I pop on the occasional track just because it’s on an old
playlist or I feel bad, but I haven’t gone back to listen to Blonde, track for
track, in over a year. I just decided that hey, it might be something fun to
do, so a couple of nights ago I hung out, hit play and kinda just lay there. It
struck me about half way through the opener, ‘Nikes’, that the last time I
listened to it was in a phase of peak depression.
Looking back, of course, my problems were banal – high
school, prepping to go to university in the United states, girl problems – all
bullshit. They weren’t, though. It felt like my world was collapsing and that
there was nothing I could do. ‘Ivy’ comes on, and I’m reminded of where I AM as
compared to where I WAS. ‘Pink + White’ comes on and I’m reminded of my friend
who killed himself. It seems to go on like this – every track a tangible moment
I can mentally assign.
It’s something I can almost reach out and grasp.
I remember not liking it the first time I heard it, pirated
off of Facebook zipped in a folder called ‘FUCK TIM COOK’ on account of the
apple music exclusivity it had for 10 hours. I told my friends I didn’t like
it, told myself I didn’t like it. I don’t know why, but I found myself going
back over and over because it made me FEEL something. Not the general
‘sad/happy/sleepy’ you get with other albums, but something that made me feel
small and insignificant while all part of a grander story.
‘Skyline To’ comes on and reminds me of that. Synths fly in
the background as birds chirp and Frank sings about growth. I find myself standing in that spot in New Zealand where I had my ‘Come to Jesus’ moment, so overtaken by nature that I broke down and cried. I begin to cry. Random thoughts are
expelled into the ether as ‘Self Control’ takes over and forces me to think
about my first ever kind of encounter with a girl I used to know. Horrible
things said and done, ending in a painful way that I never really knew how to
process. I don’t think she did either. We never talked about it, shunted it to
the side and refused to deal with it, and it tore us apart.
‘Good Guy’ comes on and I’m forced to tussle with my own bisexuality.
Endless encounters that went nowhere, feeling and then having that feeling
ripped away because I’m scared of being open about it. Still am. Cutting that
‘Nights’ was always everyone’s favourites on the album, but
not mine. It goes into Franks cocaine abuse and difficult life after Katrina,
but for me it never really resonated. Sonically, it’s a masterpiece.
You know, sometimes
I think about how different life could be if I stopped caring about all the
shit I wrap myself in. Do I care what she thinks? Do I care what they think? Why
the fuck are people so cruel? Why am I so cruel? What the fuck am I doing? Is
this right, is this wrong, is this the middle or the end? What is the reason?
Is there a reason?
What’s the point of asking?
‘Close to You’ reminds me of the small moments, the quiet
moments. Moments where I’ve felt safe and cared for. There aren’t many, but I
hold those dear to me. I want to be quiet more, or more realistically, I want
someone to be quiet with. I know who she is, and I hope that she will wait for
me. I don’t expect she will. ‘White Ferrari’ drills this home, throwing me
right back to that hillside. I know this is a stupid thought, but it runs
through my head when I listen – am I loved? I know I am, but it’s hard to find
sometime. That’s okay, because I know that all feelings, no matter how
grandiose or deeply depressing, are fleeting. I am a boat in the middle of the
ocean (ha) alone and drifting, and the tidal waves may hit the boat, but they
will never sink it. Light shines down, dries me off, and I am there to dance in
it. I know that the tidal waves will come again, but so will the sun.
‘Siegfried’ was always my favourite song on the album. The
muted guitar and bass, echoing vocals and the desperate search for stability
resonate with me on some plane that I am still not able to fully comprehend. It
echoes in my heart, my soul, my body, and my eyes well up and I begin to cry.
The thought that a solar flare could destroy everything forces me to question
why I am here, why anything is. Am I here to serve a purpose? Am I here to
love, or to destroy? What is the problem? Is there a solution?
Just like that, ‘Godspeed’ rips me from these thoughts. The
opening line reminds me that I am here to serve a purpose, and that purpose is
to show compassion. The inner dialogue that these two tracks creates plays with
my emotions like a pendulum. Life is free-flowing. It’s not a static state, not
at all. Life is a stream, and I am that same boat that was on that same ocean
flowing in an endless (ha) river. The same storms and the same sunlight that
played with me are the same, but I realize that this flowing motion, this
movement down this river, drives me.
‘Futura Free’ caps this off by showing me that my rambling
thought is right – that my life has it’s ups and downs but that if I keep
pushing, just KEEP pushing, everything will work out. Not because I am a smart,
special, or an inherently good person, but because if I keep pushing, life
happens. If the boat crumbles and dissolves into the stream, that’s okay. The
stream will keep flowing for infinity. Life keeps happening. I am here, but for
a brief moment, to experience it.
I am the same person I was in high school, but I’m not. The
experiences gifted to me by the world have forced me to realise a simple truth
– this too shall pass. All good, all bad. I am here with forever, and forever
is here with me.