In case you were curious.

I didn’t think anything of it until the third time we met. Andrew’s cottage. Victoria Day weekend. The cusp of spring turned summer. You were outside, sitting on the last wooden step. Your toes were digging into the sand. You were leaning back on your elbows, your chin tilted up, eyes closed. I had just stepped by you, about to make my way to the water’s edge, when you called at my back.

“You’re not gonna say hi?” you asked. Thinking about it now, I think it was more of an accusation.

“I didn’t recognise you,” I lied. You scoffed and asked where I was going.

“The water,” I told you.

“Why?” you asked.

I shrugged, “The music in there is terrible.”

You tilted your head appraisingly, nodded, and offered your hands up to me. “Help me up,” you commanded.

I grabbed both of your wrists and was struck by how tiny they were. There was a hint of peppermint off your breath as I pulled you up toward me. I enjoyed the deftness of your fingertips as they brushed down my forearm, finishing with a light squeeze as your hand landed on the inside of my elbow. We walked in the dark, away from the noise, toward the lake.

“If I keep running into you like this, it might be the universe telling me something,” I said to you.

“Are you practicing really terrible pick up lines on me?”

“Yes.”

I said it so matter-of-factly, you burst out laughing.

That’s when I knew in case you were curious.

I knew it was a bad idea, but you talked me into it

Mostly upbeat, guitar-driven and electro-inspired good times.

[November 2012] I knew it was a bad idea, but you talked me into it

Tracklist:

  1. The New Division – Start Over
  2. Lisa Mitchell – Spiritus
  3. The Asteroids Galaxy Tour – Suburban Space Invader
  4. Wildlife Control – Analog or Digital
  5. Air Traffic Controller – Hurry Hurry
  6. Frivolous Life – YesYou
  7. Matt & Kim – It’s Alright
  8. Radical Face – Always Gold
  9. Boy Girl Party – Be A Jerk
  10. Jukebox The Ghost – Oh, Emily
  11. School of Seven Bells – Faded Hearts
  12. Sleep Thieves – Disappear Here
  13. Lucy Rose – Bikes
  14. The Lumineers – Stubborn Love
  15. Taken By Trees – Dreams

Download: 

[Nov 2012] I Knew It Was A Bad Idea, But You Talked Me Into It (132.2 MB)

We’re already in the aftermath.

In a fit of alcohol-related insomnia — I’m too old to drink anything with Redbull in it after 10pm — I finally got around to watching The Girl Who Leapt Through Time (Toki o Kakeru Shojo) — the anime that was a loosely made sequel to the original novel of the same name.

It was released back in 2007, and while I had heard a lot of good things about it, I distinctly remember avoiding it. I had read some reviews and other tidbits here and there from the buzz surrounding it, so I knew it touched on things that hit too close to home. Essentially  the movie is really just about a girl who’s given the chance of almost countless do-overs by leaping backwards in time and the repercussions that follow.

See, I like to suppress all the regrets and perceived mistakes and missteps and poorly planned decision-making and things I’d give anything to do over. I like to pile these moments into a strategically hidden corner in the depths of my subconscious. Subsequently, this practice has turned me into an incredibly corny and sentimental fuck over the years. Thankfully, since I don’t blog as much as I used to, this aspect of my personality is not as publicly apparent as it used to be.

But last night, at four in the morning, for whatever reason, I decided I should finally give it a watch.

It was good and only made me cringe a couple of times when those moments… the ones that crawl up your spine when something triggers that distant memory of that moment that… if things had gone just a little differently, maybe on a different day, maybe at a different intersection, or if I had a little less to drink, or choice of words, or… you know?

I used to believe that as I got older, I’d begin to get answers to the things that used to nag at me — you know, existentialist “what is the meaning of life” claptrap. All that age and experience — it must culminate into something, right? Like… not being completely horrified by the idea that she could be the one I’m supposed to be with for the next 50 years.

