Music and Literature

I don’t like to boast about menial things- momentous things, maybe, but certainly not ordinary things. I went through my fair share of breakups in and around the time I was in college. It had an overwhelming, almost addictive effect on me; one day I’d be lost in innumerable hours of intimate conversation, and the next- well the next would entail a cyclic melancholy I soon became vigorously attached to.

Musical allegiances would change overnight; From Portugal. The Man to Neil Young. From Noori to Tina Sani. My mind reacted almost preemptively, all set for a week of brooding with a hint of revelry as I blasted tunes; decibel counts increased as every track repeated itself, once, twice, and then if I was feeling extra miserable, a third time. I’m sure it must have been torturous for my neighbors, but I never quite heard from them- or rather, heard them- during these stints; I’m sure people plotted my eviction. But I was an island by my own volition, and quite happily so, as contradictory as this may sound. How could I do justice to someone’s effect on me if I did not mourn them?

My choice of literature also three-sixtied. Perhaps I was always attracted to nostalgic accounts of lovers in great cities, but I sure pretended that I wasn’t when things were honky-dory. I’d put the half-read Salingers and Miranda Julys down and pick up thumbed-through Nerudas, Kunderas and Murakamis. They too, it seemed then, were happy to entertain my sudden revolts. It could be that I simply read them because I missed them, but I’d like to think it was something more than that, something innate. For a short while, I’d be the guy on Facebook putting up deep and heavy statuses. I’m sure I was a bore.

I’d become calmer, less like myself, perhaps more like myself- one never knows with these things. I have to say I liked myself a bit more when I was muted. Arrogance, and the desire to appease bled right out of me. For a few days, I became tolerable. I think young love is a beast of its own and it seems socially adequate to appear grim in times of apparent turmoil. Human emotion is relative after all.

Maybe I now long for the day when this distinction between the real me and the true me becomes as binary as it once was- but maybe this is just fine.


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