Monday, April 28, 2008

I'm up in the air, baby

I have five different versions of the song "Leaving On A Jet Plane". Isn't that strange? My favourite cover is by John Denver, but the one that shows up on my "Most Played" list is Chantal Kreviazuk's. These songs are like those little samples of perfume you would dig up out of your mother's make-up case when you were five, gingerly unscrewing the top and letting the scent waft gently into your nose, sending you back into her arms. Not too much, mind you, or it'll somehow be lost, never to be found again, but just enough.

Listening to John Denver, I am immediately 12 again, clutching my big clunky blue Discman in my lap, seat-belted down carefully with my family falling asleep around me. The blue of the sky has has enveloped us and we still have about 15 hours before landing. I used to time songs so they would fit the moment, and "Leaving On A Jet Plane" seemed fitting enough for that particular experience, so I decided to play it about seventeen times during the flight.

"You're The Ocean" by Teitur is a more recent perfume sample. About a week before moving into Res, I fell in love with this band and listened to the song obsessively. Hot summer days, heat rising to the fourth floor of Hingston Hall, drifting lazily through the window and finding me, the newly-independent and already terrified res student. My parents and uncle have finally left me alone, and I am sitting in my dark purple office chair, debating in my head whether or not I want to leave the door open. I decide against it, but the room smells vaguely like lemon-scented dust gathering on new Ikea plastic, and all the fan seems to be doing is pushing my own carbon dioxide back in my face. The room is too tidy, too small, too stuffy, too much. Turn off the stereo, stand up, sit back down, cross the arms, think a bit more, stand back up, open the door, walk out, and the rest doesn't seem to fit in the song anymore.

But now, nearly a year later, I'm back in Toronto, and Hingston Hall is reduced to merely a collection of memories. I wonder what song it will be next time - what will be the background score to me pacing around my new apartment, wondering if I should go out and introduce myself to the neighbours? How many of these little perfumes are left before I've gone and desperately sucked up the last little dredges? Or worse - how many more times will I be able to smell these vials and relive the memories until it all just fades away and loses the magic?

So here's a few of my own personal samples:

5) Kingdom Come - Coldplay (Driving to New York in the fall of grade 10)
4) The Sound of Silence - Simon & Garfunkel (Singing along in the car with my dad, driving to Montreal when I was 8)
3) Round Here - Counting Crows (Walking down Yonge st. under my big black umbrella every day in the spring of grade 11. For about three weeks, it always seemed to rain every day around 3:30 - 4:00 as I was walking home)
2) Take Me Home, Country Roads - John Denver (Road trips to South Carolina in the summers when I was 7 and 9. We would all start singing the chorus as we were driving past West Virginia)
1) Brown-Eyed Girl - Van Morrison (Around the campfire in sleep-away camp when I was 13, breathing in the smoke-tinted air, roasting marshmallows and engaged in a never-ending "girl talk" session).

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Baguettes, Barret's and Bruni

For a taste of the French:

1) Quelqu'un M'a Dit - Carla Bruni (Yes, Mrs. Nicolas Sarkozy)
2) Seul - Garou
3) A Ton Nom - Damien Saez
4) Elisa - Serge Gainsbourg
5) Je Tombe - Damien Robitaille

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

I'm beginning to see now, finally, that everything that I thought I was was completely incorrect. Self-analysis is lame - it traps us into moments of pure self-conceit and paranoia, when really, all that we're pondering over ultimately leads to little tiny nuggets of theoretical information so inconsequential and trivial to society and, really, our lives.
But yet we still do it, maybe to get that sense of stability, maybe as a step ladder to understanding the world as a mirror - because, really, if we can't figure ourselves out, how can we even begin to even try comprehending the world around us?
So here I am, I guess - my moment of self-conceit and paranoia. Mostly paranoia. And many of you who might be reading this will probably ask, "Why bother posting this on a blog? Keep these thoughts to yourself, Jessica." but really, it's my blog, and you can tune out if you want. But mainly, I think I need someone in this gigantic cosmic space to tell me that I am wrong, I am over-thinking, over-simplifying the human complex, and worrying about nothing.
The problem is my restlessness, and my fear of rooting myself in too deeply. I got into journalism in the first place so I could travel around the world, stay in each destination just long enough to get a rhythm going and then cut out. I went to Montreal because I needed to dive into an unfamiliar pool and surround myself in people who knew nothing about me. I live in a mess, and I prefer the books and clothes and whatever else thrown around carelessly in the room than to live in a place of order and organization.

I've always thought that fear of commitment was a cliche, an excuse for people to go around and have sex or whatever to whoever they wanted, whenever they wanted, without the responsibilities of life bogging them down. But here I am, scheming for days about how to "get" the guys I'm interested in and slinking back the minute they show any hint of interest. I focus more on the careful build-up, rather than the big story itself, and consequently, I'm already gone and running before the story's even over. And I can't explain why I do this, why I panic as soon as their mouths are on mine, or why immediately after, I feel the urge to get the hell out. The first time it happened, I thought it was just because I was inebriated and didn't even like the guy. But now, looking back, it's happened a few too many times than I'd like, and I'm only beginning to see the trend.

Recently, I was very formally asked out by a really nice, great guy, and rather than dance around and leave him hanging like I normally do, I decided to just accept. And there's no risk, it's a coffee and a conversation, and if there's no attraction then at least I've got a good conversation buddy and it'll be peachy, but why am I already worried? I don't even know what I'm worrying about, but every time I'm on the computer, I feel like messaging him and postponing the offer, going, "Oh, Monday's no good for me after a while. Man, this whole week is really brutal for me, what with exams and stuff...". It's the strangest feeling, to panic without cause.

Please, someone tell me that this is normal, that people go through it all the time, I'm just experiencing a bout with insecurity, and I just need to get real and live my life and not dwell on these problems. But I hate feeling like this, and I hate thinking of myself now as a cheap tease. Someone even called me on it once, turned around and went, "Jessica, you fucked with my mind." before leaving, and all I could do was stand there, with my breath catching in my lungs.
I think I do need to grow up, and cozy up to the hope of stability.
But seriously --- what is wrong with me??


That's all I have to say, you guys can ignore this if you want, but if you who really knew me before this mess want to offer your words and insights, I'm all open. I promise next post will less self-absorbed.

And oh: songs of the day ---
Amsterdam - Guster
Gold To Me - Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals
Around The Sun - R.E.M
No One Else - Weezer