I’ve been living under a rock for quite a while now. I’m old school when it comes to my playlist as I manually download songs I like and convert them in mp3 format. Even when Spotify came out in 2008, I remained loyal to my own painful process of procuring music. This is similar to how I treasure invisible scars of my failed relationships. At some point, I have thought of doing things differently but then I was so used to making bad choices that it became a norm.
I used to have a hard drive dedicated to alternative music. I had 10,000 mp3s arranged per artist and album. When everybody else was listening to rnb and mainstream pop, I was stuck on 90’s alternative. Someone stole that hard drive along with 5 years of my life. When things ended as girlfriend #2 casually called to say that 3 people were sharing his heart, I asked him to get the fuck out my apartment. I’ll write about this some other day. For now, let’s focus on my playlist.
I know we all have this. Songs that define our feelings when we can’t express them in words. Here’s my attempt at describing them including my thoughts when I hear them play.
1. Crash into me – Dave Matthews Band (1996)
– I imagine a rainy afternoon while we slow fuck to this song. He would be passionate and gentle and I would kiss every inch of his face to remind him that I’m grateful he found me. He would hold my hand as we climax and we would spend the rest of the day in bed.
2. Come Around – Rhett Miller (2002)
– The official soundtrack of my every breakup. You know shit has gone down when you hear me play this. Expect tons of alcoholic beverages and this song on repeat as I try to drown my feelings while I ask the question: “Am I gonna be lonely for the rest of my life?”
3. Everlong – Foo Fighters (1997)
– This is my go to song when I start liking someone. When I know I’m truly fascinated by a person, the questions Dave Grohl throws echoes the sentiments of my heart. Even when I think I’m infatuated, this line never fails to kill my fear of treading the unknown: “The only thing I’ll ever ask of you, you’ve got to promise not to stop when I say when”. Then we wait for his move.
4. Learning to breathe – Switchfoot (2000)
– You know I’m in love when I dedicate this song. This is about getting past the heartache and finding someone who could make you feel “alive” again. It equates love to the basic human need to breathe. This song is endearing and full of hope, the same way I feel in every beginning of a relationship.
5. Cross my heart – Everything But The Girl (1986)
– This summarizes all the things I can’t say when a relationship dies and I’m still in love with the person. By the time the chorus hits, I badly need vodka: “But of course it’s not polite to ask you where you spent last night, and if I did, you might reply that I have no right”. Then she goes on to sing: “And anyway I’m fine, now you’re no longer mine, if I should tell a lie, I’ll cross my heart and hope to die”. Pure pain when you get to the last part where she repeats “I hope we never die” as her voice fades. Listening to this song makes moving on impossible.
6. There is a light that never goes out – The Smiths (1992)
– This is the song Tom was listening to inside the elevator in 500 Days of Summer (Yes, I adore the movie especially the reality vs expectations scene). Anyhow, this is a morbid love song. I’m weird so even if it’s about the different ways he thinks of dying with the girl, I find it terribly sweet.
7. Wonderwall – Oasis (1995)
– I have the worst case of messianic complex. It’s like going to a glass shop and instead of choosing the most aesthetically pleasing item, I would ask for a badly broken vase and pay premium for it. I’d bring it home and try to fix it. Even if I knew from the start that I may not be able to glue everything together, I still give it my best shot. Now think of the broken vase as a person. This song reminds me that I’m the one who needs to be saved.
8. Somewhere only we know – Keane (2004)
– This one best describes me. Based on the things I’ve written, you would have a sense that my heart has been jaded from the years of beating it took from each failed relationship. There was a myriad of reasons why things never worked out but just like the seemingly sad lyrics, I still have hope that one day, I’ll find “Him”. Watch He’s just not that into you and you will hear this play when Alex finally realizes that Gigi is the exception.
If you’re wondering why just 8, I guess I wanted my unlucky number to stand for something significant as these are the songs I can’t live without. Music is one of the most intimate things a person can share and by doing so, I have given you a glimpse of my heart. These are the songs I write to when I’m overwhelmed with what I feel. As an ending, I want you to know that I’ve been recently listening to ILYSB by LANY. It scares the living shit out of me because it’s a happy song. Let’s hope that this time around, we stay that way.
You’re right, I would love Spotify.
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