[identity profile] cabaretlights.livejournal.com

Third Eye Blind

: I think this song is the first I ever really listened to.
Or maybe that's not quite accurate...hm. Let's see if I can describe what I mean.

This week, I organized a "field trip" for my adorable little high school Book Club to see The Perks of Being a Wallflower. Six teenagers, all weird and wonderful in their own ways -- including five girls I'd've died to have as friends when I was their age. They remind me, in some ways, of myself when I was fifteen -- too bright, strange, off, to be popular, but with these passionate cores that drive them. Life a mess, as it always is when you're fifteen, but tethered to something more powerful than quotidian drama and bullshit -- feeling things. Excited for things. Two of the girls hitting each other as the movie began, vibrating in their seats, and at the end of the movie, all seven of us sitting in a row, the same two trying to hide tears, holding hands tightly. Everything in the world, right then, was the emotion and love and dedication they had for this movie, this moment.

And as I drove home, windows open letting in cold October city air, it would've been impossible not to think back to teenage Jill.

She was a disaster, kind of, or at least an emotion bomb. In the interim -- believe it or not -- I've calmed down a bit (as we all do when the hormones subside), but she was not calm. She flew off the handle when something was good, or when something was bad, or when something was, point finale -- and she got Excited. Capital E. Not for parties, not for dates, but for movies. TV episodes. CDs. Books. She was distilled media joy: when she loved something, it was all there was in the world.
I get glimpses of that part of myself, some days/weeks/years more often than others, and when I do, it's like everything else fades and I am whole. When I am in love with a piece of media -- be it a sentence of a book, an entire TV show, a relationship therein -- I am absolutely happy. This the self I cultivated in high school, in cegep, and university; this the self who takes a backseat, these days.

There's a date from high school burned into my memory: October 6, 2000 (gr. 9)...and it's funny, writing about it so "publicly" now, because it was such a huge secret then, but. That was the date a particular episode of SG-1 aired -- one for which I was terribly excited, because I was a spoiler whore and I knew the two leads were going to admit they had feelings for each other. That week, I got this album, and played it incessantly as my anticipation built. The episode was fantastic, and I was blissed out for ages. Joy: pure, simple, and uncomplicated --- and that feeling & this song are inextricably twined.

Playing this song always brings me back there, in a way I can't quite do with music from before that time, and in a way after which I've patterned my subsequent musical experience. "Wounded" is the first song where something powerful, a deepseated and gut-twisting emotion, attached itself alongside the notes, the lyrics. The words have nothing to do with that time, or that memory, but the song will forever pull me back to that feeling of excitement, something I would have completely forgotten otherwise.

And oh, fuck, music: thank you for your ability to inspire not only in your own right, but in how you've been associated. How bittersweet to be able to return so profoundly to my adolescence; to be able to feel exactly as joyful as I did, and know that I will never feel quite that uncompromisingly happy again. There is too much else to process, too much else going on: I am an adult.

But when I put on "Wounded," for four minutes and fifty-one seconds, I'm happy again. Blissful, in that way only a fifteen-year-old in love with a media moment can be. And for all my adulthood, I am so grateful to be in a career where I will always be faced with that kind of joy, and heartbreak, and emotion -- because [some] teenagers, if they're lucky, feel that shit. No lip service, just loud honesty. And to be reminded of that, in a movie theatre and with a song, well --
that gives me a little hope that teenage Jill is still in there, stirring up whatever chaos she can.


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March 2014

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