Music is one of those things that can take me back to when I was listening to the particular song at a certain time in my life. Any song from Exile in Guyville brings me back to my dorm my second year at Clark the same way the scent of Bath and Body Works Plumeria can. I catch the glimmer of a hint of it and I’m in that room and my heart is stopping and breaking into a million pieces, once again.
It can take me back to a concert; I can never look at a mic stand without blushing any more thanks to JD Fortune and “Taste It.” It can take me back to my childhood, sprawled out on my bed with my sister, picking a name for our dog as we listened to George Harrison sing about his sweet Lord.
And there are the whispers of songs I can’t quite remember from certain mix tapes (where the hell did they end up? I’m not one to lose things, and these tapes I miss like burning, made with love by the one person in the world who knew at that very moment what it was like to be me.) I wish I could remember all the songs. I can remember a few, and whenever they come up on my iPhone it’s like being transported back 15 years again. And I think and remember and wonder if he is thinking of me too.
Music and lyrics can bring me back to him and the perfect curls and the disaster of a room, and how I felt on that night, the night I did something and I could see, could feel the disappointment in his eyes, but I’ve always disappointed everyone I’ve loved with my rash decisions and my freedom and fleeting behaviour of being free that first year away from home. I remember how I felt the next morning on no sleep and no time for coffee and coming back to silken pyjamas and cold showers and feeling the cells divide in my body.
I remember how the music was the next year when I was so alone, and I owed you so much more than silence and anger and obsession. I owed you more than Tori Amos being silent all those years, which played on repeat more often than not those months when I didn’t know what end was up and my heart was breaking.
I can’t remember the music for the rest of those years. I don’t know if there was music, or if music had connected you so much to me that it was much too much and I had to turn it off to keep myself sane, or if I was listening to the music of my heart, the sad beating and drumming of my maudlin poems.
Then time passed and changed and I made a huge, gigantic mistake and the music I associated with you was then associated with *him* and I hated it and couldn’t hear it because of the pain in my heart of breaking others hearts and nearly ruining and destroying the two most important relationships I ever had with my best friend and with my sister.
I wonder if you hear it too?
And now music keeps playing on and I wonder sometimes if someone else is listening to the very same song on the other side of the world. And it’s foolish and fleeting and I feel like I’m sixteen again, not twice that and some. It’s so foolish, but then I suddenly don’t feel so alone in the world.
And then that thought is gone, and my only thoughts are of you and where you are and if you are ok and if you have somebody to love you. And there it is, another song from that mix tape. And I smile and I know you are close still, if only in my heart.
We grew up at midnight
We were only kids then
Loving woman loving man
Here for you doing the best we can
Hard to figure hard to bare
Hard to think knowing how much you care
It’s the strangest thing through thick and thin
All this time kept the promise you made
If you’re telling I’ll be told
I’ll come running and be there as soon as I can
-Grew up at midnight, The Maccabees