And I miss the days of a life still permanent
Mourn the years before I got carried away
So now I’m staring at the interstate screaming at myself,
"Hey, I wanna get better!"
I didn’t know I was lonely ‘til I saw your face
I wanna get better, better, better, better,
I wanna get better
I didn’t know I was broken ‘til I wanted to change
I wanna get better, better, better, better,
I wanna get better
Was it over all this while?
It was over a long time ago.
Sometimes the smiles in between fool you, but they too, fade.
I will be your girl in the cafe
Wow. It’s seriously such a small world.
Years ago, six years in fact, when I was still young and impressionable. Ok, so I’m still young, and only slightly less impressionable. But I digress. Back to February of 2008.
I was obsessed enough with Maroon 5 to stand in line on the corner of Prince and Greene for more than 12 hours in blistering, freezing, mini polar vortex cold just to see the band perform live for an Apple Store recording. I’d been a fan club member and was one of the first to find out about the secret show, and was one the first 10 people in line too. A line that would in hours stretch around the next few blocks.
Standing/sitting/shivering for more than 12 hours but it was fully worth it. In that span of time, one of the band members came and chilled out with us. Documentary filmmakers were nearby and asked a few of us “What is your favorite part of New York City?” My answer: “Vendor food!” I stand by it. Adam Duritz of Counting Crows stopped in riding his black Escalade and bought, I don’t know, an iPod? (I would later go on to see him co-headline with Maroon 5 that same summer). I met George Lucas strolling around the corner, I also walked into Betsey Johnson (the store) during a lunch run and tried on what would become my prom dress too. And I made friends with the fellow hobos in line with me of course. So all-in-all, not a complete waste of life. I still remember how I waited for the sun to inch closer and closer to provide some warmth. It was that cold. But not a waste.
However, when it struck 7, 7:30pm and the doors would soon open for the show and Apple was instead letting in random strangers who’d just pulled up—I was less of a happy camper. They were apparently radio show winners—whatever. I wanted to be in front row and it was apparent that wouldn’t happen. But it wasn’t the fault of the friendly Apple staffer that told me this. We struck up a conversation and I’d found out he was a musician too. So naturally—remember, younger, more impressionable— I said, “Really? Can I get an autograph?” He humored me and smiled genuinely, handing over his card with his signature on it. I said, “Now you can say you gave me your first autograph!” (Although it should really be the other way around) That last line I remember clearly. And I remember his name too. Ian Axel. Months later I looked him up on Myspace (yeah, Myspace was still very much in vogue) and heard him out. I have to say I didn’t think he was very good, but I thought there was something there. And he listed Ingrid Michaelson among his musician friends and partners so I thought that was pretty cool. Ingrid was fresh off her “Old Navy” ad fame featuring the song “The Way I Am” at the time. So if you are who you know, he was pretty cool. I’d since forgotten about him but never his name and that whole encounter or day, obviously. I mean, James Valentine of Maroon 5 also signed my shoe after the show ended.
But this morning, I kept humming the song “Say Something” over and over again. I never really looked it up before. (You’re probably reading this and already have it figured it out) I’d been meaning to forever because I fell for it instantly. But only today I looked it up and finally, I saw the artist’s name. Ian Axel.
My jaw dropped. The same Ian Axel?
If it was, well, he looked a lot less like Malcolm Gladwell back then. And then, the detail that clicked. All his bios say he worked at the Apple store as a 20-something. It was definitely him. :)
What about the card you ask? It was six years ago, but I’m a bit of a hoarder, so the chances were not too bad. And I actually found it. Wow. That’s pretty neat.
Now I can say he gave me his first autograph.
Can I just say I have the best boyfriend ever? Ever.
I didn’t know how easy it was to be single until I broke up with someone. Ok, I’m not broken up but I feel like I’m single not being able to see or talk to the person I’m in a committed relationship with whenever I want or NEED to hear from him. It’s not the same as being single after a breakup at all so I apologize. Still, the seismic shift in our lives that is our professional schedules, and my pending move across the pond, has forced me to believe, or at least, behave like I’m single.
And I’ve learned that it’s about keeping yourself busy doing the things that make you happy and not waiting around for anyone-least of all your person-to start doing them. Whether it be that hobby you have always wanted to take on or that new desert spot you’ve been dreaming about in your sleep.
I’m on my way to a small show in Brooklyn right now and I have to say I didn’t give it a second thought at all to buy just one ticket. I never ever thought I would ever have to…but if I want to see this show then it just so happens I have to go solo. Would it have been nice to go with the person I love? That goes without saying, without breathing. Would it have been nice to go with a friend or two? Sure. Even if they weren’t interested? Not as much. Would it have been nice to not go because no one else is interested. A resounding NO. I’m not about that life.
You know, the one that rests on waiting around for others to make you happy. I’m a big girl. I can hold down my liquor. Ok, so I don’t drink but that sounded like a clever enough metaphor.
I’ve been training myself to be more independent when it comes to my happiness because I’m moving to the other side of the world soon and the truth is, no one is going to hold my hand there. Saturday nights could be lonely or they could be spent at another small show, in Bristol this time. I wanna go to the show.
Can’t wait for that chapter of my life to begin really, loneliness and all, because it could be the experience of a lifetime. So I have to believe that the single life may not be so hard as long as I keep this up. But who knows, in a few short months I may be penning a post about the hardships of a long distance relationship. So far, I do hope the weather continues.
Love is a Mix Tape:Life and Loss, One Song at a Time
I stumbled upon this book at a Williamsburg hole-in-the-wall one day. I was just walking to the train after a sewing class I’d just started and decided to check it out. I’m so glad I did. It was love at first sight.
The book essentially chronicles Rob Sheffield’s love story with his late wife Renee with each chapter accompanied by a mix tape of song titles. Suffice it to say, music brought Rob and Renee together. I could relate to that.
But I had literally never heard of more than half of all the music in the book. So I made playlists on Songdrop inspired by each and all of its chapters, including the songs and artists mentioned in between.
Not everything was available via YouTube so at times I compensated with a cover or another song by a particular artist.
It’s my labor of love and admiration for the book. Hope someone stumbles and falls for it like I did.