FLASHBACK: Songs of love, songs of forgiveness

*originally published 4/27/08*

I made a muxtape recently. It felt perfectly natural to make it, assembling meaningful songs, poignant songs, songs that make me lock up and feel something. But when I listened to it the next day I caught the narrative… It’s chock-full of people I’ve loved, lost, unloved, hated, unhated, forgiven, missed, miss. It’s really fucking sad, this collection of songs that somehow floated to the surface of my conscious subconscious.

And they’re not all current tunes; some have been dancing in my head for years and years. A few are from college. One is in the mix explicitly to honor someone I knew from 16 to 23 (he killed himself at 25, my best friend and lover, so give me some slack on this one). Some of them are so so so so old that way… And each of them is an ode to someone I know or have known, all of them songs I might sing to myself in someone’s honor. Sometimes they’re sung wholly for myself, but just as often they’re not. Just as often, they’re a tribute to someone you might think I’d be better off forgetting.

So what keeps me gripped to this story of my life? What is it about this monologue that continues to fascinate me after all this time? Me, this “oh so independent woman”? I don’t forget. I do keep singing these songs. I do remember.

A ex questioned me about this very thing: why do I keep the pictures around? Why do I keep reminders so close to the surface? Why do I TALK about the PAST so MUCH? Did time stop for me somewhere along the way? I guess his real question was: Have you lived so much already that there’s nothing left for anyone else?

No. The answer is no. But sometimes I need to wallow in it.

P.S. I lied. Two songs are for you, Don, and they always will be. I miss you.

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