Sitting in my local coffee shop on the morning of the American election results, I was nervously sipping my cappuccino, trying to find some sense of comfort, when, in between the fey folk pop and Postmodern Jukebox lounge covers of Nirvana, I heard that familiar descending piano line, and the sweeping snare drum. Knowing what was to come, it made me smile. I exhaled.
On the corner of Broome and Delancey is a terrible two-part dive where terrible “print is dead!”start-up yuppies come to play pool terribly. The bartender writes terrible ebooks by day and always has the Spotify Radio for The Black Keys turned on, for he believes curating playlists is a “terrible waste of time.” Tonight they’re playing that tired MGMT song that probably wasn’t too terrible to begin with but is ruined forever by Urban Outfitters and overplay at bars just like this one.
The news still stinging, I veer one way then another, letting my car take its own course. The good leave us untimely and without tact, I think. No, not think, know. We all know.
But each of us is lonely. But friendships are circumstantial. But love is barbaric and stupid and inhumane and tedious, regardless of gender. But love is beautiful and necessary, too. She would have done the same.
The elasticity of time and the shifting perspectives — all within a single verse, sometimes — was something I’d never heard. What was going on here? It was a world away from “Rockaway Beach.” Standing at the precipice of past and future, this song was easily the most complicated thing I’d ever heard. Surely I could figure it out. Right?
When the brief respite a few hours of sleep provides you from misery fades into morning, when the same, unending day ensues, when there’s no one to call, and all you hope is to disappear perfectly into absence–their absence–it is then that song finds you.