Three thirty AM on page one thousand four hundred and thirty-six and the guy with the imperfect abdominals in the white Calvin Klein boxers sat in the dark is systematically replaying the same old songs. And it doesn’t escape him that it’d probably be easier to just hit repeat, but that moment of uncertainty in those nanoseconds of silence between the end of the track and the beginning of next is hard to resist.
And when finally I let it play on the opening chords of a song that takes me right back drift over the scene as a car door slams, a dog barks and someone off screen murmurs something but it’s indistinct and I never quite hear it.
And it’s some month in two thousand and six and I’m seventeen and I’m naive and I’m stood in a crowd of people listening to this same old song live. On stage the unnotable artist giving it her all, pre-fame, pre-weight loss, pre hair colour change and pre-sell out is note-perfect, impressing me with ease because seeming impressed by everything was my thing back then. Next to me a girl I’m here with but who I don’t really know very well and who four years later won’t be recast is singing along, half dancing to the beat. So we exchange a smile. And I can’t help but think of how pleased I am with myself right now because I’m still socially awkward, ugly and afraid of people but handling the pressures of being surrounded by so many strangers well.
And we smile again, that stupid barely concealed look of euphoria plastered across our beautifully young faces, as the band kick in to another tune because we’re caught up in it all and there’s nothing else important outside this crowded space or outside this moment in time to consider.
“I LOVE this song!”
One minute and fifteen seconds in to the second play of the track I hit pause, right click and hit delete because I still can’t understand or identify with that person anymore. And I'm a hundred thousand times better.