I put my iPhone on master shuffle to see what the Universe thinks I should be inspired by. “Even Better than the Real Thing” by U2 apparently.
Hey.. isn’t that song like 30 years old? There’s nothing like THAT coming up in the shuffle of 1000+ songs I have on my personal electronic pocket computer in the year 2018. It doesn’t make me feel old, though, just a reminds me of an earlier time. The only thing even better that might be the actual “Real Thing”. 😜
Seriously though.. that song was one that my dear un-departed ex-husband put on a mixtape he made for me in the early days of our courting. It was my introduction to U2 and I’ve been a fan ever since. (Of U2, not my ex).
I stopped typing for a little bit there to think about life, and just like that I’ve blown right past the BNL (Bare Naked Ladies) and landed on Blue October. I guess that’s how life goes sometimes. How on earth did I miss all those years going by and land in 2008? It’s not a typo, 2008 was the year of Blue October and the event that I would later call my own personal “Punctuated Equilibrium”.
If that wasn’t enough to convince me that the Universe is a “Real Thing” (with a cosmic sense of humor), the next selection is “Song for the Road” by David Ford. The one and only and there’s no other connection for reference to my Simply Vera Era that is stronger than that (except Mr. A to the Z). The first time I heard it, we were riding in his black Jeep along 144th street to somewhere.. I don’t remember where. Where isn’t important when the song is so good it makes you cry. Of course he was playing it and thinking about another girl. His “one that got away”. I didn’t even know her, but I wasn’t a fan. Her hair was more red than mine and that is all I knew.
I wasn’t even a book in his life between two iconic book ends, I was merely a chapter. Thin pages with a few words about tennis and tv shows, good food and great conversation. And that not-meant-to-be podcast “for or against”. It had some clever name I don’t recall. Do you remember that?
The girl he was with after me was someone my closest friends and I nicknamed “The Wildcard”. She was some shade of crazy I never knew existed and I don’t think I’ll ever know if it was love that made her crazy or if she was like Lady Gaga and “Born that way”. It’s ok though, I let go of caring about that years ago.
I actually saw her at a funeral for the mom/aunt of a pair of mutual friends of ours in 2016. I didn’t recognize The Wildcard right away that day because of her long blonde hair, which I think was her natural color. Her hair was black when I met her and she died it clown red to try and become a closer proximation to what SV was looking for. I’d never dye my hair for any man. I might take motorcycle lessons and tennis lessons and force myself into awkward social situations but my hair is sacred.
Well well, what do you know – An appearance by MRAZ.. how appropriate. I wonder if the Universe is standing behind me on this elliptical machine and reading what I’m writing. No, that’s too physical. When you are omnipresent, you don’t have to stoop to such levels. The song in play right now is “Life is Wonderdul”. It’s all about the contrast between opposing things and the idea that we can’t truly know one thing without the other.
Thinking about this makes me happy. It’s explaining away all the bad things. We wouldn’t truly know sound without silence, we would not know the warmth of the sun without the long cold winter. I wouldn’t recognize the sunrise if there was no dark of night. I can look back at my life and all the bad things are softer in the light of this philosophy. The song is brilliant. “It takes a toll to make you care”. My dues have been paid and I’m ready to collect.
Coming up to the end of my time here now and I am not surprised that the Universe has done it again. For its final play of the set, we have Fall Out Boy singing “Thnks fr th Mmrs”.
“Thanks for the Memories?”. How appropriate. There is a Fall Out Boy CD that reminds me of another time in my life, but the cannon of their music has extended beyond that and now I can’t help but just enjoy it as one of my favorite groups. They actually called me up earlier this year and asked me to come to their show in Lincoln this fall. To which I replied “I would be happy to”. I will be happy too.
Times Up. Rewind. Replay.