Music can be a scary avenue to navigate if you aren’t quite sure what you’re looking for. We’ve grown up listening to the phrase ‘don’t judge a book by its cover.’ The same can be said for song titles, which either come from approximately two seconds of the composed lyrics or are seemingly unrelated altogether. Below are some of my favorite songs of late, along with a creative description of what that song makes me think about to try and help you narrow down your interests while simultaneously expanding your playlists. It’ll be a bit strange, but pick whatever song whose description resonates with you the most and give it a listen!
I bump the apartment door open with my bruised hip, grocery bag balanced in bundled arms. Everything fumbles to the floor except for the brown-paper packaging I set aimlessly on the kitchen counter, eyes pinned to the window beyond that welcomes in milky moonbeams. My body is very far from me now, and it seems this is the way it has always been. Before I know it, I’m thrusting open the balcony door, the thrumming of my heartbeat loud and hot in my flushed ears. His name. I can still envision it running along my phone screen, an omen laid in the contact name I’d never changed. The city is enveloping me as I step out, allowing the sounds of traffic below to satiate the hunger of my twisted brows. I didn’t even know I was crying until the wind soothes the streaking heat dribbling down the planes of my cheeks. Clutching the banisters tight in between my fists and squeezing until I feel them pierce me, I scream.
“Tommy’s Party” by Peach Pit
The bottle’s condensation trickles down my palm, and I’m refreshed without even having to take a sip of the cola. My Timberland-clad feet are kicked up on Cam’s cooler, but I don’t think they particularly mind the intrusion. They’re loading cheese and sour cream into a walking taco, engrossed in a conversation with some girl they met at an underground concert two weeks ago. I’d been introduced, but still struggled retaining the name. Leslie entertains us all, propped up on a camper chair riddled with holes perpendicular to me. Her face flickers with the licks of the flame ragging between us, and she blinks slow between acoustic strums. In her expression, I read silence, the fear of ruining the freshly cultivated fling between us with words. I bet neither of us will say anything. Neither of us will complain when it all goes back to normal in a few days, when we leave to head back into town. At the very least, this weekend remains; at least for tonight.
“Sinking Ship” by the Backseat Lovers
I’ve been on the roof for thirty minutes now, staring out over the swaying tree tops and boughs, waiting to see the birth of light down the horizon. Still, there’s nothing. The weather app told me that the sun would be rising at 6:18 am, but it has yet to show any signs of being true. I didn’t sleep all night, waiting for this moment. I stayed wrapped in Ma’s old, dowdy quilt from her juvenile years, and waited. It was better than sleeping and being exposed to the ruthless whims of dreams and nightmares. At least with open eyes, I decided. Now, peering out over the forest my mother once loved and lived in, anger bubbles in my throat. The app told me the sun would rise at 6:18 am, and it’s 6:26 am now. Tears well in the canyon of my eyes, but I deny them the right to a fall. There, they stay planted as I try not to think about her funeral tomorrow, about the words scribbled on that paper I’ll have to read from. It’s 6:28 am, and there’s no sun in sight.
“Show Me How” by Men I Trust
She holds my hand beneath the covers and curls herself against me for warmth. I’m content just breathing her in, the sweet ripeness of her peach perfume that I’d borrowed on more than one occasion. My hair is damp from the shower I’m fresh out of, but she runs her fingers through it all the same. I never imagined myself here, in her bed. I never imagined this all working out so well. Under it all, I can’t help thinking about how my grandmother would react in her postmortem, looking at me laying this close to another woman, much less thinking about her the way I do. My heart starts beating faster. I pray she doesn’t notice while I pull her closer to me, a silent plead that she’ll know what I’m asking in the motion. It’s been a while now since I was in this situation, much less with someone as important as she is, a rupture of rougue against my otherwise boring past six months. I hope she knows I need a little guidance in this department. And almost as if reading my mind, the hand that once smoothed the tendrils of my curls slows and arches downward, dancing to my chin and cupping it before she turns her face to mine. She makes it all easy.
“Right Down the Line” by Gerry Rafferty
He’s cooking me chicken katsu and wearing an apron that says “Kiss me, I’m Irish”. His body sways above the sizzling pan, hands tenderly flipping and prodding the cutlet before him. I don’t think he knows I’m watching from the doorway, which might make the moment even better. He pauses as the song’s chorus roars and starts singing into the butt end of a wooden spatula, the prior normalcy exploding into a full-blown solo concert. I can’t help but laugh, despite fighting the urge to do so and fearing the potential ruin of the moment. He whips around, and his smile is enough to remind me of why we fought through every hard day of this marriage. Sliding on cotton socks, he’s beside me in an instant, arm wrapped haphazardly around my waist and pulling me in. I try to protest, but his garbled singing drowns out any words I might have formed. We’re dancing and screaming, ruptured with laughter, and I think about how much I would pay for a picture of us now, authentically together in the anemic light of our first kitchen.