Current Jams XV

  1. “Jesus Alone” – Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds. An impressive debut song from Nick’s latest album, Skeleton Tree. I think it’s a perfect introduction for the record–but that’s a conversation for another day. With its repetitive, winding instrumentals, more electronic than what Nick Cave is known for, and the second-person point of view, this song is a somber yet hopeful tale. Favorite lyric: “You believe in God, but you get no special dispensation for this belief now / You’re an old man sitting by a fire, hear the mist rolling off the sea / You’re a distant memory in the mind of your creator, don’t you see?”
  2. “Big TV” – White Lies. This song sounds like an oncoming wave from the Atlantic ocean–it’s in the distance, it’s coming, it’s cold, and then it hits you, and you feel a surge of energy through your body. White Lies reminds me of a mix of Blur and Keane, and they are definitely worth a listen. Favorite lyric: “But why can’t anything be real? / Emotion like the movies feel / A pill to break the drone of reverie.”
  3. “Toy Boy” – Mika. One thing I really appreciate about Mika is his ability to take a political or social statment and turn it into a flighty, piano-induced little tune. His lyrics are clever and poignant and it’s taken me years of listening to him to dissect them. I love how this song speaks to the issue of same-sex relationships, even in the sense of toys and children. Favorite lyric: “But your momma thought there was something wrong / Didn’t want you sleeping with a boy too long.”
  4. “Getting Used to Losing You” – Buck Owens. Country music is underrated. That’s just my opinion. If you want to spend a few minutes wallowing in some old (or recent) heartbreak, give this song a chance. Favorite lyric: “I walk down the same old street meeting friends we used to meet / Trying not to let them know that I’m so blue.”
  5. “I Need You” – Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds. Another gem from Skeleton Tree. It’s so gut-wrenching to hear (and see) the pain in Nick’s voice…I can’t imagine losing a child and then having the strength to write and record and album in the following year. I think this song speaks most directly to his son’s premature death, and its, again, electronic-based instrumentals mingling with the slow drumbeats and harrowed vocals make for a beautiful, if not heartbreaking, song. Favorite lyric: “I’ll miss you when you’re gone away forever / Cause nothing really matters / I thought I knew better, so much better / And I need you, I need you.”
  6. “When It’s Cold I’d Like To Die” – Moby ft. Annie Lennox. Thank you to Stranger Things for bringing this song to my attention. I’ve been an Annie Lennox fan since I was a child–her voice is truly stunning and totally hypnotic. I’m noticing a theme with these songs for this month…somber and, well, depressing. But sometimes we need to indulge in depression. Favorite lyric: “I don’t want to swim the ocean / I don’t want to fight the tide / I don’t want to swim forever / When it’s cold I’d like to die.”

What have you been listening to?

Less Than.

On my days off I sleep for ten+ hours, which is excessive and gross. I blame my new schedule, work, and my medication (the Latuda, specifically, which I recently increased and does nothing except make me more anxious). I want to decrease my dosage, against my doctor’s orders, but as bad as the side effects are now, I don’t want to know what the withdrawal will be like.

Jealousy permeates me to the core. I feel bad because I’m making others feel bad. No one wants to listen to someone tear themselves down, and incidentally blame others for their shortcomings, but it’s become habit for me now. I just looked at myself in the bathroom and was proud of the new glute muscle I’ve achieved–I’ve never had an ass before–but then immediately thought about how my best friend, who is more beautiful than I could ever dream to be, started doing squats so really, it doesn’t matter how many wall-sits or squats I do, or how toned my arms are, because I will always be the less attractive one.

It’s hard to be constantly surrounded by and associated with such beautiful people when you are not included in that sentiment. I know my friends don’t see it that way–how could they? I’m one of them, in their eyes, but I am not.

The thing is, it’s not as if I’m not trying. It’s just more effortless for other people. I have to try and look socially acceptable and I barely manage to do that, and I certainly do not pass for “attractive.” For my friends, they don’t have to do much. One of them doesn’t even wear makeup. The other lost weight because her medication decreased her appetite, so she just doesn’t eat. The other is just naturally alluring, but I haven’t quite figured out why.

This sounds pitiful, it really does, to go on and on about being less-than. But I know what I am.

I

It’s a particularly warm and humid day for September. I’d like to sit outside but the grey skies and dampness and muggy air dissuade me. 

I get my usual coffee from the library cafe, adding a slash of some chocolate raspberry flavored concoction to my cup full of decaf because I’m so tired today that I’ll take the risk of anxiety. Upstairs, in one of the dimly lit, private study rooms, I make a call about a book I need by Monday, though preferably sooner. This means I have to drive downtown, parking in a garage, something my pussy suburbanite self is not too keen on. But this is something acacemia demands of me. 

I think about taking a break from school after I get my bachelor’s degree. I’ve been in college for five years and haven’t had a break from “learning” since preschool, and suddenly I feel overwhelmed by this giant waste of time, realizing my life has been totally consumed by something that was, only very recently, my choice. But taking a break means either working full time in one retail job or having two retail jobs and frankly, I’d rather gouge my eyes out.

I read a story about a company who hires fake grandparents for families who no longer want to “utilize” their real ones, and this makes me sad for a number of reasons. “Just because someone is related to you doesn’t mean they’re best suited to loving you.” I don’t entirely disagree with this, but the story makes me sad regardless. 

I know I decided this on my own, but what other options do I have? I feel compelled to follow the train tracks that loop through campus, die instantaneously in a heat wave of iron and steel. Every task forces me to gather all my mental and physical will power, which isn’t much. 

The phrases “I need to” and “I want to” clash in my head like drums. 

For Now.

Summer’s over. Classes have begun. In fact, I’ve already gotten through the first week, and, subsequently, a full tank of gas. Work scheduled me for five days in a row and I had to grovel to get a day off to do schoolwork.

There’s so much being demanded of me, and I do it, but it doesn’t make it any easier.

I can’t express my total disdain for having to wake up at 6:45 am (I’m not one of this people who can just look socially acceptable, or feel comfortable, without makeup) for a 9:30 am class. All because I have to drive 45 minutes to campus.

As I walk down the small stairwell, exiting the liberal arts building into the courtyard on the south side of campus, I think, This is my life, and I’m filled with depression and paranoia for a few moments. Maybe it’s because I had a little coffee today, maybe it’s because I, subsequently, need a Klonopin.

I’m painfully alert in my Women in World Literature class and despite this, or maybe because of this, time moves incredibly slowly. We’re reading women Russian writers and I have no interest in them, quite frankly.

I take a piss and blood fills the toilet after I leave my last class. My period is two days late. Not unusual. My drive home is long and boring, but at least no one almost side swiped me today. I accidentally take a two hour nap when I get home.

I do homework, read, smoke cigarettes, make tea, consider masturbating. Depression and agitation are keeping me awake in a most unpleasant manner.

This is my life, I think again.