Sometimes you feel like going for a run.
It doesn’t happen often, but it happened today, because today was an interesting day.
You put on the yoga pants and the sport bra you bought last year when you signed up for that gym membership that you canceled after four months and you put on the only pair of sneakers you own and you load some Amanda Palmer onto your iPhone and you walk out the door.
Run for one song, walk for one song. You decide to let shuffle do the decision-making, because you’re out of breath and now is not the time to stare at your music library on a hand-held screen.
Run for “Supergeil.” Walk for “Peaches en Regalia.” Walk for “The Band Played Waltzing Matilda.” Run for “Streets of Sorrow / Birmingham Six.”
It’s dark. You’re sweating. Your lungs feel small. It’s time to walk home. Your iPhone decides you need to hear “Indian Summer.” You get really happy. You love “Indian Summer.” You loved it the first time you heard it and you love it tonight. You loved it that one night you listened to it on that mix tape you made and you imagine yourself dancing to it at your wedding with a faceless person you haven’t met and you wonder if that’s lame.
You look up at the moon. Jim tells you he loves you the best, better than all the rest that he’ll meet in the summer.
You think about why today was interesting and you get a little annoyed. You wonder why you’re even annoyed at all because you should be above it all because you’ve been through it all and you’ve been through a lot.
You contemplate the Human Condition and wonder what it even specifically means. Does it refer to the way we’re all gonna die and we know it? Or is that Existentialism? And are you allowed to pay attention to coincidences when you’re an Existentialist? Or do Existentialists not believe in coincidences? Or do they think coincidences are just coincidences and not anything to pay any attention to?
You wonder why you don’t tell more people to fuck off. You wonder why your first instinct is to get to know why a total asshole is a total asshole so that maybe, one day, you and that total asshole can be friends. But why would you wanna be friends with a total asshole? But aren’t we supposed to make friends while we’re here? And is there something innate in all of us that makes us want to hang out with each other and not kill each other?
Is that what God is? Is God the voice in your head that stops you from punching someone in the face? Is God the voice in your head that tells you to apologize? Is God the voice in your head that stops you from telling more people to fuck off?
Yes. You’re contemplating the existence of the divine. Not Divine: the divine. You’re wondering why more people don’t talk about how God may be a force of energy as opposed to a man who keeps tabs on everyone. You wonder why paying attention to things — things like coincidences — is considered silly and spooky, and yet condemning groups of people for the way they live in the name of God is allowed in the year 2014.
“Indian Summer” ends. You’re alone with the passing cars and the sound of your own footsteps. You look at the sign for the LA River and think of an episode of Six Feet Under, immediately followed by a scene from Inside Llewyn Davis.
Suddenly, loudly and beautifully and perfectly, “In the Aeroplane over the Sea” fills your ears and your brain and — perhaps? — your soul.
You love this song. You really, really love this song. You think about the people you love, and how some of them also love this song, and you think about how maybe you really should start paying more attention to what music other people like, because if they don’t like music that you like, that’s kind of actually a big deal. Or maybe they don’t need to like all the music you like, but they do need to like music, because if they don’t like music then what the hell are they doing?
You turn on to the crowded boulevard and you look at the neon signs and you feel almost like you live in a cool city, and there’s that bar you like and there’s that sushi place you like and you still have to go into that weird little shop and check out their Tibetan prayer flags. For Tibet.
Looking at your neighborhood reminds you that it’s the 11th. It’s March 11th. You moved into your apartment exactly one year ago.
One year ago.
You remember what was happening one year ago. You remember how afraid you were one year ago and how much more broke you were one year ago and dear God — thank God it’s no longer one year ago.
You pass the stupid lingerie store you’ve never been inside of and Mick and Keith take over and sing to you about “Wild Horses” and remind you you’ll ride them. Someday.
You wonder if you should write when you get home. You wonder who even reads your writing. You wonder if people read your writing and never tell you they read your writing. You wonder if people read your writing and tell you they love it but really they don’t. You wonder if people purposely avoid reading your writing because they don’t actually care about you when you’re not around. You wonder if you’ll ever write some more. Some more meaningful stuff. Stuff that more people see.
Here’s your street. You hang a right. Your feet hurt because your sneakers really weren’t designed to be used for running on concrete and your shirt is plastered to your back but yeah, man, going for a run was a good idea.
You think, Wasn’t it weird how your iTunes shuffle came up with such a perfect little set of songs? It was great, wasn’t it? You almost want to keep walking just to see what comes on next…
Warren Zevon comes on next.
Everybody’s restless and they’ve got no place to go
Someone’s always trying to tell them
Something they already know
So their anger and resentment flow
But don’t it make you want to rock and roll
All night long
I heard somebody singing sweet and soulful
On the radio, Mohammed’s Radio
You stop. You laugh. You can hardly believe your iPhone chose to play you a song that implies a divine figure is spinning rock and roll for the restless. On the 11th.
You open the gate, walk up the stairs, unlock the door to your apartment and step inside. You hang up your key and walk straight to your bedroom, where you plop down on the floor, set your laptop on your bed, and open up your blog that some people sometimes read.
And now you’re finished. And you’re hungry. And you’re excited to take a shower and put on your pajamas and watch another episode of Twin Peaks. You’re also a little freaked out and excited by how Twin Peaks is all about mysteries and synchronies and coincidences, and you think about Agent Dale Cooper and how he’s nice to everyone and never gets mad or annoyed or nasty.
So. What have you learned today?
And what do you think will happen tomorrow?