I need you so much closer

death_cab_for_cutieI’ve had boyfriends introduce me to all sorts of music — artists I probably never would have listened to, or appreciated, had I not sat in their cars as songs blasted through our open windows or let the tunes lilt over us on lazy Sunday afternoons. To me, these artists are synonymous with the relationships — and when I think of a man I once loved, I invariably hear the opening chords of Death Cab For Cutie.

Yes — Death Cab is my Break-Up Band Du Jour.

First, their songs are just . . . sad. And melodic. The lyrics are haunting, and they have a tendency to bury themselves in my skin and reappear at strange, unexpected moments. And despite being years removed from the first time I fell in love, I can still close my eyes and let “A Lack Of Color” or “Title And Registration” basically incapacitate me. It’s easy to feel confused and heartbroken anew with the same soundtrack blaring in the background.

So, despite the fact that I want to bawl my eyes out every time their songs pop up on my iPod, why do I keep listening to them?

Well, I love them, first of all. Their music is complex but straight-forward — filled with simple tunes constructed in a unique way. The lyrics seem to pluck right at the heartstring I most don’t want plucked at a particular moment — and remind me why it is I fell in love with their songs — and one man — all over again.

Would I have become so attracted to their music if I hadn’t been introduced to them by someone else? Probably not. His presence in my life — and his absence since — has shaped me far more than I would typically admit. And the music he exposed me to has been my companion since he left.

Is that the rock-hard truth here — that I listen to his music to feel close to him?

This is the part where I’d probably curl up inside myself, shake my head furiously and deny it — probably spouting out a snarky comment or two, rolling my eyes and babbling self-righteously about how I’ve “moved on.”

But that’s dishonest.

So I’ll just play “Transatlanticism” a little louder, burying the speakers deep inside my ears, and go on with the day.

7 thoughts on “I need you so much closer

  1. I understand what you meant. When I broke up with my ex, I listened to [Pink Floyd] for weeks. Now I can’t listen to it without getting depressed because the music is so vividly interwoven with those memories.


  2. Yes. Sometimes I hear a certain song and feel like my heart is breaking all over again.

    People throw around the phrase “move on” as if it’s easy…


  3. Worse, his new girlfriend introduced me to Brooke fraser. She’s one of my fave artists now. I LOVE her. And she’s an excellent writer, even became an editor of a magazine at the age of 15.

    But whenever I play Brooke Fraser’s music, I think of him.

    He changed me more than I like to admit.

    Especially “The Thief” song.


  4. Pingback: California, here we come — right back where we started from « write meg!

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