Thursday, June 3, 2010

Interpol and Me

I hadn't really planned on posting one of these today. The aforementioned blog post is still lingering behind me (thank you for the supportive comments by the way you two, it meant more to me than you know), but I feel it is slowly fading. I chose Interpol because they seemed fitting for the place I'm in right now, and when I found them, they were fitting for the place I was in then...

We were all dressed up for a funeral.

I think this as I look at the men behind the band.

I was 17 or 18 when I really got into listening to Interpol. Usually they followed the 3 Tylenol P.M.'s I had grown accustomed to taking in order to silence my over thinking mind and my angry body and finally drift off to sleep. I put "Turn On The Bright Lights" in my combination TV/DVD player (it also played CD's) every night. I didn't need Dashboard to hold me at night or Amanda Palmer (of The Dresden Dolls which is next up if I can just find the right words) licking my wounds, I needed these men, dressed in black, to make me not care. Just try not to care.

I was practically living alone at the time. My parents harbored their own secrets in separate houses at that point and my flawless intuition was telling me that the boyfriend I somehow thought was the saving grace in all of this was having a change of heart. I can feel things like that happening the way they say some dogs can smell cancer or how cats can predict natural disasters.
And the worst part about it all was that I couldn't really blame him. His father had just died and he needed to deal with onslaught of changes and grief that had been dropped on his head with a weight that few know or should have to deal with. He couldn't babysit me anymore. Couldn't make sure I was okay, check my arms for more bandages, help divvy up the load of sadness in my ever unfolding depression. Once for me and twice for him. We needed to do some soul searching. I didn't know that at the time but he was right. I only saw the onslaught of more hurt.
"He's going to break up with you today. You aren't going to know how to handle it. You wont even know how to pretend to handle it," I thought one day. And indeed that afternoon, I was crying on the shoulder of my friend, smoking the last of her cigarettes because I had forgotten my own. It is almost insult to injury to be without cigarettes during a breakup. I made sure I was never without cigarettes for at least a year after that day. Nor was I without Interpol after that night.
He wasn't there anymore to tell me what I wanted or needed to hear, but Interpol was.

"I had seven faces
Thought I knew which one to wear
But I'm sick of spending these lonely nights
Training myself not to care
The subway is a porno
Pavements they are a mess
I know you've supported me for a long time
Somehow I'm not impressed"

A few weeks after the breakup we went to my senior prom together. We had planned on it shortly after we began dating and he wanted to stay true to his word.
"How noble." I thought, reeking with bitterness.
I put on my $350 gown that we had picked out and I called Samantha before he picked me up.
"I feel like a bride left at the alter. What's the point of this gown, this dance, this fucking charade? I'm going home alone tonight. Everybody is getting lucky and I taking my ex to the prom."
It didn't get any easier after the pictures were taken. I counted the times we looked at each other with questions we didn't want to ask yet. Eight. I awkwardly answered the questions of my classmates who asked me "oh, so this is your boyfriend?!" Five. I counted down the hours until my carriage would turn into a pumpkin. Until that glass slipper was no longer mine. Seven. And by the end of the night I took three and went to bed.

"But you cannot safely say while I will be away
That you will not consider sadly how you helped me to stray
You will not reach me I am resenting a position that is past resentment
And now I can't consider and now there is this distance, so..."

The pattern was much the same for a good couple months. Combating bitterness, chain smoking, etc. Until I met Greg. And he stuck around. I didn't make it easy. I did everything I could to push him out the door, testing him because "what guy ever stays." But this guy did. And these guys receded.

I don't want to make my experience with Interpol sound bad. Like they were merely the instrumental to my misery, they weren't. But they were there for me when nobody was. My bodyguards and lullaby creators. And perhaps if they weren't there for me on those lonelier nights, something else would have been, something that I couldn't take back. And I'm grateful they were, and even now as they play in my car and I see a smiling toddler in the back seat, miles away from the place I was in five years ago, I tip my hat to them.

"It's up to me now, turn on the bright lights."


Chelsea Robbins said...

NYC is probably my fav song ever! I could slow dance to that song, run to it or go on a long drive listening to it.

oh how they bring me back-it's funny how certain music makes you think of a time in your life. Bjork does that for me too. I had a dvd of all of her music videos and would watch it over and over. she's a genius.


Lizzie said...

Love me some Interpol! Sad Carlos D is not with them and doing his own thing. But to me they are classic and nostalgic.. takes me back to when I first met my husband. Amazing bands started coming out of NYC back then. We were obsessed with them. Now after 9 yrs together and many concerts later.. we still love them. They'll always be like a soundtrack to our life and memories we've made.