It doesn’t seem to be happening.

Remember when we used to see each other everyday?

Made for the birthday of a girl I used to know.

Disc 1 – 15 Songs from Me

  1. The xx – Intro
  2. Faded Paper Figures – Small Talk
  3. Architecture in Helsinki – Do the Whirlwind
  4. The Roots – The Seed (2.0) feat. Cody Chesnutt
  5. Alice Russell – Hurry on Now (feat. TM Juke)
  6. Doctor Flake – Le Vaste Espace
  7. The Knife – Heartbeats
  8. PHANTOGRAM – As Far as I Can See
  9. Portishead – Roads
  10. Röyksopp – What Else Is There?
  11. Handsome Boy Modeling School – I’ve Been Thinking (feat. Cat Power)
  12. Inspired Flight – It’s The Chemicals (feat. Scarub)
  13. Stornoway – Zorbing
  14. Sarah Harmer – Don’t Get Your Back Up
  15. Stars – Hold On When You Get Love and Let Go When You Give It

Disc 2 – 15 Songs to You

  1. A Fine Frenzy – Almost Lover
  2. Sia – Breathe Me
  3. Slovo – Weebles Fall
  4. Duffy – Syrup & Honey
  5. Neverending White Lights – Ghost Ship (feat. Hot Hot Heat)
  6. The Kooks – She Moves in Her Own Way
  7. Frou Frou – Hear Me Out
  8. Kid Loco – A Little Bit of Soul
  9. Hooverphonic – Mad About You
  10. Dappled Cities – Born at the Right Time
  11. Feist – Secret Heart (live in Paris)
  12. Meiko – How Lucky We Are
  13. Keren Ann – Lay Your Head Down
  14. Kate Nash – Nicest Thing
  15. Scouting For Girls – The Light Between Us

 

Every morning.

I have been writing the same stories in your absence. You already know this. I still think about that morning, tiptoeing by the foot of your bed, stepping over all those Cat Power albums that littered your floor. You always made such a pretty mess.

Sometimes, I think about all the mornings we never had a chance to have:

I pretend the coffee is fresh. I imagine reading the newspaper headlines, and hearing the sound of the TV in the background. We sit at a small table. The kitchen windows are half-covered by off-white Venetian blinds and your tragically neglected plants line the sill. We talk over bagels and cream cheese. Your hair is undone. You wear really ugly pyjamas. You get up and check your reflection on the toaster. You blame me for the little crows feet around your eyes. I tell you they are laugh lines and I am proud to take credit for them.

You glare. And then you laugh. You say, ‘You don’t think before you open your mouth.’

I say, ‘Because you understand me anyway.’

You say, ‘You give me too much damn credit.’

I say, ‘Really? I never thought I gave you enough.’

There’s a light in this tunnel, and I think it’s a train.

It was my birthday on Friday. I drove out to Montreal Friday night to hang out with an old flame. We ate honey garlic chicken wings, watched the Avengers, knocked back a 26er of Findlania, which led to many more terrible decisions thereafter. But at least they were fun terrible decisions.

I haven’t slept in 40 straight hours (quite possibly more, since I’m terrible at math).

Needless to say, I’m exhausted to the point of stupidity. l can’t shake the jitters I got from knocking back a half-dozen of 5 hour energy’s to keep me conscience. I feel like I’m on a completely different planet right now. It was probably a terrible life choice to have been behind the wheel of a vehicle at any point in the last day and a half.

My only reprieve is that it’s been raining all day here. The breeze has kept my over-caffeinated, sleep-deprived nerves from getting too frayed. I’ve had the stereo on hard thump all day long. The subwoofer hasn’t had to do so many pushups in a while.

I hope these songs remind you of me one day.

