the acute torture of spotify’s year-end playback

The early part of 2019 was characterized, for me, by the aftermath of a breakup that shouldn’t have upset me so badly as it did and since I’m nothing if not maudlin I listened in those months to lotsa mopey music, and then after that I just listened to sappy shit that I now associate with the breakup, which means that this Spotify year-end playback thing that everyone’s talking about, which gives you a playlist of your most-heard songs from the year, has been kinda viscerally unpleasant. Without putting me back into that heartbroken headspace, it’s evoking a heavy memory of that same internal cloudiness. Which was awful.

            There’s this one song, though, by Peggy Lee called “Here, Now” that, while belonging in my biography to that same post-breakup gloom, reminds me for some reason, very clearly, of this med student I started dating between December and January and with whom I’m pretty sure I fell quickly and totally in love. She was Pakistani and well-traveled, funny, laid-back. A polymath. Voracious reader, political in a way that was both avid and not. Her hair was thick and black and heavy and looked like some huge threatening thing that’d been melted down and made to comply. I can’t claim to’ve known her so well that it’s like, “Yeah LOVE.” It was a quick thing. Also, I think my heart was still in something of a flammable position following the breakup from Rosie. Ahdunno.

            Y’know what I think she’ll be for me, going forward? The woman with the white parasail who gets discussed in Citizen Kane.

A fellow will remember a lot of things you wouldn’t think he’d remember. You take me. One day, back in 1896, I was crossing over to Jersey on the ferry, and as we pulled out, there was another ferry pulling in, and on it there was a girl waiting to get off. A white dress she had on. She was carrying a white parasol. I only saw her for one second. She didn’t see me at all, but I’ll bet a month hasn’t gone by since that I haven’t thought of that girl.

Citizen Kane

            We don’t speak anymore, but it wasn’t cuz of a falling out. We just drifted apart. But I think about her all the time.

            Anyway. Speaking of that Spotify playback thing (of which I’ll soon by saying more), here are my choice tracks for 2019.

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