Monday, July 25, 2005

A Couple of Tracks from My Life

My brother wrote about his life having a soundtrack on his blog and that got me thinking about what songs would be on the soundtrack to my life? I was thinking about this as I went to the grocery store tonight and suffered through some truly banal crap on the radio. Only three songs immediately came to mind.

The first is “Barbara Ann” by The Beach Boys. For most of my teenage years, my mother kept a strict control on what kind of music we could own and listen too, therefore I grew up on a steady diet of pop from the 50s and 60s, some Neil Diamond (I still haven’t gotten over that, though my therapist told me we’re close to a breakthrough), lots of The Kingston Trio, Simon & Garfunkel, and Peter, Paul, and Mary, with some Willie Nelson and Johnny Cash thanks to my father, and classical music. Out of all of this music, my favorite at the time was "Barbara Ann". To this day I am not sure why, but it was on one of my tapes that I eventually played so much it wore through and had to be replaced.

The next song I thought of was “(Everything I Do) I Do It For You” by Bryan Adams. I know, I know. This song is perhaps the worst sort of schmaltz pop out there, however it has a very deep emotional attachment for me. As almost everyone knows, it was the love song from Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, which came out in 1991. I associate this song with a girl, Rachel Cowart, who had moved in to town that year and was a couple of years behind me in school. From the moment I met Rachel, I had a crush on her. Things never worked out between us. At one point we were discussing why she couldn’t date me and her reasoning was that she liked me too much and could tell me anything. Clearly these are not qualities you look for in a person you are dating! My fondest memory of her was the night of my senior prom. I had taken Stephanie, who had been my on-again-off-again girlfriend for most of my senior year, and Rachel was taken by one of the crap weasels she had dated at one point or another. If I can close my eyes I can still see Rachel. She was wearing a white dress that did not come down past her knees. It had some sort of texture to it, I want to say lace, but time has blurred the details. She was wearing a white choker, and her shoes made her legs really stand out. Her hair was cut short, like it always was, but she had done something to make it a little curly. Stephanie and I were walking off the floor when this song came on, and Rachel grabbed my hand. We ended up dancing to this song. It was the only time we ever danced. Rachel was one of two or three women in my life that I would have married had they asked me. About three years after that night, I talked to Rachel for the last time. I had just been thrown out of the house for being an ass, and I decided to go to the Macaroni Grill for dinner. I was eating my solitary meal when she came over and said hello. We chatted a bit and then she told me that she was moving to Arizona with some guy she had met recently. It broke my heart. After all that time I still carried a flame for her. We never spoke again. Part of me wants to blow off the feelings I had for Rachel, to say they were just high school crap and that I should get over them, however as I was typing this tonight, I really thought about it. If I close my eyes and listen to that song I can almost feel her in my arms again, I can almost smell her scent. I open them back up and here I am, in front of my computer again, hammering away at this entry. I can’t discount the fact that after a decade I can still recall her touch and almost recall her presence. Of all the friendships I have lost over the years, hers is the one that I miss the most, and in the final analysis that has to count for more than all of the logical reasons my mind throws at me. I loved Rachel. She was my first love.

The final song I immediately thought of is “Say Anything” by Good Charlotte. Again, I think of this song because of a girl, however this is far more recent. For a long time a very good friend of mine have had a strange relationship. I love her very much, however there are some practical considerations that keep us from taking our relationship to the next level (which would be serious dating with an eye towards marriage, that is how much I love this girl). Anyway, a couple of years ago I started dating another girl, and I was not as upfront about it with girl #1 as I should have been. I ended up REALLY hurting her feelings. There was a period of several months where we were not talking. It was very fifth grade of me. I should have gotten over myself and apologized to her, but I wouldn’t. I had my pride, dammit, and I was clinging tenaciously to it. Sometimes I am so pathetic it is almost laughable. I bought The Young and the Hopeless during this communication blackout and this was the one song from the CD that reached out and slapped me around. You know how it gets, when you’re having problems there is always that one song on the radio, or in this case the CD, which really speaks to you? In this case, this was the song. I listened to it over and over again. There were times where I would lay in my room with this song on repeat and just listen to it over and over and over again. Eventually I got over myself and managed to patch things up with girl #1 and girl #2 gave me the, “I just want to be friends,” line. Now I can’t hear that song without thinking about how I hurt girl #1 and how lucky I am to have her in my life.

While writing this, I have been listening to music, seeking inspiration. So far I have listened to “The Green Fields of France” from the Dropkick Murphy’s album The Warrior’s Code, “The Humpty Dance” from the Digital Underground album Sex Packets, and “Maybe Won’t Do”, “Hell Yeah!”, and “The Geeks Get the Girls” from American Hi-Fi’s album Hearts on Parade.


Woody said...

Hey bro :)
Why do you have to take an idea of mine and put it down so much better than I did. Nice read though, hope you enjoyed writing it.


Anonymous said...

girl #1 loves you very much too.

James said...

Glad you liked it kid! I really enjoyed writing it, and I am thinking of spending a weekend trying to put together the soundtrack of my life. The problem is, what should I include? Should it be songs from the times or songs that make me remember the times? So much to think about! Your post was great. I really enjoy reading your blog and I hope you're enjoying the bits and pieces I am sharing with the world. I will try not to tell too many stories about you on here, but no promises. I don't have too many more girl stories to share.

Kitty said...

Girl #1 , Girl #2...what about Kitty #1?? No song for me? *pouts cutely*