…And not the jerk who I actually went with to see “Fury Road.”
In June, there is a book convention in New York City. I have been before and while NYC didn’t agree with me then, I am a different person now than I was two years ago, and also, I like the idea of free books, so I will probably go.
Something I’ve been grappling with lately has been the way in which I receive words and music; undeniably, “Kids” by MGMT is the Best Song Ever Written, but I’ve been reviewing the music that has been a part of me since before I started thinking critically about anything (which, to be fair, I only started doing circa senior year of high school, so while I’ve been thinking critically longer than some of the kids I would play substitute teacher for have even been alive, in the grand scheme of things it really hasn’t been that long). Say Anything’s “Spidersong” has one of the most cathartic endings to a song I’ve heard in a while, and even though it’s almost 13 years old (Jesus Christ), it has taken me this long (!) to realize how wonderfully arranged the final verse is:
I am cold,
Too cool to call you,
Far too stoned to leave my bed.
I’ll write this song to win your kiss
But stay asleep instead.
It kills me every single time I listen to it. The sigh (which isn’t in the lyrics, but is just something Bemis does) is so natural and concludes everything so well. I can’t get over it. I’m gushing. The cold/cool play off each other, and then the break between kiss and staying asleep! This isn’t critical at all, besides me just pointing out why exactly I like it and why I think it works. But there’s another thing and it’s been informing the way I’ve been writing lately, and it’s that there’s something about the way certain songs just tug at your chest insistently, like a sunset sometimes does, and they make you remember things and places that you’ve been (or maybe just thought really hard about wanting to be), and even if the song came out either 13 years ago like “Spidersong” or last week like Lana del Rey’s new single “Love,” they’re going to make you miss something. Crafted nostalgia. You’ll be in your 20’s and feeling like you’re going through a second adolescence and these songs will just emphasize that feeling.
The last time I went to Sharon Cinema before it closed was, coincidentally, right before going to New York for the last book convention. It’s one of those places that meant a lot early in my life and is now gone–not literally yet like Dave’s World of Ice Cream, but instead standing like some kind of ghost, reminding everyone of when it was possible to go to the movies and get away with paying $13 for a date, and not just per ticket. Looking at it–the sign reads, “CLOSED, THANKS”–gives the same tug of nostalgia that listening to songs does, but unlike music, it’s not something you can revisit any time you want. I’m trying to write a poem about this movie cinema, which really was murdered by the introduction of the Showcase up at Patriot Place–nicer seats, nicer quality, more recent films, all backed by Bob Kraft’s football money and of course Showcase’s own earnings while other locations (North Attleboro specifically) have had to cut back–and all I can think about are summer nights and paying to see movies there with quarters and dimes (you save your lunch money all spring because you want to enjoy the movies). And of course, various people I have gone to those movies with.
I wonder a little then if going to New York would be like this; maybe it, like Hollywood, is one of those places of collective American nostalgia. But my iPod doesn’t work anymore, and as I’ve gotten older I can’t read on bus rides without getting nauseous. It’d be a long ride, and even if the payout would be, even beyond books, getting to spend time with an old friend again, I don’t know if my heart can handle it (or if my nose can deal with the stench of the city–if you’re not from there, New York really is a smelly place).