Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Overwhelming Reminiscences

Music, literature, photography, painting, illustrations - all of them evoke something, whether it be a minor expression of emotion, positive or negative, or a maelstrom of unexpressed feelings which have been restrained for years long past. Some people seem sensitive to media and their evocative qualities while others are incredibly indifferent. I guess I'm a person of the former.

In response to my wife's insistence I began reading Stephen Chbosky's The Perks of Being A Wallflower. At about the same time I started into the novel I found myself spending long periods listening to Joy Division, New Order, The Smiths, Depeche Mode, Mazzy Star, and The Jesus and Mary Chain. Literature and music, two different types of media, suddenly combined to a potent effect.

Suddenly I found myself swept up in the synergy of the feelings and thoughts of Chbosky's Charlie and the melodies and lyrics of the above listed bands. Even now I  don't think I can adequately describe the intensity, pain, or beauty of the euphoria and melancholy which surround me as snippets from the book and various songs haunt my mind. It's an emotional space like no other, and at it's core it's so frightening that I feel that it might forever change how I live. Heavy, is a fair adjective to describe the current state of my world as I type this.

I've been flashing back to the past as a result of these feelings. My memories, while in this state, both recall the soft, sweet pleasures of my best high school relationships as well as the course, embarrassing tragedies of my failures in love and friendship. I see the faces of the people I let down through my youthful ignorance. Powerful images of one girl in particular flash through my mind. A girl for whom I felt something close to love. A girl I once tremendously disappointed.

This one person was someone I had known for many years, since elementary school, and grew especially close to in high school. I failed to react well in a moment when the emotional environment between us was most conducive to a potential for love and deep bonding. I failed to correctly handle a dance/date and, in doing so, forever ruined her opinion of me.

Now, with these songs and words flowing through my mind, I keep seeing her as she was but as sad as she might have been because of me. I imagine her as she was on the night of my failure - in that dark blue casual dress with an altered t-shirt, cut down the front middle, pulled over it - looking at me with sad eyes as the chorus of New Order's "Bizarre Love Triangle" echoes around. Nothing is as tearing as seeing a past love in the perfect preservation of fond memory surrounded by the sweetest most moving music. It powerfully wrenches the heart. 

So, I write about all of this because it is a necessary method of egress for these feelings, and I need to keep from letting all of this completely overwhelm me. I can't afford to let my present happiness be inundated by monstrous waves of regret. I've got to keep on in the now, the pleasant, joyous present. The past is the past and it will be mourned as such. That's all I or anyone can do. Just let regrets remain with yesterday, buried by impenetrable layers of time.

Time to turn off the music and put the book down for a little while.

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