I like to listen to happy music.
I always have. I remember when I was a child – you know, like, really a child. Some people they say like things like 'when I was a child' and they mean it ironically, like 'when my psychology wasn’t fully formed', as if personality is some lump of clay that has to be fired in a kiln to become real.
Not that that isn’t a good metaphor. I mean, as they go, it’s fine. Like, the fires of life and experience create you, and I get that, I really do. You’re nothing but clay, being shaped by some external force, God or your parents or you gender or something like that, and then bam! You’re in the fire and suddenly that’s you, set and done and the only way you’ll change is if somehow you get shattered into a hundred tiny little shards and that’s it, isn’t it? That’s you all over the floor.
But I don’t mean psychosocially or psychologically, I mean actually.
I saw this album on my dad’s music shelf, and it had this dustbin on it, only the dustbin was crying. Like, a crying dustbin, right? So I was interested. I guess it could have just as easily have been that other album with the rainbow triangle, but it wasn’t. A rainbow triangle is cool, don't get me wrong, but it isn’t a crying dustbin. So I begged to listen to it. Begged. And my dad was like, 'you wont like it, it’s sad'. But I was adamant. And I listened and I loved it. I really did. I’m gonna be a pop star. And I thought, I am. I’m gonna be a pop star. Or an actress. Or an author. Or something amazing.
The other one, the one that goes you look so cold tonight, I liked that, as well. I really did. And I knew what it was about, even then, but I liked it. It was raw. Real. It was love. Love, love, love. I mean, it was positive.
I suppose I should explain what I think is positive, because otherwise nothing makes sense does it? Topic sentence, reasons and examples.
Actually, I don’t think in topic sentences. I don’t really think in sentences. I mean, I act in sentences. Like, for example, I’m ironing right now, and the iron goes backwards and forwards, SVO, SVO, SVO. It’s punctuated by hisses of steam, and every now and again I’ll throw in a conjunction in the form of a handful of water sprinkled across the cotton.
It’s a pattern, a rhythm, and it’s logical and it’s linear and it makes sense.
I don’t like ironing. It always seems futile. Likes it’s going nowhere really fucking fast. But I do it now because it needs to be done. I have to do it now, or else what have I been working towards? The ironing is the icing on the cake. The ironing, done right now, makes it a gift, makes it more than a thoughtful thought.
And I’m listening to my music. And it’s happy.
I think it’s happy, anyway, but also I think sometimes I don’t know what ‘happy’ actually is. Like, I went out tonight. I hadn’t meant to. But I was invited and I said no, but I was invited again and then it seemed real and so I went and I was happy. And there was karaoke, which is something I don't really understand, although, of course, I’d never have the guts to sing. I mean, to actually sing in front of people is probably the bravest thing you could ever do, right? And anyway, I can’t sing, but I like the songs. And I’d love to sing but oops there goes gravity and I just can’t.
Back and forwards, the iron runs like a train devoid of tracks and timetables and angry commuters, like a train that can finally, really, be a train. It fulfils its potential. I guess that’s what I’m saying. And sad songs do that because they make you feel sad and that makes me feel happy. Take these sad songs, they’re really alive, they’re doing it, and when I get back from hell again I'll understand it even better.
I need to iron three shirts, and so I set about it and the iron does it and it’s simple and it’s happy. I mean, it’s satisfying, you know?
A sip of my drink to help it along because a drink always helps things go along. It softens things. I don’t know how people don’t drink, really I don’t. Sometimes, when I get very drunk, I like to cry and listen to music because it’s a mad, mad world and because it frees me. That’s happiness too, I think. So, yeah, I like happy music.
But I should really be concentrating on the ironing right now because we’re going away tomorrow, only he doesn’t know.
Well he shouldn’t know. He does know. He confronted me, 'where are we going tomorrow'? Of course I tried to say 'nowhere', but he did that thing you know people do? When they just look at you like the lowliest piece of shit in the world. That way his eyes narrow and he’s tall so he can really look down his nose and it always makes me feel like I don’t need no needle because I’m really, really stupid. So I told him. And he went to bed.
But I’m committed now, so I need to get ironing. Because if I don’t iron there’ll be no clothes. The steam is quite nice too. It burns a little and sometimes I can run the iron close to my skin or even on my skin and that burns, too. It’s quite refreshing, like a sauna but cheaper and, you know, the steam feels like I need a respirator which is kinda cool, too.
So yeah, sorry, I like happy songs.
Or I like songs that show me how I feel, even if I don’t feel happy. Actually, feeling happy is a funny thing. I mean, it’s nice, of course, but sometimes when I feel happy I feel nervous. Kinda like a deer, perhaps, or a wild rabbit. I’m there in the clearing, enjoying the grass – ironic because I can’t enjoy the grass anymore – but at any minute ‘man will enter the forest’. So sometimes it’s easier to be nervous, or rather being nervous makes me happy I’m only happy when it rains because it’s familiar and we’re creatures of habit really aren’t we? No better than dogs, really, are we? Whistle and we come running, right?!
Looks are deceiving, making me believe it because, you know, I really thought that he’d like this. I know I haven’t done very well, recently. You know. I thought I could do something nice. Unfamiliar. Kooky. But I got it wrong. And so he’s looking at me, 'where are we going', and I’m thinking we’re 'going on holiday by mistake', like, that was supposed to be a joke I was gonna say when we were in the car, right?
I suppose it was a bit lame, but I’d built it up in my mind, and then I didn’t have the courage to say it, not in the hallway at midnight with his eyes all the way at the top of his nose. And I just felt so pretty, oh so pretty, pretty vacant, that if I said it then it would be worse. So I said 'we’re going to such and such and I’m gonna iron your clothes for you so when we get back you don’t have to'. You can relax, I mean. That was my idea.
But anyway, at least the iron knows what’s what, right? And I’ve got my drink next to me. And my happy music in my ears. So I guess it’s not that bad.