Crooked Spinning

I remember the first time I heard Elliott Smith. I was 15 and Chris Wooley flipped to ‘Say Yes’ on his ipod one afternoon when we were driving home from school. “Holy shit” soon followed.

I’m in love with the world through the eyes of a girl 
Who’s still around the morning after 
We broke up a month ago and I grew up I didn’t know 
I’d be around the morning after 
It’s always been wait and see 
A happy day and then you pay 
And feel like shit the morning after 
But now I feel changed around and instead falling down 
I’m standing up the morning after 
Situations get fucked up and turned around sooner or later 
And I could be another fool or an exception to the rule 
You tell me the morning after 
Crooked spin can’t come to rest 
I’m damaged bad at best 
She’ll decide what she wants 
I’ll probably be the last to know 
No one says until it shows and you see how it is 
They want you or they don’t 
Say yes 
I’m in love with the world through the eyes of a girl 
Who’s still around the morning after

“He killed himself, you know. Stabbed himself in the heart last year.” I stared at Chris in disbelief. This person who had just accurately summed up every emotion my 15 year old heart had believed it felt in 2 minutes and 19 seconds had stabbed himself in the heart. Go figure.

Life can suck. Really suck.

It’s always been a wait and see

Elliott Smith was 34 when he died, Tuesday would have been his 44th birthday. Chris is still here, and I’m still here. We’ve come a long way since our drives home from school back when we were kids, but we’re still just kids. Still figuring it out. A decade later I was taken aback by how it resonated with me. In many ways life is still just as big of a mystery to me as it was when I was 15. Before I had moved away. Before I had fallen in love. Before I lost my cousin Noah. Before I became an Aunt. Before I got a job. Before I met the people I am lucky enough to come home to. Before I said a whole hearted ‘yes’.

I called Chris, as I usually do on Sundays. Long after our teenage dream ended he is still the person I call, a testament to one of reasons I feel lucky each day I wake up.

The wonder of being here won’t cease. My ‘I’m still here’ moments are greatly out numbered by the sole fact that I am indeed here.

Situations get fucked up and turned around sooner or later. I could be another fool or an exception to the rule. 

As I waited for Chris to pick up I began to think about that day in my old van and how it felt so nice to know someone else felt the same way I did. At the time I was convinced that it was just Elliott, but I know now that it was the person sitting in the front seat too. That is what comes with getting older. You start to realize that we’re all in the same boat. All of us fools just trying to figure out this conundrum that is waking up.

Chris picked up, as he always does, and met my predicament about still figuring out the song with: ‘Yeah. We all are.’

Tonight I am attending a tribute to Elliott Smith. Gus Van Sant and Mr. Britt Daniel have put together an event that will attempt to thank Elliott for all that he has done; even after he went away.

I’ve come a long way since 15.  At 25 to think that I only had 9 years left puts into perspective how someone could end their life before so much of it had begun. I wish this concert didn’t have the word ‘tribute’ in front of Elliott Smith.

I’m in love with the world. I would like to think that if he had stuck around the song would now end there.

We miss you, Elliott.

Chins up.

elliott_smith

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