This is going to be kind of a sob story, so I’ll try to keep it brief in the interest of not turning this into a pathetic Xanga entry.
When I was in junior high, my parents thought it was a brilliant idea to move to a new city without bracing me for the move. For any twelve year-old, that can be pretty devastating, and sure, thanks to Facebook and things like that I keep in contact with my ‘old’ friends, but I had a bit of a tough time readjusting to my new surroundings because, as a socially-awkward adolescent at the time, I didn’t exactly have the gift of gab to make friends easily.
However, I did make one immediate friend right away — for the sake of this story, I’ll call her Beth. She was a grade higher than me, and while it’s seriously frowned upon to talk to kids in lower grades, she never treated me any differently. Unfortunately, she went off to high school while I wrapped up junior high, and her parents got into a colossally-shitty divorce. She wound up moving a couple counties away with her dad while her mom and brother continued to live next door. I had no idea where she went because it was that ugly of a divorce.
Now, this was before social media really exploded on the scene, but at least I had AIM… except that her dad didn’t have Internet at his house. Not to be melodramatic, but I basically lost my best friend at the time to something that, at the time, I could not explain (and wished I could. To this day, I still can’t really wrap my head around divorces when they aren’t amicable, but good thing I’m not qualified to pretend to know what I’m talking about anyway).
Fast forward a few years and it turns out that, after some excessive Facebook stalking on my part at uni, I found her.
I envisioned our meet-up to be something like this, minus the giant white house thing:
… except it turned out that she got knocked up when she was in high school and had a shotgun wedding at seventeen. Being the logical, analytical person that I was when I was twenty and creepin’ on Facebook, I immediately blamed her dad for being a shitty dad. It’s funny how the innocence of childhood distorts reality so that you don’t have any cognitive dissonance. Her dad certainly has a role in what happened, sure, but there’s plenty of my ill will to go around, Beth included.
On one hand, the teenage part of me felt like all of this could have been prevented had we kept in contact over the years, like I was some kind of fucked-up knight in superhero armor or surrogate older brother or something. In my mind back then, she was the coolest person I had ever met as a kid, and now, even today, my mind tries to fill in the what-could-have-been blanks, but as Dave mentioned to me when he was proofing this, “Those are the kind of ‘what-ifs’ that’d drive you insane.” While I still feel that she was dealt a series of supremely shitty hands – with her parents’ divorce being the catalyst – he was also right in saying that, despite whatever shit people have to deal with, they have choices to make, and sometimes, they wind up making the wrong ones (you see where this is going by now: I feel I could have helped her make the right ones, yadda yadda yadda. You get it).
Anyway, I nixed the meet-up because I would’ve gotten myself into a whole lot of trouble. However, it was still nice to wish her a happy birthday on Facebook and make sappy comments about how adorable her family is and blah, blah, blah.
Unfortunately, on August 14th, to celebrate their anniversary, her dipshit husband (who probably was a nice guy, but again, it’s easy to paint him as the bad guy rather than point out that Beth is at fault as well in this) didn’t heed the “Buzzed driving is still drunk driving” warning and crashed their truck, killing them both.
I have no idea what happened to their daughter, and honestly, I don’t want to know how next-of-kin works when it comes to shit like this.
So where does this song come in?
There are a lot of reasons why I should hate this song (the band’s median age is currently 20 if you’re rounding up, they’ve been on tour with dreadful bands along the My Darkest Days-Papa Roach-Seether-Nickelback-Buckcherry continuum, and so on), but this Ontario-based quartet, composed of two sets of brothers (plus a session/live bassist who is, I guess, a brother from another mother and therefore would throw off the band-of-brothers shtick), can write some really, really fucking catchy songs. Their debut record Small Town Dead was released in September of last year off Roadrunner, but “You Would’ve Liked It” has been gaining steam on [local] radio lately despite its release in March 2011.
Plus, they seem like pretty cool guys, and that always helps (this is why I have little-to-no integrity as an e-zine journalist).
Stream “You Would’ve Liked It” below, if you like (I mean, you made it this far, presumably). Whether or not you think my earlier story relates at all to this track is obviously up to you, but if you look at the calendar today, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to tell you that I still have a hard time coping with death, and this is one outlet to intellectualize it. Thanks for reading, either way.
Bleeker Ridge – “You Would’ve Liked It”
You would’ve liked it
You would’ve liked it
You would’ve loved to see this day
I wish you could be here
I wish you could hear this
You would’ve been beautiful today
Wait for the sun to rise
Holding your body tight
Watching the world begin to glow
I would invite you in
Into a paradise
We could get lost inside our souls
You are an endless sea
You are a Christmas Eve
Just like that, you had to go
You were a part of me
And now you’re a memory
When I would have loved to watch us grow
If it wasn’t too late
I’d hold the sun in place
If it wasn’t too late
I would hold you once again
Waiting to feel the breeze
Sound of a thousand leaves
Shaking us both from head to toe
Under a canopy
Sleeping inside the trees
Beaches and bonfires and gold
Holding a candle bright
Trying to find a light
Wishing that you would come find mine
Into the silence
Into a graveyard
Holding the flowers of your life
Whoa, oh, oh, ohh…