Certain songs take me back to places I don’t necessarily care to return. Dusty corners of memory I’ve boarded away on purpose. Shadows I’d like to pretend aren’t lurking inside my mind. Wounds that never quite healed.
It was Jimmy Eat World that wove its way into the soundtrack of my summer after graduating high school. When Bleed American washed over me like the Georgia heat. When I was stuck between a high school dreamer and a lost college soul.
I was serving coffee in the morning and ice cream at night in the middle of suburbia with A Praise Chorus and Sweetness on repeat every second in between. Working two jobs just to occupy my mind. So it wouldn’t slip up and find its way back to you.
Now when I hear any of those eleven tracks, I can’t help but go back to that endless summer. I remember that poor, sweet 18-year-old girl.
How she felt like she was finally going to move forward, but really she was just spinning in circles around you.
When I couldn’t sleep, I’d put earphones in so those words could keep me company in the darkness. If you still care at all, don’t go tell me now. If you love me at all, don’t call.
I’d let Your House and Cautioners and Hear You Me lull me into my dreams.
I played that CD as I packed up my things at the end of August. As I drove my little cherry red Mustang to Athens for the first time. Windows down. Volume up. As I made my great escape.
I said my goodbyes. This is my sundown. I’m gonna be so much more than this.
I never managed to escape you that summer. And when I hear these songs today, I sometimes wonder if I ever did.