Monday, December 6, 2010

bodily perception

... me and those dreaming eyes of mine ...

For some reason, I have always loved things that suggest irrefutable impossibility.*

Don't ask me where I picked up the talent from, but even when I was a child, I could pick out the melancholy emotion as effortlessly as an orange in a bowl of rice. It's like I had an innate sense for it; like my body would have a physical reaction.

Usually, it would result in me launching inexplicable tears down my unblemished cheeks.

One of these instances--that I've been thinking of lately--resulted from a song. (As most of them did, and still do.)

My mother always tells me the story about me and the song "Forever Young." (No Jay-Z.) When I was a kid, something about Rod Stewart's raspy voice, and something about that song would send me into a world of sadness, and apparently, I would ask my best friend's mom if she could turn the song off, because it made me sad. (My words, at around 6 or 7.)

'Til this day, I can still remember the video (with that red-headed kid and Stewart sitting on what I remember to be a cliff, with the sun shining a golden yellow on them--I would be curious to watch the video in present time to see how much my memory holds up), and the feeling--more so than the lyrics, necessarily--come to me immediately, and I can feel tears well up in my eyes, as they are right now, as I'm writing this. (No lie. If you could see me, my eyes probably look as big as saucers and are probably shimmering like raindrops in the sun, full of tears that I will not let fall.)

There was something in that song, something about this idea purported by Stewart (or whomever wrote that song) about being "forever young," about a father, or someone, letting someone else go, but recognizing that they would always be forever young to them (but in my heart you will remain, forever young...) that still cripples me right at the knees. (The tears are welling again.) The fact that this could cripple me even at six intrigues me.

There were many unexplainable instances--I quit my ballet class when I was five, on the night of our recital, because the music made me sad. (Again, my words. I'm pretty sure my parents aren't making this up. Part of me feels like I can remember this.) I can definitely remember sitting on my mom's table (something she would have yelled at me for if she saw me) at eight or nine, listening on repeat to Prince's "The Most Beautiful Girl in The World," and crying. Just straight crying, and feeling the impossible swelling up within my heart.

What the hell was I crying for? I was eight. I'd never been in love, I'd been hurt, but not in the type of way that hurt gets you when you're older. (Though one should never underestimate those child-like hurts. Sometimes, the purity of them, and the lack of ability to understand their source can mold a person much more than anything you'll ever experience as an adult.) I was eight, and susceptible to my body's natural reaction to the impossibility in these songs.

Today, listening to them, or thinking about them, I can understand the impossible beauty in them. Asserting that someone will be "forever young" to you--we all know that time waits on no man, and no one will be here forever, and no one will be forever young. Prince waxing glory about "the most beautiful girl in the world?"

and if the stars, ever fell/
one by one, from the sky/
I know Mars, could not be, too far behind/
'cause baby this kind of beauty/
has got no reason to ever be shy/
'cause honey this kind of beauty/
the kind that comes from inside...

At eight, somehow my body must have recognized the rarity of such an utterance existing in real life. Maybe I was crying then, to prepare me for now. Maybe even then, I could sense the shy beauty inside myself.

The impossible in song, in lyric, in words, in literature, always causes that deep swelling to occur inside of me. I don't know how else to describe it, really. While my eyes well up with tears, something happens within me, something moves, and then, when it's over, my body puts it back wherever it came from.

Sitting in my room tonight, doing my hair and listening to D'Angelo's Brown Sugar (because it was the CD last left in the player, and because I did not feel like smearing coconut oil and gel all over my stack of CDs), a thought, a reality, something that I surely knew, but never took the time to think about smacked me right upside the back of my head.

As I sat on the bed, I looked across at the calendar hanging on my wall, and thought of *him* and the number of times I used to see him, back before I moved and he left. I acknowledged in my head that I used to see him almost every single week. Compelled, I got up, flipped the calendar back to January, and looked at the little hearts I marked on the days I saw him.

Almost once, or twice a week, hearts would appear, sometimes with comments. (Ever a writer, I truly document just about anything and everything you could think of.) As the calendar hit July, the hearts didn't appear for almost a month. (I was a G--being in Miami initially was the only time in my life living away when I stayed away for a month. I was really trying to play nice with Miami, at least at first.) They appeared at least a couple of times a month, until I flipped the calendar quickly past November. There was no need to look at the last set of hearts, placed in the middle of that month.

As I sat back down, I said out loud what I'd never thought of before: from once or twice a week, to once or twice a month, to not at all, and D'Angelo was steady crooning to me about those dreaming eyes of his, and the ostensible return of an impossible type of love I once knew very briefly, plus my body's reaction to the beauty in the concept of being an impossible dreamer (me and those dreaming eyes of mine, said in a way as if to say, oh, my eyes, they are wandering again, seeing things that I know won't be for me, don't mind them, I'm just hoping...) brought slow tears that turned into real tears. No sound, no nothing, just the hard scrunching of my face, as if to squeeze the rest of the emotion out, fast and hard.

The song ended, and I let it go, back to wherever it came from. I got up, wiped my eyes with the back of my hand, and washed the rest of the oil off my hands, so I could write.

And here I am, with you.

Maybe sometimes, I let my heart pay its weeping tribute to the realities that I so often choose to overstep, knowing that dwelling on them too often or too intensely will bring nothing but a barrage of melancholy I choose to avoid as often as possible.

And often, I wonder, if it will always be with me. A gift from beyond my reasoning that I will dutifully always carry.

*--maybe the impossibility that seems so unchanging isn't quite impossible at all. You see, I think that deep down inside of me, in fact, I know that deep down inside of me, I don't actually believe that anything is impossible. Which probably accounts for all my tears over my maturation--having a spirit that refuses to let go of hope, while being met with a world that suggests impossible is the answer. My heart's probably confused.


julochka said...

I have songs that do that to me as well...james taylor's "you've got a friend". and a doors song that gives me a rather sick to my stomach feeling. deep, emotional, gut reactions. there's something about music. it heals us and speaks to us on an instinctual level. you write it beautifully.


Miss Malorie said...

Thank you :) And that's true, there is something about music. It is instinctual. Visceral. And one of my greatest friends.

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