You don't exist any more. At least that's what the internet wants me to believe. Funny how you can delete and remove and erase, but nothing is ever truly gone. The intersnacks is a fickle creature. As is the heart. Even after we delete ourselves, we still exist. In each other. In the world. In cache.
You exist in me. As long as I exist, so do you. Take that! There's a smug reality to that, isn't there? In my past life, I would have been sad when someone disappeared, or tried to disappear, but there simply is no room for goodbyes in my life. They don't exist. It's funny how the heart knows, but the brain still tries.
Motherboard meltdown. Cerebral silliness. Malfunction in the mainframe.
Before I was a sarcastic teenager, before I was a bitter twenty-something-year old, before the mess of over thinking and under feeling began, before I was a mass of raw nerves and doubt, before I was a lost kid wanting nothing but the approval of my parents, I was a music nerd.
When you disappeared, a song came to mind. Perhaps the song isn't important. Maybe it is. But the lyrics reminded me of you. Past you. Present you. Future you. Past me. Present me. Future me.
Ghosts that we knew. That's the song.
The thing about music, we can all find something different in it. We can find ourselves and other people. And we can love or hate it for different reasons.
My obsession started long before I got Snoop Doggy Dogg's Doggystyle album. Long before I fell in love with the Lady & the Tramp song that Peggy Lee sung. In truth, it started with my mother's voice. She used to sing a lot. Maybe she still does, I must ask her.
My father sang too.
And I remember the soundtrack to Good Morning Vietnam. Sitting in the back of his Toyota Tercel, I remember reciting that soundtrack word for word. My father couldn't believe I memorized it all, dialogue from the movie as well. I have always been very good at remembering things.
Even now. I remember well.
That's a funny thing to say.
My ex once told me that I have revisionist history. He said while other people remember the good things from the past and paint over the bad, I work in reverse. That was then, though. I highly doubt he'd say that about me now. In fact, I sometimes wonder if he recognizes me as the person he dated at all. Or my ex-ex, for that matter, the ex before this last ex. What the hell does he think about me?
Only good things, I'm sure. (Can you hear my wry smirk? I am wearing one, you know.)
They both have songs. Different songs. Unusual songs. Songs they might be surprised that are theirs. But exs deserve songs because they got to experience so many of your moments and emotions. Sometimes they stay your friends, so they have more than one song. Sometimes they have a hundred songs.
For being this young, my history is quite long. Not as messy as some may assume, yet far messier than most think. And the truth is, I have always felt older than I am. Like when I was fourteen and listening to golden oldies in my basement and wishing with all my heart that I existed with poodle skirts and drive-ins. I wanted to be a teenager in the fifties or sixties. My love for the cars, music and clothes drove me to want to go back in time, a la Marty McFly, because I thought I belonged there.
Of course, I didn't belong there. Just as I don't belong here. I was far too mouthy to exist happily in a word where I would always be second. Granted, I am far too mouth for this place as well.
There have been so many stages in my life and it isn't even half over. (Actually, I can't possibly know that, but if we go based off the average life span of a woman, then I have more than half to go.)
Through all these stages, I remember the music.
These moments of my life have always been so clearly defined by song. Each and every person in and out of my life, the ones who have come and gone or come and stayed have a song. They might not understand their song. They might not like their song. They might not even care to know they have a song. It doesn't change the fact that they do in fact have one. Hand selected. By moi.
You have a song. Yes, you - the person reading this. Well, at least you do if we have exchanged a fleeting moment in history. Hell, even if we haven't, you have a song. Just one to be determined, which it will be when our paths cross. You will know your song when you ask. Until then, assume it is something by Matt & Kim and dance around your living room in your underwear for a change. Have some fun. We all need fun as we walk our path. Without fun, what's the point?
Dourness no more!
I find it incredibly interesting how paths cross. The other day, I was thinking about exactly this, about how and why paths cross. Sometimes it takes years to figure it out. Months. Days. If you're lucky - hours. And some paths uncross, only to cross again down the line. Maybe in another lifetime. Maybe on a different plane of existence. I always try to learn from the people I encounter. Even if we are only crossing into each others lives for a second or two. I try to be observant.
But when I look around, people look so distracted. Preoccupied. They certainly don't notice me. Not most of them. Because they are in their lives. Participating in their own worlds. The starring role in a movie I have never seen and might possibly never seen.
Examples are always a must.
The other day, I watched a woman at a red light smoking. She was sitting in her blue Passat with a cigarette between her fingers and a furrow between her brow. Technically our paths crossed. Because I noticed her. Isn't that all it takes for two paths to come together for a moment, acknowledgement? She didn't notice me, though. Not that I know of. She simply stared straight ahead. Her eyes fixated on the set of lights, waiting for it to change to green, waiting to go, to get her day under way. Mine was already in full swing. But we both sat there at that light, her looking so sad and preoccupied, and me watching like a creep. I like to imagine I wore a mask of concern with a gentle smile and a subtle non-bragging peace in my eyes. Of course, it was a Wednesday, so I was actually looking a little bedraggled because it was early in the morning and I'm sure I looked a mess. For some reason, I was tempted to honk my horn and wave at her, but then she flicked her cigarette onto the ground and sped away.
She didn't look left or right to make sure the way was clear, which probably seems so insignificant. But it isn't. Not really.
She kept looking straight forward. Concentrating on herself. And probably her discontentment. We like to look straight ahead. Pretend there isn't people all around us. Because we are what is important. Our little lives. Our little insignificant lives. Our little, fleeting, insignificant lives that we are so preoccupied with. So fixated on ourselves.
It's funny how your path can cross with someone you don't even know it crossed with. It happens all the time. And I think about that, you know. I think about that a lot. Not about how I have affected the people who I love and who have loved me, or who love me, but also the ones who don't know me. The ones who take a glimpse at my silly vlogs, who stumble across a random picture, or blog, or story, or comment. I think about all the paths that I have crossed unknowingly, and I wonder what sort of impression I left behind.
This random woman in her car smoking left an impression on me. She taught me to always look left and right. And not just when driving. But when walking. When in line at the grocery store. Stepping out of the house. Walking the dog.
There is something beautiful about being aware.
Making eye contact. Smiling. Acknowledging that there are people around you every minute of every day, even if you are agoraphobic and can't leave your house. Someone is close by. Unless you're that man who lived on his own personal island with his gigantic turtles. In that case, something was close by. Turtles. And it is important to recognize that as well. Not just turtles, but other creatures. And trees too.
And that woman smoking in her car has a song. The turtles have a song. You have a song. I have a song.
The world has a song.
There are so many songs for the world, though. But this one kind of has always been the main theme song, hasn't it? And with the music stripped out of it and the bare bones vocals left behind, it becomes haunting. It reminded me of you. Of me. Of us. Collectively.
But what I'm simply trying to say is, I'm just a music nerd. No more. No less.