Do you believe in soulmates? I asked her. It was one of these pensive Sunday mornings, the apartment empty as usual. I’d been contemplating life and love and the many layers in between over (at least) three cups of coffee, and suddenly needed to know what she thought. I believe in sublime connections, absolutely; her answer bridged 3000 thousand miles of Atlantic Ocean and 8 hours of time difference. That alone told me that sometimes connections are deep enough to work, even transatlantic. Thank God, I thought, and then: I knew it. Her words were soothing like Advil or a mug of hot chocolate. Why do you ask love? She wanted to know.
Well, why did I want to know exactly? For one, I’m an over-thinker. I love to think about things – be it the question whether or not it’s really necessary to have light products of things that aren’t supposed to be light to begin with (such as frosting – really, who wants light frosting?) or the question whether or not soulmates might possibly exist, I’ve thought about it, at least once. Simply thinking about questions doesn’t give you any answers, of course. So after I’ve spent quite a while thinking, I tend to look for the answers in books. No how-to manuals, of course. Any book really. I believe that if you come across the right book at the right time it can tell you something. Maybe even if you come across the wrong book at the wrong time it’ll tell you something. I’m not sure, though – I’ll have to think about it some other time.
I’d also been doing some soul-searching for a while and had just finished reading a book about soulmates. A bit esoteric but not too far out there and strangely gripping. I stumbled over it on one of my many amazon binges. Actually, a friend had recommended the author to me almost two years ago and for some reason I had suddenly remembered him. I almost ate, slept and breathed the book until I was done. And although I was out to find answers, it just handed me a bunch of new questions. Maybe that’s a type of answer, too. Of course, a book is just a book; it’s not an oracle, not a life-line. Especially with this book, I had my doubts anyways. I imagined the author’s smirk as he typed the epilogue, bedazzled by the fact that he can make actual money by making shit up as he goes (who wouldn’t love that?).
The problem: I’m a cynic and a believer, all at once. Like everyone else, I certainly would like to return a couple of things life’s handed me down the road. I’ve had days (weeks, months) where I felt like kicking and screaming: was this really necessary? At the same time I’ve always had hope: there’s got to be a reason for all this; it’s got to get better eventually. It just had to. It was the same with the book: I wanted to believe, I just didn’t really trust it. In the end, however, I decided a little more belief and a little less doubt couldn’t hurt. If we’re honest with ourselves: who doesn’t love the idea that one or maybe even two or three soulmates exists for every one of us that we are destined to meet (what is done after the meeting, of course, is free will – (un)fortunately?). Not because the book had convinced me to. Just because I wanted to. I guess, that’s what believing means anyways. Also, because the book left me with so many questions, I’d just found my own answer: another soul that agreed with me and made me feel a little less crazy about it all. A soulmate, maybe?
I make playlists. Because I like lists and because I love music. I make playlists for friends because that’s my way of letting someone know: hey, you’re, like, really awesome, and, like, I thought you should know. I also love to find other people’s playlists in this wonderful, magic, attic-like place called the internet because it’s a fun way to discover new bands or realize that some random stranger on the other side of the world shares your taste in music. So, internet: you’re like, really awesome, too!
That being said, yesterday I sent a cool playlist I’d just discovered on a music blog to a friend as my way of letting him know: hey, I can’t send you a playlist that I put together myself for the moment but that doesn’t mean I don’t think you’re awesome, so here’s someone else’s cool playlist for now (and if you think that’s a lot to communicate through one little playlist – well, much much mucho mucho more is possible, you’d be surprised!).
To understand the rest of the story, you have to know this: I am a girl. Always keep this in mind. If you think a boy is telling you the story, you’ll get confused quickly as you read on (because you’re reading on, right? Right???). So again: I am a girl. Now, let’s continue.
Whenever I make a playlist for someone else, it’s, of course, mostly pure altruism (oh yes, baby, it is). Mostly. Yet (because I’m a girl, remember?), I do hope the playlist-receiver will get the message that comes with the list, be happy, and say something like: hey, like, cool! What an awesome playlist! And maybe something like: I really like song no. 5! That’s what I want in return. I’m a girl and I can’t help it.
Well, do I have to say things didn’t really turn out as planned (I know I don’t)? I had looked up the songs on my Spotify (you know what I’m talking about, right? If not: look it up, it will make you very happy!), created a playlist there and listened to it before sending it to my friend (a last quality check). Like with any social medium, though, other people that are logged in can see what you’re up to – and in my case: listen to the playlist as well. So as I sat and listened (being quite pleased with the song selection), my Spotify told me someone else was, in fact, listening to the playlist: this random guy I’d met three years ago during a month-long volunteer project who I hadn’t been a great fan of (watch out: euphemism alert). What? No! Why? I wanted to stop him, but obviously, I couldn’t just reach through my laptop screen and punch him or something (although I would have wanted to, kind of).
