When I try to open up to you, I get completely lost
Houses swallowed by the earth, windows thick with frost
And I reach deep down within but the pathways twist and turn
And there’s no light anymore and nothing left to burn
I am this great, unstable mass of blood and foam
And no emotion that’s worth having could call my heart its home
My heart’s an autoclave
Like THE NIGHT WE SAID YES, MATT’S STORY has a soundtrack. Unlike TNWSY, it only has one song.
My husband is a big fan of The Mountain Goats, and through him I heard the song “Autoclave.” It’s a terrific song that felt like Matt. Though it sounds kind of peppy and sweet, it’s full of self-doubt and sadness.
An autoclave is a machine used to sterilize equipment. Steam gets so hot, that bacteria and organisms can’t survive inside it. The idea of the song is that the person’s heart is an autoclave, killing things that get too close.
Kind of like how Matt kills his relationship with Ella. It’s getting too close, he’s getting to scared (and, of course, THERE’S MORE, but I don’t want to give that all away.)
When researching more about the machine, I found out something interesting. A few years back, it was discovered that one type of bacteria can actually survive the extreme heat. Which is insane.
I loved the idea that Matt kind of kills his relationships, but there’s hope that one person might be able to survive him.
And, maybe, even thrive.
(Interestingly, I recently found the press kit for the album, where John Darnielle discusses the same realization, which inspired the song. How cool is that?!)