Sunday, May 20, 2012

America's Sweethearts

At the risk of sounding really weird, I sometimes think Kelsey keeps in touch with me through my iPod.  I think I've told you before, but a fair share of the music on there is stuff that she or her sister brought to me anyway so it shouldn't really be a surprise when a strange song pops up now and again, but sometimes it's just a little too strange what comes on and when. Both Kelsey and Marissa would download songs onto my iTunes randomly and I would unknowingly sync them to my iPod, set it to shuffle and eventually whatever tune they had purchased would pop up.  Some of it I heard for the first time after Kelsey died.  Most of it I like actually.  Kelsey had an oddly eclectic taste in music that defied any kind of definition.  She listened to doom metal a lot, but then loved bands like the acoustic-pop trio Guster and a lot of lighter indie stuff.  As long as it wasn't too, too popular, she was open to just about anything.  She liked that about herself actually.  She used to get mad when she would "discover" a band only to have them find success and a mainstream audience later on, so she would abandon them as sell-outs and move on to the next anti-big thing.  And I was her primary litmus test for claiming a band had reached intolerable blandness, or so it seemed.  She would introduce me to it, force feeding it to me almost and then, when it took seed, claim they were done artistically and abandon them almost in a huff.  It was both amusing and infuriating.  When you lose someone, it's that little stuff that haunts you probably the most:  the quirks and habits that you either made fun of someone for or got irritated with them about.   I think the tendency is to kick yourself for squandering your time together in such petty disputes.  How stupid to have argued about whether or not Green Day lost their integrity because they gained a wide audience and general popularity (my contention being that if a band has a message they try to convey through their music, the more people who hear it the better, hers being that they stop being serious about the craft and more about the marketing - neither of us had a corner on the truth of that argument, but we sure did argue the point)?!  But whether it was stupid or not, it's what we humans do.  Your loved one probably wasn't a saint, neither are you, and it was that push and pull that made you dynamic together in all likelihood, so I tend to say let it all go as you can't change it anyway.  I have a hundred little regrets like that, but, if I'm right, and she somehow is in touch with us in some metaphysical way, then she knows I'm sorry anyway.

Anyway, very long way around to say, the true part of Kelsey, the part that wasn't swallowed whole by The Beast (although likely influenced by it - hence the mournful heavy metal) was her love for music, her love of books and her art (and of course, her love for her sister and Tum-Tum), and it seems logical if she somehow is able to reach out to us from wherever she exists now, it would be through music.  I'm logically well aware that I want to believe this and that is why I do, but I'm just here (or should I say "hear"?) to say that sometimes it's just too spooky to be ignored.

I've been pondering this for a few days actually:  wondering what it is about the human psyche that we want so badly to keep a hold of our loved ones that we'll believe in ghosts and contacts from beyond.  For my part, I happen to accept that as real, but I also am logical enough to accept that it might just be because I want to, not because it is so.  I never felt anything akin to a tingle after my dad died, after all, but then again he was not the kind of personality in life that would have subscribed to such stuff, and we were not related by blood as it turns out, so maybe that factors in.  I also don't get a sense ever that Mom is watching over me either.  Which is okay, because I tend to think she'd be upset that I moved back to Pennsylvania without her, and it would be small consolation that a lot of her things have come full circle and have landed close to where they were when she got them.  I miss that actually, so it's not like I'm blocking it.  When we were in the first couple of years of fighting Kelsey's bulimia and weren't very sophisticated about what we were doing, I fell into despair and prayed for guidance, specifically to my dad because he was so strong, having lived through depression, war and grievous loss that I will never understand (hopefully).  I never got an answer.  Or, maybe, I got my answer and it was, "Figure it out yourself."  Who knows.  All I can say is I've never felt either Mom or Dad, I've never seen any sign of them or had something happen that led me to believe they were close by.  So, why then do I feel that Kelsey is?  The argument could be made that it is because I need to.

Regardless, since I can neither prove nor disprove my theory, I take it on faith.  And, just lately, what got me thinking about it is my iPod's insistence on repeating a Fall Out Boy song with eery and inexplicable regularity.  There are a few versions of it in the playlist (acoustic, original cut, sort of a dance number), but still in a playlist that numbers in the thousands, the repetition with which this song has rotated defies logic.  If I accept I'm being sent this for a reason, then they next question is why?  What am I supposed to learn from it and act on?  That still has me puzzled.  Finally I thought, if I throw it out there, somebody might see something in it that is meaningful.

You could've knocked me out with a featherI know you've heard this all before but we're just hell's neighborsOh oh oh oh, why why why won't the world revolve around meBuild my dreams please grow a all over the streets
But I don't know much about classic cars (cars)But I got a lot of friends stuck on classic coke (coke)Down, set, hut, hut, hut, hike, media blitz
Let's hear it for America's SweetheartsBut I must confess I'm in love with my own sinsLet's hear it for America's SweetheartsBut I must confess I'm in love with my own sins
You can bow and pretendThat you don't don't know you're a legendOh oh oh, time time time hasn't told anyone else yetLet my love loose again
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