Saturn returned to bite me in the ass.
I am one of those people who either listens to An Album or just clicks shuffle and lets my iPhone have its way with me. Her way, I guess, since technically, her name is Liz Lemon, but that’s a different story.
Anyway, one day a few weeks ago, it played Dashboard Confessional’s “Hands Down” off the So Impossible EP for the first time in, I dunno, like a year? I am not a big Dashboard fan, especially since they opened for U2 in 2005 or 2006 in Chicago, and after sitting outside the United Center in the sun with all the other General Admission ticketholders and getting more and more dehydrated and headachey, the last thing I really wanted was Chris Carrabba yelling in my face at a close distance. But their music is good in a specific teenagery emo way, especially So Impossible, and I discovered it just after I was a teenager (thanks to enthusiastick), so it still kinda does it for me sometimes.
Right, so. After my shuffle unearthed “Hands Down,” it started playing it with some regularity. So I was unsurprised when I heard it yesterday. No big deal! And then my shuffle played the Concert in the Park version of “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” and I got all warm and fuzzy. And then? Then my shuffle played “Hands Down” again. But a different version! The A Mark, A Mission, A Brand, A Scar version. Which is so much more rockin’ than the EP version! I had no idea! I don’t think my phone EVER plays the album version! It’s like it discovered a whole other track that I forgot I owned. Brilliant. And really, when the song finally gets to the “hands down” line, our screamy bro Chris C. has EARNED it by the end of the album track. I am very pleased with this.
Day 8: A song that reminds you of your first love
This song (a cliche pick among a certain generation of nerds, I know) reminds me of someone I think of often and fondly, which, I think, is the best way anyone can feel about their first love. I consider myself extremely spoiled and lucky to have had the pleasure of being in love with him, in that all-consuming, teenage-specific way, at such a formative and sensitive part of my life. We see each other about once a year now, and he is still brilliant and thoughtful and has an equally brilliant and thoughtful girlfriend.
Six years ago, at 4:00am, after unearthing some high school love letters he wrote during a summer trip to Europe, I wrote him a long, long email about how important he had been to me and how special it was. I re-read it this weekend, and it made me cry. Here’s part of what I wrote then:
And now… emotions/thoughts I churned out upon [reading] these letters:
“Way to go on losing this one, genius. Look at your illustrious history since then. Name someone else who would do this for you, send you flowers from the matterhorn, love you pre- AND post-cosmetic surgery, think of you in every goddamn city in europe, from the rooftops of edinburgh to the top of the matterhorn and everywhere in befuckingtween. That is, was, and always will be exactly what you want, so why do you keep digging for it in all the wrong places when it was actively right under your nose for quite some time?”
“Duh. S’not about me, silly. It’s not about me at all. We need to go write an email in case [he] EVER forgets this.”
So here I am: Do not EVER forget this—that you were so inexplicably wonderful to me and were everything I wanted at a time when my world…was crashing and burning and melting in unsightly ways. The beauty of it is that you didn’t know you were doing it. You were doing what was natural, what you felt, what you had to do because loving me (and telling me so) was seriously that important to you… Please don’t don’t don’t ever stop doing what you did that summer for me… You are the exception to the rule—you just out and love and that’s it. I guess I didn’t know everyone else wasn’t like you…And frankly, it can suck to be dating not you, having dated you.
Anyway. That’s how important he was and is to me. So yes, I still call it love, even though it was teenagery and fleeting and not all sunshine and rainbows at every turn. (In fact, I don’t think we were ever actually “together” for more than a few months at a time. Tumult!) I’d tell you the actual things he wrote to me from Scotland and Dover and the Matterhorn, but I have probably embarrassed him enough, let’s be honest. And anyway, he knows, and he abides my mushiness like a champ. Ten-plus years later, I look back and still identify what we had and did from ages 14 to 18 as “love,” and I am okay with that.
In the middle of high school, R.E.M. played a special show at Atlanta’s Chastain Park Amphitheater, a weird little park not far from where any of us lived, and the local alternative station aired it live. My gem of a high school boyfriend pulled the classic 90s move and taped the whole thing off the radio for me. Though we’d been throwing this song back and forth at each other for a few years by then, I think I wore the tape out over this track. So. Without further ado:
That bright, tight forever drum
Could not describe nightswimming
Day 8: “Nightswimming,” R.E.M.
…and yes, it is highly likely that I will get the entirety of Automatic for the People on this list. I wonder where that tape is.
Day 6: A song that reminds you of your best friend
Wah wah wah, just like every post so far, this one could be A MILLION DIFFERENT THINGS. But when I saw this prompt this morning, you know what I thought of? This:
Kathleen and I have about 8 to 9 billion histories together, and I don’t mean that it in a weird Scientology way (guess who’s finally catching up on her New Yorkers!). I mean our pasts, particularly in regards to music, cover so many corners of the past, oh, 22 years, that there’s no real way to peg ONE song or even ONE ERA of our friendship. I could probably do 25 songs in 25 days about Kathleen, let’s be honest.
These would include, but not be limited to:
But no. What comes to mind this morning, first and foremost, is the above. Which I guess is included in my 25 there, indirectly, either way, it does it every time.
Day 6: Maxwell’s Silver Hammer, The Beatles
Nerd mountains beyond nerd mountains.
Futt and I have revised our slowly-growing fantasy cast of The Hunger Games: The Movie(s). Internet NonObsessor Dudg will kill us, but we are booting Alan Rickman as President Snow in favor of Bill Nighy as President Snow. OBVIOUSLY. With the bloody mouth. Obviously. CREEP CREEP CREEPY.
Don’t worry, Alan. You will always have a special place in my heart, where the YouTube montage video that Winston and I never made of the song we re-wrote for you (“Alan Rickman,” to the tune of Sweeney Todd’s “Pretty Women,” again, OBVIOUSLY) plays on a loop.