A Certain Kind of Déjà


“I don’t belong to myself.” It was persuaded to herself earlier in the day when she realized she’d be missing Modest Mouse and Brand New this summer. Tears can taste of ink, a penchant for a salty parable on the tongue of a girl who’d lived for music and the pieces of people that it had brought her over the years. It’s a simple reminder of pyknosis and Biology lectures whilst wearing scuffed up Vans in the near-back of a room out of first-day-shyness. I wish 17 came in a bottle I could pull out whenever things became anything less than simple. 

That was the summer spent wishing I could perpetually chase sunsets in a hot air balloon, not worrying about a thing but the uncounted sparks of that fresh yellow below a fevered parachute. It was in the heat of those days I believed that there was much consequence to talks of the vastness that is the universe until the cool drone of 4 am. There was no way to convince me that I would ever grow tired or less fascinated of anything. It was a tenableness my person held with endless enthusiasm. Musical interludes in favorite songs spoke to me in ways words couldn’t. And I felt like I’d live here forever, in this little space of time and dirt. It’s hard to believe what a decade under the influence of these things will do. I look back upon the grains of such and smile, unapologetically.

To slow down, especially in an elegant form, can be an art. Two years later gave me such an appreciation of the simple things. I wasn’t set out to save the world, or even myself. Satisfaction came from the quiet things that no one ever knows. White chocolate pistachio cookies taste like a wonderful mistake, and sitting in a car doing absolutely nothing but taking in lyrics can be the best way to kill three hours, if you’ve got them. And I did. I had tiny blocks of time and lawns to sit on and think about the emptiness that wraps us when a soundtrack isn’t playing. This was a beautiful encephalon I tapped into resourcefully and with a consciousness never reveled in earlier days. 

Summer was spent discovering abandoned hideaways, thoughts people were afraid to touch upon, experiences far too little—and at the same time—much too great to document. Feeling yourself disintegrate and learning to piece together the remnants was a deep and well-known melody. I thought I was invincible and that nothing could stop the lovely tumult that comes from living. Waves came in the form of sound, of contentment, of giving in to the next best thing. It was easy to let go of anything that held weight, for I just wanted to float on…I just wanted to travel between each interval with the smoothest of discourse.

In the pair of years following I wavered in my pursuits and abandonments. But I savored every moment. I arrived into this season ever-so inspired and built to spill every part of me. This etude of summer was so wrongfully thought to be figured out. Equipped with empowerment and what I believed to be wisdom, I quickly set down a graveled and interrupted path so welcoming of asynergy with a purpose. I liked the numb. It was a feeling I could disembark on for what I perceived as a long time, but was only a speck of dust on a trail to eternity. I found myself catching dayfall with a stranger and a conversation that fueled my spirit in a way I had never felt before. But I had been here. 

I was there my freshman year of college when a friendly smile could take me around the globe, and in the years to follow when I met how coincidence is the one who haunts your dreams. I love how these parts have split off of actuality and thrive within memories of memories. And most of all, I love how I would come to know a man as the living antonym of voids, platonic diplomacy, and dessert foods. The morning I saw the day encroaching in your eyes, you taught me to hold on to all of the pieces that make this embodiment of emotions. “I don’t belong to myself.” And I don’t know that I ever did. For as I had collected atoms of summer, I was never taught to edit the sad parts, until you. So while she tearfully accepted that she wouldn’t be at the show come July, she remembered that it was something she already possessed…a certain kind of dèjá that remarkably thrived within her and in all of the summers of her being.


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