Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Our Life in Music

“Bohemian Rhapsody.” Kati, Anna, and I had wondered: How much of our weirdness would it take to scare you away? How crazy would we have to be before you said enough? But that night I began to realize maybe you would always match us crazy for crazy. Was I already falling for you then? Or was there magic in watching you stroll, suitcase in hand, across our makeshift music video stage to the line “carry on, carry on”?

The entire Best of Kansas CD. You mentioned, in passing, that you liked Kansas. I went home and bought the CD. I listened to it a lot that summer, in between the more typically me music: OMD, Erasure, Enya, the American Graffiti soundtrack (though I’ve never seen the show). It was a subtle form of stalking, and I convinced myself, for a few months at least, that I really loved Kansas.

“Green-Eyed Lady.” Sugarloaf. I’d never heard this one. You mentioned it via email after one of our late-night campus rambles. You said it reminded you of me. I looked it up, of course, in those days when it was still somewhat difficult to find lyrics online. Did it mean what it sounded like? Did you like me? From the lyrics, the implication seemed obvious, but I still couldn’t manage to believe it. It was still months before we admitted how we felt.

Bon Jovi. “Always.” We danced, and it felt like the first time, the most important time, and I sang the lyrics quietly and thought it might be true—that “I will love you . . . always.” Minus, of course, that poorly rhymed bit about (ironically) rhyming words. That moment changed us. It changed me. And yet, even then, as always when I hear this song, I couldn’t help but wish that they’d come up with a better rhyme.
“Breathe” by Faith Hill. “Amazed” by Lonestar. Our first kiss.

“Via Con Me.” Watching Mostly Martha (the German version, not the American remake) in our first apartment and dancing in the kitchen.

“Run” by Snow Patrol. It was playing in the car as you dropped me off at work that one time.

That mix of about seven songs for childbirth. I kept meaning to make a brilliant, perfect, relaxing mix of songs for labor with our third child, but then I kept not getting to it. For months. Finally, about ten hours into labor, I put the songs together on our computer. They played, over and over again, for the next six hours.

Anything by Radiohead. Our irreconcilable difference, that you think their sounds count as music.

“High and Dry.” Though I admit it sounds more like music when I listen to you practice it on your guitar.

“Daydream Believer.” “I’m a Believer.” Both the Monkees versions, of course. Sitting in the dining room, reminiscing about the music of our childhood. Playing YouTube videos for the kids. Occasionally in our lives, I just stare at you and remember. Where we’ve been. Who we’ve been. The fact that here we are, that you love me, that we’ve created this life together—it just takes my breath away. And I think I couldn’t possibly love you any more than I already do.
But then the music starts to play, and we both burst into song, and we smile, and the children laugh at the silly outfits in the music video, and we laugh along too, and I find I was wrong. I love you even more.

Happy anniversary to my fantastic husband.

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