I fall asleep to a bedtime mix of music. It makes me think of camp, all those nights, I fell asleep in my damp cabin, doubling two pairs of socks and sweats to keep warm beneath a down sleeping bag. I hating having to pee in the middle of the night. I was on a top bunk for starters, but it was freezing in Lenox, Massachusetts come nightfall. So the bathroom was always cold, and there was always a scary moth that sort of just watched you pee. You’d see it again in the morning, and that’s the only way you remember even having to have peed in the first place. Otherwise, you wouldn’t have remembered anything past Air Supply’s, Even the Nights are Better. I usually made it to when Dire Straits’ Romeo and Juliet piped on, but on some nights, I wouldn’t remember any of it. When the tape finally stopped, the click of the Walkman stopping usually startled me out of sleep for a moment.
Now, I fall asleep to sad love songs about unrequited love. Diamond rings handed over, days pass, nobody does it better, even though I have her, I want you. Typical chick bedtime music about some guy who still loves the girl who moved out and still has his Michigan t-shirt, the one he wore in until the cotton thinned and became nearly elastic, like yeast with a sheen of wet dough. The letters faded along with everything they had. He wants it back now. Everything.
None of my songs say that outright. It’s there though. Subtext. In my head, lingering. I feel more alive when I know the songs are there. They’re like rain, on a gray road trip, past fields I’d never seen; yet it all seems familiar. The smell of grass, the beads of rain on the window, wheels of hay, small roadside homes where I wonder if they fall asleep to music too. I climb into bed and hear my past, Story Book Love, the kind from The Princess Bride. I lay in bed, looking at my white ceiling, and I imagine I’m in the grass, looking at the stars. Life is too short not to fall asleep with someone you love, even if that someone happens to only get piped in through your speakers. It’s a start.
Through my speakers:
Worn Me Down by Rachael Yamagata
I hope Tomorrow Is Like Today by Guster
On Your Porch by The Format
Trouble Sleeping by The Perishers
I Don’t Want To Be Your Friend by Cindy Lauper
I Will Not Forget You by Sarah McLauchlan
Love Disappears by Jeffrey Gaines
Say Yes by Elliott Smith
Wall In Your Heart by Shelby Lynne
Sleeping With The Lights On by Teitur
One Fine Day by Natalie Merchant