Friday, March 07, 2008

But The Only Thing I Ever Really Wanted To Say Was Wrong



There are songs for which you feel an immediate affinity, there are songs which become meaningful in retrospect, and then there are the songs which straddle both categories, the immediate affinity you felt transforming and expanding as you age so that.

It is the musical equivalent of the Milan Kundera observation (in Life is Elsewhere) that the past is "cloaked in multicoloured taffeta and every time we look at it, we see a different hue."

I remember loving this song from the moment I heard it. It rang true for me, a girl who was pretty sure she wore out her welcome with those who knew her, a girl who was so talkative, but could never say the right thing, a girl who felt she couldn't fit in if she tried, a girl who valued knowledge in others over kindness, a girl who knew that she would keep any and all souvenirs no matter how terrible the year.

Over the years, I have heard this song and I feel a great deal of affection for it. I sing along and think that the past is past, is finished, that the story has, in fact, ended and I don't really feel the need to reflect much on the song or the past.

Lately, I have been wondering how dead the past is, or rather, what leftover junk from decades past is still floating around in my subconscious waiting to make an appearance in my present day life. While it is true that those who have rejected our love will never know the hurt we suffered or all the pain we rise above (and we'll never know the same about them, their holiness or kind of love, and it makes me feel so sorry), do we ever really kiss good-bye the howling beast on the borderline that separates us from one another? And, to be honest, everyone knows that in order to kill the monster of festering rejection, you need to ram a stake through its heart, shoot it with a silver bullet, chop off its head, and bury it at a crossroads at midnight during a full moon. And it is rare to get such an opportunity for closure.

So does the story ever really end?

Even if I don't want love or friendship from them, I still want to think people who once knew me, the people for whom I felt all that unrequited love, remember me fondly. That they have more respect for the person I once was than I do. And that they regret the past and their rejection of me.

The world is that way. Surprise.

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