Monday, June 11, 2007

yesterday once more

High Fidelity was one of the first contemporary English novel I read as an ‘adult’. Have never seen the movie, but heard Mister Hornby wanted John Cusack to play every one of his male protagonists should they be captured on film as well (which doesn’t say much about the width of his thematic range, but eh, who I am to complain about dwelling self-indulgences?). Also, to know Lloyd Dobler is to love him, and since I solely remember my male actors in their best light [until they go insane and antisemite], the movie is definitely somewhere in my Must See Films list. Rob from the novel, however, I had problems with. He just somehow reeked a dab too much of insecurity, uncertainty; is unsatisfied and whiny about it - all qualities I hate in myself really, which just seems worse when personified in someone else. Especially someone I was expecting to really like, as I often do with books I love (e.g. why "Holden's" is forever emblazoned on my heart) . Not so here. What did win me over, however, is his obsessions with lists. It’s dreadfully fantastic! And how he’s so anal about music, having it be the tell all & end all of human existence. Though, admittedly, I barely recognise half of the ‘dodgy’ songs he mentions and have a much more embarrassing collection myself, who seriously cannot identify with that with a little smile en coin? Still to this day, there are certain songs that bring me right back to the very first time I heard it, and in doing so, define it completely. With the same exact despair and/or glee. Apply as needed.

For instance, at the mere start of some of my favorite Chinese series theme songs, I am seen to be embarrassingly gushing, clapping my hands and hopping in my seat. Have you ever tried that? It’s utterly annoying for whoever’s not doing it, I assure you. There’s also giggling. And did I mention cheering? Yes, there is cheering too. I just get so uncontrollably excited, as if I was to see a long lost friend who once taught me everything I know about honour & love (make-up help included!), whose tales of woes & wars, love lost and friendship in hardship sung my entire childhood. And in some two minutes & sweet seconds I get to hear them again, I am as gullible & hopeful as I was when I was 6 years old, believing that love does conquer all, and nobody is really as evil as they seem [just weak... and unfortunate]. When I listen to these songs again, I am reminded & astounded as to how complex the story lines & characters were, how every plot, every anecdote all tie in together in a messy web of confusion. And how all we do is struggle to untangle ourself from it. (…So that’s why I’m so fucked so early! I tell you, Cinderella’s got nothing on Little Dragon Girl. Psh.)

Or when I was in year 9 and had [allowed myself] my first real crush. I never knew what his name was, where he lived or what his likes & dislikes, favorite band or cartoons were. I’ve heard his voice only once - when he asked his little brother if he wanted his seat *swoons* - but my gosh, my entire 15-year-old blissful moments were of simply seeing him. While listening to this song. I know. I told you I had no credibility as a music critic. Every time the swoosh begins though, without fault, I can’t help but moan & roll my eyes, reminded suddenly of him. And then smile from ear to ear. It still warms me up, you see. Mon Gars du Bus….

… Oh, sweet adolescence, what wonderfully embarrassing years you were! How sad it only degenerated from there! *sigh*

I have mentioned before my love/shame relationship with Bon Jovi. It’s actually worse than I’ve lead on. A lot worse. I heart them muchly, I did. To the point where I bought Mister Giovanni’s solo debut tape and listened to it almost everyday. Uh-huh... Sure, there were the ubiquitous Bush [ex-]X & Garbage pouring down my eardrums, but… I just dusted off the tape from my High School Box (what? Don’t you have one of those?) and had a listen again some days ago. I was quickly reminded of a distinctive feeling when I’d hear these again (other than shame). It brings back the cold hazy days of yore.... When yore were school days off, and instead of sleeping in or spending time with friends, I’d wake up like any other day, put on my uniform (so my folks, unaware of my schedule, would not interrogate me wonder), and took the bus. Just to get lost. For hours. Destination anywhere. Watching. And yearning. For something I couldn't define…. I suppose I can come up with some self-conscious analysis now, generic psychological profile and self-deprecating confirmations, but really, it’ll just be redundant. I was sixteen. Look at my blog title.

Not so long after that, I'd have my first mental breakdown. Yes, happy times… It was also from that point forward that, after every other one I went through, be in minor or of World War proportions, I'd run to The Beatles. I can clearly recall the moment it all started. I was walking towards school, cutting through the park, fenced on the left by huge imposing trees. As I looked up and saw the sun & blue skies piercing between shuffled leaves & windy tears, his voice suddenly broke from my headphones and washed over me. (Terribly cliché, I know... But after admitting my love to Bon Jovi and 80’s Chinese songs I don’t understand a single word to, what else do you expect? Tch.) The thing with The Beatles is, they keep my heart safe, you see. They're my imaginary friends. The only real ones I could stand. Who can hold it in and rock it to sleep, without having to say anything. They let me know it’s okay, and to keep on going, to keep on hoping. To keep on loving. With every innocent note.

So I do.

Across the universe.

Because, if there's anything I’ve learned from my childhood tales, it’s what a good theme song does.


Rosanna said...

A very, very lovely post! I love a good theme song, as music can always float me back to somewhere far, far away.

Chris said...

Maybe I need a theme song... that way I can imagine it playing as I walk down the street.

I imagine it being a Starsky and Hutch (wikwikkawikwikkawikkawikka etc) guitarry one... or maybe the theme from "The Good the Bad and the Ugly".

Bon Jovi... [sigh]


vapidly vibrant said...

Yes, bc you're one kewl cat, aren't you Mister Chris? :P

Chris said...

Yes. Yes I am!

Reply to above post to follow, but not now because I am at work!

(But the answer is yes.)

rappaz said...

Thank God you're not a Paul-type.
I got nervous when I clicked on the Beatles' link.

vapidly vibrant said...

It was the Bon Jovi thing that did it, wasn't it? :P