The letters pile up in the hallway
Junk mail and bills from the catalogs
And the neighbors have guessed 'cause I've canceled the milk
And they don't hear your voice through the walls anymore

How is your life today?

I was kissed on the cheek by a cold mouth
While the taxi was waiting like a getaway car
Each second seems like a lifetime
And the cat it's been staring at me all this time

How is your life today?

Lyrics submitted by Ministry

How Is Your Life Today? Lyrics as written by Steven John Wilson

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group, Downtown Music Publishing

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How Is Your Life Today? song meanings
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  • +4
    General CommentI may be wrong since nobody else thought of this, but when I look at the lyrics I think the song could be sung by a dead man. He committed suicide (and thought to cancel the milk first) which made the mail pile up and the voices from his room stop. The cold mouth he was kissed by is the barrel of a gun. And of course the cat is left to stare at the body. The only problems with this theory are: 1. The taxi (presumably to take away the woman who left him and caused the suicide) should already be gone by the time his gun "kisses" him, not still waiting (possible: he killed her when she tried to leave, then himself) 2. "Every second seems like a lifetime" doesn't make much sense if he's dead... Who knows.
    lassaon January 11, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentIt seems extremely obvious to me, and it has nothing to do with killing his wife. I guess you could kinda say it's about the narrator losing it, but not the way Wolven meant. It's about a guy that is depressed because his significant other has left him. The first verse explains that he doesn't care about the mail or anything, he cancelled the milk, he's just sitting around being depressed all the time. The neighbors can tell that she's left him because they don't hear her voice anymore and he's letting things go. Then the second verse is remembering the day she left him, when she coldly kissed him goodbye while the taxi waited outside "like a getaway car" to take her away. Now he's alone (cept for the cat) and depressed, and maybe going a little crazy. The title/chorus is like him missing her and wondering how/where she is in life now that she's left him.
    Dr. Strangefiston May 21, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentAt first, I thought it was about contemplating suicide, after a lover has left.

    "the neighbours have guessed 'cos I've cancelled the milk and they don't hear your voice through the walls anymore"

    Then it hit me that Steve Wilson loves to write dark lyrics. This line in particular hints at murder...

    "I was kissed on the cheek by a cold mouth
    While the taxi was waiting like a getaway car"

    The cold mouth could be that of a corpse.

    "Each second seems like a lifetime
    And the cat it's been staring at me all this time"

    These lines hint at guilt, maybe regret.

    Finally, "how is your life today?" seems like he's mocking the dead lover who wanted to leave.
    amatterofgraceon March 22, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThe person singing is dead, possibly killed by a person who got away after, 'While the taxi was waiting like a getaway car' and is still waiting to be found.
    Now this corpse wonders how the killer is doing to today.
    Is this person happy, relieved?
    How is his life now that the person singing is dead?
    OldSkoolon March 01, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think this is most definately about a mental breakdown. The taxi must be taking him to the looney bin.
    WolvenBlackon January 06, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt almost seems like it's about a guy who murders his wife, and wants to leave right away, by using the taxi as a 'getaway car'.
    Tinny_Bon December 10, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI somewhate agree with Tinny.

    It seems, as the illusion, the man Wilson talks about has murdered his wife, by the lyric, "& they don't hear your voice through the walls."
    There must have been long fights, where the neighbors might have worried there was more going on, but could never place a finger on it.
    By the lyrics, "The letters pile up in the hallway...'cos I've cancelled the milk..." really seem to me like he's hiding out before anyone can find it, or TRULY understand what he has done.

    I think being "kissed on the cheek by a cold mouth" is really just symbolic, or a metaphor for reality setting in. The "taxi", "waiting like a getaway car" is really just his escape from his mind, or from what he has done, or a way of dealing with his pain.
    Even, as the above has said, being driven to the looney bin, or even jail.

    "How is your life today" also just reminds me that perhaps life always ends up better than it was, or it can end up being worse than it was. To use that title, & repeated line in this song is sort of like using a rhetorical question; you can't truly answer it, it's an ever-changing feeling, & no one's life is better than the next persons.
    Mordilwenon July 22, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think its all true what you said, and it's not clear to me wether the taxi was waiting for him (who kissed him on the cheek then?) or his wife (did he just let her go?). Maybe latter makes more sense.

    At first I also thought he killed his wife (or perhaps his husband, if 'he' is a woman, but i don't think that makes a difference here). But the line "How is your LIFE today" contradicts this. I don't think he murdered her.
    pwon December 26, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe entire album Lightbulb Sun seems to be centered around a break up, with this song being about the day the girl left him. Did anyone think that the taxi wasn't for him? It seems as though the song begins some time after they split, and he's sinking into depression as a result. In the second stanza, he's remembering the moment she left - perhaps the "kiss on the cheek by a cold mouth" means that they split rather peacefully and/or she plans to stay friends but he knows that he won't see her again. Looking back now, he knows he was right.
    The_Sleeperon June 21, 2007   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationI agree with OldSkool that the singer is already dead, but by killing himself after his lover left him. It took me a few listens to figure it out, but then I realized it would make sense. "The neighbors have guessed" that he's dead "'cos [he's] canceled the milk, and they don't hear your voice through the walls anymore" because she's left him.

    "Each second seems like a lifetime" because in death there's no sense of time, I suppose. And "the cat has been staring" at the body. It seems like the spirit of the person is aware of what's happening and talking as if he was still in his body.
    MPS186282on August 29, 2010   Link

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