Friday, July 14, 2006

something only I hear
There’s a song by Keane that I love. I could listen to the plunging piano and soaring vocal on an endless loop. I love this song even though I sneer at Keane, Coldplay et al. The intro takes me back in time. I’m standing in a hotel suite that is kind of a self-contained bedsit. I’m watching television while getting ready for work: walking around, making breakfast, getting dressed. My days are spent in the Lake Oswego, Oregon, office of the PR agency. I’m falling in love. I stroke my belly, loving my figure. I’m dispossessed and missing home and TA. I’m eating uncontrollably and unceasingly and sleeping badly. My clothes no longer fit. Everything is mixed up. The light is streaming in through the blinds, the air is warm. And here is the song – it’s an advert for Victoria’s Secret – I only get to hear the rousing, heartstring-tugging chorus and it gets me every single time. After a couple of days I watch MTV and hear the whole song and then I begin to listen out for it every morning – sing along at the top of my voice and dance with swooping arm movements. And for a moment all I feel is joy and freedom, there is no confusion, it is perfectly natural to fall in love and to miss your husband terribly at the same time; to feel deliciously independent and dreadfully alone. Just hearing those chords is enough to fill me with overwhelming nostalgia (for a time when I was very unhappy and very happy and totally confused) mixed with relief that that time is a bitter-sweet memory now. I don’t think they meant to write the song I hear.

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