Of Tangles, Memoirs, and the Absolute

All right, peeps. Let’s be honest. We all have a “guilty pleasure” we like to indulge in. Whether it’s a cheesy song, a shallow book, or something else, there’s always something that we enjoy immensely, but for some reason or another feel embarrassed to publicly admit to the fact.
One of my guilty pleasures is the fact that I enjoy listening to the song “Kingdom Dance” from the movie Tangled. I have personal reasons as to why I like the song, but I thought that today I’d let you read a short selection from something I’ve been working on that talks about that song. It’s from my memoir (yes, I am writing a memoir. Don’t ask why.), which details the events of my travels around the world last year. This selection comes from when I was in Amsterdam, NY in May last year. And so, here it is:

That night, after everyone’s asleep, I’m having trouble sleeping. It’s raining, but suddenly a crazy idea pops into my head. I grab my iPod and quietly sneak out of our room. It’s hard to go down the stairs quietly—they creak like crazy, but I make it outside. The front door has problems locking, so anyone can get in. Not a good idea, really, but it suits my purposes now.
As I step outside into the light drizzle, I quietly walk on the pavement and into the freezing grass. I suck in a breath. Jeez, it’s cold out here. My feet already have bad circulation, which causes them to get cold even on a hot day, so now they go numb almost instantly. I make it to the swing and try to wipe off some of the water, and then sit on it. Then, I search up the song on my iPod and start pumping my legs.
As Owl City’s “Fireflies” blasts through my earbuds, I swing in rhythm with the music. It’s a magical moment, really. It’s a dark night, it’s raining, I can’t sleep, and I’m out swinging and listening to music.
“It’s hard to say that I’d rather stay awake when I’m asleep, because my dreams are bursting at the seams,” I sing along with the music, transported to another place as I go higher and higher. They say that there are certain places in the world called thin places, which is basically like where the “veil” between our world and other worlds is so thin that things are able to cross over, even if it’s no more than a strange feeling. That’s what it feels like now. And I don’t want it to stop.
When the song’s over, I get off, since my rear end is wet and cold. I shiver as I carefully pick my way through the grass, but don’t go back inside yet. The rain has abated somewhat, but you can still hear the steady drip-drip-drip of the big, fat raindrops. Once I’m on the pavement, I put on the soundtrack “Kingdom Dance,” from the movie Tangled. It’s a kind of song that feels magical as well, and out there in the middle of the night on a cold, rainy day, I dance around with myself, twirling and jumping around, humming along to the music. I know I must look silly or stupid, but right then, it feels like the most amazing thing that ever could’ve happened. Through the power of the music.
When I go inside, I have to change my clothes, and my feet have lost all their feeling. By the time I’m ready to get back to bed, my feet start to ache as they warm up again. It hurts like crazy, but it was worth it.
I can’t explain how, but I do know one thing. It’s moments like those that matter. The absolute. It can be a smile from someone, an inspirational poem or verse, or a loving act. That is the absolute. It’s what makes you feel alive. It helps you to realize that there’s something worth living for. The absolute. And I wouldn’t trade those moments for anything in the world. Anything.

Less than three,
Josh

“The Child is father of the Man; I could wish my days to be bound each to each by natural piety.” –William Wordsworth, “My Heart Leaps Up”

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4 thoughts on “Of Tangles, Memoirs, and the Absolute

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