Features, One Song One Story

Loved You First When We Were Children: William Fitzsimmons’ “Just Not Each Other”

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I’m coming home

I was always a wanderer. As a child, I was reprimanded for bringing sticks and small dead rodents into the house. The neighbors questioned my girly aptitude as I’d toss around rocks and play in mud, coming home ridden with bugs and dirt residue. An image plastered in my head: my first home in a glitzy town I’d grow to question my love for. My castle, I’d call it. Our home atop a hill, my best friend living a level under. I’d climb down boulders to visit him and play pretend in his yard. I remember my first kiss at age five or six, in said yard, as we stated our vows and held our own wedding without witness. These memories reflexively scroll along in a CNN crawl, though I pretend to call upon them consciously. My room was fit for the queen my parents made me out to be. The chiffon veil layered over my larger-than-life bed eased me to sleep in the night. The air that wafted through the barely-there screen of my bedroom window hinted at a fire pit burning in the distance. I’d imagine this smell to carry over the sense of community the people watching the flames dance would share. A few months turned into years of growing into a child of the East Coast. Connecticut bore the image over time of New England autumns and harsh, demanding winters. I still kept my kiddish love for my childhood best friend in the back of my mind as seasons changed. My short hair had always kept me colder in the winter months, seeming to gesticulate a sense of boyish aloofness. Years later, my hair would grow, the aloofness would wither away. But that first love would remain forever unchanged.

Loved you first when we were children

In our youth, we are innocent. We love innocently. Growing up, I often catch myself seeking that same dewy-eyed love, that open and guileless warmth, firmly ingrained in my mind from childhood. Fitzsimmons’ “Just Not Each Other” gives me peace of mind, subconsciously acknowledging that the best is not behind me. I am bound for greater loves.

We’ll love again, just not each other

My mind turns with the tide, but every now and then, I get caught in the undertow. Every now and then, I ride the waves of my first love. And only William would dare to diminish such a pure bond. I will always be taken in by anyone who can provoke that thought in me–the thought that one love is not a loss, and there will be new and better options out there. If I allow myself, I can listen to the song and syncopate the rhythm with my heartbeat as I relive and re-love what I learned as a child. I found the home where I grew up buried under Fitzsimmons’ words. I lost myself as I played it to death on repeat. To this day, I listen to “Just Not Each Other” and it puts together the words I tried to, but failed.

I can’t come home

September 22, 2016

About Author

Cevenly Writer, editor, yoga teacher. Creator of worlds through words. Soon to be LA It-Girl.


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