Within a few hours of them letting me know you were gone, my entourage left me alone (for just a second) in my closet to change into my pajamas, when I suddenly experienced just one of the hundreds of epiphanies regarding my forever-changed future…
What about the music?
I’ll never be able to listen to music again.
When you’ve been with someone since you were both 18, every song has a story or a memory attached to it. And of course we loved music together. But, I guess that doesn’t exactly set us apart from other couples. Couples love their music.
That’s because music is almost always about love and relationships.
When we were teenagers, I would always say, “Turn the radio up! Doesn’t this song remind you of us?” And you would do that thing you always did, where you kind’ve cocked your head to the side when you didn’t quite get something. Like why a particular song was OURS.
Eventually you explained to me that you didn’t really listen to song lyrics. I was astonished. You said you liked music for the music. And then I was confused. You mean the notes? The arrangement of the notes? Who doesn’t listen to the words? It’s just one of the many ways we were different.
Through the years, of course, I forced you to parse many many many songs’ lyrics and meanings with me. I remained convinced every song was OURS…
Except for a few of those AC/DC songs you liked.
(I know I always made you turn them off when I hopped in your truck. Guess what? I would let you listen to them now if we could ride in your truck somewhere together just one more time. But isn’t that just the way it goes?)
The thought occurred to me as I buttoned up my pajama top that I’m never going to be able to listen to music again as long as I live.
But then I thought…well…maybe I could just switch over to a genre we had no previous history with. Such as Rap music or Symphony music. Talk about hugging polar opposite ends of the culture spectrum.
But I would only have to pick one. And neither were likely to make me dissolve into a puddle of tears as I drowned in recollected memories. Because they would all be songs I’ve never heard before.
But within a few days I came to my senses. I’m not cultured enough for classical and a bit too prissy for rap.
I decided I was just going to delve right back into our stuff headfirst.
Rip the bandaid off.
No screwing around.
Nothin to it, but to do it.
So I picked out our favorite Motown songs* for the pictorial video we showed at the funeral and have been wading through our catalog of music ever since, for the blog and just life in general.
Do I cry?
Like a baby. But it’s okay. I can’t give up all of our music forever. It would be like giving up US. And I just don’t realistically seeing me turning to rap or the symphonic sound to get my groove on…
But listen to this funny thing that happened to me on my way home from therapy yesterday:
This therapist-guy’s office is right by one of my favorite stores. So I decided yesterday that if I have to go bare my grief-stricken soul to a veritable stranger on the weekly, the least I could do is treat myself to a little shopping spree. You would want me to. I did it for you.
I found some darling pants I liked and decided to try them on, but I could only find them in a size 0. I asked the young sales girl if they had them in a larger size somewhere in the back-stock.
“How much larger?” She asked.
“Well, let’s start with literally anything larger than a 0 – like a 2 or a 4? Or perhaps (gasp) a 6!
I went ahead and tried on the 0 because…well… I don’t actually know why.
Could not even get the zipper to budge. Which was discouraging, because there was a time before the friends and neighbors started bringing “comfort food” every night…
As I was peeling them off of me, one of OUR SONGS came on in the dressing room and I started bawling my eyes out. Right about that time the sales girl informed me that they indeed did not have those pants in anything larger, but she went on to inquire “How are those 0s working out for you?”
I was sobbing.
As I exited the dressing room, I handed her the 0s back with red, swollen, puffy eyes. I thought about explaining that I’d just lost my husband/best friend but that seemed like a tad too much information.
You could tell she thought I was just extremely overwrought about needing a 2 or a 4. She assured me they were readily available in larger sizes online and shipping was fast and convenient. (As if I didn’t know that – they have my credit card on file, for the love of God.)
But, it’s going to be a long, long time before I can just go venturing about in public subjecting myself to any ol’ random soundtrack the establishment might be playing without running the risk of embarrassing myself.
I did, however, start wondering if bawling your eyes out legitimately burns real calories or if that’s just water weight? It’s not like I’m crying to get down to a 0 or anything, but if it worked…
*In the interest of full disclosure : Jimmy’s two favorite Motown hits were “Sexual Healing” and “Lets Get It On” by Marvin Gaye, his favorite Motown artist. I’m proud that even in a state of unprecedented shock and bewilderment, I was classy enough to know those were not appropriate for the funeral video. Doris would’ve been proud of my discretion.