Cause With You I Like To Stay Out Late

I try to reflect on myself as much as I can, and the latest question I’ve been wrestling with is “Why do I like the music I like?” I have a very predictable palette at this point. If it’s twinkling, off-kilter and you sometimes can’t understand what a rapper is saying, I’m going to love it. But, why?

For the past few years, I’ve used music as escapism. Trapped at a desk for 9 hours a day, I just want my brain to passively enjoy the sonics or have a song transport me away from the slowly-draining quicksand my life exists in. So I focused on that. It must be something beyond “I don’t want to think about stuff.”

I’ve hit rock bottom twice in the past year, and it’s profoundly affected me. I’m finally getting back around to feeling somewhat normal again. But, for the most part it’s been devastation, a numb existence, a tease of happiness then disappointment again. Friends have vanished. Opportunities have dried up. Self-worth has diminished.

I’ve lost a lot of what I would consider the “old” me. The “old” me was outgoing, ebullient, excited, passionate. Those descriptors no longer apply. I would say that I haven’t been “me” in over six years.

But the other day, The Mrs and I decided to visit a Family Video and rent a movie, even though I have over 300 movies on my external hard drive (allegedly), Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime. But, going to Blockbuster and fighting over what we were going to rent was a major aspect of our relationship in high school so we decided why not, for old time’s sake. I remember it was 90°. There was a blanket of Altocumulus floccus clouds above us. They had the decency to keep to their corner of the sky, and let the sun have its space. Most of the cloud puffs were distinct but some smeared and swirled into each other; they looked like the Orville Redenbacher Pour-Over Cheddar Popcorn they don’t make anymore. It’s the same popcorn we shared on our first “date” when I was trying my best to keep that ember of infatuation in the pit of my stomach. To speak of it risked smothering it, and with it the possibility of a lifetime I had already imagined for us. She climbed in the passenger seat and my hand instinctively found its way to her thigh. She got bit by a dog when she was a child, and the scar that remains on her thigh reminds me she’s human, real. She’s so busy being everything to everyone—me, our daughters, her family, her friends—sometimes I forget. I retracted the roof on the MINI Cooper so the sun could feel jealous that it wasn’t closer. It begrudgingly receded below the horizon, but I know it was satisfied with our brief encounter. Lil Yachty’s “Out Late” played because the universe knew it needed to put the finishing touches on this masterpiece of a moment.

Cause with you I like to stay out late.

It was 9pm, our usual bedtime.

Together we can make the news.

We were on a silly excursion.

Baby its plain to see.

It was 2016. I blinked. It was 2002.

You and me? We are just meant to be.

Before mortgages and careers and kids and bills and anything even remotely approaching a worry.

When you riding in the whip with me, I feel so safe. I feel so goddamn complete.

The fact it was my mom’s car, which I had to borrow because I totaled mine, just made it that much more authentic.

Cause with you I like to stay out late.

I realized that’s what I require, what I’ve been needing: Hope. I gravitate to songs that reinvigorate my eroded sense of youthful exuberance, which is a feeling I didn’t think I was capable of anymore. I don’t need nostalgia. Nostalgia implies that what once was can never be again. I need to be reminded that what is won’t always be.

Yeah. You’re my favorite boo.

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