actually is. This sort of dissonance with one’s self can lead to nothing but harm to the person and those around them. To long to be someone else instead of being in tune with your own self breeds toxicity. Does this mean he is absolved from his actions because they have pain behind them? No it does not, but it does mean we can understand them a little better. I think at the end of the day that’s the best we can hope for, some form of understanding. From there we can learn how to not go about things, learn from our mistakes or the mistakes of others. Ultimately, Hailstorm & Maelstrom is a cautionary tale, full of every wrong turn you could hope to make on this lonely journey of life. It’s the artist putting his worst foot forward and hoping the audience can glean a bit of wisdom from it. There is plenty I didn’t go into here so I sincerely encourage you to check out the album yourself. The album sounds just as chaotic and messy as the relationship it depicts. Its fantastical and intoxicating. It sounds like the sex you have with your partner after you’ve had just a little too much to drink and are on the verge of throwing up. It sounds like the loss of childhood innocence. Its sounds like something pure being tainted. Its intense and captivating. Its solemn and reserved. Hailstorm & Maelstrom is all these things and more, and once again I think you’re doing yourself a disservice by not checking it out soon.