SAS 007: A song that makes you cry

“Dog Years” by Maggie Rogers.

It doesn’t make me cry anymore. It didn’t that often really. But it’s one of so very few that have.

I used to play Call of Duty online, and over time, I started playing with the same people over and over again. Shrooom and Lopez and Panda and so on. I remember talking to Panda, and progressively we’d talk more and more. Then we’d share social media information. So we talked through that. Eventually we started texting. And we talked all the time. Every day, in fact.

It was nice to have someone with an objective view of my life (she was not involved in it at all) but also a subjective view (she only knew what I told her). She’s sharp and passionate, and we’d talk about everything. Our pasts and our presents and our futures. What I thought about this person or that girl or the trolley problem or climate change or how Kyle Lowry did tonight or the reason I love making music or how much she loves her niece or the way we agreed that Coraline and Paranorman were underrated masterpieces that showcased the value of at one point feeling like the outgroup and reconciling that with the manifestations of it and then choosing to do what you want anyway because why the fuck not.

I found out she lived in Toronto. So after years of talking to each other, I’d finally gotten myself together enough to go to Toronto. I was there for a week. It was right before Christmas, so there was snow and lots of decorations. I loved the place. We spent the entire week together. We visited ice bars and the Christmas markets and the CN Tower (and had dinner there!) and Jurassic Park and the ice skating rink and the best place for a skyline view. Then we said our goodbyes and held each other for the last time. I wasn’t sure when the next time I’d see this person was, but I knew I didn’t want this to be the last.

As I sat on the plane, I started playing music. It took off, and soon it was high enough that I could see the sun peeking over the mountains before it would rise for the city. Aspenglow. And “Dog Years” came on.

I count my time in dog years
Swimming in sevens, slow dancing in seconds
Oh, and I’m the one that loves you
Oh, and I’m the one that loves you
I spend my time daydreaming
As sure as the sea
It’s just you and me
Oh, and I’m the one that loves you
Oh, and I’m the one that loves you
And if you had a bad week
Just let me touch your cheek
Oh, and I’ll be there waiting
When you get frustrated
I know things are changing
But, darling, I’m saying
I’ll be singing you in all of my songs
Come what may
I’ll still stay inside your mind
For all of time
Singing, ooh
We will be alright in the afterlife
Of all that is shifting and shaking my system
I know your rhythm
And I know, I know, I know, I know
I know that I’m the one that loves you
Oh, and I’m the one that loves you
And if you had a bad week
Then I’ll sing you to sleep
Oh, and I’ll be there waiting
If you start to get jaded
I know things are changing
But, darling, I’m saying
I’ve been here all along
Come what may
I’ll still stay inside your mind
For all of time
Singing, ooh
We will be alright
Not in vain, we’ll still stay the same
Inside your mind
For all of time
Singing, ooh
We will be alright
In the afterlife
In the afterlife, hmm
I count my time in dog years, dog years, dog years, dog years, dog years
We will be alright (Dog years, dog years)
We will be alright (Dog years, dog years)
In the afterlife (Dog years, dog years, dog years, dog years)
Singing, baby, we will be alright (Dog years, dog years)
We will be alright
We will be alright

SAS 006: A sound or noise you love

So many to choose from.

Sitting in the music building on a college campus and listening to everyone practicing. It’s the best worst symphony.

Waking up to an open window and everyone in the world except for the birds is asleep.

People noodling around softly at Guitar Center.

The low-fidelity hum of music when you’re outside the building it’s coming from.

Campfires.

Snow against a board.

Crickets in the middle of the night.

The sound of my house’s heater turning on.

When my sandal scrapes against concrete; largely, I only wear sandals to the beach or at home. So when I hear them against concrete (none found in my house), it means I’m at the beach.

Colors of the Wind playing during World of Color.

When you’re sitting in the trunk of your car in the parking lot of a park. The quiet you hear is broken only by the living.

The general quietness of parks, actually.

The echoes made by a basketball in a gym. The swish of a shot.

When the book you put back on the bookshelf makes that clack of the pages against the wood.

SAS 005: A time you pursued something you really wanted

The first time I saw her was in a psychology class I took in my first year at a four-year university. (I started as a junior because I’d gone to a community college prior to enrollment here.)

I remember thinking that she was the most beautiful person I’d ever seen. Even now, four years later, I don’t think I’ve seen anyone that would me reconsider that.

The first time we met, however, was a year after seeing her for the first time. She’d been in multiple of my classes, so I assumed we had the same major. I was trying very hard to focus on school because I felt I was so behind already, given my age, so for a long time, I didn’t even consider the prospect of dating. But here was this girl, sitting in front of me in a night class on the day of a test (after which we were allowed to go home), holding on to every bit of hope that I had that she was proof that I had a Person. You know, that dreaded, wistful, oversaturated word–a soulmate. So I finished my test quickly and early–school, for all the focus it took from me, was not very hard nor challenging–so that I could turn in my test close to when she would turn in hers. It’s called moves?? Look it up.

I found her walking to our school’s parking lot, so I walked up to her.

“Hey.”

“Oh, hey.”

“Did you just come from [redacted’s] test?”

“Yeah, I did. Did you?”

“Yeah. How do you think you did?”

“I think pretty well. I studied a lot for it. I’m [redacted], by the way.”

“Oh oops, my bad. I’m Nico.”

“Nice to meet you. I feel like I’ve seen you around before.”

“Yeah, I think we have some of the same classes. What’s your major?”

“Psychology. What about you?”

“Me too!”

Nothing substantial came of this. A couple months of flirting (I tried not to because based on her Instagram profile, she had a boyfriend. And if this was going to be something good, I’d rather it not start off with me as the homewrecker, which I concede is a subjective term.), a couple years of waiting (she’d moved to SoCal after graduation), and one almost-date.

I’m happy and sad that I pursued her. Happy because it was something (read: someone) I really wanted. Sad because it was the most work in a long while that I’d put in that ended in unhappiness. I like that it’s both, though. I feel happy to have wanted someone so badly because at some point I wasn’t sure it would happen again.