It’s a terrible thing, not being able to sleep. Tonight is the second night I’ve woken up around 2 a.m. in a semi-panic, not knowing where I was or how soon I had to get to work. And I don’t know what’s worse, the initial disorientation, or the coming to terms with hard reality.
Last night, I lay awake for a good hour and a half, staring up at the ceiling, twisting and turning and trying to find some position where I was comfortable, and not all tense and taut. Eventually, I ended up listening to my iPod, hoping that the songs would put me to sleep.
Sigur Rós “Saeglópur”
I guess it’s fitting that this means “lost at sea” in Icelandic, as that kind of describes how I feel these days. It’s been over a week since I went to the Sigur Rós concert at Copley Hall and I’m glad I went. I’ve come to the realization that no matter what I lose (whether imagined or real), I’ll always have the music. It took me back to my days as a 3rd year med student wandering the streets of Chicago with no purpose. That year, Sigur Rós came out with their untitled album—(), sometimes referred to as the Bracket album, and on a whim I bought a ticket and checked them out. It was kind of a surreal, almost religious experience. Sigur Rós also makes me think of that winter I spent wandering the Central Coast by myself.
Toad the Wet Sprocket “Crowing”
This song always struck me as being about a relationship that failed to happen, because the guy was too broken and shattered to ever show his true feelings. Then again I may be projecting, and it’s kind of funny how I find myself in the same situations over and over and over and over again. But it’s too damn late, and I give up, and it will be yet another long time before I ever think about changing my mind.
Toad the Wet Sprocket “Windmills”
The allusion to Don Quixote is actually pretty explicit since the album this song comes from is entitled “Dulcinea.” I think I’ve come to internalize too much of Quixote—always finding myself enmeshed in some irreal world while real events passed me by. And then there’s that line from “The Impossible Dream”, to love, pure and chaste from a far, as I’ve doomed myself to, quite possibly for the rest of my life. For some reason, this song also makes me think about the Altamont Pass in Northern Cali, and about going home to L.A.
Death Cab for Cutie “Title and Registration”
This song has sat on my iPod for quite some time, and I’m sure I’ve heard it a few times before, but I never really paid attention to the song lyrics until last month, when I made my pointless drive around eastern San Diego County. This song came up as I made the last few winding turns right before the 76 meets up with the 79 by Lake Henshaw, and the last stanza really grabbed me:
There’s no blame for how our love did slowly fade
And now that it’s gone it’s like it wasn’t there at all
And here I rest where disappointment and regret collide
Lying awake at night
And I’m forced to think about all the times I’ve failed to say how I’ve felt, all the times that fell apart and turned to ash, and somehow, remarkably, I was able to drift off to sleep.