Portland must be confused. It's not even halfway through January, and its sunny and warmish. I have the windows open with the fan on, coffee smoke and cigarette steam mixing together like a ghost above the table.
I may have mentioned this in my last blog post, but I take comfort in the time travel power that music has. Certain songs will remind you of certain people every single time. Songs can remind you of shitty situations, and of times when you knew you were capable of setting the world on fire. This is a double-edged sword. In keeping theme with my last blog post, its all about balance.
I had my own time travel moment today, but it was the good kind. Today at two, I punched the clock and left work for my two days off. The sun was shining bright, there was a breeze in the air. You could almost smell spring. I was hungry and my gut was rumbling (I still haven't eaten yet). Out of nowhere, Against Me!'s song "High Pressure Low" began playing in my head, and it was instantly decided that I would listen to "White Crosses" as I ran my after-work errands.
The combination of the weather, of hunger & cigarettes and the release of anxiety that comes with a break from work transported back to the time before Robin and I moved to Portland. "White Crosses" was slated for release in June 2010. I downloaded the leaked version of it in February 2010. Had we actually waited for the official release, the entire album's relevance would have been completely nonexistent. To us, the whole album was like a flag being raised to living by your own standards. It spoke of making positive changes in your life, while still remembering where you came from. It gave us the green light for something bigger and better. It was an anthem, a soundtrack to us getting the fuck out of Fort Wayne.
The album reminds me those two months we spent in Fort Wayne after deciding to move and before we actually took the trip out to Portland. It brings back the memories of living very, very cheaply in our apartment, of happy weariness. Our focus was always on each other. On the days we spent apart while at work, we had coffee and cigarettes as companions. We'd do both in excess, starving for each other and a decent meal later that night.
When we were together, conversations would run so late into the night that we weren't even asleep until morning. After passing out for a few hours, we'd be back on the road together, each going our separate ways eventually. But for those long moments spent driving around together, pounding the street before the city was awake, time didn't exist. Sleepiness, hunger and happiness all meshed together with this album as our backbeat and it was something to experience.
Bands come and go. Some songs cease to impress eventually. But, for particular albums that came around at the exact time you needed them to, your first impression and what they stood for is something that time can never change.