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The Chainsmokers, “Closer” and Being In My 20s

I woke up with this song in my head this morning and put it on as I was getting ready. I forgot what a good song it is. It makes me want to get a shoulder tattoo and to once again be broke, dating boys that are bad for me, drinking too much and sleeping too little.

Back to a time when all my anger was self-directed and I regularly felt the weight of all my weight (and my mother’s voice asking if I was “really going to eat that?” with judgment written all over her face).

Actually, I take it back. Only some of my anger was self-directed. Sure, I saved the worst cruelty for battering myself, but I had a “heinous bitch” reputation, carefully crafted from my first “manipulation” at 2, that I was so proud of.

I was proud, despite making horrible first impressions, and being disliked by several of my coworkers (justified), because

“mean” meant that I was safe.

Anyone coming into my apartment uninvited or unexpected was greeted with a glare so toxic they could have developed superpowers right there.

Me, the villain, safe and insulated, far away from those that actually cared, and still, somehow, holding out hope for the main characters in my origin story.

But sometimes,

Sometimes, when we had the day off,

and the sun shone through gray skies (rare),

the town smelled just right,

we drove.

Windows rolled down, cute boy or best friend in my passenger seat.

Nestled snugly between in control (driving) and sweet surrender (cute boy/best friend), it felt easy, and I felt free.

All possibility and promise and the world just opening up.

Sure, I was often lonely and sad and angry (still am, even more now), but I collected these moments like silver dollars. Precious and rare, encapsulating a universe of feeling in a single, beautiful moment.

Other songs that bring me back to those feelings of infinite possibilities:

  • My ex’s best friend, blackbear, MGK, Travis Barker

  • Anything by Cartel (despite being decidedly not Christian, the tunes slap)

  • We are never, ever getting back together (Taylor’s Version), Taylor Swift

  • Get Free, The Vines

  • You’re Crashing, but You’re No Wave, Fall Out Boy

  • Three Cheers for Five Years, Mayday Parade

  • Silk Chiffon, MUNA and Phoebe Bridgers

  • Island, The Starting Line

  • Surprise, Surprise, The Starting Line

  • Worst Behavior, Drake

  • Do Better, Say Anything

  • The Permanent Rain, The Dangerous Summer

  • I and I, Bayside

  • MFEO - Pt. 1: Made For Each Other, Jack’s Mannequin

  • Always You, Amber Pacific

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