Yearly Archives: 2022

like it's a holiday

I final­ly had the oppor­tu­ni­ty to join Trolley and Steph at their cot­tage, after a dri­ve of rough­ly three hours through scenic coun­try roads. I did­n’t even real­ize how close we were when we passed by it on the way to the farm 17 years ago, although it may as well have been 17 cen­turies. How strange it is to think of those as my sal­ad days when I had already expe­ri­enced enough heartache and trau­ma for a life­time.

cottage

They call it a cot­tage but it’s real­ly a house when there’s a full kitchen, laun­dry room, sev­er­al guest rooms with queen-sized beds; even glass show­er stalls.

Since then, I’ve loved and lost and loved again, taught myself to play gui­tar, and gained an unhealthy obses­sion with canine com­pan­ion­ship. If you asked me back then where I would pic­ture myself now, I might have giv­en you a few guess­es, but none would have been close to cor­rect.

Continue read­ing “like it’s a hol­i­day”…

dead man walking

My first year of uni­ver­si­ty was spent on the 15th floor of a res­i­dence on cam­pus, the same sum­mer Pearl Jam’s cov­er of Last Kiss became a radio sta­ple for over 35 con­sec­u­tive weeks. Unsurprisingly, it start­ed play­ing in the ele­va­tor when I was once mak­ing my way to the cafe­te­ria with a floor­mate, who winced upon hear­ing Vedder’s grave­ly voice and did her best to talk over it, explain­ing her dis­like of sad music.

I was tak­en aback. Depressing lyrics and minor chords were an enor­mous com­fort to me1. As the sole child of a dys­func­tion­al home, the only thing I could turn to when my par­ents start­ed rais­ing their voic­es at each oth­er was a set of head­phones and Discman, and I’d been hunt­ing for sad songs like a rav­en­ous stray ever since I was old enough to appre­ci­ate music.

The same became true of upset­ting movies with dif­fi­cult scenes. Moments of vio­lence, tragedy, and grief would leave me glued to the screen. I was fas­ci­nat­ed with the way peo­ple processed their pain (or did­n’t). War films were par­tic­u­lar­ly apt for this, as relent­less years of depres­sion caused me to relate to any sol­dier with a thou­sand yard stare. That glazed, expres­sion­less face spoke of a per­son who had long giv­en up on mak­ing sense of the count­less hor­rors and end­less suf­fer­ing they had gone through.

1000 yard stare

The lights are on, but nobody’s home.

Continue read­ing “dead man walk­ing”…

  1. I’ve come to under­stand how naive it is to think every­one enjoys that kind of mood. []