Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The drive home

I drove a friend home tonight after a long dinner of catching up. We talked the whole way, so I didn't turn my MP3 player on until I was alone, and it's about a 4 song drive home. Rachel Yamagata was first out of the gate, and so with the humidity gone and the temperature under 70, I rolled down the windows as I drove through an empty city and sang along at the top of my lungs. Some prick in a huge SUV thingie pulled up next to me at a stoplight and stared, but I thought "Fuck that guy" and continued singing. I beat him to the next light.

As I was getting to the bridge, Augustana's Boston came on, and I thought about this song and last summer when I sang along to it alot. I sang along again, but I started to feel really guilty, too. I had partially committed to attending a friend's show tonight, but it was late in the evening and I was running late and had naturally overbooked myself. I suck at guilt. Actually, I'm truly excellent at guilt. It just makes me feel sucky. But the song, too, reminded me of a conversation with another friend this afternoon, in which we talked about just dynamiting our current lives and starting over. I know from experience that it doesn't change enough to make it worth it, but the nihilist in me loves the idea. The chorus came on as I was heading over the bridge and I was tempted to turn up the GW Parkway, to just drive for a while in the dark with the music blaring, but I figured I should come home and sang along instead.
She said I think I'll go to Boston.
I think I'll start a new life.
I think I'll start it over where no one knows my name.
I'll get out of California, I'm tired of the weather.
I think I'll get a lover and fly him out to Spain.
I think I'll go to Boston.
I think that I'm just tired.
I think I need a new town, to leave this all behind.
I think I need a sunrise, I'm tired of the sunset.
I hear it's nice in summer, some snow would be nice.

Sometimes my MP3 player's random setting just fucks with me. Next up was Ani's 32 Flavors, not that I haven't been listening to too much Ani right now. As I came over the bridge and made the turn, I could see heat lightening on the horizon but couldn't hear any thunder. I love lightening storms, I miss having a porch to safely watch them on, and some good company to watch them with. Tonight would've been the best night, with the cool night air and the wet grass, to have a west-facing porch and watch the show. I turned onto my street as the song was winding down, looking for the non-existent after-hours street parking and trying not to think about what I was missing at the show, both the good and the bad. It didn't work.

As I was realizing that I was going to have to suck it up and park in the back lot again, Imitosis came on. I like the weird, minor-keyness of it, let alone the the emptiness of the chorus "We were all basically alone and, despite what all the studies have show, what was mistaken for closeness was just a case for mitosis." But with raindrops hitting my windshield again and no desire to be sopping wet, I got out of my car instead of singing along until the end like usual.

While looking up the links, I emailed my friend whose show I missed an apology. I don't like agreeing to be somewhere and then not making it, not when it comes to friends. Even if it's not the sort of thing that would matter to him, it's the sort of thing that would matter to me if our situations were reversed.

Sometimes, I wonder if I try so hard to make other people happy because somebody ought to be, and that somebody is unlikely to be me regardless of what I do.


Miss Expatria said...

I've dynamited my life and started over, and it's hard and fun.

I'm looking to do it again soon.

It's weird, how many people I know want to do the same thing right now. Not to get political, but I feel like the way the world is right now, everyone's just tired of it.

Anyway, you're not alone.

rptrcub said...

I feel as you do, but I feel a tad insecure in starting all over again, now that I've started grad school. I hate to not finish what I've started. I also hate breaking commitments, but sometimes you have to do what you have to do. Like I had to this weekend with an anxiety freakout.

Finding your own happiness is hard if you've been told all your life to make others happy, and to put others before yourself. It's noble and selfless but none of us can live up to it. Nor should we.

SanFranLefty said...

Hang in there, Megan. It's taken me a long time to not feel guilty about not always putting others before myself. I was raised being told that I was "selfish" if I put my own needs or happiness before those of others. It's taken a lot of therapy and self-reflection to realize that it is not selfish and that is a really screwed up thing to tell somebody. (another discussion, perhaps...)

But funny you mention that song (which is great). I think one of the best things I ever did was moving cross-country from DC to California by myself with my doggy. I only knew a couple people out here but could rebuild my life in a way that I wanted. I liked DC and liked the excitement but at the same time, hated a life that revolved around what subcommittee your "member" was on and who could work the latest hours. I moved to NorCal and found a place where the question "What do you do" refers to hobbies and not your employer. And DC can be a really hard place to be when you can see through all the bullshit and what a crock it is.

Now I feel like I want to dynamite my life, in Miss Expatria's words, by quitting my job and becoming a seeing eye dog trainer or something like that.