Top Five Tuesday :: The National
It was a week spent at an airport hotel, stolen moments when no one really knew we were there, together. Parts of it seem like a dream to me now, and other moments as real and tangible as yesterday’s stop at the gas station, or today’s lukewarm coffee left unattended to long on my desk. Sometimes we were beauty incarnate, other times we were the stuff of torrid romance novels tearing pages and clothing apart, and then there were the times that nearly broke us apart into nothing, conversations so heavy with pain that I wanted to run away while you slept. I stayed though, as did you, and for the most part the good and the scintillating overtook the bad. Music was prevalent, of course, and certain songs from that week together stick out more than others, and certain voices.
The National, and Matt Berninger’s voice, is one that takes me immediately back to that time, even songs that were not out during that year. Music is tricky like that, mysterious in how it affects and moves, but no matter if it is linear, or sensical at all, I more than often just let it carry me where it will. I chose The National for Tuesday’s Top Five because I have been listening to their albums quite a bit lately, and I have been re-examining certain moments and decisions I have made, including those that were part of that airport getaway, in order to identify patterns and triggers in myself. Sometimes introspection is a necessary evil.
Following are my top five favorite songs with my three sentence scratches. I would love to know your five favorites, so please do share in the comments, and enjoy the music:
5. Mistaken for Strangers
“You get mistaken for strangers by your own friends,
when you pass them at night under the silvery,
silvery Citibank lights.
Arm in arm in arm,
and eyes and eyes glazing under.
Oh, you wouldn’t want an angel watching over,
they wouldn’t wanna watch.
elegant fall into the unmagnificent lives of adults.”
In the cover of secrecy, in my city but in a kind of disguise, we were hiding together in plain sight. We kept acting like this was some kind of infidelity, though neither of us were with anyone else, just still tethered by the memory of our last heartbreak. We took it out on each other, in the best and worst of ways, didn’t we?
4. Conversation 16
“You’re the only thing I ever want anymore,
live on coffee and flowers,
try not to worry what the weather will be.”
Weather was inconsequential, as was all those daily anecdotes that we all rely on to get by with during conversational intersections. We drank copious cups of coffee, sometimes as an excuse, and other times to keep ourselves wide awake. You were my everything right then, it consumed so much of me, I don’t know if you ever realized it.
3. Lit Up
“For a little while you’ll be here,
the only good part of me.”
We were short term, at least in this incarnation. After your next flight there would be one more for me, to you, and then what would happen? Would we simply return to where we had been before, throwing distance in as our reasons and why, or would we be worth bridging all the gaps and lighting up our lives for?
2. Slow Show
“A little more stupid,
a little more scared,
every minute more unprepared.”
Even in the midst of the best of it I still felt completely out of my depth. I kept questioning every decision, over-thinking to every extreme, well mixed and shaken with the fear I had risked a best friendship for this. We had already known each other for so long, I never wanted to lose any of that, our unraveling connections.
1. All the Wine
“I carry the dollhouse safe on my shoulders,
through the black city,
nightlights are on in the corners,
and everyone’s sleeping upstairs;
all safe and sound.”
Far above the city we curved and curled through expensive neighborhoods, making up stories to share. We stopped at the top, looking down over the day turning slowly into the night. You kissed me then, a kiss that shook me to the core, and for a moment I forgot absolutely everything.