May. 20th, 2015 08:06 pm
breezeshadow: Is it not adorable? (PumaKitten)
[personal profile] breezeshadow
My sharpest memories, it seems, are formed in music. I can look at photographs from times and conjure up maybe vague feelings of what those days were like -- graduations, outings with friends, volunteering. Yet if a song comes on, suddenly I go back in time, to little moments that no one would have thought to capture in a lens.

My first CD player, or I thnk it was the first -- I think we got it from the Discovery store, or maybe we were just in there to browse, not to buy. My first Nightwish CD, which I think I got from FYE, or maybe I ordered it online. I previewed it online, I know that much. But I go home, anxious to listen to this. The CD player was a sleek, new-age type of design -- pretend metal and a slightly concave design, with blue LED lights. It opened by touching the top -- not a button, just a touch sensor. I put set the player up on my desk, or perhaps my dresser. I put the CD in, watch with fascination as the front, plastic lifts up and closes. The blue LEDs flash on. The CD begins to spin. A pause.

And then the sudden, rapid playing of a string instrument -- violin? -- and the sudden CRASH of drums. I sit on the floor awestruck by the sound. The rhythm is incredible (buh-da-dum, buh-da-dum, BUH-DA-DUH-DUHDUH, buh-da-dum, buh-da-dum, BUH-DA-DUH-DUHDUH). I am transfixed, listening -- at least up to track four, I know I just sat, LISTENING. Thus was born a metal head.

(Ironically, someone walks by now singing something very loudly -- Begone, distraction!)

Studying abroad in Germany; here you would think I have so many memories, sharp and clear. Yet again, I form remembrance from photos and looking through Facebook statuses. It is not Prague, or Berlin, or even the Spring Break trip through Europe that I remember most clearly. No, it is Matchbox Twenty playing, and most particularly, "Bed of Lies". "No I would not sleep/ in this bed of lies" -- and then I am transported to a quiet residential street, taking a shortcut to the Technische Universitat Dresden campus. There may be a dog or some pet behind a fence, not necessarily friendly but I want to say hello anyway. I am walking on a dirt path beside some plants. It was sunny; I know because as I step out onto the large street separating me from the campus, the sun reflects off of cars. East Germany is not often sunny.

I vaguely remember two other things, not through music but through other senses. The walk to the tram brings me through very traditional East German architecture, drab and square, Soviet. But along the street is a little metal truck. There are baked goods displayed along the racks. "Ein Spritzkuchen, bitte." I hand over a single Euro coin, and receive an airy pastry in return, ruffled like a Scrunchie, lightly glazed. It is not warm, persay, but it is delicious as I turn left and head toward the tram station.

And then, a split second memory -- walking up a narrow street in a small Polish town, and looking up to see ugly black smog rising up into the grey-white sky.

Matchbox Twenty, food, and smog. What a mix.

But none of these are as clear as one night. I don't know why this is so sharp, perhaps a combination of things. I am transported each time I hear "Everything Fades to Grey" -- Full Version is sharper, but the instrumental will do it. I remember leaving the biomedical engineering building out on the east campus of Cornell University. It is dark -- 11PM, I think, after a prelim for my life systems thermodynamics class. The air is cold, and I think it was either snowing or about to -- the air has that feel on it of snow, that all New Englanders learn without realizing it. There is melancholy in the night; I had been off of medication for a few months, and depression draped like an X-ray cloak. I had no good feelings about that prelim. I had driven to it. I walked the short distance across the parking lot to my Prius, got inside without feeling the cold that much. Bundled up proper and not really there, anyway. I stick in my key and press the power button.
I think it was "Deathaura" that was playing, rather than "Everything Fades to Grey", but I think I sat there for a bit, looking out at the dark night, listening to the creepy music. I had been struggling that whole semester. I have vague memories of pacing my apartment while brushing my teeth, forcing myself to face a world where I had been found dead. The heartbreak of my family, my friends, their tears at my funeral -- god, now I can barely type it without tearing up myself. But back then I had no emotion as I forced myself to look at it and say that you are lying, mind. They would miss me. Keep that bottle of ibuprofen closed. Go another day.

Why I did this when brushing my teeth, I don't know. Depression doesn't make sense. It didn't make sense in that car either. But that music, and I pulled out of that driveway, likely to wheel myself toward the left, then taking a right -- down the street past the fields, the hockey center, the engineering quad. Down to home.

What is the longing with those last two memories? It's too strong to be nostalgia. Nostalgia comes with a bit of a sigh, thoughts of back in the day. This is a heavy feeling of if I could go back. But what would I do? I am looking back with knowledge I did not have then. I gained what I now know in those moments. I realized how I hide in myself, rejecting before they could reject, in those lonely walks in Dresden. I realized the clinic's incompetence in that depression, because I hid it from them, successfully, for three or four long months. I realized my loneliness and joinend LARP to force myself out. What would I do?

I'd do the same things. I was 13, 19, 21... I was not 25, a month until 26 (hell, already thinking of myself as 26!). There's a decade, half a decade, between those years. Quarter-of-a-century. That's a long time. Sustained-childhood. I would do the same things because that's who I was, and that's how I learned.

Be gone, you silly feelings of going back. Stick with your gut during "I Wish I Could Go Back to College". They sing of knowing who you are, but you didn't, and you knew it then. That puts you towers above others, certain they knew it all. How did I do it all? I wasn't stronger then. I just had to do what I had to do. Just like for the inspections, responses, championing -- doing what I have to do.

The memories are time machines, but read-only. There is nothing to change. And nothing should be. Those cheesy movies are right -- go back and kill Hitler, and suddenly there's a different dystopia.

Just lots on my mind. Sorting through the scrapbook, so to speak. Don't worry, though: I'm fine.



breezeshadow: It's a wolverine, hey! (Default)

August 2016

78 910111213

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Sep. 21st, 2017 10:31 am
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios