Driving down the A31 towards an Urban Family weekend I heard the familiar voice of Skye from Morcheeba coming out of Spotify.
Instantly it was the summer of 2000 again and I was driving down the A31 en route to stay with JT and his family, my first long distance love. Funnily enough the Dorchester arm of the Urbans live at the other end of the very same road where I spent many a weekend with him talking about going out and conquering the world together.
There are certain songs that make the breath catch in my chest and the hairs on the back of my neck stand to attention. These songs can feel like a whoomph of adrenaline or can bring tears to the eyes. They can cause the biggest dimple inducing grin or sometimes an actual guffaw.
I can’t listen to “How Do I Live” without crying. I once ran out of an engagement party when it came on, the girls following in my wake to make sure I was okay. We reached the top of the stairs together and all it took was a misplaced heel to tumble us all from top to bottom in a tangle of limbs. Giggles rang round the walls swiftly followed by tears when I remembered why I can’t bear it because it’s very first song I heard leaving the hospital the day that Mum died.
“Astair” makes me want to throw a shoe through the nearest pane of glass. The harpsichord comes on and whilst it’s a beautiful song I feel the rage bubble up inside me. It’s ruined, ruined I tell you. It’s frankly amazing what a fuckwit can do to one of your favourite songs.
“Regulate” reminds me of a summer playing basketball by hopping the fence of a local school (yep, totally trespassing). Memories have turned it into something reminiscent of a hip NYC court in the middle of brownstone buildings, heat rising off the pavements and an awesome soundtrack. Or basically the Top Gun volleyball montage without the toplessness and homoerotic overtones. In fact it was a British summer in the West Sussex suburbs and Penny Hardaway I was not.
Then there are those songs that get so far under your skin you swear you can see the lyrics under your epidermis. Those chords and words that perfectly sum up a moment; a thought; a situation.
I’ve been in this moment so many days and so many nights. Eyes that are stinging and tears that feel like they will never ever cease. That feeling that you’re not going to win the battle OR the war. And then in the blink of an eye and the skip of a track you find yourself doing duckface in the mirror whilst rapping along to Iggy Azalea and you know it’s all going to be okay.