This is one of those posts no one gives a shit about. I’ve been away from here long enough that I had to log in. The past few weeks, I’ve been trapped in a nostalgia sinkhole and it’s been harder to climb out than usual, because I’m deliberately trying to immerse myself in memories for something I want to submit to a literacy review.
This latest bout of nostalgia started when Dave and I went to see the Wedding Present play Seamonsters to celebrate its 21st anniversary (like that isn’t enough to make a person feel old). Dave loves the music so much and it reminds me of when we met, but it’s weird that these songs about relationship angst have somehow become “our songs.” I think Dave just doesn’t pay much attention to lyrics. But good lord, those lyrics. I obsess over them. I desperately wish I could write half as well as David Gedge. In 200 words, he can convey a feeling that needs no additional explanation. Of course, I’m guessing his life has actually been interesting. Having to go back twenty years to find some drama to write about, as I’ve done, means it’s time to admit your life just isn’t that interesting.
My writing, like my thinking, is heavy with detail, explanation, and analysis, not to mention an introspection that I believe blocks people from finding it resonant themselves. Part of me wants to delete every word I’ve written for the literary review and copy and paste the lyrics to Seamonsters into the submission box instead. Think they’d notice?
Then friends offered us free tickets to the National Symphony Orchestra. When I found out what we’d be seeing (Mendelssohn’s Elijah), I thought it sounded familiar. I looked it up and found the video below and recognized it. In fact, it contains a line that gets lodged in my head all the time and not remembering where the hell it came from has driven me nuts for years (“And a mighty wind rent the mountains around, brake in pieces the rocks, brake them before the Lord. But yet the Lord was not in the tempest.”).
My friends asked me if I’d sung the whole thing or just excerpts and I couldn’t remember. Of course, when I finally dug up the program, (like I would’ve thrown it out) it was during college–the same time I’m currently grinding over. My chorus sang it in its entirety–twice. Plus two excerpts at another concert. I can’t believe how much better I feel having figured this out. I can’t stand forgetting. Just try to imagine having to look for a choral program from 1992 and you can start to understand how exhausting it is to be me.
Then, this week there was something else, something maybe I shouldn’t even mention. But it’s contributed to why I’m spending so much of my time thinking about the past rather than functioning at all well in the present (I said fuck in one form or another at work today at least 20 times, loudly, because I am professional). I don’t even fully understand what the hell went on and it’s none of my damn business, but someone in my childhood best friend’s life was just murdered. There have been all kinds of murders on the side of town where I grew up and I can’t help but wonder what the hell made me so lucky.
So I’m busy writing, just not stuff for here (unless it’s not selected, in which case I might dump those 1,500 words–cause you know I won’t be under the word limit–here). And I’m busy thinking about my past as if it were a “Choose Your Own Adventure Book” rather than the prologue to my present. And I’m working with a designer to make this shit hole look more attractive and hopefully speak more accurately to what I’m trying to do here (which is actually to be funny, which you’d never know from this post).