triggers. i’m driving down the highway and green day’s boulevard of broken dreams comes on the radio and it makes me want to cry in the best way possible. and i don’t know why that is. but when i hear the more folkier bluesy songs from an exclamation point-less panic i remember the cool breezes from the summer i painted the porch of my childhood home. the last summer i spent there.
there are songs i can’t listen to because they remind me of a quiet night i spent sitting on the lap of my first love listening to the songs on that valentine’s day mix cd. and they always take me back to starry nights on long country roads or tear soaked bed sheets of endless lonely nights. i will never shut off the radio when we are young comes on, no matter how many times it plays a day, because it reminds of a night i spent tucked safely into the back seat of a car surrounded by the best friends i’ve ever had. it’s the background music in my heart.
they loop and loop and circle round and there’s no way a rascal flatts song won’t remind me of my mom just like ozzy will forever bring up images of my dad. being nine years old and choreographing dances to dreamer.
and hey monday triggers car drives between home and the city pool with the air conditioning blasting and the windows rolled down. and when i hear all of those beautiful pop divas i think of my summer in new jersey, of diners, and drives, and red wine and cigarettes, every single time.
it’s bittersweet to hear the 1,2,3,4 of the first song anyone had ever chosen for me but i’ll always shut it off before i finish it again. the opening guitar chords plucked so gently from safe & sound play and i’m looking at mike across the table and he’s singing it and into it just as much as i am.
and the civil wars and lumineers are what my life with tony feels like. warm tea, a cozy home, good books, love and his hand in mine.