I have been listening to music that evokes nearly spilt tears. Just the sort that rim the eye and make you gulp. That makes you think about yourself even when you wouldn’t care to, when you wouldn’t care to think at all.
Angel Olsen, Liz Phair, and now this…
I want a catharsis, a manageable teakettle sob, a meltdown with borders. I don’t think this is possible tonight. I don’t think I can call upon the storm and also call it off. Even though I need it. Even though I feel as though this is a window for a deeper relief and I am keeping it closed.
Alternatively, a memory surfaces tonight.
I sat under the the crabapple tree when its flowers – some pink, some pinkish-white, but mostly all white and half scattered after some rainstorm across the fence and into the compost heap. I was in my car. The Red Dodge Neon. I was maybe sixteen. I was listening to Exile in Guyville. Strange Loop, in particular. I needed to be alone, despite always being alone in some form or another. I needed to vent. The music felt like it was justifying and amplifying a deep and unassailable internal tragedy. It gilded the pain. It half-transcended it.
It is ironic to listen to it now and feel the memory of having been so self-identified with that song, that album. Now, I feel as though my feelings had to have been specious, fragile, relatively baseless. I hear the lyrics and don’t remember a girl who fits that longing.
Now, I think I understand it better. I’ve grown into the angst. It’s a laugh, a sad laugh, as though we can ever escape our current lens of perspective. Someday, this too will seem so laughable. The easiest, most forgettable pain. I won’t have any idea what felt so heavy on my shoulders. I won’t remember anything but that Johnny Feelgood is a fucking awesome song and I could listen to it any day of the week.
Today, I went to the festival I used to run. I heard good things, less than good things. It seemed less busy at some points, then later, in the shop on throbbing feet, I was sure it was as busy as usual. I didn’t really walk around and go to the various booths, heading instead to the one I knew I needed something from – the artist who I’ve begun, in my poor little way, to collect.
Her inventory was a bit depleted, but I found a print of a Fox and the Raven. It has symbolism that makes sense to me today. I’m getting a lot of messages right now and I have to decide what’s a ploy and what’s the truth. I have a lot of earnest information and a lot of dissemblage. And I like the obfuscation. I’m half-trickster myself. It’s just good art, beyond that. I’ll be back tomorrow, though, to endure eight hours of not so very much.