My mother used to come into my room while I lay completely still on my bed, letting melodies drift across my skin and tattoo themselves on my arms and legs. She asked me why I always had such sad music on, letting my room turn a dusty blue as each sad song crooned through the night. Why did I need Jeff Buckley to hold my hands? Why were The Smiths brushing my hair off of my face and out of the hot tears that were plastering themselves onto my cheeks? It felt good to feel so much. If felt good to lay paralyzed by pain, remembering all of their voices and their promises, watercolor tears streaming down my cheeks. It made me feel more alive, this addiction to nostalgia. I’d let the chords swell until nostalgia was sweating itself from every pore. That’s when I’d pick up my pen.
Everything went numb. It was like the blood in my veins stopped flowing and all I could hear were ghostly laughs bouncing off the walls, just out of reach. There’s only so long that a heartbeat can sustain you before the blood stops moving and you need more. My blood sat there in my nail beds, gathering in crystallizing pools and freezing over, waiting for the spark to set it on fire again and set my pen in motion. Letters lounged on my cuticles begging to leap onto the page. That’s why I needed their voices. I needed to hear someone sing sadness so I could get lost in my own head. It’s amazing the trigger moments that happen when you surround yourself with the art of others.