You have 90 blocks. Approximately seventy minutes. Time for approximately 12 to 15 songs that celebrate you having just said hello to your ex and his date.
It’s cold. The bones of your ribcage, you feel them all, each one colder than the next, like you’re nothing but skin wrapped around a fancy party’s ice sculpture. But you’re not getting on a bus or a train or hailing a cab. You have songs you need to listen to.
You’re the soundtrack to his evening. It’s important to you that while he’s still at the bar, having a third-week-of-dating conversation, you’re walking through his city, listening to the songs that take your broken-up-after-two-years heartache and scream it over organs, pedal steel guitars, and sad atmospheric, electronic dirges. You’re dragging your frozen bones along miles of icy sidewalk while he’s warm and unsure whether he should put his arm around her in front of his friends. Are they there yet? He doesn’t know.
Your walk home takes place on one half of an imagined split-screen, your ex and his date smiling and drinking on the other half. You’re bathed in the glow of a Don’t Walk sign waiting for the light to change as a singer howls for something lost, while your ex is laughing politely while his date tells a story. You’re leaning into the wind while slow drums build under a sparse guitar line, and your ex is telling his date that not very revealing story about a high school teacher who believed in him. Your eyes are on the moon as the lyrics in your ear wish a departing spouse well, and your ex is playing with his date’s hand across the table.
He has no clue that the two of you shared this night. No clue you’ve DJ’d a 70-minute soundtrack to his evening, a musical storyline playing out concurrently with his quiet date in a booth at a bar. Send him the playlist maybe. Songs For The Sadness You Inspire, maybe. Or, Songs To Walk Away From You To.
Happy Walking Home, Listening To Some Songs Day!