ALWAYS WITH YOU, ALWAYS WITH ME
Every once in a while, a song comes on my phone or the radio that reminds me of someone. Mostly, they're positive thoughts of someone that impacted my life for the better. Sometimes, that song brings memories of someone you wish you'd forget. To me, that's the amazing thing about music. One song can have many different meanings: for you, the person that wrote it, the person that sang it (if they're not the same person). It's transcendent.
Music has always been woven into the fabric of my nature. I always walk around singing a song in my head. Someone can say something, and I'll instantly think of a lyric that matches. One of my favorite games to play with my boyfriend, Jeremiah, is going through the alphabet and playing a song that starts with each letter. He or I will start with A then alternate turns until we reach Z. We have different musical tastes, which makes for an eclectic mix of artists and genres. The other day - and by "the other day", I really mean three weeks ago when we last played the game - I was on the dreaded Q. The song I chose was Quando, Quando, Quando, Michael Bublé's version, a duet with Nelly Furtado.
A smooth jazz rendition, Bublé and Furtado's voices meld together perfectly. A song about waiting for the person they love to tell them when they're ready to be together, it's usually reserved for doctor office waiting rooms and elevators. Many probably never listen to the lyrics. It's a song that I, reluctant to admit, don't often listen to all that much. When I do, though, it makes me think of past relationships where, at some point during it, this song fit. When I hear Quando, Quando, Quando, I think of the few people that I had intimate connections with, either romantic or non. It's a song where depending on my demeanor leading up to its playing, can either make me happy and want to sing along, or sad and make me want to curl into a ball. It's powerful; what music is capable of.
That night, when we were playing, it made me think about the two of us.
It was lust as first swipe. If you ask us when we're together, though, you might get a different story. It's another game we play: if we're asked by someone how we met, the first person to answer makes up a story. Often it's me that makes up the story that, generally, goes: "We were both at the grocery store and our hands touched as we were both reaching for the same onion. The rest is history." I try to get Jeremiah involved, by asking him what store we were at, or what food were we reaching for, etc. He's usually the first to break, a shock since he's an actor. It just makes for a better story than saying "We met on Tinder". While my previous post about online dating apps seems cynical (because I am cynical about gay dating apps), our meeting happened by pure happenstance.
It was San Diego Pride, 2015. I was not there, because large crowds make me anxious. Instead, I was in Carlsbad, a town thirty minutes to the north. By this time, I had become a professional swiper and had swiped through all the potential people in my general area. So, I did what any normal person on Tinder does: extended my range to 100 miles. That's when the profile came up. I won't forget it: he was looking at the camera, holding his jacket up over his head to protect him from the rain coming down. His smile caught me first. Then, upon closer look, his Caribbean blue eyes drew me in. With hints of sea-foam green, I wanted to swim in them forever. I had to know this person. I swiped right.
It was a match.
We had a conversation that lasted a few hours. Then, he said that he didn't live in San Diego. He was just down in San Diego for the parade and was leaving for home in Los Angeles the next day. That was fine with me, since the following week I was heading back to Vermont to restart my studies after a three year hiatus. While I was back East, we continued to text with each other. I hadn't felt this way about a person that I hadn't yet met. Generally, I was the type of person that would get bored with a conversation and not respond for a while. Some of you would call that ghosting, and you would be correct. But, this felt different.
One day, while I was walking back to my apartment from a late class, I decided to give him a call. No courtesy text, no warning. It had been about two months of texting at this point, it was time to hear what he actually sounded like. The five minutes that followed were excruciating. We were like two teenagers, unsure what to say once the other was on the line. When we hung up, I knew it was inevitable: I was going to be ghosted.
I saw his "ghost" to be like Casper: friendly, but still trying to disappear. Little did he know, I was a Ghostbuster. I persisted.
The marathon that followed was long, but worthwhile. While he probably was trying to let me down easy, I wore him out, where he eventually gave me the chance. When my time in Vermont was over, I came back to San Diego. By this time, we would Skype every day, often for hours on end. One weekend, I drove the hour and a half to Los Angeles. Our first "date" was a party held at one of his co-workers apartments. I was thrown to the wolves. Lucky for me, I survived. Since that night, we have been inseparable. That was five years ago.
As the song concluded, a smile crossed the landscape of my face; I was happy reminiscing about our time together. It's been an easy five years, so far. While I can't speak for him, directly, I'm sure he'd say the same thing. Maybe one of these days, I'll sit him down and ask him what song makes him think about our time together.
What song makes you think of someone? Name that song in the comments below.
Title: Always with you, Always with me
Artist: Joe Satriani
Year Released: 1987