MYLENE KLASS AND GUY GARVEY - THE LAST OF THE MELTING SNOW
This gorgeous Leisure Society cover was recorded at Save The Children’s Christmas Tree Sessions in December. But, as this week’s snow turns to slush, it seems pretty suitable for now. CS
Since I updated last, I moved back to my native soil of Philadelphia, slipped into a new apartment and set up camp in a new office tower. Objectively, my life has never been better - I have plenty of money, a secluded place in a beautiful neighborhood, a new scooter to toy with and a neighborhood cat to pet. I mean, really, it couldn’t be better.
But, somehow, I find myself skipping rocks every day instead of dancing in the sun with delight. You know that feeling when the sunlight touches your skin after a long winter of snowy cruelty? Like finding an old battery in a dusty drawer, are you not filled with an unexpected electricity? It’s that kind of electricity that makes you dance in the dandelion yellow air, pulling shoestrings of joy from the soil with the same ease as finding cobwebs after a brief rain. I don’t feel that, it seems.
I moved from a city that was cloudy 8 out of 10 days in the year to a city that is almost always sunny with clear skies, and yet, why is it that I find the most comfort sitting on a river bank, throwing smooth stones into the drink? Could it be Depression rearing its ugly head once again, or maybe that vague sense of loneliness that follows me wherever I go? If I don’t know, who else can know for sure.
What I do know is that I discovered an unexpected sanctuary on the banks of the Schuylkill, a river that we were always told was an ugly, polluted thing. Something as simple as watching butterflies drink from puddles of dew or seeing snakes flit their tongue fills me with a compassion that assures me that, despite that chilling coldness in my heart, it’s good to be the king.
This song is my spirit animal.
So, when I worked at Chemistry Communications in 2011, I experienced my first tangle with spam faxes. Having been raised entirely on computers, this was actually my very first experience with a functioning fax machine, so, imagine me blown away.
So, fascinated with the concept, the director of new business and I concocted a scheme to come up with our own hilarious junk spam and send it to new business prospects to see if they’d follow through with us.
Cockamamie, yes. But, in all honesty, my favorite piece of work I ever did.
rejection never stops stinging, even as i grow older.
“The Strings That Tie To You”
I don’t have a lot of favorite things, but when I find something I love, I attach my hooks into it like it was written, acted, formulated, molded or otherwise made for me. It melts into my person and we two become one. It makes me new, and it makes me whole for a short time.
I guess it applies to everything I’ve ever set my eyes on, but one movie spoke to me so closely that it became the benchmark that became the bookmark in the long tale of ‘so, who am I anyway?’
When I first saw Eternal Sunshine, I was utterly taken by in by it. Every portion of it spoke directly to me, like it was a story told directly to me over a slice of pizza in a toned-down pizza joint. It was the fact that we saw a rare set of characters and the fact that the story was told through a series of even more unusual perspectives that stole my heart away.
To see a shy but introspective man try to stumble his way through a relationship with a tumultuous and impulsive girl made me see myself in cinema for the first time in, well, ever. It turned a mirror around and burnt a hole right through my cranium, making me see for the first time that I was the same shy boy, desperately craving attention, adoration and approval, as the one on the screen.
However, for every line that I could quote that anchors me, there is one that stands jubilant at my feet like a hunting dog at the stead of its master –
From the wrinkles on my forehead
To the mud upon my shoe
Everything’s a memory
With strings that tie to you
It’s from a song on the soundtrack called, well, “Strings That Tie To You” by Jon Brion. The song speaks to how, following a breakup, the human mind cruelly fills in blanks that you wish it wouldn’t. It sees the scum in the shower and connects it to a memory you before forgot; it sees the crust of bread and puts a taste on your tongue that you can’t forget; it hears the familiar chirp of the sparrow and snaps you back to a time when you laid with the only person that mattered in an old baseball diamond, watching the birds fight.
In the long winter of healing from my ex-fiancé, I find that I repeat the words “the strings that tie to you” every day. I imagine the memories you encounter that you wish you’d forget like walking through spider webs in the dark of night. Freaks you right out, but honestly, you should have expected it.
I once heard someone say, “anyone can get into a fight and win. What separates the men from the boys is how someone reacts when they walk through a spider web.”
Doin’ my best not to freak out.