I laughed uncontrollably recently because I caught myself - while driving beneath blue skies - thinking that nothing bad had happened for the year yet. This was on the fifth of January. The fact that I considered this a milestone is a testament to what the last few years have been like for me. I'm trying to delay the period of my life that I'm addicted to painkillers, but occasionally I will relent and let myself swallow some codeine and twenty minutes later a layer of tension will be sheared off of me and I realise that I am constantly living like that. It's disconcerting.
So when I revisit Summer 22-23 and its soundtrack will I want it to remind me of the warm and also cloudy days that are starting to be consumed by chilly dawns that penetrate deeper into the mornings each week? I didn't hate my summer. I enjoyed the occasional submersion in the ocean, rounds of Chameleon, eating salads, walking up steep hills, reading books about Paris and eating a lot of passionfruit. The injuries and illnesses of myself, Vanessa and Nash only served to make me crave more of the good things that life offers. The adventure, the flavours, the photographs for later.
Music has always been important to me, but recently I've been using music as a link between the past and the present, a medium for nostalgia. This summer music has not been a channel as much as it has been a release. Like a milligram of codeine, a song can displace the tension and be a reminder of the perks of living. Just little moments during a day when my other senses are demoted by the vocal range of Caroline Polachek over smooth synths. Or the pulsing rhythm of Urban Funk. Dre-like piano paired with dubstep wobbles. French disco-house mixed on 2022 computers promising bonus summers of glossy sophistication. Simple, catchy melodies. Atmospheric trance. The lick of guitars and the memories of fully-intact summers of my youth. Keyboard pop and emotive vocals. The songs on this summer's playlist are not related to memories, but distractions from them. Music is one thing that hasn't been taken from me yet.
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The woman with the fake tan stepped into my office, sat across from my desk and lit a cigarette.
At least, she would, sometime in the next 20 minutes. Smelling the future has advantages, but precision isn’t one of them.