And then I saw Paul McCartney.
When things get to be too much, and my head is a mess, I put on Abbey Road. I’ve been doing this since I can remember. At age 15, I’d lock myself in my bedroom with headphones, but now, at 37, I get in my car, cue up the album on my iPod, and drive. As I speed past tree-lined streets, familiar houses, and neatly manicured lawns, my car fills with the music of John, Paul, George, and Ringo. I belt out the words to Come Together at the top of my lungs. HOLD YOU IN HIS ARMCHAIR YOU CAN FEEL HIS DISEASE. I secretly lament that nobody witnessed me get all the words right. My head space starts to change. I cry during Something because that is what you do when you are alone in your car and you’re sad and you’re listening to Something. YOU’RE ASKING ME WILL MY LOVE GROW? I DON’T KNOW, I DON’T KNOW. Tears. Every. Time. I want to wallow in this. It feels so good to wallow. Plus, I am really good at wallowing. The guy in the car next to me is staring, so I roll up the window and duck my face inside the collar of my shirt. I Want You comes on and I’m all F**K YOUUUUU to everything and everyone and goodness, why am I always surprised when the tears so quickly lead to middle fingers? The song ends and I flip the record (metaphorically). I know precisely when this needs to happen. There is a path worn in the rug dedicated solely to the flipping of Abbey Road. I picture the needle hitting the record, I hear the crackle and the “KKKKHHHHH”. The sound of anticipation. I think about how albums don’t have two sides anymore. Remember how we always chose a favorite side?
Anyway, it bummed me out.
I allow the melancholy, silliness, and hope that is side 2 of Abbey Road carry me off. I pass a familiar corner store and a little girl walking a dog with a red leash. By the time I get to Carry That Weight, I’m a thousand pounds lighter. I turn onto my street and notice the overflowing trash cans on the side of the road. It’s garbage night. I pull into the driveway and shut off the engine. The words, AND IN THE END THE LOVE YOU TAKE IS EQUAL TO THE LOVE YOU MAKE, linger. Somehow, my head feels clearer. The weight of the world feels less heavy.
Last night, Paul McCartney ended his bonkers-ass set with the Abbey Road medley and it was just what I needed without knowing I needed it. After the stage went dark and the last bits of confetti fell over the thinning crowd, my friend Mish and I exchanged a look. The sort of look you give someone when something really big just happened and you know it and they know it and you just want some sort of confirmation of said tremendous occasion. So many thoughts and feelings on that stage, intoxicating, beautifully orchestrated, ridiculously fleeting. Imagine yourself with Paul McCartney (and thirty trillion people) singing NAH NAH NAH NAH NAH NAH, NAH NAH NAH NAH NAH, HEYYYYY JUUUUUDE and tell me you wouldn’t be glad to be alive, too?
October 22, 2015
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