No matter where you live, anywhere on this Earth, one's most immediate certainty is the passage of time. I know, it's not a profound notion in the least...yet it's something a lot of us don't take notice of....which perhaps is a sort of passive way of denying it.
But every once in awhile....the simplest, most random thing can just make your mind explode, and the force of which can act as a sort of virtual time machine. Maybe it's the smell of fresh muffins wafting out from the open door of a bakery on 1st Ave & 11th St....or the perfume of a random, beautiful stranger sitting across from you on the train. Maybe it's the soft sound sound of an owl "CooHoo"ing behind every building on your block when you wake up....or maybe it's just the way that random good Samaritan of the moment on Nowhere Street sympathetically looks you in the eye and asks if you're ok when you're sitting alone on a bench, feeling momentarily hopeless when you're just having a bad night. (Yeah, you're ok....now that someone asked....right? Hahahahaha!!! And Thank YOU!)
For me, what takes me back most often, unsurprisingly....is a song (and, truth me told, I've sold my soul for a song many times, hahaha...and resold!)....one that I once listened to over and over again....that I haven't heard in a long time. Sometimes it's not so meaningful....sometimes it's completely mundane....and sometimes it's just fucking hilarious.
But last night, it was a song that just hits me like a concrete block dropping 20 stories, crushing my admittedly thick skull. It's a song that immediately, without warning (or, perhaps, any indication to those around me) transported me back to a different time and place. It took me on a First Class trip back many years (and many, MANY beers), to a time when I was incredibly young, naive, stupid, ultra sensitive, directionless, irreverent, drunk, and painfully in love....and didn't care about anything else. Yeah, THAT song...a song (and it's not the only one) that defines that period of my life when everything revolved around a feeling in my heart and the look in her eyes...when the entire world could have boiled in oil and all of its inhabitants with it as long as her arms were around me. Yeah, no shit....it's a DAMN good song...and an awfully consuming feeling that it exemplifies for me.
But the thing about it is, when I think about it for a moment with some clarity and perspective....hearing a song like this also reminds me of some really important and poignant things. The first is that, nothing lasts forever....at least in terms of situations. I mean, sure, feelings can certainly last forever, no matter how far under the rug you try to sweep them....but life changes, one way or another....and people simply move on. And when that (usually inevitably) happens, it's usually a good thing for both parties involved. That said, I think that, at the end of the day, a big chunk of what a person's legacy in this world consists of is the memories that you leave with those you have been closest to. And hell, nobody's fucking perfect, but....if, when they tally them up, you left them with more joyful memories than painful ones....well, that reflects on your heart and your soul....I always hope I'm on the right side of the column.....
Even if you never see someone again that you've loved so intensely and insanely that it, at times, has made you sick....if, after the smoke has cleared, you've come out of that situation a better person in some way, than it was all worth it, wasn't it? And when something brings you back like this, you feel as if as if you couldn't possibly imagine your life without the experiences & adventures, both ecstatically blissful and excruciatingly painful, that you shared with this person. It was just something that was meant to be at that time. It isn't a feeling of looking back or wanting to go back, but more a matter of seeing it from a different angle...and it can be sad, even if you aren't a nostalgic type (and as much as I think about the past, nostalgic, I'm not). If you lament something that's gone, to the point where it brings tears to your eyes, and a storm to your heart.....than there must have been something pretty fucking good about it, right? One can only hope! Goddamnit...life is crazy....
But, you know...we roll with the punches....do our best....and when push comes to shove, with any luck, we learn, we move on, and hope to do better next time. Sure, life is never going to be the same...tomorrow is never going to be the same as yesterday....and thank GOD!
For me, though....sometimes it's the thoughts of many yesterdays ago....that reassure me that, despite all the bullshit, I still haven't turned into a jaded, cold, & heartless fuck yet, and I sure hope that I never do. And I hope the same for you. We never know what's going to happen next week, who will cross our paths, and what great things are waiting for us.
We can only hope the be prepared.
Thanks for reading!
PS-Thanks to Lenny Kaye for playing this song at Otto's last night! I just thought that was worth mentioning for some reason, hahahaha.....