Saturday, December 29, 2007

"Past in Present"

Before I share my next three and most recent brilliant traces, I would like to share the lyrics of a song that hit me like a burst of cold water this morning as my train was pulling into Seattle.

The song is "Past in Present" by Feist. It struck me so hard because while my present is the happiest I have been in many years, I still have portions of my past that creep up on me when I'm not looking.

Even though I have moved forward from the heart break, portions of the last three brilliant traces are still present in my life - one who is still a friend, one who I can't escape the memory of, and one who still makes my heart sink to the bottom of my stomach when I think about him.

"Past in Present"
by Feist

The scarlet letter isn't black
Gotta know who's got your back
Because they're right in front of you
Because they're telling you the truth

So much present inside my present
Inside my present so...so much past
Inside my present inside my past
Inside my present
So, so

Feeling it from dark to bright
When a wrong becomes a right
When a mountain fills with light
It's a volcano, it's a volcano
It's a volcano, it's a volcano

So much present, inside my present
Inside my present
So, so much past

Inside my present, inside my present
Inside my present
So, so much past

Inside my present
Inside my present...
So, so much past

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

brilliant trace #6

You were a friend of my best friend, and the instant I met you I knew you were going to steal my heart.

I was sitting on a couch in the basement of CBGB’s on Manhattan's Lower East Side, and in one smooth motion you sat down next to me and with a gentle nod cleared the long, dark silky hair from your face.

You turned to me and asked, “Who might you be?”

We had barely introduced ourselves before you were called up to the stage with your band.

I remained on the couch captivated by the emotion in your voice and the humor in your performance. I realized at that moment there was no probably in the matter of you stealing my heart.

After your show, and couple of other people talked about getting a bite to eat. You turned to me and asked if I was going to join all of you because we barely even had the chance to say hello.

I of course said yes.

At the end of the night, which included trekking several blocks to a bizarre costume party in the Lower East Village, you gave me a copy of your band’s demo album. You apologized for the amateur quality of the CD. At the time, I didn’t know how modest you were being, which is something I can attest to after endlessly listening to your album during my long subway commutes between work, school, and home.

Our brief encounter that September evening soon led to numerous late night phone calls, and hours upon hours of instant messaging during our droning workdays. In between all of our silly banter and play-on-words, we talked about our dreams, life, love, and losing love.

After two months of long-distance dating, so to speak, I made a venture west to Philadelphia to spend Halloween with my best friend, you, and your circle of friends.

After a roaring good time of board games, I laid my head in your lap and we all watched a countdown of Hollywood’s scariest movie moments. While everyone was fixated on the television, I was fixated on you gently running your fingers through my hair while I rubbed the small of your back. It was tender, safe, and warm.

Over the next month, we exchanged a number of mixed CDs. When done right, we both understood the brilliance, sentiment, humor, and power behind mixing a compilation of music for someone.

In December, you came to visit me in New York and taught me how to make your grandma’s secret marinara sauce. You told me I had to learn it out of pure necessity because the eating habits I'd developed over the years while dashing from work to class to the acting studio were atrocious. You said just because I was busy and broke didn’t mean I should sacrifice my health.

While our pot of marinara boiled on the stove, we curled up in my over-sized chair to watch a Bobby Darin special I'd recorded from PBS. I told you your charisma reminded me of him. You didn't believe me, but I still think I’m right.

We spent the rest of the weekend with your friends attending a book reading and art show. We all wanted you stay in New York a little longer, but you insisted on returning to Philadelphia to help your ex-girlfriend, who you'd been with for five years, move out of the apartment the two of you shared.

I feel like a fool now believing I was something more than a rebound for you, but I guess we all need to face the truth sometimes so we can see where we stand in the grand scheme of things.

I asked you after that weekend what you were feeling given the recent breakup, and all you could tell me was that you were emotionally unavailable. You said you decided right after your break up that you were going to be single for a while and get your head on straight. Then, meeting a “wonderful little creature named Vanessa” had complicated all of that.

You remained loyal to your convictions of being being single and I respected your reasoning. We remained friends, but somewhat estranged. I was holding out hope you might come to your senses and realize what we could be.

Then, a few months after our conversation, my best friend informed me you were in a new relationship with someone. I asked you about your new girlfriend, and you told me it was serious.

I felt a jolt of blood and disbelief rush to my face while my heart sank, and all I could think was that I'd known from the beginning you’d steal my heart. I just didn't realize you would break it.

I learned from you not to wait on anyone to figure things out, because if someone really wants to be with me they’ll make it happen. No matter how confusing it might be.

Current status of brilliant trace #6: Married

brilliant trace #7

Thursday, December 6, 2007

"Take the things you love . . ."

In following along with my flow of brilliant traces, here are some lyrics I think encapsulate what it means to love, lose love, and love again - hopefully without losing faith.
This is how it works
You peer inside yourself
You take the things you like
You try to love the things you took
And then you take that love you made
And stick it into some
Someone else's heart
Pumping someone else's blood
And walking arm in arm
You hope it don't get harmed
But even if it does
You'll just do it all again

From: "On the Radio" by Regina Spektor