Tracklist:

  1. Neverending White Lights – Starlight (feat. Todd Clark)
  2. Dappled Cities – Born at the Right Time
  3. The Heartbreaks – Polly
  4. Sleep Thieves – Please Call Back
  5. Hooverphonic – 2Wicky (With Orchestra version)
  6. LP – Tokyo Sunrise (live)
  7. Chromatics – Kill for Love
  8. Soom T – Dirty Money (an-ten-nae remix)
  9. Museum of Bellas Artes – Bear Cubs
  10. Two Door Cinema Club – Sleep Alone
  11. Lovers – Don’t You Want It
  12. Stars – Hold On When You Get Love and Let Go When You Give It
  13. Scouting For Girls – The Light Between Us
  14. Feist – Secret Heart (live in Paris)

Download:

[Sept 2012] Theres A Light In This Tunnel (126.0 MB)

Too much too soon.

‘are we just friends?’ i asked her point blank. ‘i gotta make things weird here because i’m sleep-deprived and buzzing hard on coffee.’

it was the first time i had spoken to her in a few days. we had been busy, leading separate lives that refused to connect. i had been feeling something of a rift between us for some time: she spoke to me differently, looked on me differently; there was too much hesitation in the way she touched me. our kisses, the few that we had shared in the last little while, were awkward. haphazard. but i dismissed the signs, tried to ignore them, explained to myself that they were only products of my own over-active imagination. left to my own devices, i decided i had a bad habit of becoming paranoid.

at the same time, i also knew that i had been in too many relationships not to pick up on the hints. i felt i knew her well enough to notice the nuances in her speech, her topics of conversation, her aversion to bring up anything personal, anything that lay buried deep between the both of us. in other words, i was not an idiot, not a fool, and while i already felt like i knew the answer, i had to hear it from her, see it on her face in the afternoon sun. there could be no mistakes, no misinterpretations about this.

in the time i’ve known her, she had managed to wear down my armour, and i felt cold and bitter and naked in front of her, exposed in the way that guys like me aren’t supposed to be exposed. i hated myself, and i knew that courage wasn’t on my side. but i came armed: i had the element of surprise, at least. i could tell the question alarmed her. she wasn’t prepared for it. i watched as her mouth formed to make words, but would stop suddenly. erase and rewind. and then try again.

‘too much, too soon,’ she finally said, ‘i’m just not cool with any of this right now.’ i watched her pause again, struggling to figure out the best way to say the last thing i needed to hear. ‘i misjudged. we both did.’

she always had a certain way of phrasing things that sounded brutally matter-of-fact. it was disarming how straightforward she was. with her, there was never the faintest hint of bullshit that breakups usually incur. but was this really a break up? i asked myself. did we have anything that could be broken? thinking on it now, i knew these are questions without answers: only interpretations, disasterously ineffective and unsatisfactory interpretations.

regardless, i also knew that i can be in a million relationships with a million girls and never be prepared to hear the truth. i could also be in a million relationships with a million girls and never meet one like her. i won’t lie: the moment i realised that i felt something for her, that feeling carried with it a certain sense of apprehension. she scared the shit out of me. but it was also these things that drove me to pursue her, knowing that the chances that this all might end badly were better than any fairytale ending that we have trouble not fantasizing about every time we’ve convinced ourselves that this one might be the one.

to be fair, she warned me. i cannot count how many times she has told me that she runs from intimacy. she had been burned badly only a few months ago, i remembered her telling me. her rock crumbled under the weight of the stress that life seems to mercilessly heap upon us every so often. i’d be jaded too, burned to ash. i felt prepared to take on her challenge though. i convinced myself that i’d be different — that i could not be discarded easily. my pride did not allow me to even consider that i could be the one left wanting.

but this girl, burned or not, was on fire, and now standing there in front of her, i could feel myself ignite.

i wondered if sounding really miserable was going to help my cause. then i laughed at myself silently. nothing was going to help my cause. i no longer had a cause. she was leaving me because i was too much too soon. so the rest of it came out like raindrops in a thunderstorm, raindrops the size of your fist, shattering the spirit when they crash to the ground:

