“Respiration”

A favorite song has the power to make you whole

For years, I would listen to “Respiration” by Mos Def, Talib, and Common,

allowing their voices to be mine for the moment,

to fill up my room and heart with god’s perspective,

swagger and deep comprehension of the elements surrounding,

So when I played it for a girl I felt emotions I hadn’t felt for before,

as we sat in my car at the top of the parking deck, overlooking the city of New Brunswick,

lights glowing like ember and gold,

I was accepting a new reality

I was learning to believe in meanings other than my own.

. . .

We stopped seeing each other by the end of summer

We tried to be friends, but it didn’t work, cause A) of our shared experiences and what they signified and B) we were selfish.

I coped by writing more, running more, and focusing on me again.

I’d also relax by listening to songs that connected to me in a particular way, even dopey songs by bands like The Cure.

But, when I was rolling through the neighborhood, past those who appeared distant, I would play “Respiration” and immediately have to pull over, and park.

Vulnerability overwhelmed me

Me picturing her still beside me

Me thinking back to those times we shared

. . .

I did try doing what I could to return my song to what it was

I listened to it non-stop one afternoon, but I ended up feeling like in a deep hole looking up into a black sky

I even searched online about how music affects the mind

and kept showing it to others I’d soon meet and try to replace her with

Again and again, the results were the same

Like I was losing

Like I was feeling sick, and begging for a cure

. . .

I decided to stop listening entirely, and find another song instead

And for a few weeks, I was able to occupy the space with some things else

As you can probably guess, that period didn’t last too long,

as I missed my friends,

as I missed her.

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