I love music. I love the feeling that music evokes. Certain songs always tug on certain strands of your memory; they remind you of a time, a place, a person that once was and isn’t anymore. They send you back to that time, back to relive those moments – even just for a couple of minutes.
Music is an important part of my life because memories are an important part of my life. I wouldn’t be the person I am today without the experiences I’ve had, and I have to admit…I kind of like the person I am.
Today, while I was working on my novel (Collateral: Collide 3, if you were curious), I had YouTube open. I’d selected some random song, and was just letting a playlist play through. Enrique Iglesias’ “Hero“ came on, and I was instantly transported back in time – in my mind – for a fleeting moment or two.
The scene: a dance in middle school. I was in grade seven, and my older sister was in grade eight. It wasn’t very long into the school year; it was still warm, still a new experience for me. I had a crush on a boy in my class. I’d asked a friend to ask him to ask me to dance (you remember doing that, right? I’m not the only one?), and he said “maybe”. So, I waited, thinking…maybe.
Then, Hero by Enrique Iglesias came on. I saw him walking towards me, and my heart started beating frantically in my chest, my palms grew sweaty. I thought this is it, he’s going to ask me, and then he came to a stop a little ways in front of me, in front of a circle of girls, and asked one of them to dance.
It turns out that the girl he asked to dance with was my sister.
It was the first time I’d experienced that crushing heartbreak feeling adolescence likes to bring forth, the first time I felt stupid and foolish for hoping that maybe he liked me too. It was the beginning of a lot of similar experiences; the boys I’d crushed on choosing someone else over me, someone prettier or funnier or smarter, but in that moment…I didn’t know I’d feel that feeling many more times over and sometimes, so much more intensely.
It was the only time I’d cried about my heartbreak and disappointment. I remember my sister coming up to me afterwards to find out why I was so upset. She didn’t know I liked the boy who asked her to dance. She didn’t know that he’d sort of turned me down for her. Had she known, she wouldn’t have said yes – but I still felt betrayed by it.
That moment taught me a lot; people aren’t mind-readers. They aren’t going to know how you feel unless you tell them, unless you spell it out. You can’t just have your friend walk up to someone and suggest that they ask you to dance, if you want to dance – you should go up and ask them yourself, and if they say no? Move on. There are lots of clammy handed boys to ask.
Music is powerful; the messages they speak, the feelings they evoke, that’s some powerful shit. Music is an art, a beautiful, wonderful art that has always eluded me. I love music; I love singing and I love listening to different instruments weave a story that mirrors my own feelings. However, I can’t carry a tune in a bucket and I have no rhythm. I’ve never been able to read a single note of music, despite my best attempts. Thankfully, there are many incredible artists out there who can do it for me, who can bring me back to certain times and places in my memory. It definitely makes for some good angst, which is perfect for writing. 😉