‘i am aware of the reality. we are busy people. you are, anyway. there is always lots of stuff going on with you, and neither one of us seems to have much time for a relationship. but at the same time, when i see you, and this might sound painfully immature, but whatever, i want to kiss you. but i’m not sure if i should. i don’t even know if i’m allowed. if i haven’t already made it evidently clear, i am absolutely crazy about you. but i don’t know where i am supposed to go from here, if there’s even anywhere to go anymore. did that make any sense?’

she said nothing. her silence unnerved me. she had always been a big talker. she talked about everything for extended periods of times. there were moments where i knew i had been listening to her for hours: the time logs on my mobile phone can confirm this. but now. now, there was little left in her to say. nothing. nothing meant for me, anyway.

‘i’m sorry,’ i said lamely, uncomfortable, and embarassed.

‘me too,’ she said.

i realised then that she called everything from the moment before she decided to kiss me for the first time to right now. she had complete control over us. she was the one who decided when us would start and when us would end. i was her misjudgement. i was her mistake. i had never been a mistake before. i can tell you with some certainty that it is not something worth experiencing even if it will prove to build character as my friends have poetically been saying in consolation since that day.

so, under the weight of that silence, this was the part where i should have argued, told her she was wrong. i should have said that there is no such thing as ‘too much, too soon’. there is only what there is and i can take no more than what has been offered. i shouldn’t have apologized. i wasn’t sorry. i had a great time with her, what little there was. i have no regrets except for that i wish we had more time. i should have told her that. looking back on it now, i should have told her a lot of things. but i promised i her i would never be a burden, never be trouble for her, never be a distraction.

in the end, i believe too much in the idea that there are some things in life that don’t need convincing: either you want me or you don’t. but maybe i should have put up more of a fight. except that i’ve never been much of a fighter. and apparently, i’m not much of a lover either, i guess.

Entropy.

she asked for an explanation. it was the hardest i had to think for a long time. she made it worse by sitting there, acting patient. of all the things should could have done — screamed, cried, throw a punch — she did her worst with a slow, measured, muted question. ‘why?’

a long time ago, i listened to a lecture about the universe. it was about its history and its future, and its state of increasing and accelerated expansion. it was about supernovae, stellar remnants, and near-invisible particles called neutrinos. it explained why the sky is dark at night, and how billions and billions and billions of years from now, every star in the night sky fades into the black, and that the natural imperative of an expanding universe is a journey towards utter oblivion. cold nothingness. infinite emptiness. all evidence that we were ever here and did anything that ever mattered would be irreparably destroyed.

physicists call this entropy.

i remember vividly the bemusement i felt as i sat on that stone slab, looking up at her as she sat on the hood of the car with her arms folded across her. i almost laughed out loud, thinking how ridiculous i’d sound trying to preface my answer to her question with a story about the unstoppable and wholly nihilistic fate of the universe that eventually will turn everything to nothing. but it was all i had, and even knowing i had the unbreakable clockwork of thermodynamics on my side, she deserved more.

they always deserve more, these ones.

it can’t help make you wonder what kind of guy you are to throw something like this away. but you don’t think about it that way when that pretty face is staring right at you, wide-eyed, alerting you that her bullshit detector on its most sensitive setting, waiting to hear something that won’t make her feel like she’s just wasted a good chunk of her life for a deadbeat who can’t answer a simple one word question.

no, all you can think about in moments like these is how to say something that won’t make you feel like a complete asshole when that final word leaves your mouth and vibrates off the inside of her ear canal. ‘i’m sorry,’ is all you can say because you can’t win in a universe that’s determined to break everything.

then you wait.

and you discover she is the one girl you meet in your life that does transcend all the known laws of an unforgiving cosmos because she is your very own big bang, proving that sometimes, when certain conditions are met, something can come from nothing.