Sunday, July 13, 2008

Bad Reputation

"Suddenly I'm on the street
Seven years disappeared

Below my feet

Been breakin' down

Do you want me now? Do you want me now?"

- Freedy Johnson, Bad Reputation

This post is on memory.

Please allow me the liberty of going off on a tangent. There's scant news today (other than Barry and Arsharvin being linked to us - yawn), so I might as well. I've got to write about something, and this song's been on high rotation in my head for a couple of days now.

I really, really like this song. It hooks you from the first line "I know I've got a bad reputation, and I know it's not all talk, talk, talk", and there's this really easy, folksy melody to it. But what really gets to you is the chorus. There's a real poignancy to those lines, and it sinks deep into you and pulls at your heart strings.

It happens in an instant, doesn't it? You can spend years not thinking about something, and then something triggers your memory and it comes flooding back. All those thoughts and emotions and regrets that you've spent so long trying to bury, wash over you and you're back. Seven years disappear, and you're right back where you started from.

One of my favourite books is all about that. It starts off with a madeleine soaked in tea, and ends up... well, I not sure where it ends up - I gave up on A la recherche halfway through Sodom and Gomorrah, around when Monsieur de Charlus was trying to seduce our young Marcel. I figured that I was halfway through it, I had my exams to study for, and I was sick of lugging that thing to uni every day. Plus, the mental image of a fat, mustachioed french dude buggering the pastry chef made me a bit squirmish.

And there I went again - seven years disappeared, and I'm twenty again, pissed off at the world and trying to read Proust while hacking through my uni course. And you know, if I could, I'd tell my twenty year old self to cheer up, that life can sometimes be about beer and skittles, and that anyway, Proust is impossibly dense and not really that necessary. I really should've just put the book down and spent more time trying to talk to Olivia...

I would've turned out a lot happier.

Anyway, I'm thinking about the future, and wondering where I'll be seven years from now. When I was twenty, I figured I'd have it sorted out by twenty-seven. I've given up on that dream for now. I'm starting to realise that life isn't something to be figured out. Or at least, not by me.

And, you know, this song really sticks in my brain. I wonder, because in seven years' time she'll be twenty five, and things would seem different. Got to be different. I'll be in a different place. I'll have a different set of emotions. I'll look back on this time and wonder why the fuck I was ever so into this girl. But the scary thing is that if I bumped into her seven years later, in the words of Freedy Johnson:

Suddenly I'm in another place
Looking in the crowd I think I see your face
Been turning around
Do you want me now?
Do you want me now?

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