Dark Waves :: Beast Like Them

Posted: April 5, 2017 in Songs

Dark Waves :: Beast Like Them
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I missed a month somewhere. Work has been a slow slide into madness. It’s not retrograde (which I’m told is coming up. Eek.) Not that I put a lot of credence into that but people do. It’s hard not to feel the change in them.

This song is both a bane and a balm. It catches me in a state of mind I don’t particularly want to be in, but have to acknowledge before I can start climbing out. It’s a state of mad despair and desire, a black hole I can continue to fall in to, with the ghosts of everything I could’ve been, done, and want swirling around me, just out of reach.

It hit me like a gut punch once, during a live show. I wasn’t quite in the mood but was teetering on the brink of it. I had also just sorted out enough lyrics to scream out. So I did.

“When my heart starts beating and the love starts slipping away
Like the ghost of a soul that can never be saved
I don’t know where I go but I don’t wanna stay.

When my heart starts beating and the love starts slipping away
Like the ghost of a soul that can never be saved
I don’t know where I go but I don’t wanna stay.”

The song hit me hard. I fell and felt like I was going to drown. But a friend anchored me. Wrapped his arms around me tight. I could feel my nails digging into his hands but he just held on. He knew, somehow, without me having to say it. Though we’ve since grown apart, I’ll forever be grateful for that moment.

Last week found me similarly sliding. I’d hit a point at work where I wasn’t sure if I was making things worse by my presence. I wasn’t being effective despite putting in extra hours and effort. Something had broken, disconnected. I didn’t know how to fix it.

It bled into my personal life. I started doubting what I was doing in LA. What was I trying to accomplish here? I pulled away from friends, not wanting to subject them to my mood. That backfired slightly as without people to ground me, I had a straight line into freefall.

What do I have to offer anyone? I’m approaching an age I wasn’t sure I’d ever get to, with a host of physical, mental, and emotional health issues that cast doubt on my ability to be a stable partner. That’s one of the things on the wants list, probably in the top 3. From there, thoughts spiral into uselessness, pointlessness, and directionless-ness. Apathy kicks in as a defense. If I don’t care, none of that matters. But therein lies the catch. Once apathy kicks in, then nothing matters.

It was in that mood, coupled with migraines likely from the stress of trying to deal with it all, that found me in my car, parked in front of the Bootleg last week. Dark Waves was playing. My friends were inside. I had a hard time convincing myself to get out of the car.

But I did. Mechanically. A friend was walking up at the same time. We pushed backstage and heard the first strains of “I Don’t Wanna Be In Love” wafting from somewhere in the back. Nick was rehearsing. I followed the music to a couch where another friend was sitting. I tumbled into her lap and curled up. The friend who’d walked up took the other side and stretched my legs out on her lap wordlessly. Bracketed between the two of them, the music crept over me like a warm blanket. I was safe. I was home. This was home.

It didn’t quite erase the past few weeks but it helped. Hearing “Beast Like Them” that night, an acoustic version, brought me back. Instead of pulling me down, it actually anchored me. I was already going through the storm, but the memory kept it at bay. I was standing on my own this time. It was enough.

I’m still sorting through where I want my life to go. I’m not sure if I want to stay and continue trying to make a life here. Despite the uncertainty, I can’t deny that LA has its moments. We may not be as close as we used to be but we still understand each other. Let’s see how the next few months play out.



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