I wish I could tell you a secret. It’s this: I like you.
I hardly noticed you at first, but then slowly, without warning, you grew into this person that I couldn’t ignore. In my head, you grew and grew, until you eclipsed everyone else in it.
And as you grew, I shrunk. I got smaller, and younger, and much less capable of controlling how I felt. And the younger, smaller me wanted to curl up in a ball and roll into your warm, open palm and just stay there, where you could carry me wherever you went, wherever you wanted.
You know you’ve done a lot in 20+ years: you’ve saved up enough to buy your own car, you’ve had three jobs and been promoted as many times, you’ve actually gone camping for days in a place with no toilet.
But then, you haven’t had a relationship that’s lasted longer than a year, your petty troubles make you want to run home to mom, and honestly, you’re terrified of growing old and becoming a liability.
You try not to think too hard about it. Maybe everyone your age feels alternately young and old: you feel young when you lock eyes with a cute person across the room, you feel old when your eyes drop to those tax forms in front of you. Maybe that’s better than being giddy and reckless all the time, or dull and unexciting all the time.
Now, as you face your computer screen and giggle at a corny online gag, you sip your coffee. It comes in a new flavor you really love, and it’s still hot. You feel alright. You’ll be alright.
OMG IT’S MY FAVORITE DAY OF THE WEEK: #THROWBACKTHURSDAY!
Kids, this is Devon Sawa. I was in love with him for years in grade school (from 1994 until 1996, or until I met Nick Carter). I dreamt about him at night, daydreamed about him during class, and kept his picture (in different sizes) in my wallet. I was pretty obsessed.
Donna Lewis - “I Love You Always Forever” (Now in a Minute, 1996)
I hated this song when it came out in 1996; I was too busy banging my head to Green Day or Foo Fighters or whatever back then. Now, I devour it openly and hungrily, especially when I’m stressed or anxious, with a deadline looming just around the corner.
For some reason, I feel like I’m the only person in the world who actually likes this song. Maybe because it’s too intimate, too earnest, too—why not—secretive, and so the liking of it feels intimate and earnest and secretive, too.
Maybe tonight, he’ll finally tell you that he likes you. Maybe he’s liked you for a while now, only he hasn’t said anything because he didn’t want things to get weird.
Or maybe you’ll finally tell him that you like him. It’s the 21st century and girls have balls now; those women didn’t burn their bras in the 60s so you could sit primly in a corner with your hands on your lap, waiting for some guy to make a move.
Or maybe he does know that you like him. Maybe he hasn’t said anything because he doesn’t feel the same way. And all those times he put his arm around you and bought you a drink and drove you home? He was probably thinking: cool co-worker. Little sister. Long-time pal.
Tonight, when he shares another one of his funny childhood stories, you’ll dare yourself to blurt out that you should be together, like you always do. And when he mentions the name of that girl he’s been in love with for over a decade, you’ll feel your entire body go numb, like you always do. But you know you won’t do anything about it. Not now. Maybe not ever.
Tonight, you know you’ll just rein in your stupid feelings and chuckle like everything’s cool, like you always do.
Download the FRIENDZONE MIXTAPE HERE. Download the tracked version HERE.
THE FRIENDZONE MIXTAPE track list:
1. Liz Phair - Extraordinary 2. Rachael Yamagata - Worn Me Down 3. Stretch Princess - Twisted 4. Sixpence None the Richer - Easy to Ignore 5. Tegan and Sara - Where Does the Good Go 6. Ingrid Michaelson - Die Alone 7. Mirah - Cold Cold Water 8. Sinead O’Connor - The State I’m In 9. Veruca Salt - Loneliness Is Worse 10. Beaker - Backgarden
You haven’t been to the beach since summer started. You haven’t been to a pool, either. Or a lake, or a waterfall, or a hot spring, or a friggin’ fishpond.
But as soon as you play these songs, in your mind, there’s sand between your toes and a breeze whipping your hair and sunshine roasting your skin and friends noisily splashing around in the water ahead. In your mind, you don’t look so bad in your string bikini. Scratch that; you look pretty darn fine. So fine, that you think you just might chat up that cute stranger with the curly hair sitting on the sand a few feet away from you. Maybe he’ll talk to you, even offer you one of those beers in the giant cooler next to him. Maybe Big Mountain’s “Baby, I Love Your Way” could come on through your little burger speakers at just the right time, and the two of you could share a look, and that could be YOUR SONG. Or maybe not; you were never really good at chatting up cute strangers with curly hair.
Made this mixtape because I wanted to have one with Big Mountain’s “Baby, I Love Your Way” in it. Heeheehee. Listen to last year’s summer mixtape here.
Download the Summer Jammer Mixtape HERE. Download the tracked version HERE.
SUMMER JAMMER MIXTAPE Tracklist:
1. Architecture in Helsinki - Heart It Races 2. The Tough Alliance - Silly Crimes 3. Rafter - Paper 4. The Mynabirds - Disarm 5. Vampire Weekend - Diplomat’s Son 6. Miami Horror - Imagination 7. CSS - Hits Me Like a Rock 8. Generationals - Put a Light on 9. PAPA - I Am the Lion King 10. Big Mountain - Baby, I Love Your Way
I’ve loved M83’s “I Guess I’m Floating” since I first heard it in the movie Like Crazy. Every time it comes on in my music player, I ache dully in some hidden, massive cavity in my chest. (I won’t explain the feeling any further; that would be taking the magic out of it.)
Anyway. That thing you hear is what happens when I’m still wide awake at 2am, with a song that stays stubbornly stuck on my mind.