Secret Pop

Jan 3, 2005

You can carry me home now.

Last night, I was driving back to Los Angeles at four in the morning, and my iPod stumbled onto a Lisa Germano song I used to love. Christmas is already behind me. And so are all the memories and feelings dredged up by this song. I listened to it more in the spring and summer the year that it was in its heaviest rotation for me, but I knew that I might one day hear it somewhere near the colder holiday and find it to be -- at last -- temporally a propos.

Sometimes I wish my memory wasn't so fine. And recently, perhaps from nights that last far longer than is humanly possible and drinks that seem to have no bottom and maybe just plain getting older and having less room in my brain for a portrait of everything I have ever done, I've noticed that it isn't. I forget all sorts of things now. And I get confused about them. I can't remember if I really wrote that email or if I just thought about it. Or dreamed it. I can't always remember what's true and what's musing. And maybe that's a mercy. But the older stock -- the deeds and details from some time ago -- they persist. They linger. Whole and unfaded. I can step back into that other skin with nearly no effort at all. Moreso with the assistance of a song or a scent or an accident. But it happens less for me these days. Enough that I am almost nostalgic over the function of nostalgia. I almost miss being made to feel sad and lost because everything was so important and impossible and out of my reach. As much as I am nearly faint with shame over how important I ever let anything be. As my life fans out over the span of more years and months and afternoons, it seems that nothing is really very important at all. You can do a perfect dive. You can be perfect for one beautiful moment. Weightless. Graceful. And you can enter the water at just the right angle. No splash at all. And then you're in the water, and the dive is gone and perfect is past tense. But that's not anything to be sorry for. Now you're in the water, and it's lovely there. It's the only way to ever feel as if every part of you is being touched at once. It's my favorite embrace. And it seems now that leaving the water to try for another bit of perfection is a trick. It's all just a way of getting back to where you already were. It's displacing comfort to find something brilliant and trying to bring it back with you. And very few bathing costumes have pockets to keep such things in.

I think we all search for meaning. We race our mortality. Jetting forward on little gusts of accomplishment. Carving our initials in the cosmic stone. It's nothing to look down on. Wanting to mean something to the timeline. Wanting to be important to someone. Wanting to have done something of value. It's what makes us real. Wanting to be alive is what keeps us so. I struggle with it as anyone does who wastes a great deal of time thinking about the notion of a bigger picture. Maybe one day, just before I die, I'll find myself trapped in an elevator with a woman giving birth and I will save the day and be so very important to that woman and her family. And then I'll breathe a sigh of relief and expire right in front of her, scarring her forever with guilt and remorse. The trouble with irony -- however beautiful, however cruel -- is that you have to be around to see it. It's the only thing in all the world that makes me hold out a sliver of hope that there is any sort of afterlife.

Anyway, it was about the song, this. When it began. I still love the song. I am certain that I always will. As certain as I am that I will always love a great many things.

You can carry me home now
You can carry me home
I'm drunk and you're tired
We haven't talked for a while

You can carry a lie
'Till it makes you fall down
You can't help me
Be quiet
I couldn't touch you right now

You couldn't care if I died
But I haven't finished quite yet
Couldn't you give me a moment
Let me catch my breath

Lies, liar, lies, liar, lies, liar

You can carry me home now
You can carry me home
I'm drunk and it's Christmas
We haven't talked for a while
You can carry me home now
Would you just carry me home

No comments: