I have a lot of things to say. I view these things as important. Are they important to others? No, they are not. The things I want to say do not interest people, so I attempt to believe these things are not important. I'd rather be bland and clarevoyant play-doh in a conversation rather than spiking sparks of conversation that I know ends flat. I know a lot about music. That is something I took so much pride in. I boasted my knowledge of every little piece of irrelevant rock 'n' roll history from Elvis to Ziggy Stardust. I boasted because I spent years of my life at libraries reading biographies and books on multiple artists, trying to understand the full picture. I wanted to know the artist I focused on. I hoped to relate in ways that would transcend being a fan and perhaps being an estranged friend. Fantasies develop from daydreaming about hypothetical situations, and the one dream I had was for my idols to rescue me. I put it through my mind that they would witness how sad my situation was and how awful my parents were. My vows of utter gratefulness for the existence of concept albums and philosophical concepts embedded into the counterculture echoed only through thoughts in my mind. I could never pen down my feelings for the songs that took the place of absent friends. They continue to do so, years later. These songs are here at 4 a.m., when I am hysterical and insomnia defeats my sanity. I often hope these songs act like a bridge from my world into others. The challenge of perspective alters this desire for others to see what I hear and feel in these songs. To those who are not me, or have a lack of empathy for my very unique combination of unfortunate events and circumstances, these songs are obtuse. They mean nothing more than the radio play they are given. Most aren't given a chance to be heard because of their antiquated stature in their release date. Not given a chance. Maybe that's why I love them so dearly.
Why am I so attached to songs? I am attached the same way that many people are attached to T.V. shows, movies, books, and actors. A personal connection during a time of extreme desperation and loneliness presents a heavier impact than most connections.
I suffered from losing every single school friendship I had ever known from the transition from 5th to 6th grade, and puberty hit me faster than hurricane winds. I used to be a very cute kid, very slender,and as charismatic as a cartoon character. My body changed and I started to gain weight from being isolated. I was still dealing with middle school schedules being so different from elementary school, and the weight of the effect of my father's actions cornered me into developing depression. I used to be a very pro-active person. If there is a way to change a situation, I'm going to attempt it or fail trying. The fact that I couldn't dig myself out of poverty and emotional abuse hit me pretty hard.It became my life goal to get out of my situation. I couldn't dream anymore of being happy or outgoing, I had to focus on why so many bad things were happening. Why is there black mold in the air ducts of my house? Why did we have another flood? Why was my father calling six times a day? Why did my mother use him as a threat to keep us in line? Did I do something wrong in being childish? Am I unacceptable? I questioned so much about myself, and I stuffed my face with so much food I altered my physical appearance. I medicated with food, and in doing so, became freakishly large for girls my age. But no matter how alone I was due to this, or perhaps my silence, I found someone beyond Elvis. I found Elton John.
Elton John was my Captain Fantastic when I slowly lost my ability to be happy. Through research, and sadly not enough biographies on him, I bought Goodbye Yellow Brick Road at Best Buy. I played that CD as if I had been cured of cancer. It aided my pain, and told me stories of possibility from escaping despair. The uplifting melodies also had mixtures of sorrow, so that I could be sad if I dare needed to be. My depression developed full throttle mid-way through 6th grade, and I went to a therapist. I remember this as the first time I discovered David Bowie. I did a lot of research, because I didn't have friend obligations filling up any time, and started to go back to the days of where I used to watch Labyrinth. From Labyrinth, I traced back to his career in the seventies and found The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars. This wasn't Elvis at all. This was glam rock. It's okay to not love America? Or the situation you are in? It's okay to be an alien? It's okay to be pessimistic? It's alright to be down and crying? The riff to Ziggy Stardust thrilled me like no other, and I would spend hours to and from therapy sessions trying to memorize that riff. I could never memorize how it went, until years later. Now it is ingrained in my memory, and Ziggy plays when you call me. The magic of the song Five Years makes me cry. Bowie screams in vain at the pain of watching the horror of knowing you only have so long before you lose it all and you have to watch the ones you love suffer along with you. Soul Love. Starman. You Better Hang Onto Yourself. Star. Suffragette City. Rock and Roll Suicide. Ziggy Stardust. Moonage Daydream. It Ain't Easy. Lady Stardust. Oh, how each of them mean something of a memory to me.
At my grandmother's house, I have shag carpet in my room. Tears of angst, confusion, sadness, terror, and nightmares were often shed on shag carpet. The dresser had my CD player, risen above me like God, and the music of Bowie would be set on repeat. Every song would mask how hard I was crying, and how I was trying to escape my grandmother's emotional tirades in frustration. She was awfully mean toward me because she didn't understand that depression isn't something you choose to have. She also didn't understand the capacity of my father's abusive methods. Her intelligence is amazing, but emotionally only goes so far. I don't think my mother would have been any better. A lot of the time I would just scream "I want to die" and I would write it over and over on college-ruled notebook paper. It was cheap. I was cheap. I was worth a couple hundred to my father, and nothing more. My family, meaning my grandmother, used to be upper middle class. We had nice things, memories, and less worries. As soon as my mother and her sisters destroyed their lives with bad decisions, this status started to dwindle into oblivion. My grandmother's hard work went down the drain. Witnessing that then, and now, still remains the hardest thing to bear. Music was the only thing keeping my stitches together and led me to believe in a better tomorrow. A better year. My optimism faded with years of oppressive cynicism from my grandmother and mother. My situation increased the surface for my pessimistic nature to spread into a great disease. I was diseased. Social media was forbidden for me, and I didn't have a cell phone. Having friends without technology in modern times is nearly impossible. I spent a lot of time inside my head. I used to like it there, until I was taught that my mind isn't a pretty place. My mind is negative, dangerous, wrong. I am wrong. My existence and how I get through the day declare invalid on the register of therapists and society. To them, I wasn't working. To myself, I was going down in flames. And the further you go into bureaucracy and injustice, the further you believe in their chants. They tell you repetitively that you are to blame for every catastrophe in your life. You hold all the blame, so you must fix it. No one else is at fault. You did it. What did I do? I never found that out.
Music kept me alive. Keeps me alive. I know I expect too much of people when I send them a link and I ask them to listen to the songs. I'm doing so to share something very personal, like a gift. I am giving the pieces of me I deem 'untainted' by my experiences. I am sharing the pieces of me I liked and preserved in the spirit of songs. I used to like myself. I used to treat myself better. After my middle school years, I lost the strength to take care of myself and decided I deserved to treat myself as bad as my family and bureaucracy had decided to treat me. I let them convince me I deserved all the bad that the faults of their beings took out on me. Climbing out of that belief will take me a lot of time. I owe my life not only to music now, but people. People I can honestly say, without it being forced out of my vocal cords, that I love more than anything in the universe. I'm difficult to be with and I tend to disappoint my friends and loved ones whenever I relapse. I do want to get better for myself, and for them. They deserve to see me at my best after seeing me repetitively be at my worst. I love people so much because I lived in loneliness for so long. The people I talk to now, they are my family. When I identify friends as family, and then some of these friends leave, the impact strikes me as a heart attack would. I suffer from strokes of sadness and nostalgia,and medicate to make the flashbacks less vivid.
I wish I could be the best person that every single one of my friends deserves, but since I am not there yet, I can at least do what I can to be as helpful as possible. I want to have an impact, and I just hope it isn't a bad one for those I truly love.