There once was a young woman who had it all – a roof over her head, food in the pantry, clothes on her back, friends, family, a boyfriend, and a promising future. One day, the young man she called “boyfriend” returned from a long holiday weekend with family and told her about a band he and his siblings saw called Blue October. Showing her the CD he had purchased after that evening’s performance, he then placed into the CD ROM drive of a massive desktop computer and began making a digital copy of the songs it housed. Once the process was complete, he removed the CD from the tray, placed it back into its case, and loaded the entire album into Winamp on his massive desktop.
The cries of a violin filled the room quickly followed by the strums of a guitar and base. Then a sad but powerful voice sang about hiding the ugly side of his personality, yet he was still exposing his heart and soul with every single note. “Damn, this man is brave”, she thought as she listened closely to what was being said.
Intrigued, she continued to listen closely to every note being played, every word being sung. Then, quite abruptly, the “boyfriend” interjected with a sentence that was interpreted as “Babe, I really want to make this next song ‘our’ song”. Open to the suggestion, she listened intently.
“There’s something that I can’t quite explain. I’m so in love with you, you never take that away. And if I said a hundred times before, expect a thousand more, you never take that away….”
“Aww, babe that’s such a sweet song! Sure, why not, let’s make it ‘our’ song”, she happily replied.
A year and a half later, the relationship turned dark, her heart was poisoned, and the song was nothing more than a piercing siren in her ears. The very mention of the song title made her shudder and want to cry. There was no choice but to swear off ever listening to the band that created such a beautiful song. Deeply sadden by this decision, she continued on, trying to find other avenues to fill such a vast void.
Three years had come and gone. One day in that third year, she was walking through the music aisles of the local Wal-Mart when something caught her eye. Turning to face the shelf, her eyes focused on an album cover that had a large, compact ball of tin foil in the center with several pieces that had fallen to the ground. An all caps heading above the foil ball read “BLUE OCTOBER…FOILED”. Chills ran up and down her spine and her heart began to sink into her stomach.
“Don’t pick it up, DON’T PICK IT UP,” her brain screamed, but it was too late – her hand reached out towards the shelf, firmly grabbed the album, and brought within reading distance so her eyes could examine the front cover a bit closer. Then, her hands flipped the album over to the back side so her eyes could read the track listing. Despite her brain’s protests, her hands placed the album into the shopping basket.
The next morning, she placed the album and her clunky CD player into her backpack and headed off to work. Once she was settled into her workstation, she reached into her backpack and grabbed the album and the listening equipment. Removing the album from its protective cover, she placed it into the portable CD player, closed the lid, and pressed play. As she took a deep breath, the first song began to fill her headphones.
Then, the fifth song began to play. With a piano playing loudly in the background, the words “If your sleeping, are you dreaming, if your dreaming are you dreaming of me, I can’t believe you actually picked me” were being sung with so much sarcasm it was as if they were being thrown to the ground and flattened to death with a heavy shoe.
“I have to block out thoughts of you so I don’t lose my head. They’re crawling like a cockroach leaving babies in my bed, dropping little reels of tape to remind me that I’m alone…” It was as if thoughts were being translated onto a page in a diary and being read out loud. “Hate me today, hate me tomorrow, hate me for all the things I didn’t do for you…”
Tears welled up in her eyes as the song made the memory of that ill-fated moment surfaced. Just as they were about to fall, the heavy shoe slammed to the ground once again, flattening even more words of that love song to death – “I can’t believe you actually picked me”. The tears quickly dried up and the back button was pressed on her CD player.
The song began to play a second time, followed by a third and a fourth listen. Each time those lyrics to the love song were sung, the flatter they became. The memory of that ill-fated moment began to decay with every detail flaking off like the tin foil on the album cover. As the flakes hit the ground, they burst into flames and melted away into nothing.
More and more, the memory continued to decay with each listen of the song. Ten years later, that large ball of tin foil is now down to the size of a golf ball. Maybe over the next decade it will reduce to the size of a pea and eventually melt away into nothing. Either way, we’ll you posted on its progress.