Songs for the men of my past.

We all have them — songs that remind us of people, places, moments. These songs come to bring a strong sense of nostalgia, whether you purposely search for that specific song, or whether you’re wandering through a shop and the song comes on. Those times, the nostalgia is sudden, but it doesn’t hit you the hardest. When you open Spotify and choose to listen to the song — that’s when you feel it. You’re overcome with emotion, a pensive sadness. I often do that.

  1. 1,2,3,4 — Plain White Tees. For Tom.

You were the first boy to love me. We used to innocently kiss on my bed for hours, hold hands as we walked aimlessly around town, and joke about the names of our future children. We were fifteen and I did love you for the 10 months we were together. It was innocent; we never had sex. We never did anything more than kiss but it was perfect. I wanted us to have a ‘song’, and we decided on Plain White Tees because I loved them. I still think about you when I hear that song.

2. No One Does it Better — You Me At Six. For Unknown.

I was 17 when I started talking to you. We met on a chatroom online and exchanged Skype names. We used to talk every night for a few months. You said I was what they called ‘jailbait’ in the US. I didn’t know what that meant until many years later. I listened to this song a lot around the time we spoke and I still choose to listen to it. It takes me back to being 17, careless and still completely innocent. I don’t remember your name. Kevin? Dan? It doesn’t matter. You were 26 and wanted what I never gave to you.

3. Freefallin’ — John Mayer AND The Girl — City and Colour. For Craig.

The best years of my life were spent with you, Craig, driving around in your car, me picking all of the songs. Without a doubt, these two songs featured on every car journey we had towards the end. I loved our car journeys — you always had me laughing. These songs bring a nostalgic feeling that forms tears to gently roll down my cheeks .John Mayer’s was the song you started to learn on guitar when we first broke up. You used to send me clips and I’d smile and tell you how good you were, despite the fact my heart hurt. I still love you. We got back together and had the best 3 years after that. Writing this hurts, even now, because I may not have loved you first but I loved you the most. I thought that you would be the man I would marry. You said to me that you couldn’t keep me in your life because you can’t watch the woman you wanted to marry be with somebody else. Everybody thought that we would be next — the next engagement, the next pregnancy announcement — and all I can say is that I am sorry. I will never not think about you and I hope that you are happy. You deserve happiness more than anybody else I know, and you deserve the kind of happiness I could never give to you.

4. Bad Things — Machine Gun Kelly, Camila Cabello. For Mike.

You were a bed for me to sleep in for a weekend just 2 weeks after Craig and I. I wasn’t ready for happiness but you showed me what ‘fucking’ really was. We sped in your car to Whitby with the windows down (in February!) listening to Mumford and Sons but you told me that this song reminded you of me (refer back to the ‘fucking’ comment). I knew that that weekend was going to be the last time we saw each other but I treasure that song for the memories in that hotel room, the way that you could control me with a single glance. We walked around Durham Cathedral and I knew that you wanted to fuck me there and then. You couldn’t. There were too many people around. We got back to the hotel and I submitted to you. Nobody has ever had the same effect on me.

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