Music Monday

17 Nov

Estranged, Guns and Roses

I remember laying on the living room floor of my apartment, stoned, smoking a cigarette, with this song playing so loud that I could feel it in the back of my throat. (See also: hearing loss!) It seemed impossible to me that it could get loud enough to satisfy me. I was just barely nineteen, working at a crappy job, living in a shitty apartment, and in the middle of seven year long relationship that probably reached its maximum potential at the end of the second year.

Right out of high school a close friend of ours had died in a motorcycle accident, and it sent us all tailspinning in totally different ways. Me and the boyfriend had taken the drinking and smoking heavily route, always followed up by a good long fight and then, exhausted, the one thing we should have just done from the start: clutching each other in the dark, talking about how fucked up it all was and how scared we were.

So when we heard this part of the song,

So nobody ever told us baby
How it was gonna be
So what’ll happen to us baby?
Guess we’ll have to wait and see

it was really so much more than the sum of its parts. We felt ripped off, we felt that no one had prepared us for this loss, the backside of which seemed less acutely painful but more lonely that we ever had expected. The future seemed out of our hands – if one of us could die, then we could not rule out anything, could not control anything. We both wanted to go college but had been putting it off because we were too afraid to go anywhere when life seemed so big and scary.

The bridge after that line, it is how a broken heart would sound if it made noise, it starts slow and quiet, and builds up to be loud and raging. We understood that. In the end of the song when he says, “I’ll never find anyone to replace you / Guess I’ll have to make it through, this time- Oh this time /
Without you” it broke our hearts. We didn’t yet have our own language for this loss.

I wouldn’t have chosen this song as the first song to write about if it hadn’t fallen into my lap today. The first couple of notes took my breath away, I could smell that apartment.

I’m glad I’m not that girl anymore. I’m glad I didn’t end up with that boy. I wish I could tell them both that it was going to be ok.


11 Responses to “Music Monday”

  1. Desiraie 11/17/2009 at 6:28 am #

    I just finished catching up on the blog and forgot to leave a comment saying LINDSEY I LOVE YOU! Your blogs so often make my day. I love the thoughts provoked and the laughing OUT LOUD you cause and even the tears. Life is crazy isn’t it?

    So when I come back to leave the comment, there is one more. I could totally relate … the being high and listening to music so loud and being so f’d in the head while playing it over and over because it takes you somewhere that only the song seems to understand.

    And the wanting to go back and tell those people it would be ok. I’ve so been there. And I too am glad I’m not that girl anymore.

  2. lswan 11/17/2009 at 6:37 am #

    Thank you, Des. Three cheers to not being those girls anymore!

  3. sadie77 11/17/2009 at 1:26 pm #

    i loved this–i secretly read your blog and it cracks me up. this morning it made me profoundly sad in a really satisfying way. i’m so thankful life has turned out in a way that would be a comfort to 19-year-old-me, you know? thanks for writing such a lovely post.

    • lswan 11/17/2009 at 9:32 pm #

      Thank you for such a lovely comment, and for secretly reading! 🙂

  4. Amber 11/17/2009 at 4:17 pm #

    Me too…me too…
    (Although, I would have told my boy that he was going to continue to be a loser.)

    • lswan 11/17/2009 at 9:33 pm #

      Well, my boy didn’t end up being a walk in the park, either. But ok, you would probably win if we had a Suck Off. Now THAT didn’t sound right. GAH. You know what I mean.

  5. carrie 11/17/2009 at 9:03 pm #

    this death seemed to be the start to so many different paths for so many different people. it is strange to think how things would have turned out had it not happened. i love how you can relate songs to almost every moment that happens. it’s so interesting to hear all of them and I can’t wait for more.

    • lswan 11/17/2009 at 9:33 pm #

      It did, didn’t it? Such a pivotal time for all of us.

  6. Cathy 11/19/2009 at 2:53 am #

    I remember the funeral…not wanting you to go…..and me lurking in the background just in case it was too much for you. I think that was the exact moment I knew you would never get what you needed from “the boy”. You wanted,needed him to comfort you and grief with you but he was completely incapable of it.

    • lswan 11/28/2009 at 3:39 pm #

      I just saw this comment, and it’s so interesting to me how you viewed this outside of me. The whole thing seemed so in my head, I was so singularly focused on myself and my grief, that to heard that it was witnessed how I felt it is a strange validation. I do think it was a turning point. I tried to tell myself that he was grieving in his own way, but he was incapable of consoling me. Thanks for lurking in the background, I wish I would have been able to see you there, and take your comfort. Love you. xoxo

  7. Not Afraid To Use It 11/21/2009 at 6:01 am #

    Somewhere inside, that girl must have known everything was going to be okay because she moved forward. She trusted herself, stretched her wings and grew.

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