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On one of my rare nights out last night, I was pleasantly surprised to meet a fellow Neko Case fan. How few and far between those are. He was the partner of a lovely lady I’d just met and through the course of our conversation, we encountered a couple of inebriated souls who could have benefited from having their drink confiscated. It led us to bond over our comparatively more level-headed behaviour. Once again, I’m struck by the voices of the quiet ones if you just care to listen.

Oak was written for my best friend, J. He’s always been the sort of person who would willingly give a stranger the shirt off his back if he thought someone needed it. This is more significant than you would think. He’s always been self-conscious about his own physical appearance and had never taken his shirt off in front of anyone. But despite the insecurity about his looks, he is ridiculously selfless and kind and sweet to everyone around him, even though he pretends to be uncaring. A little on the goofy side, he’s a little accident-prone, just like several of my other close friends, not to name any names (E and S!). He is protective and has a knack for leadership, whereas I am content to be led. Over the years, I’ve witnessed him take many wounded birds under his wing (so to speak) and try to nurse them back to health. But lame ducks are that for good reason, or at least they are not likely to change for their own good. And so these injured fowl accumulate… You have to let them waddle out into the open world eventually.

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