Here’s some more detailed information on my non-relationship with random-volunteer-project-guy: me and a friend of mine (also a girl, again: important side note) were sort of the other kids’ boss, which means: also his. And guess what? He hadn’t been a great fan of us, either. He and his (guy) friends had semi-big issues accepting that two girls were more or less telling them what to do (what has the world come to? A female as a boss? What?) or more accurately: what not to do (such as: don’t get drunk before or during work, don’t wreck the bus we use to drive to work every day in the middle of the night because you’re drunk, don’t bring random girls to the house we all have to share because you’re drunk…but if you really have to: at least, please, don’t get anyone pregnant!). Boys are stupid sometimes.
They never understood what we were trying to tell them or why we were upset all the time (other side note: this wasn’t a volunteer project in a big city where no one really cares what’s going on – this was in a small town where everyone knew everyone and cared very much). I don’t get angry very often but and when I do it’s got to be pretty bad. Well, he and his stupid friends had me yelling at them two weeks into the project, swearing like a sailor (I think, in fact, any New Yorker would have been very proud). Eventually, we worked out how to co-exist, kind of. At least, we managed not to kill each other – that’s something, isn’t it?!!
Needless to say (but I will say it still): never ever ever, like, never nevereverever would I take enough time and care and effort and sprinkles and positivity and glitter and whatnot to make a playlist for that guy. He wasn’t supposed/allowed to listen to the songs! They weren’t for him – not fair, not fair, not fair (yes, sometimes I’m five years old, judge me if you must)! If I was to make a playlist for him (because the existence of the world or my favorite band or all the chocolate on this earth depended upon it), it would be one that says something like: hey, like, you’re one of the most un-awesome people I’ve ever met and it’s about time someone told you that you need to pull your sh** together, seriously. But there he was: listening, possibly feeling quite awesome.
It doesn’t really help that the friend that was supposed to listen to the songs in the first place is being mean and hasn’t yet listened to them and thus, hasn’t yet said something like: hey, thanks, like, that’s awesome (ok, he probably hasn’t had time because there’s other important things in life, but because I’m a girl, I don’t care – try and reason with me, world! I’ll just curse at the wind: I’m a girl and I don’t care – unless you bribe me with chocolate)!
Oh, you wonderful, magic, attic-like place called the internet: people keep saying that you’re making the world smaller. You know what? I think you’re just making it weirder. I’m sorry, but I find you majorly weird today. You know what else? I still think you’re mainly awesome, but you’re not getting a playlist any time soon. Not because I want to punish you (ok, maybe I want to…just a little…remember: I’m a girl!). But seriously: who knows who ends up listening to it. Well, I guess one song won’t hurt:
I) January, 8 – in prose…
The New Year (capitalized, to show it’s genuine importance!) is already a week old by now and therefore slowly taking off all the holiday make-up and fancy clothing – a very un-magical moment. It’s always a moment that leaves me missing things: all the Christmas lights, the smell of cinnamon and the anticipation in the air. Because, of course, by that time I’ve already pushed aside the rush and grumpiness of the few days before Christmas, along with the exhaustion of the let’s-visit-the-entire-family-and-all-of-our-friends-in-less-than-24-hours-marathon (while, year after year, thinking: how sweet it would be to catch a ride on Santa’s sleigh). However, what is even worse is the feeling when there’s someone you can’t visit, for whatever reason. Then, the missing hits in early – an even less magical feeling. The least magical I can imagine.
This Christmas season, the missing did hit me quite early, it just snuck up on me behind my back and suddenly there it was, rearing its ugly head out of a pile of Christmas wrappings. It’s been living with me ever since. I don’t mean to complain, I’ve been wanting a roommate since I moved into a new apartment last summer (but I’d really prefer someone less sneaky, Santa must have gotten me wrong there…) leaving behind three roommates (a school, a city, a country) in the process – coming back to what I’d left behind a year earlier to find that I couldn’t have it all back, not the way it was. Of course, you never can – but, of course, you always hope.
I think, it might have been already then, that this idiotic thing moved in with me, hiding in my luggage – the little parasite. Or maybe, I brought it with me from my holiday visit to one of my beloved roommates a few days ago. Anyhow, I’m planning to kick it out soon. I think, it has to go with the decorations and the last bits of candy (ha! I ate the last cookie this morning!). It’s really a poor replacement for all I’ve left behind.
II) January, 8 – in poetry…
I know: it comes like breathing – unconsciously and delicate.
An inflating and deflating, rhythmical, in four-four time almost:
Say, is it dancing, can you feel your heart dancing?
You know, it’s the dance of death, or at least
the dance of coma – a deep delusional sleep:
you’re only imagining things, always.
It’s tiring, truly exhausting – and there’s nothing that can be done.
I’m afraid it’s not a mood, it doesn’t come and go like seasons do.
It’s a state, it’s something chronic – the diagnosis?
Well, it’s not yearning, it’s less dramatic; nothing emotional, I think.
It’s quiet like falling snow and just as cold and it
also muffles all the noise coming in from the world outside:
You must be missing
III), January, 8 – in song (thank you, Miss Madeline Ava)…