Wednesday, May 14, 2008
The phone rang tonight and instantly I was back in college.
She lives with a broken man...
Dane is in St. Louis at a Radiohead concert with his dad. For Dane, I'm not sure it gets much better than that. Tomorrow, they're going to a Cardinals game. That's probably as good as it gets.
Yesterday, he told me Radiohead hadn't been consistently playing "Fake Plastic Trees," my favorite Radiohead song.
When I said "hello" tonight, though, on the other end was Thom.
A cracked, polystyrene man...
And I stopped in my tracks, phone to my ear to listen.
I haven't heard that song in a while, or if I have, I haven't really listened to it.
Tonight, I did, as best I could through the sometimes crackly reception.
The song to me marks the beginning of our relationship. It was near the end of our freshmen year in college when we started dating, and I remember well the feelings of possibility and excitement.
Dane right away wanted to introduce me to his music. I remember sitting on his bed, in his dorm room and listening to music by Radiohead and Pulp and probably a few others. I hadn't heard most of it.
This song, in particular, I liked.
...who just crumbles and burns...
Dane used to sing along and I really liked that.
That summer, we went our separate ways -- but not before Dane drew me directions to his parents' house on a napkin (which for years I kept in the glove compartment of my car. It may still be there) and burned me a Radiohead CD.
I listened to it all summer. I remember staying overnight at the pool while it filled (a laborious, ridiculous task) and finally, the other lifeguards asking to listen to something else.
She wears me out. She wears me out.
Though I've never completely gotten the meaning of the song -- it's sad and melancholy and beautiful at the same time -- it's special because of its timing in my life.
"Fake Plastic Trees" reminds me of before things got so stressful, so routine-ized, so adult. Of the time when we worried about our grades and our jobs at the student newspaper and that was about it.
Of the time when we laughed a whole lot more.
If I could be, who you wanted...
Don't get me wrong: I wouldn't trade my family now for anything. Having Rye is the most important thing I've ever done. We've ever done.
But sometimes it's easy to get jaded by the routine, the 40-hour work weeks, the commute. And you forget to remember who you are. And that it's enough.
All the time.