Saturday, November 17, 2012


Friday's question at Ten Thousand Questions:
In your memories, what song is inextricably tied to a particular group of people or an activity that you participated in years ago?
This song by Death Cab for Cutie:

--and this song (and every other by Postal Service), reminding me of a boy years ago who was so proud of his musical tastes, telling me he liked Postal Service and indie bands and hated pop, telling me he felt so vindicated when he visited a friend at Berklee and found the music students all liked the same music he did:

He quoted from the first song to me--
Sorrow drips into your heart
from a pinhole
just like a faucet that leaks
and there is comfort in the sound
--and I said I didn't understand. How could sorrow be comforting? It can get addictive, he said. I was eighteen, and innocent. That was February. At the end of May, with regret and shame leaking through pinholes into me, I understood.

That summer, interning in children's ministries at my church at home, I cried on the stairs before work, after the worship services before putting on a costume to lead Sunday school, at home on my bed when my sister wasn't in the room. In the fall, back at school where I might run into him, I stared around me into the shifting crowds, hoping for and dreading a glimpse of him. Every navy-blue jacket, every tall slumped dark-haired figure--I would stare, blink, run away.

Listening to those songs, I am right back there sitting in the cafeteria with him as he mocks me over pizza and makes innuendos that I am unwilling to understand. I am back under the low ceiling in the other room of the cafeteria as he tells me he never talks about his relationship with his mother, how she's an actress and so dramatic. I am back in my darkened dorm room reading his instant messages on a glowing screen.

I wonder if he is still as sad and mistrustful as he was in those days. It is four and a half years later and the songs he listened to still fill me with melancholy. When I hear Postal Service I pray for change in his life. I hope it has come.

As for me, I am happy and grateful where I am now, as I was then before I met him, and I never seek out Postal Service.

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