Friday, September 12, 2008

Sounds Of My Life: Raining In Baltimore

I can't hear this song and not think about Baltimore.

Not because the name of the city is in the title, but because it reminds me of a very specific moment in my life that just happened to be after a 3 day stay in the greater Baltimore / DC area.

I was traveling alone back to St. Louis, sitting in the middle seat of a three-seat row; the plane was shuffling toward the runway of Reagan National when this song seeps into my earbuds ... at a moment I least needed it to.

It struck me during the opening line so violently that it took every fiber of my being not to break down, sobbing, amongst the complete and total strangers who surrounded me.

The weekend, while generally a fun trip with friends, had been such a colossal failure on so many levels. Instead of a momentary escape from the disaster that was my life back in St. Louis, it ended up being just another painful reminder of how horribly bitter and meaningless life can be.

So here I was, life in shambles; sad song stinging very much in the foreground of what already felt like such a desolate, lonely existence ... stranger in a strange town, surrounded by strangers ... rain falling outside the window, one seat over to my right, four and an aisle to my left.

It rained, snowed, sleeted, every day that weekend; from the day I arrived up until well after I left.

Even if I wanted to skip the song over, I couldn't. The moment seemed too appropriate to ignore. The plane nosed homeward, no ... a house no longer a home. The moment suddenly was a glaring reminder of how I had to contend not only with my own heartbreak, new found borderline addictions, past failures and regrets, but also the heartache of knowing that it wasn't only my relationships that weren't immune to such devastation.

It represented the perfect moment of uncomfortable, unwarranted, unwelcome solitude; so eerily in tune with the song's theme, forget the spooky coincidence of the song title. And while instinct would rather leave me weeping for hours on end in response, much like my life at the time, I forced myself to suck it up.

To stare into the headrest of the seat in front of me, bite my lip, force those tears back ... and just let the moment pass.

One note at a time.

Artist: Counting Crows

This is a new feature section that I plan on recurring at least monthly, because I like the idea so much ... it just dawned on me in the car trip home from Ellisville this afternoon, when I realize how much of my life I relive through song.

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